Cops called because student discussed guns in class

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by satellite66, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. satellite66

    satellite66 New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Central NJ
    Professor Takes Heat for Calling Cops on Student Who Discussed Guns in Class

    Wednesday, March 04, 2009
    By Maxim Lott

    A professor in Connecticut reported one of her students to the police after he gave a class presentation on why students and teachers should be allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus. Now, free speech activists say the professor’s actions are what really need to be investigated.

    Last October, John Wahlberg and two classmates at Central Connecticut State University gave an oral presentation for a communications class taught by Professor Paula Anderson. The assignment was to discuss a “relevant issue in the media,” and the students presented their view that the death toll in the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting massacre would have been lower if professors and students had been carrying guns.

    That night, police called Wahlberg, a 23-year-old senior, and asked him to come to the station. When he arrived, they they read off a list of firearms that were registered in his name and asked where he kept them. Guns are strictly prohibited on the CCSU campus and residence halls, but Wahlberg says he lives 20 miles off-campus and keeps his gun collection locked up in a safe. No further action was taken by police or administrators.

    “I don’t think that Professor Anderson was justified in calling the CCSU police over a clearly non-threatening matter,” Wahlberg told The Recorder, the CCSU student newspaper that first reported the story. “Although the topic of discussion may have made a few individuals uncomfortable, there was no need to label me as a threat.”

    Wahlberg declined to comment further to, saying he did not want more media attention.

    According to The Recorder, Anderson cited safety as her reason for calling the police.

    “It is also my responsibility as a teacher to protect the well-being of our students, and the campus community at all times,” she told The Recorder. “As such, when deemed necessary because of any perceived risks, I seek guidance and consultation from the Chair of my Department, the Dean and any relevant University officials.”

    Anderson did not respond to calls from Campus police forwarded requests to university spokesman Mark McLaughlin, who declined to comment, citing Wahlberg’s privacy.

    Robert Shibley, vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), said Anderson's actions appeared to be out of line.

    “If all he did was discuss reasons for allowing guns on campus, it seems a bit much to call the police and grill him about it,” Shibley said. “If you go after students for just discussing an idea, that goes against everything a university is supposed to stand for.”

    Shibley said FIRE has seen many more cases of hair-trigger responses by administrators over anything gun-related since the Virginia Tech shooting.

    In 2007, Shibley noted, a student at Hamline University in Minnesota was suspended after writing a letter to an administrator arguing that carrying concealed weapons on campus may help prevent tragedies like the one at Virginia Tech. The student was allowed to return only after undergoing a psychological evaluation, he said.

    Shibley also cited an incident at Colorado College last year in which campus administrators denounced a flyer as "threatening and demeaning content" because it mentioned guns. He said the students who produced the flyer were found guilty of violating the school’s violence policy, which was added to their school records.

    “It is, of course, important that administrators identify real threats to students,” Shibley said. “But they need to use logic to discern whether a threat is real.”

    But Jerold Duquette, an associate professor of political science at CCSU who sits on the Faculty Senate Committee on Academic Freedom, say the Wahlberg case is not so clear-cut.

    “This is a situation where both sides can come up with a reasonable explanation,” Duquette said.

    “[Wahlberg] certainly has a reason to complain, since he didn’t do anything directly threatening. But I wouldn’t say the administration has a reason to sanction or punish the professor or the police.... I don’t know if I would have done anything differently in the situation.”

    Katie Kasprzak, a spokeswoman for the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, suggested that the professor called the police because she disagreed with Wahlberg’s political views.

    "Critics of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus argue that colleges and universities are dedicated to the free flow of ideas,” she said. “Yet when a student gives a class presentation on a relevant issue in the media, it is acceptable to label the student as a threat? The only threat posed was a threat to the professor’s personal beliefs.”

    Duquette said there was no evidence to support that.

    “I think a lot of people see this as a liberal professor going after a student because he likes guns. I don’t know if that’s the case,” Duquette said, adding that more would need to be known about the incident.

  2. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

    Common sense got thrown out with the dishwater. Zero tolorance anything is as stupid as anything a person could ever dream up.

    There is never black and white for any rule or policy. There is always a shade of gray where the two meet up and sadly this teachers actions were no where near the gray area. What she did is wrong. If she had other reasons to be concerned about this student she should of had a sit down with him and determine if there was any threat.

    From the info in this thread I can see no justifiable reason to notify the police. I will give the police an A+ for calling the student and asking him to come to the station rather than busting down his door in the middle of the night to arrest him. At least the police were using good judgement in this situation that should have never been.


  3. SaddleSarge

    SaddleSarge New Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    The teacher (term used loosely) should be fired as that is tantamount to yelling "fire" in the movie show. I know she won't or can't be, but it would sure be nice.

    But look how we as a society have degraded ourselves as well as trivialized the role of the police, and/or use the subject matter in conjunction with the police to promote a personal agenda, or is so clueless and wants to absolve themselves of any responsibility in the minutest situation where they can say, "I called the cops and they didn't do anything." I'm sure the officers involved in this one were rolling their eyes, but they must follow up and obviously made the right determination of the accusation being unfounded for any further action since NO LAWS WERE BROKEN.

    (Coming home the other day I heard a neighboring agency get a call from an adult who wanted to speak with a deputy and file a complaint because a juvenile gave her the finger.:rolleyes:)
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2009
  4. glocknut

    glocknut Active Member

    Back in Arkansas i heard several people talking about someone flipping to bird to an LEO was probable cause for being detained. I thought they were BSing until i read something about it in the newspaper. There was an incident over the subject i guess?

    Our nation has become so weak/feeble minded that i am getting very leery of people these days...

  5. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    West, TX
    That guy should return the favor by reporting her for dicrimination and for violating his constitutional right of free speech. What a dumb b...h!
  6. 1shot1k

    1shot1k Former Guest

    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas

    out with dishwater is right........

    when I was reading this (another good one Satellite66) the music..I swear was playin in my head..."are you goin to San Franscisco...then " there's somethin happnin here..what it is aint exactly clear..." then pictures of mobs and mobs of "BERKLEY" students were lynching this teacher...for even thinkin about supressing free

    "u know, any flash back without chopper sounds " "is a good flashback".......u may quote me.......

    good friends..with a daughter and 2 little granddaughters starting school and the news ..and of course, daughter just started "teaching carrer"...i do understand the zero tolerance mentallity and finger on trigger actions.....but we must treat this particular incident as the many others of an "idiot " teacher who would be the "idiot" in any other job.....

    down here ..we've seen the reverse too...teachers spanked for talkin gun who knows ?
  7. KING64

    KING64 New Member

    May 11, 2007
    Washington State
    My question to her: How are you going to protect them when some wackjob wanders on to campus hacking students with a machete or any other type of weapon available to such nutcases? She seems so concerned about protecting the students do you suppose she will run out and disarm the assailant? Or will she wait for someone with a firearm?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  8. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    She will be under her desk, trembling with fear and yes, she will wait for someone with a firearm. She will then be the loudest one protesting the shooting of the assailant. :(
  9. KING64

    KING64 New Member

    May 11, 2007
    Washington State
    And will criticize whoever shot the assailant for not shooting him in the leg, or arm, or toe or his right ear or some stupid thing. It infuriates me no end when there is criticism of police, or any armed individual, for not placing a "non-lethal" shot at an armed aggressor. There was an actual statement made by a local individual after a police shooting of an armed and threatening man for not having "grazed" him as that would have "made him drop his weapon and grab his wound." :rolleyes: Try that one the next time you are threatened with lethal force by an assailant.
  10. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    While this teacher was way off base for calling the police I think the police were a bit off base as well.

    Why should anyone go "downtown" for such an inquiry? If the COPs want to talk, the phone ought to suffice or a visit to the guys front door. And what right do they have to question anyone as why that person has a legal firearm? If they have information that the guns are illegal or were on campus where it was illegal then the COPs need to get a search warrant. In this case no judge would ever issue a search warrant because a student , using his right of free speech, advocates guns on campus for protection. The COPs should have dismissed this immediatley and done nothing. No crime was done! They most certainly should have not requested the student to go to the police department or should they have asked him why he owned guns. The answer to this question is the Second Amendment.

    This paranoia about gun ownership distress me no end. It ranks right up there with "Politically Correct".

  11. KING64

    KING64 New Member

    May 11, 2007
    Washington State
    I am certainly critical of the "teacher" for having elevated a non-issue to the level of calling LE. She could have talked with the student privately and he could have responded as he chose with respect to the location of the firearms.

    I don't know if I am that concerned about the student being questioned (voluntary response) as to where he kept the firearms. Unless I missed it, it sounds like campus police were the ones the teacher notified. If so it was probably a reasonable inquiry by campus police to determine if the firearms were kept on campus or at another location. Most campus rules prohibit the possession of firearms on campus. Now, that is another story entirely and is one that is being challenged in several venues, as well it should be.

    If it was the local police who were called, and had I been the watch commander at the time,I would have referred it back to campus police and not bothered to dispatch or make any further inquiry.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  12. Gewehrwolf

    Gewehrwolf New Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    Heavens above...............How can we be talking about E-VIL guns in a classroom when we need to be disscussing how to put on a condom or gay rights.......or oh my gosh..........GLOBAL WARMING :eek::eek::eek:

    How much longer till this country is totally turned over to the people that want see it destroyed??????????:mad:
  13. I'd like to post a sign in that Professors yard. "Unarmed & Stupid" :mad:
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