Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Utah State, Threats, And Gun Control

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a gun control fanatic. I don't have anything against responsible firearm ownership.

Tonight, feminist speaker Anita Sarkeesian was supposed to speak at Utah State - except that she received death threats. Now, it's not unlikely at all that the threats were all bark and no bite. Sarkeesian has been threatened before. The threat was reported to the university.

They decided it was safe to go ahead - but when asked, were told concealed weapons would be allowed in the auditorium.

What?

What?

It's now pretty much viral on the internet that Utah State doesn't care about the safety of Sarkeesian (who canceled) or the people who planned on attending her presentation.

Here's the thing, though.

Utah has some of the most permissive firearms laws in the country. And according to one regulation, the Uniform Firearms Law, certain entities are not allowed to have rules and policies against carrying firearms beyond the state restrictions (which only require a permit for concealed weapons). State public universities are one of them.

So, it's not that Utah State doesn't care about the safety of their students, it's that the law won't allow them to care. Again. Not a gun control fanatic here, but a university not being allowed to ask people not to bring their guns to an event after threats were received?

There's one amendment that should trump the second - and that's the first. Utah's gun laws have interfered with Sarkessian's right to speak, something government is forbidden to do.

This needs to change. I appreciate that Utah is a wilderness state and a place where carrying a firearm is often a good idea. But...