Phi Beta Cons

Hamline U. Student Suspended for Beliefs Regarding Guns

FIRE has a really Orwellian new case. A student at Hamline University responded to an official school pronouncement regarding the Virginia Tech shootings by saying that he thought that lifting the prohibition against allowing students to carry concealed weapons might help to prevent such tragedies in the future. For having written that, he was declared to be in violation of the university’s judicial code for his “threatening” behavior. The student was told that he’d face suspension unless he agreed to a “mental health evaluation.
Brian Doherty of Reason discusses the case here.
Is
this an instance of stupendous overreaction by a university administration, spooked that anyone who mentions guns favorably has to be examined? Or is this an instance of the abuse of power by officials who saw a chance to slap down a student for having the temerity to voice an opinion they dislike? Is it some of both?

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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