back to article Student suspended in gun rights email row

A US University has suspended a student after he sent emails suggesting that incidents such as the Virginia Tech massacre might have been prevented if students were allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Masters student Troy Scheffler was told he had to undergo compulsory "mental health evaluation" before being allowed …


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  1. Denis

    Oh my god!!

    Just who does he think he is? Speaking his mind. I mean, jesus, he should go out with a blaze of glory...Oh wait. That is what he was TRYING to avoid from someone doing by being able to carry a concealed weapon.

    One thing to remember also is that he spoke his mind. He did not once say anything considered "hate crime". He did not threaten anyone. Seriously some folks are just way to touchy.

    If ever that comes here to Canada, I will frikken go nuts and just voluntarily move into the bush and rough it and pretend the world does not exist. Until I look up in the sky and see the skylights...But that is another story.

  2. Andy Crofts

    Where do you find the names???


    Alan Sickbert

    and the Clements FBISD Board President Steve Smelley...

    You really couldn't make this up!!!


  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh please

    He wasn't being racist. The ONLY demographic in America that can be mocked, ridiculed and discriminated against is the young white male. Is it my fault that I am in that category? Did I ask for it?

    So why should I be accused of exploitation of minorities? I happen to have good friends that are minorities.

    racism == discriminating against a demographic particularly over factors that they cannot control

    Modern racism == anti-Caucasian males especially of the Christian stripe.

    Yup, I'm venting. Why? Cause this discrimination just gets under my skin some times. And right now, I'm frustrated by it. Usually, I let it pass, but today, I'm to tired to ignore it. Sorry.

    And judging by that one email, I can't understand how he would be considered violent or threatening. Maybe a bit belligerent. Certainly, he could have handled it better. But violent? Hardly.

    In defense of the school and as my wife has taught college students before, it is possible that he was a generally belligerent and aggressive student. The faculty would know and it would get around. He may have built a reputation that made this the straw that broke the camel's back.

  4. Ole Juul

    Help wanted

    So, Hamline University have another kid with a gun. Judging from his rant, he does not seem any more stable than the first one. I hope the community takes the time and effort to help this one before it's too late. We all need to reach out to people in distress. That's what was missing with the first kid.

  5. Matt

    Yes, help...

    It's a time honored tradition by the left -- normally referred to as Re-education.

    There is nothing in those bigotted writing that warrants being removed from school -- you just had right wing bigot spouting off against liberal prejudices and the liberals threw back their typical tantrum wrapped in intellectual words. Black kettles and pots all around.

    It's the single greatest black mark on the George W. Bush administration in his incompetency, and the actions of far too many Republicans in Congress and the state level over the last 7 years who started acting just like the corrupt, power hungry Democrats they had replaced, who gave breathing room to hard left who have begun an attack on freedoms unprecedented in my lifetime.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Criminal rights agenda of the liberals

    This is a typical liberal mindset on all college campuses: Criminals have rights. Victims do not. To voice an opinion otherwise is to be thought insane.

    It would seem that the only way not to be a willing victim for criminals or be made one by the authorities is to carry a firearm without permission and by doing so become a criminal (this is not a statement endorsing criminal behavior, it's an editorial opinion - you lefty creeps). If you are a criminal you therefore are sane and have rights.

  7. Jason Harvey
    Thumb Down

    It's only racism if you're white

    Welcome to the USA. If you're white, you will NOT be eligible for any benefits due to the fact that we only give help to the minority, and you're not it. You will NOT be able to talk about people based on their skin color because that is racist. You are not allowed to interact with anyone of any other race in any fashion except to help or give money to them.

    Welcome to the USA where every racist bigot that's not white gets praise while a white guy that points out that some people's ideas MAY be a little off gets busted for racism and hate crimes. Welcome to the USA where you're not allowed to be a voice if you're white any more.

    reminds me of college where 90% of the scholarships were available for minorities and women and the rest were available to those who could write the best novel on the application. You're white and male. You don't get help. We don't care how poor you are. Now I have a house worth of student loans to pay off, all because I'm white and male. Welcome to the USA where racism against the white man is common place, encouraged, and accepted.

    Hamline seems to have this type of attitude down to a fine art. Looks like the administration needs the psychiatric evaluation to me. It also looks like racism against the white guy (if the names are anything to go from). He makes some pretty blunt observations about what is what and they call that racism? bunch of racist bigots they must be then cause observations are not racist. If I look at a box of crayons and a guy is the color of brown... I can say he's brown. if he's as black as the black crayon... you'd think he could be called black. though I used to wonder as a child why white people weren't called peach or light orange. Welcome to the USA. Welcome to the melting pot. You are not allowed to mix.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    4 dead in Ohio due to student indifference

    And in Cleveland, Ohio, "student indifference" allowed a student with 2 handguns to kill 4 people at the local tech school. quote from a minority student witness: "I saw him loading the handguns in the restroom, so I got out of there and went back to my class. I forgot about it until I heard shots being fired down the hall!". Duh, what did he think loaded handguns are for? And Cleveland's mayor wants to make it illegal for anyone under 21 to have a gun. This 14 year old had 2 handguns (both illegal, already). More laws mean nothing to the criminals.

  9. cybersaur

    And this is different how?

    I read Troy Scheffler's letter. Unfortunately, it sounds like your average Bush follower here in the States. Pretty typical rant that could just as well have been heard on Fox "News". I fail to see how his letter got him suspended given the fact that a solid 25% of America holds similar right wing, gun nut, racist beliefs. He's just parroting what he's heard from Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Wayne LaPierre, Dennis Prager, Virgil Goode-- the list goes on and on...

    It's a pretty typical screed here in Jesusland.

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  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What on earth happened to the bill of rights? Did I miss the announcement? Is free speech no longer protected? Why is the NCLU not all over this yet?

  12. Jay_rm

    So, Ole...

    ..according to you, law abiding firearms owners, in an area with a very high percentage of the population as firearms owners, are to be considered "people in distress" ?

    Have you, by chance, lived most of your life in a Socialist country ?

  13. Chris
    IT Angle

    eummm Where is he threatening?

    Oh Come on!

    They guy is just speaking his mind... I do not agree with his view regarding concealed weapons but he has a point on the racism... Not just in the Us but all over the Western world White folk can be racist but if other people from a different ethnic origin call us whitey or honky it isn't deemed racist while it is...

    Racism is a plague and this means ANY kind of racism... Including reversed... Why can't we treat humans alike? Give kids a scholarship based on their marks and not color of their skin...


  14. Marco


    Judging from the majority of current postings here, it is right now lunchbreak time in the bible belt.

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  16. Ole Juul


    "Have you, by chance, lived most of your life in a Socialist country?" No. I've lived much of my life in Canada which is full of right wing radicals, and recently I've been living in a seriously "red neck" rural area. I've learned to love them all anyway. The bottom line is, (unless you're hungry) the only thing you need a gun for is to kill people. I suppose I could have used one to get rid of the bear that destroyed half my apple tree last night, but that's another story. The old lady next door just chases the bears away when they come to her house, she doesn't need a gun either... and I don't piss her off. I just think there are better solutions than guns.... and that has nothing to do with Socialism. It's really a matter of survival.

    To answer your other question. Yes, I think "law abiding firearms owners, in an area with a very high percentage of the population as firearms owners, are to be considered 'people in distress'".

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    So true....

    Though I don't agree with the kid being suspended. I do think it is ironic the way the far/Christian right only start screaming about free speech when guns and racism are involved....

  18. John A Blackley

    I reject what you say

    I don't find anything particularly threatening in the sample given of the young man's email. I don't find his views particularly palatable either. However, I think the college has got its reactions completely wrong and may well pay the price.

    Would I, as a private individual, keep a very close eye on this young man if he were my neighbour? Probably. Do his views - if I am the leader of the university - give me the right to suspend his education? I don't believe so. Another poor reaction born of fear.

    @Sharon: "but being allowed to walk though a Kindergarten with an Uzi, Glock and pair of shotguns" Please visit the US. You may well find many states where the right to carry concealed weapons is suspended at the doors of kindergartens, churches, places of business, bars, government buildings, etc. Or is making wild leaps of assumption simply easier?

  19. E


    You should all go back to Europe where you belong.

  20. J


    Well, I supposed the folks at Hamline must be relieved this particular nutcase is not allowed to take his gun (!!!) to school...

    I went to check what MAPA stands for: master of arts in public administration. Because I was wondering he could not be an English master student. Man, it's not my language (5.5 years at it now) and I can spell better than him...

    Anyway, I think the school has overreacted there -- unless this was the "straw that broke..." as someone pointed out above. We have seem just a little bit of the story.

    But to me he does seem pretty borderline on hate "crimes" there, what with the "atheist professors, jewish and other non-Christian staff" part, among other things (dirty bums sounded great too...). So he thinks these people shouldn't be employed there because of their beliefs or lack thereof? Well, then he is doing exactly what he criticizes, no? I would go as far as saying he probably tried to restrain himself in those messages, and didn't say everything he *really* thinks and would like to do... But that's just speculating, of course.

    His obsession with the swastika is also weird... As is his "interpretation" of hate crime -- the Asian guy hated the people he killed... Stupid or what?

  21. BradS

    Here's an odd point of view

    How insane is it to posit that maybe, possible, guns are not the real issue here. Psycho people killing people are the issue.

    Used to be a time, back 50 or so years (and before, obviously), when people did bring guns to school, at least in rural areas. Made catching a deer or some rabbits on your way home a lot easier, which made feeding the family a lot easier. And nobody was going insane and unloading onto the other kids in class. Weird, huh? 10 guns lined up in a row in the coat closet, and not a single one being used to slaughter people.

    Might make you think that maybe the problem is somewhere in the society rather than the technology.

    And, just a side point: what's with all the name-calling? Every time somebody says maybe guns aren't all bad, immediately we say things like "right wing, gun nut, racist beliefs". Also "the far/Christian right only start screaming about free speech when guns and racism are involved...." Thank you for that blanket statement criticizing millions of people based on a single point of opinion. Nothing prejudiced there, oh no.

    Disclaimer: I own guns. Plural. I use them for hunting, recreational target shooting (that's pieces of paper at a range. Often with smiley faces drawn on them), and self-defense (i.e., one by the bed in case of robbery).

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  23. tom

    Giving gun nuts a bad name... again. :(

    While I strongly agree with his opinion on the concealed carry ban (I hardly see how creation of isolated victim-rich zones in the middle of a sea of gun owners is going to help), Troy sure is an asshat.

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  25. Bob Jones

    Gun laws - I support them

    because thanks to the right to bear arms, America is the safest country on earth!


  26. Andy Bright

    Lost in Translation

    Actually I think you'll find they got this one wrong.. it was (as has been noted on many occasions) "The Right to Bare Arms" on particularly sticky days during the summer.

    As for is he a rascist or not - well it really depends on what he was objecting to. I have a certain amount of sympathy for people that are denied places in universities because they fail to meet certain ethnic requirements. However that is an incredibly rare occurance, mostly you'll find people shouting down things like affirmative action when they were denied a place due to .. I don't know.. maybe being a fucking retard.

    Funnily enough most (but strangely not all) universities require more than the ability to chuck a ball around and drink beer as prerequisites to falling asleep in their lecture halls.

    Awesome idea though. Let any red-neck prick carry a gun to school. After all I'm positive they won't use it for anything but shooting kids they normally bully, or the sons and daughters of people their dads told them were terrorists.

  27. Matt


    > I'm fairly sure most robbers, rob during the day when your not at home, when

    >making a noise isn't much of an issue, and when the gun isn't much practical


    That's true, but you don't buy a gun to defend your things -- and in few states are their castle laws that allow you to protect your things with deadly force.

    People, largely, have weapons in the home due to stories like the Petit's:,0,7927780.storygallery

    Or, for situations like Virginia Tech.

    As to violence and handguns, that's not the correlation. There are others -- urban gangs skew the statistics tremendously, but their social problems run far deeper then guns; similiar cultural issues are found in places like Texas and Florida. Yet in Vermont has one of the lowest murder rates in the country, no death penalty, and allows carrying of concealed firearms with no permits and few other restrictions. In the towns north, west, and south of mine -- particularly in the midnite shift -- a 15 minute response to an emergency by law enforcement is not considered unusual. There aren't many State Troopers because crime isn't a large issue in the rural areas, but at the same time when something occurs you have a greater responsibility for your own protection then people living in an urban area and paying much higher taxes for higher (and still often overwhelmed) levels of service do.

    More jobs and less welfare and more reason in our drug laws targetted at urban areas will have far bigger impacts then trite slogans and political posturing over gun laws.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sharon - get a life

    As a child, I once watched my mom fend off four would-be burglars/rapists one night by sticking a handgun in their faces and scaring them off after they were done bashing at our door. My dad, who was on a business trip at the time, had gotten it for her.

    Now, Sharon and all you others, would you have preferred us psychotics (for owning a gun) to have been raped/killed instead because you have been privileged and sheltered by those stronger/readier than you all your soft, easy lives?

    Those of you who are sooooo smart that you "know" that burglars only come during the day - do you have any experience with this? No - you have not. You have been protected all your lives by people with guns who - unlike you - have seen the bad side of humanity and take it upon themselves to protect people so those people can form stupid, uninformed, arrogant, Western opinions.

    No, I did not grow up in the US. No, I am not in the Bible belt. But I did grow up in rough places, and I did see plenty of use of guns as "equalizers". So before you bray leftist claptrap about us all holding hands and gun owners being (to you) bad people - wake up, travel, see some truth, then STFU and mind your own business when some of us seek only to protect those that are dear to us. If I want to keep a gun in my bedroom in a biometric safe - none of your business unless and until I do something wrong with it.

    Lastly, Sharon, pertaining to the US - you need to do a little research. I will leave it to you to find the number of under-10-yr. old children killed by guns annually in the US; as a hint, every reliable source you will find pegs that number as far lower than no. of children killed in car accidents, in-home incidents involving household implements, etc. etc. But then the mind-your-life-for-you crowd never lets data or truth get in the way of a good shriek.

  29. Dale Morgan

    I only read the first paragraph..

    and was so disgusted I couldn't read the rest, its an americans god given right to carry a gun but don't they have freedom of speech?

    How can the school suspend someone for;

    1) Voicing an opinion

    2) Suggesting that students excerisie their right of bearing arms


  30. Gower

    All we are saying is give peace a chance

    Lol @ bible belt having lunch comment!

    I think that a lot of folk in the USA are bred and raised on fear. As a nation of immigrants, everyone there regardless of they're race creed etc has about the same right to be there...

    Race fears are due to lack of talking you'll find that the groups that are stereotyped are few and far between and most people you talk to are individuals,

    No Guns = No Gun crime simple as...

    @ if we didn't have guns would you prefur we got raped/killed? seriously would you have been raped and killed or is that just what your government and marketeers would have you believe?

    Quick lookout the EYE RACK EEEs are coming to rape and kill us!!!

    Kid should of been expelled not suspended

  31. kain preacher do illegal guns become illegal, surely they must be legal first.

    Nope there are lots of guns on US streets that were never legal. They were imported illegay. Never registered, and have no serial numbers

  32. Symrstar

    Taken aback in horror.

    if gower==asshat then

    no guns = more knife, baseball bat, broken bottle, cue ball in a sock, aggravated assault, and don't forget my favorite, illegal gun crime.


    People like to live in a fantasy world where if no one had guns there would be no violence and death, and that all man kind was altruistic. Mere belief does not conclude in truth, blind faith is proven dangerous every day of the week. I do not fear my fellow man, I distrust his motives. I distrust his concept of "social responsibility."

    Civilian gun ownership allowed my country a chance at becoming independent. It was not the police or standing military that fought for (perceived) freedom. It was Joe average that locked and loaded.

    The police have something called a response time. Time that it takes to kill a person with a knife is approx 2-3 seconds. Time for the police to show up to clean up the mess approx 2 to 5 minutes. Police = ineffective against violent crime against innocents. Therefore: Buy a gun. Learn to use it. And don't be an asshat about it. Be a responsible f**king human being.

  33. Matt

    Those in glass houses should be careful.

    >I think that a lot of folk in the USA are bred and raised on fear.

    Yep. The Democrats count on it. Unfortunately we have too many Republicans in Washington today who've left the principles of Goldwater behind and joined in the fear mongering power grabbing the Democrats had raised to a high art form.

    Along with utopian claptrap like no guns, would you care to explain how you will win the war on drugs (you know, something else involving today considerable manufacturing processes and cross-national smuggling). It won't happen.

    In particular, let's turn attention to Gower's questioning if someone would've really been raped or killed -- after they had just described a gang of four battering down the door to his childhood residence. Ignore the truth and spin it to your own ends -- yep, that's a rational view point.

    Oh well, us Americans will continue to be the laughing stocks of the Europeans, put down for how violent a society we are and how awful it is we allow individual citizens to protect themselves with force. By the way, what was the homicide rate for Europe in the last century compared to North America? And don't forget to count those pesky time frames like 1914-1918, 1936-1939, 1939-1945, and the majority of 1991-2001. I wonder if German homicide statistics included those shot by East German border guards?

    Oh wait, I must be imagining all that violence in Europe, after all, there seems to be a lot of people here who believe personal ownership of firearms and carrying weapons for self-defense causes violence.

    Hey, no guns = no gun crime is a nice feel good poster slogan, completely ignoring whether it's practical or would indeed reduce the long term trends quantity or lethality of violence. It takes no thought about the deeper differences between societies and a broad range of conditions that affect violence and crime and it's manisfestations. But what do I know, I'm just a un-thinking right winger.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's heartening... see that despite the necessity for making serious decisions about how we organize our government and society, we can depend on all concerned to stuff every possible decision into a "libtard/neocon" splitter and completely ignore the possibility that we might be better off making decisions about our world based on something other than blind hatred for anyone wearing a different party pin.

    But hey, I understand that it's much more satisfying to walk away from your forum flame post confident that you are absolutely right, your enemies are absolutely wrong, and that your post name-calling people you believe will never see the light will enlighten them.

    Do carry on while the world burns around you. It's just so much more satisfying.

  35. Adrian Crooks

    Right to bear arms...

    Part of the reason people in the USA can have weapons is to keep the Govt' in check and defend against external threats. They help when faced with individual violent incidents, providing for your family or defending livestock, but if those reasons went away you would still have to take in consideration defense against those with too much power.

    If the school is a private school with no Govt' assistance then I cannot argue with them kicking out a student for whatever reason they suspect will stick. I just hope their reputation for being a stupid intolerant school, as intolerant and stupid as the student they punished for speaking their mind sticks to them for the rest of their existence.

  36. Daniel

    Hamline should pay for lost professional income in future

    Let's see... I'm not a religious nut (I'm an agnostic). I don't own a gun. I consider myself an independent, though in recent years it's more accurate to say I'm an anti-Republican. What's more, I don't think students should be carrying guns on campus.

    However, the university was flat wrong. He wasn't being threatening, though he was being belligerent. He was expressing a controversial opinion, but universities are supposed to support free speech. I would like to see the university forced to take him back, remove any poor marks on his transcript, and compensate him for lost future income based on getting his degree late due to this incident.


  37. Curtis

    I find it interesting..

    that aside from the nuts that think that legal gun ownership causes crimes, noone has addressed a major point here. In many states, if you undergo "involuntary mental counseling" you are banned from getting a concealed carry permit for life. that means that this dean, who obviously hates guns, is trying to take away someone else's right to protect themselves by holding his education hostage. is there also a clause that says that his transcript will be withheld so he is unable to transfer to another school without this counseling?

    @ Matt: FYI- its the Castle Doctrine that permits someone to defend themselves in their own home with lethal force froma deadly attack without attempting to retreat first.

    some people,especially from countries where firearms are treated as a privilege not a right, don't understand the US' stance on them. The government cannot always be there to protect it's citizens. get used to it. as for carrying a firearm in a school, by federal law schools are "gun free zones"...why do you think that so many shootings happen there? the perps know that no "law abiding" citizens will be there to stop them. there are several stories of teachers and principals going out to their cars to retrieve the firearms that they are licensed to carry, to stop an incident. but those stories never make the news.

    @ Sharon: if you're so against guns, why not wear a t-shirt that says "anti gun, and if i'm in trouble please don't use yours to save me". you don't seem to realize that the possibility of a victim carrying self protection is, in and of itself, a deterrent.

    but what do i know, i'm just a "right wing gun nut" that thinks that firearms are one of the few things that keeps the US government from running roughshod over it's people.

    oh and @E- sir, i find your comments to be totally uncalled for and out of place in this discussion. i thought there were editors checking these posts. Unless you happen to be a species other than human, it's a fair bet that your ancestors did not evolve in north america. as someone who is of many lineages and races, but typically identified as "Caucasian" by lazy police and bureaucrats, i find it humorous that you feel i should leave the country i was born in, and go somewhere that i can trace less than 50% of my heritage to.

  38. Gower

    look out americas coming and its gone a gun or ten up its sleeve!!!

    hahahaha people think that its utopian to live without gun ownership? I think your scared people making irrational statements.

    I ponder the comment about having guns to keep the government in check, reminds me of the T.Jefferson quote about patriots questioning Government.

    so whats stopping you guys you got plenty of guns? but wait you probably think your foreign policy is right

    Back on topic, I think the faculty made the correct choice, and should even have gone further, this statement I make based just on what people here are saying...

  39. Derek Hellam
    Thumb Down


    No we don't want them back in Europe, we where glad to see the back of all the religious nuts, Quakers and all in the 1600's. Besides we are being swamped with new religious nuts from the middle east at the moment.

    btw, we are not allowed to bear arms, have even a toy gun here in the UK, but somehow gun crime and knife crime is on the rise. Usually within minority uncivilised communities. If the criminal classes want to cause you injury, they'll find a way. Mind you I notice in countries where carrying a gun, or using a gun in a robbery is an automatic death sentence they seem to have lower crime rates. Poor criminals what are they to do? Mind you if you had no criminals then the bleeding heart liberals (criminals have rights too) would have no purpose in life would they?

    I suggest setting walled, guarded communities where the criminal underclasses can live in glorious harmony with the Liberal do gooders, lock the gates and just wait for the screaming to start, it could be filmed too and broadcast as educational...LOL

  40. Dam

    racist ? no sir

    It is fun how if you mock or discriminate any "race" or "color" at all you're being a racist.

    However if you mock the white, it becomes crystal clear truth and not just racism or persecution.

    What a shame, think about it, racism works the 2 ways, and it's highly underestimated against white people.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    You Merkins are freaks...

    Simple - The only people who 'get' guns are the cops and the armed forces. Criminals will get hold of them...sure...let the police handle that - it's their job and what they're trained to do.

    And what the hell is the point of encouraging to carry a concealed weapon...IT'S CONCEALED ! YOU DON'T KNOW IF YOUR PREY HAS ONE OR NOT !

    Not some digruntled, hormoned-addled grad student.

    Jeez...guns don't kill people, people kill people...wait ! That's not right !

  42. Joe Harrison

    Glad I don't live there

    Brit here and I think I might speak for many of us when I say that the views in this thread just do not compute. My mental image of the USA is a place basically the same as here where people live their lives going to work, watching TV, shopping, driving around etc. etc. I've lived my whole life so far without ever having seen a real gun much (apart from when it's another tense one at Heathrow) so why does the average American seem to need at least one gun to get them through the day safely?

    About that "our guns keep the government in check" thing - it doesn't seem to be working...

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Its not tech news its fark

    If I wanted to read crazy rants about guns there are several current gun threads on Fark I could delve into. That is if I wanted to read insane gibberish written by the psychologically imbalanced.

  44. Smallbrainfield

    I don't understand

    ...why he wants to conceal his weapons. Surely a couple of six-shooters strapped to your chest is more of a deterrent than the possibilty you might have a gun in your manbag?

    It would certainly bring moseying back into fashion if people could openly carry weapons. Not sure how a game of football would play out with a rifle over your shoulder though.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Still seems there is a bit a of KKK tendency alive and well ... as the commentators above are only to happy to show.

    Get some lives people, guns are not good for you. Nor is carrying a massive chip on your shoulder.

    @Joe Harrison - thats not the reason they can carry guns. Check the straight dope for that particular story. Ultimately its for self defense at least thats how they have interpreted the founders words. Personally I think they are pissing on some great people from a great height. Amazing what you can see when you stand on the backs of giants.

  46. Joe M

    I is at university

    Ahem... You mean this guy is a university student? He seems to be incapable of putting together a single coherent sentence. His writing is about the level expected of an angry 8 to 10 years old.

    If I were a US citizen, I wouldn't worry too much about guns and crime and free speech. I would worry a lot more about all the semi-literates churned out by the best educashion system that money can buy.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So I'm not able to defend myself

    I live in Ireland - one of the few countrys left with an unarmed police force and we hear stories of how a single unarmed police officer (we call them Garda) can disarm armed robbers simply using a big stick.

    Now other things that are illegal here (Not even the police can have them):


    Pepper Spray / Mace

    So what do our police officers have? Well Truncheon, walkie talkie and huge maglite - all make great defense items!

    But according to all our American cousins, I should have been broken into and raped a few times by now

    PS we do have Armed response police officers but they're hardly ever seen, infact it's such a big deal that when they shot two armed raiders a year or two ago we have full public inquries to make sure they were correct in shooting the armed scumbags.

  48. Hooch181
    Thumb Down

    Right wing nutters!

    Amendment II (U.S. Bill of rights)

    "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

    This does not give the individual the right to bear arms, don't the Americans know their own Bill of Rights!

  49. Hooch181
    Thumb Down


    If everyone on that campus had a firearm their would have been more dead. The confusion caused by such an event would have made a "Free for all" with nobody knowing who's shooting who!

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  51. Nick Palmer
    Thumb Down

    Speaking as a liberal...

    I find it unconscionable that this student is being threatened with the deprivation of his education, and other sanctions which (as has been pointed out above) may have serious ramifications for his future (including exercise of his right to carry a weapon - whether I agree with concealed carry or not isn't the point; it's his right - and also his pursuit of his education elsewhere). There's a lot in his email with which I disagree; I happen to think that if there were a lot of armed students at Virginia Tech and someone sent around a message stating that an armed student was shooting people, well, the potential for what might be termed "blue-on-blue" incidents is obvious. That isn't the point, however; he has a right to his opinion and a right to state it, and to threaten him for doing so is utterly wrong.

    "He wasn't being threatening, though he was being belligerent. He was expressing a controversial opinion, but universities are supposed to support free speech. I would like to see the university forced to take him back, remove any poor marks on his transcript, and compensate him for lost future income based on getting his degree late due to this incident." - daniel

    QFT; so what if I think he's mistaken - I might be. The point is that no society is free in which the mere holding and statement of an opinion is a punishable offence. Inasmuch as (being a liberal) I support freedom of speech for those I agree with, and deplore the ongoing removal of liberties from us all, I equally support freedom of speech for those whose views I might deplore.

  52. Clovis

    Guns don't kill people...

    ... Americans kill people!

  53. Hugh_Pym

    Banning guns in the US...

    not practical. too many guns, too many borders, too many manufactures.

    However the constitution only say 'Right to bare arms' with out specifying what arms are born. The gun lobby area prepared to 'protect the constiution' up to an arbitrary point. Being born in the US of US parents makes you a citizen as soon as you are born. The Constitution therefore protects the rights of infants to own field artillery and the right of any individual to own nuclear weapons. The far right, just like everyone else is arguing for a 'sensible' approach to what the right to bare arms means in the modern world. It's just their definition of sensible different.

    Forget the theory look at the facts:

    right to hold military weapons - Waco

    right to bare hand guns - highest murder rate in the western world.

    Death penalty - Prison population 5 times higher (per capita) than rest of the western world.

    It seems to the reason most people want a gun is because they fear the other guy has one. Blind fear of the other guy is called paranoia <sarcasm>and who would want that? After all it would only divert peoples attention from real issues like government corruption, economic meltdown, disastrous foreign policy etc.</sarcasm>.

  54. Mark

    Long short version

    my take (as sopmeone who thinks guns aren't necessary, and nobody should be armed on the street, except a few firearms officers who do NOT patrol with them) is that the boss takes his perogatives as a right did not like someone disrespecting him and telling him he's wrong. Unfortuately for him, he cannot censure someone for saying "you're wrong" no matter how badly they put it. Except by saying "you're wrong, that won't help and here's why...". So he makes some shit up about how he's scared and that allows him to punish someone who is disrespectful of his power over the students.

    That's all this is. One gun nut (plenty of them in the states, you can't shoot them all...) and one petulant crybaby with a napoleon complex. As far as overall blame is concerned, the one with the power needs to be blamed: they, after all, are the ones with more power.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Glad I don't live there

    Hey Joe,

    As a Brit I agree completely, I see no need for guns and see free access to guns in the US as the problem everytime someone gets a little bit too wound up. My Father had a shotgun to take out Rabbits (owing to being a farmer) so I'm not some exactly some city bred "bleedin heart liberal" as the phrase seems to be. It's exactly as simple as you say though.

    Here Bloke-A gets a bit psycho because of his missus shagging Bloke-B, hence he goes and kicks the cr@p out of bloke-B/his car/his house etc.

    Bloke-A gets nicked and world continues without much fuss, seems a very different story is possible in the US.

    The real problem that exists is the US people are not letting go of the "Right to Bear Arms"

    Funnily enough we do something similar in the UK. We Brits refuse to carry ID's cards and kick / scream at the Government to never dare introduce ID cards, let alone be required to carry them.

    I mean, what a crazy idea! The police would actually be able to identify someone ? Whoa, hold on now, thats a bit strong, something sensible ? You know, the card could have my photo, a fingerprint and an ID number matching a record in the ID database that actually proves I am who my card says I am ?

    But no, "I AM NOT A NUMBER!!!!!" Stupid stupid bleedin film.

    Whereas most European countries accept this (and I don't see repression of the German, Italian, Czech, Swiss people etc) we see it as a loss of freedom somehow. We're not happy to carry a piece of paper/card as it represents a loss of power, the Yanks are not equally not happy to give up the right to carry guns around.

    Maybe this explains the whole culture of fear that helps feed the Bush Adminstration "War on terror". If they don't even trust their fellow countryman then there's no hope for the average citizen from the good'ol USofA trusting someone foreign ?

  56. Robert Ramsay

    Good grief...

    I was more shocked and horrified by some of the responses in the comments than by the original article...

  57. Karl Lattimer

    Stopping school shootings

    I've got it... Its brilliant.... Its overwhelmingly the right thing to do...

    Lets have EVERYONE carry a gun!

    I'm somewhat reminded of the plight of Alfred Nobel, who after inventing Nitro Glycerine and Dynamite believed with a weapon that powerful there would be no more war. The 'poster boy' of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), how wrong he was, thankfully he realised the error of his ways before his death.

  58. Phil Standen
    Paris Hilton

    Guns are needed in the US

    The problem is that banning guns now (with the exception of law enforcement proffesionals) would not prevent such shooting because of the US's relaxed attitude to gun ownership. If the majority of a country with to be allowed to carry guns then there isn't really much that can be done about it, especially when the country is considered a democracy.

    Conversely, the University in question has the right to impose whatever rules (not illegal) it wishes on it's students. The university is NOT preventing the student from voicing his opinions, just not allowing him to use their internal systems to do it. In the same way that the NRA may not publish articles highlighting the problems or wide spread gun ownership.

    Perhaps he should attend a school which has more acceptable (to him) rules to abide by?

    On racism against white people: much like anti-semitism in the mid 1900's, anti-white-christian sentiment is borne out of the fact that that majority is seen as the most powerful in the US at the moment. Perhaps this will change if then next president is not white-male-christian (WMC)? The logical extension is that NOT voting WMC will be the best thing, however who would choose their candiate on the colour of their skin and sex.... oh wait....

    Here in the UK there is a serious discussion about banning Ball Bearing (BB) pellet guns, less than 10 years after Dunblane (considered by some to be the catalyst for the banning of hand guns, and tighter private gun ownership in general). So don't loose hope America.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    I starting a campaign to keep the Reg British

    Anyone with me? Please?

  60. Derek Hellam
    Thumb Down

    @anonymous coward

    ID cards? I take the view that the government are there to do my bidding as "public servants". They are elected to represent my views. They are not there to monitor/control my views/movements. If anything I want to know more about what they do in my name.

    Those wonderful European countries with their long history of democracy? I seem to remember a long list of Corporals/maniacs from said countries that have caused the world untold grief.

    The Swiss are per head of population the most heavily armed nation on earth due to the fact that most of them are reservists and keep their weapons at home. Canada has similar gun laws to the US, but somehow the murder rate in the US is somewhat higher?

    Methinks there is some other deep seated ill in the USA that blights their culture , it is not the guns, but perhaps a lack of emotional responsibility? to take lifes blows on the chin, and just learn from them? Or do they believe what they see in the Hollywood movies? and the only real man is one that gets even, beats his rival to a pulp, blows him away with a bullet?

    I suppose that the general public in the USA do not feel safe if they know that the robber with a gun will get them before any hope of a policeman arriving in time, so no faith in the system of law and order? or just too many criminals?

    Plato Where there is crime in society, then there is no justice (Judge Dread too)

    Have fun killing each other....

  61. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    Weapon to end all wars.

    Nobel may have said this. If so he, obviously either lacked the benefit of a Classical education or suffered from an inability to learn from history.

    Can't remember exactly who it was meself, but the first recorded use of this particular trite saying was one of the Roman commentators after the Roman army took Syracuse and aquired Archimedes' "Scorpion" (the object latterly recognised as the Roman rope-torsion ballista).

    In the "weapon to end all wars" stakes the nearest things so far are the nuclear and thermonuclear weapons, probably best characterised as "the weapon to end some wars, particularly the really big ones". After all, we haven't had any serious, all-out wars since these things came on the scene and, if we ever do, there certainly won't be any more afterwards.

  62. John A Blackley

    Britain's safe

    Can anyone tell me how many young people have been shot to death or stabbed to death in London - alone - so far this year? Is it 21?

    That's only those that Boris Johnson classes as 'young people' and that's only in London and only so far this year. (If BoJo's numbers are near correct.)

    So the banning possession of handgun thing's working really well then?

  63. Eduard Coli

    Bill of Rights Amendments 1 and 2 0, Fascist police state 1

    Why is it that the ultra liberal minority that seems to find itself running higher education that espouse free thinking and free speak are always the first to prohibit the same?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Britain's safe

    Come on John, lets have a two second think about this and maybe consult some web figures for one second. How's about providing comparison with the total deaths in New York or Washington.

    Ok, so using Wikipedia (which is open to intepretation for validity as its a free for all who writes) but also consider there are figures from the UN doc website as well.

    Trusting wikipedia for a second, rates per 100'000

    USA total firearm deaths : 15.22

    England and Wales : 0.46

    I can see figures like that are quite confusing to interpret so to answer your question "is banning handguns really working then?"

    Most definitley yes!

  65. Matt


    Thanks for the clearer explanation of the Castle Doctrine then I had made.

  66. Anonymous Coward

    Guns don't kill people....

    ....bullets do. Surely?

  67. Rob

    Crazy Merkins

    I always thought it would just be boring if we all thought the same thing, but man there's some really crazy people pretending to be sane out there in merkland..

  68. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Down Under In OZ , they would say what a bunch of wowsers !

  69. Michael

    @Sharon Haworth

    It's illegal to shoot someone unless it's self defense.

    People still do it.

    If you ban all guns, what makes you think people will give up theirs?

    I wrote a piece in 2002 or 2003 arguing that gun control only serves to tip the scales further in favor of criminals. To grossly summarize, a criminal is less likely than your average, law-abiding citizen to be dissuaded by legislation prohibiting the possession of firearms. As a result, the likeliehood that a criminal's target is armed would drop, which means it's easier (and therefore more desirable) for them to successfully commit crime.

    Even more simply:

    You can ban them, but whackjobs will still get them. If a whackjob with a gun comes into a college classroom, I'd prefer the classroom be filled with armed students, rather than unarmed victims.

  70. Snert Lee

    The reason?

    Are we sure he was suspended for his views on guns? Or perhaps it's because of his dismal lack of skills with the written language.

    Try reading his email to the university president. Poor grammar, misspellings, punctuation problems, lack of focus, and just plain rude. Yet, supposedly, he's got a bachelors degree in something and half way to his masters in public administration. ?! This is not a person I'd want to be dealing with in any manner of public policy dispute.

    Sidenote: The second amendment of the US constitution guarantees citizens the right to bear arms. Why? For hunting and recreational activities? No. Personal defense? Closer. The reason for the second amendment is to allow citizens the means to protect themselves from their government. Darn good reason, no?

  71. KDogg

    @ Anonymous Coward: Cleveland School Shooting

    Hey just to let you know the little bastard who shot those people didn't kill any of them just himself. Thankfully all his victims survived.

    And to ever other gun nut that thinks more guns are going to fix the problem:

    Why would you want this racist butt wipe to support your cause? He just make anyone is actually sane and has the same views about concealed weapons for protection look nutty.

    And to anyone who thinks that this a perfect example of reverse racism:

    Any one who thinks that putting a swastika on a bathroom wall is a good way to show your unhappiness with your schools diversity policies is a racist. PURE AND SIMPLE.

    But that doesn't mean he should have been suspended. There was nothing threating in his e-mail and just because he is a nutjob doesn't mean you suspend him. just watch him.

  72. Anonymous Coward

    the proof is in the pudding

    More gun control laws, more "gun free zones" over the last decade, the more firearm murders increase.

    gee, shouldn't the results be different if all you socialists were right?

    The definition of insanity, is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Things like appeasement, gun control, and giving government total control of it's people-these are things you Europeans have been trying over and over for centuries. Hasn't worked for you yet, even going back as far as when Edward tried to ban the English longbow. The French then promptly handed you some of your most humiliating military defeats. You've tried these same irresponsible but hippy-tastic ideas in the 20s and 30s, and failed yet again on a massive scale. Now you're trying to export the same swill elsewhere.

    And as Americans adopt these "sophisticated" socialist attitudes, our country descends deeper into the sewer, both domestically and abroad. You wonder why American foreign policy sucks so bad? Because we're following Europe's lead.

  73. Symrstar
    Dead Vulture

    Gun control means using two hands.

    2nd amendment of the U.S. constitution states militias may bare arms. U.S. Law considers every able bodied male a member of the national guard. Therefore, every able bodied male in America is a member of a militia (the national guard is a militia). Hence the carte blanch rule for American gun ownership.

    Some well known facts about owning a gun in America. You must be 18 to own a rifle or shotgun. You must be 21 to own a pistol in all states. The average shooting ending in death in America is committed with an ILLEGAL firearm and not by a law abiding citizen. Second runner up is police actions. Third, every bloke who legally owns a gun defending himself.

    Gun control and gun bans only affect the LEGAL acquisition of the firearms! Current laws against ILLEGAL possession are already high ranking felonies.

    Outrageous bans and laws affecting legal ownership are quite absurd. However I do have to agree that it works. Just ask Hitler, Stalin, or Mao.

    You wouldn't be able to pick me out of a crowd. I do not stand out in any form or fashion. I am not a revolutionary, nor do I abhor my government. I am a veteran of an (unjust) war. I am a law abiding citizen of the U.S. (I even follow the speed limit most of the time) who is a moderate in the political arena. This isn't because of indecision; the reason, to be put simply, is our founding fathers did not believe in a bipartisan government. I could be (and some cases, am) you neighbor.

    Springfield Armory .45 GI spec, Walther PPK/S, WASR-10 (Romanian AK), Mossberg 500, and an M-1 Garand.

    These things you would never see unless the lives or liberty of others were at stake. I am discreet about my ownership for the comfort of others.

    I will not live in a police state. I will not rely on the judgment of lesser men (read as lawyers) to guide my every wakening moment. I will tolerate my elected dictators to a point, but once that point is reached (good chance I will not see it) all bets are off.

    P.S.: Don't hate Americans. The majority of us are stupid, but there are still a few bright bulbs.

    P.S.S.: Hate American politicians because they have been the root of evil for quite some time, and the ignorant masses continue to elect them time after time.

  74. Phil Standen

    In total agreement with all the rebuttals

    As my first paragraph state, the same approach taken in the UK would not work in the US, precisely because of the attitude repeatedly demostrated. It is not about being a liberal anyway, even the most loyal Daily Mail reader wouldn't advocate the right to carry firearms in the UK.

    However if JUST having the gun marks you out as a criminal then you can be arrested before you start shooting up the school. More over you would have to have a pre-medidated crime of buying the gun from a criminal, which is a very large social taboo. In the spirit of furthering that special relationship, I can see how it is difficult to understand this because those taboos just don't exist in the US. Think of it like owning a copy of The God Delusion, you wouldn't want you friends to find out.

    Full on social reform might help lessen your problems too, an NHS, DHSS (or what ever it is called now) and all those things that "europeans" take for granted. Have to up the taxes though.... oh wait...... lets use the oft quoted formula from fight club and see if it is economically viable.

    Thanks for the numbers, although quoting Wikipedia on this site is like quoting The Satanic Verses in Fisbury Park.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    And this is news (and on an IT site) because?

    Some guy has been suspended from university. Why are we aware of this?

    In a (media driven) world where every action is open to discussion is it any wonder that everyone is nervous? If Hamline University had not suspended Troy Scheffler and he had gone on to upset some other student then, no doubt, these e-mails would have been brought up in court in order to prove Hamline University's 'failure to care'.

    In a litigious society the nobody wins.™

  76. Alan Donaly

    disruptive cya

    I have noticed schools have a tendency not to react well to current events they overcompensate bringing in all sorts of problems as a result. Trying to cover your ass by revoking dialog is a silly error in judgment it does not promote safety as of course it doesn't keep anyone from doing what you don't want it just isolates them further.It takes all kinds to make a world and this sort of thing doesn't change anything it just attempts to hide it.

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