Professor: Kansas Must Keep Students Unarmed or It Will Lose Great Educators Like Me

Signs and a replica of a crime scene draw attention to a booth on the campus of Texas State University-San Marcos in San Marcos, Texas, Monday, Nov. 19, 2007. A group at the school are among 8,000 students nationwide who have joined the non-partisan Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, …
AP/Eric Gay

On Friday, University of Kansas professor Jacob S. Dorman released an open letter of resignation in which he suggested Kansas must keep students unarmed or lose great educators like himself.

His university bio says he “teaches courses  in U.S. cultural history, focusing on popular culture, religion, the Gilded Age and Progressive Eras, and African American history since the Civil War.”

In his open letter of resignation–published by the Lawrence Journal-World–Dorman says:

In practical terms, concealed carry has proved to be a failure. Campus shootings have become all too frequent, and arming students has done nothing to quell active shooter situations because students do not have the training to effectively combat shooters and rightly fear becoming identified as a suspect themselves.

Dorman did not provide any citation substantiating the claim that “concealed carry has proved to be a failure” nor did he provide one example of “active shooters situations” on campuses which allow concealed carry permit holders to possess guns for self-defense. Instead, he painted with a broad brush, as if mass attacks on gun-free campuses–like Virginia Tech (April 16, 2007) or Umpqua Community College (October 1, 2015)–also occur on campuses where students can be armed for self-defense.

He also employed one of the left’s favorite arguments against being armed for self-defense by claiming that exercising the Second Amendment in the classroom stifles the First Amendment. He wrote:

We discuss sensitive and highly charged topics in my classroom, concerning anti-religious bias, racism, sexism, classism, and many other indexes of oppression and discrimination. Students need to be able to express themselves respectfully and freely, and they cannot do so about heated topics if they know that fellow students are armed and that a disagreement or argument could easily be lethal.

It might be helpful for Dorman to read about campus carry in Colorado, where students with concealed permits have been allowed to carry since 2003. On April 20, 2015, Breitbart News reported Colorado’s experience of 12 years without a mass shooting or crime committed by a permit holder.  Similar information can be ascertained in other campus carry states. For example, a decade after Utah adopted campus carry the noted that the only firearm incidents tied to armed, law-abiding students amounted to a gun falling out of a backpack at Dixie State College and a few incidents of students being reported for having a gun and telling friends they were carrying.

His third line of attack against campus carry is to warn that Kansas is jeopardizing its “future” by aligning with the NRA. He wrote, “Let us not let the NRA destroy the future of the state of Kansas with a specious argument about the Second Amendment.”

Dorman then tied all his citation-free arguments together by suggesting Kansas will lose “world class” educators like himself if they do not reverse course and keep law-abiding students defenseless. He wrote, “Kansas faces a very clear choice: Does it want excellent universities, with world class faculty, or does it want to create an exodus of faculty like myself who have options to teach in states that ban weapons in classrooms?”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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