Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Friday, 20 February 2009

Is CCW (Partially) OK on Campus? [CNM Dissent]

Current mood: amused, contemplative, devious

Is CCW (carrying concealed weapons) OK on CNM’s campuses? The Administration says no, but read on . . .

According to CNM’s Student Code of Conduct, carrying weapons on campus is verboeten

NON-ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT:
ALL STUDENTS
SAFETY VIOLATIONS
1. Unauthorized use, possession or storage of any weapon or explosive (including fireworks) on CNM premises or at CNM sponsored activities.[1]

Which is kind of amusing, because here’s some other violations that I see on a routine basis —

  • skateboarding
  • dispersing litter on the premises (I don’t actually see this one, but there’s litter scattered around campus, and it’s not getting there on its own . . .)
  • drinking and eating in classrooms and labs
  • parking bicycles outside of designated areas

There’s even a situation where the Photonics Lab (N-21) was repeated entered by various persons after hours, resulting in various lasers being misaligned, mirrors monkeyed with, a staff member’s bicycle taken for an unauthorized ride and returned with goathead seeds stuck all over the tires . . .

There’s more from the “Safety” Department

  • Never bring firearms or other weapons on premises, including buildings, parking lots and vehicles.
  • Fascination with guns or other weapons may indicate an employee at risk for violent behavior. Carefully consider such situations and, if appropriate, report it to your supervisor.

That second line there is particularly chilling — “fascination with guns or other weapons” is a reason to report someone as a threat. So if a student or faculty member is reading a gun- or martial-arts-related book or magazine, the person becomes a “threat” ? Consider that the school’s IT Department has the capability to monitor the web traffic of each and every user, student, staff and faculty alike. What’s to stop the Administration from labeling sites concerning weapons as “suspicious,” and to flag traffic to them for review?

Answer — only the good graces of the Administration. Hell, even this blog posting could be considered “grounds for disciplinary action.”

Now to the meat of this matter — is having weapons on campus illegal?

First, let’s stipulate the sheer idiocy of the question, in that anything — car, book, rolled-up-newspaper, ballpoint pen, walking cane, chair, water bottle — can be used as a weapon if used with the intent to harm another — or defend oneself or others from harm. The “debate” here revolves around objects purposely-built to serve that intent — guns, certain knives, batons.

More to the point, the Powers That Be and their lapdogs are especially worried about The Root Of All Violence — The Gun.

Is having a gun on campus illegal? Yes and no.

YES, in that the hoplophobic prohibition against them is in the rules that students and faculty agree to upon signing up, which is “backed up” by State Law, considering that CNM is property of the State of New Mexico, and such. Especially if you get caught with one in your pocket, purse or on your belt. (Cops excepted, of course.)

NO — As a public institution, CNM is (or should be) obliged to follow the State Constitution, which states —

No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms. (As amended November 2, 1971 and November 2, 1986.)[2]

But who am I fooling here? I have no expectations that the Administration or Governing Board will care in the slightest that students and staff are functional, rational adults, with all of the expectant rights, privileges and immunities. Still, you should be OK IF YOU KEEP YOUR WEAPON LOCKED IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR. See this letter to UNM’s Daily Lobo

Having a concealed weapon in a vehicle on campus is legal
Issue date: 1/28/09 Section: Opinion

Editor,

I am writing this in response to Larry Tarvin’s confusion on whether a weapon can be in a vehicle at school, and I want to assure you that the dean of students is correct that a person can have a loaded, concealed weapon in his or her vehicle on campus.

This is because in New Mexico, a car is considered an extension of your dwelling and is private property. As such, anything you can legally have in your home, you can legally have in your vehicle, even if it is parked on city or state property. There are some exceptions, however. The Air Force base and public schools are different as they are either federal property or, in the case of schools, federally funded. But if you remove the weapon from your vehicle — even just to move it from the front seat to the trunk — you would be in violation of the law and committing a fourth-degree felony.

I know this because I have a concealed-carry license and this was explained to us during the training course. Like it or not, property laws are why people can have a weapon in their car on state or city property. In fact, you do not even need a license (concealed-carry or otherwise) to have a loaded weapon concealed in your vehicle just as you don’t need a license to have it concealed in your house.

James Taylor
UNM student

Finally, let’s examine another “gun free school zone” — Virginia Tech. We know all too well about how much Seung-Hui Cho complied with Virginia Tech’s weapons-prohibition rules, don’t we?

That’s the reason that such codes are more properly referred to as victim disarmament codes.


NOTES

  1. Student Code of Conduct, bottom left of page 3
  2. Article II – Bill of Rights, Section 6 – Right to bear arms
  3. Related organizations — Students for Concealed Carry on Campus and the CNM Shooting Club
  4. Original article

Copyright © 2009 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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