Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There Are Days I'm Ashamed To Be On The Same Side As These People

There was a tragedy in Moscow, Idaho recently.  An assistant professor of psychology killed a female grad student (no word yet on whether they had been romantically involved, or if he was just obsessed with her).  He murdered her, and then killed himself when police showed up to arrest him.  This crime took place entirely off campus, and as near as I can tell, the University of Idaho's ban on guns on campus therefore played no part in it.

Yet state Rep. Marv Hagedorn, who sponsored the bill to preempt public colleges from banning guns on campus, issued a press release trying to make hay out of this:
Teaching gun safety "could have possibly served as a deterrent to the shooter had he really understood what the mis-use of his gun really meant to her and her family as well as his," Hagedorn wrote.
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What? This was not a gun accident. Bustamante intentionally, and apparently with some planning, murdered this grad student. He knew exactly what he was doing.

While I do generally agree that allowing law-abiding adults to be armed for self-defense is a good idea, I am hard pressed to see the connection to this case. This guy committed suicide afterwards; he could not be deterred by the prospect that his victim would return fire.  At most, if she had been armed, she might have been able to defend herself, but to put out a press release like this suggesting some connection between the University of Idaho's policy and this tragedy is opportunistic at best and ignorant at worst.

I had some objections to the bill as drafted--changes that I think would have made it an easier bill to get passed, but no one listens to me in this state, especially in an area where I have considerable expertise.

UPDATE: The University of Idaho's no-gun rule wasn't the problem, but an unwillingness to take violence seriously might have been.  From the August 24, 2011 Idaho Statesman:

Ernesto Bustamante threatened Katy Benoit with a handgun several times after the former University of Idaho professor and his student broke off a sexual relationship in March, according to court documents filed in Latah County reported by the Lewiston Tribune.
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It gets worse:
The UI characterized the separation as a “resignation” that was finalized last Friday. Moscow police have said that the university’s separation with Bustamante was handled as a confidential personnel matter, and that they were never asked to get involved.
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They let this guy resign after complaints of a sexual relationship with a student, and complaints that Bustamante was threatening her with a gun after she broke off the relationship.

And this not too surprising statement about a psychology professor:

Court documents also include witness statements, including one from Bustamante’s “close friend” and UI graduate student Rowdy J. Hope.
“He confirmed that Bustamante had multiple handguns and multiple personality disorders to include one Bustamante calls a ‘psychopathic killer’ and another Bustamante calls ‘the beast,’” Fager wrote in the affidavit.
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  1. While this guy's argument is so bogus one wonders about his ability to think his way out of a paper bag, concealed carry on campus could be viewed as akin to the laws that require private employers and so on to allow guns in cars in their parking lots.

    The ban on any possession in campus (that's the norm and I'm assuming it includes Idaho) makes it rather difficult to have a lifestyle where you're armed off campus.

  2. The bigger barrier to being armed off campus is that Moscow has so little violent crime that I can't imagine many students getting a permit. Some might, but unless Bustamante had been making threats, there would have been no persuasive reason for the victim to be armed in Moscow.

  3. I to was disappointed in Hagedorn's actions regarding this matter. Though apparently he has now (as of this morning I heard this on the talk show on AM 670 in Boise) said the victim should have been trained in using a firearm and had a CCP (which certainly could NOT have hurt).

    I liked the idea of allowing faculty with a CCP to carry on campus, but with crazy profs now I'm not so sure...maybe only female students should be allowed...

  4. Wait a minute, we're not ALL crazy! I would even say that while there are clearly mentally ill faculty out there, they do not seem as common as in the general population. In spite of the tendency to assume that much of the leftist nonsense that seems to dominate academia is evidence of madness, relatively few are actually mentally ill. In truth, we tend to notice the weird leftist nonsense not because it is the majority, but because they get their way by obnoxiousness.