Saturday, April 09, 2016

Irony -No Smoking, But Guns OK

We went to see Stalking The Bogey Man at UAA tonight.  Get tickets and go.  Not only is it a powerful play, but Anchorage is the locale for most of it, and the topic is one of the most important for our children.  You won't be bored.  You can get tickets here.  There's no one who shouldn't see this play - unless you're a rape victim and can't deal with it yet.  More on it later.   I don't have time to do it justice tonight.

But as we were walking to the theater on campus I was struck by this big sign.

We have a smoke free campus here.  You can't take a break any more and stand outside when it's 10˚F out and puff with your fellow smokers.  You have to actually get off campus.  I'm not sure if that isn't taking things a little too far, but I started pushing for no smoking in class back in the mid 1970s, so I definitely like the indoor ban.

But I was thinking about the headline in this morning's paper as I passed this sign.

I try to be objective and look at all sides of an issue.  Here's the kind of 'rational' article on guns on campus that  I would normally write.  And here's one that explains why guns on campus is a bad idea. But at some point, you have to stop being polite and rational and just say it like it is.

There's no real middle ground here.  There are national organizations, like ALEC  and Americans for Prosperity that are anti-worker, anti-regulation, anti-public school, and other right wing legislation at the state level.  It's far cheaper to influence state officials than national ones.  I don't know that either of these organizations is helping with this drive.  I don't know who's helping Pete Kelly with this bill. But I know the people of Fairbanks are responsible for electing Pete Kelly and the other Republican legislators who have supported this bill are all culpable in this.

My Senator - Berta Gardner - pointed out the other day that while the Senate is forcing the University to change it's concealed weapon policy, they aren't themselves allowing guns in the capital building.  I guess that's next year.  And I'd bet there are a few legislators who have guns in their offices.

The legislature has ignored the warnings about oil and the state budget for years.  And now, instead of seriously working on raising revenue to keep the University strong as well as other important government services, they're refusing to consider raising revenues like responsible states do - through an income tax.  But they do have time to pass legislation to allow concealed carry on campus.  Even the highly corporate Board of Regents don't support this law.    This isn't about safety on compass, it's about power - and what better symbol of power than a gun.

But, in the mean time, concealed carry, or any carry, is not allowed on campus.  But if Pete Kelly gets his way, while you won't be able to light up on campus, you can take your gun when you talk to your professor about your grade on the last exam.

I realize that posts like this will probably cause a group to sponsor legislation to allow smoking on campus.


  1. Steve, Gene and I contemplated what we would have done if open carry would have granted rights to carry concealed weapons at Out North. We decided we would have started by asking patrons to calmly and quietly take off their weapons outside and leave them in their vehicles.

    If they wouldn't agree that, we would have refunded them their ticket, without protest. Beyond that, we would have faced not starting a show until they left, making a point of it with our audience. It would have been uncomfortable, but ethically necessary as we oppose this arming of citizens for 'protection'.

    If the House passes and the Governor is compelled to sign (he should veto), the university needs to step up to this bully-law, as that is what it is. I don't feel SAFE with anyone and everyone carrying a sidearm, loaded and ready to fire who doesn't represent a broader interest than self-interest.

    Their ready potential to use deadly force is a threat to me, and that is a legal definition of assault. It is a criminal actuality, especially for people with PTSD.

    Fight back. Ready civil disobedience on this. Risk arrest. I remember more than one American western, where the good sheriff met gun-totin' baddies at the edge of town to tell them to check 'em in until they left town.

    I think it was called law enforcement.

  2. As a long-ago graduate of UAF, I think guns on campus is the most stupid idea yet--in this time of LOTS OF STUPID GOING AROUND. I wouldn't want to attend a school where one nut case could literally blow away their fellow students. This state and country have gone nuts!


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