They’re Back….

Lock up the silver and hide the children’s eyes–the Indiana General Assembly is back in session.

The motley crew we citizens elect to what the late Harrison Ullmann used to call The World’s Worst Legislature is already hard at work on measures ranging from treatment of wild hogs to mandating the teaching of cursive writing. I’m sure their attention to these world-shattering issues reassures us all.

Most of the trivial, unwise and the just plain wacky proposals will eventually die in committee. I just hope that one bill in particular lands in that graveyard: the proposal to allow students to carry guns on campus.

This is the second time this proposal has surfaced, and it mystifies me. What problem, exactly, is this misguided measure intended to correct? What is the purpose of encouraging an armed student body? Has anyone considered the consequences of adding firearms to venues occupied by large groups of stressed-out college students, many still adolescent and hormonal?

I once was sued in Small Claims Court by a student to whom I had given a grade of B-. When he had exhausted the (extensive) campus appeal process without convincing anyone of the great indignity of that assessment, he brought suit. (In light of the stupidity thus displayed, I am convinced that the B- was a gift–but I digress.) Arm this unhinged young man, or others not unlike him, and he might well have skipped the lawsuit and just blown me away.

I’m one of those who would like to see some reasonable limits placed on access to guns. Like most people who advocate for more control, I have no illusions that we can rid American society of the millions of guns already out there, and frankly I have no great passion to confiscate them. But I get impatient, to say the least, with the utter paranoia of the gun fringe, with the NRA’s ridiculous belief–rebutted by all credible research–that the way to ensure public safety is to arm everyone.

I’ll tell you one thing that will happen if students are allowed to pack heat on campus. There will be a lot fewer professors willing to teach. Maybe that’s the real motive?