Liberal anti-gun activists took their rants to the conservative bastion of Lubbock, Texas, to challenge the “Guns Up” slogan of the Texas Tech University Red Raiders.
While not taking a stand on the attempted political-correctness takeover of the University’s slogan, school officials released records showing an ongoing effort by academics and other anti-gun advocates to stop the use of the slogan and the “offensive” thumb and forefinger gesture that is used by Red Raider supporters as a symbol of school pride.
Michael Grant, Ph.D., complained to then University President M. Juane Nellis, Ph.D., about his use of the phrase “Go Texas Tech, and Guns Up!” in his official signature line on his weekly emails to university alumni, the EverythingLubbock.com reported. “I find it quite embarrassing to admit that I earned two degrees from an institution that employs the offensive slogan [sic] ‘Guns Up’,” Grant wrote in an email to Nellis. “I will never contribute while that pattern remains,” he continued. “The romantic ‘Wild West’ context of gun violence continues to cause great harm to a great number of individuals, especially children (Guns Up, kids!).”
The open records request revealed that President Nellis responded that “Guns Up” is not a call to violence against children or anyone else, but the damage had been done and political correctness scored another victory as the University president changed his tag line from “Guns Up!” to “Wreck ‘Em!” Seemingly pleased, Grant responded, “While still couched in the language of violence, I’m delighted to see the tagline signature ‘Guns Up’ not present.”
While the allegedly offensive phrase and corresponding hand gesture are still in common use on the University’s campus and at sporting events, complaints to the school’s administrators continued. The new president of Texas Tech, Lawrence Schovanec, Ph.D., responded to one complaint from a high school principal in Garrison, North Dakota. Schovanec wrote, “We should be cautious in connecting imagery, symbols and gestures at a sporting event to deeper societal issues. The ‘guns up’ gesture to which you refer is in no way a glorification of hand guns or indicative of a culture of gun advocacy.”
The university received two additional email complaints during the 2012 bowl game between Texas Tech and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. It appears the University did not respond to those complaints, the EverythingLubbock reported. The Texas Tech Red Raiders outgunned the Gophers in that bowl matchup by a score of 34 to 31.
The investigation by the Lubbock news outlet came following similar complaints against University of Iowa because their “Herky the Hawk” mascot looked “too mean.”
So far, President Nellis’ signature line on his email messages seems to be the only casualty of the politically-correct effort.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated.