“When may I shoot a student?”
A professor at Boise State University recently asked that chilling but sobering question in a satirical New York Times op-ed in response to a controversial bill, SB 1254, that would allow students to carry concealed guns on public campuses in Idaho.
"I assume that if a student shoots first, I am allowed to empty my clip; but given the velocity of firearms, and my aging reflexes, I’d like to be proactive," professor Gregory Hampikian wrote in his piece. "For example, if I am working out a long equation on the board and several students try to correct me using their laser sights, am I allowed to fire a warning shot?”
Hampikian, who teaches biology and criminal justice, told The Huffington Post he wrote the op-ed in a satirical tone “because comedy is really at the heart of intelligent discourse to me."
Using his comedic chops, Hampikian begs for earnest answers, asking why the state legislature would even fathom passing the bill despite such heavy opposition and a zero percent campus murder rate.
“In terms of the campus murder rate — zero at present — I think that we can all agree that guns don’t kill people, people with guns do. Which is why encouraging guns on campus makes so much sense,” he wrote in the Times.
Supporters of the bill, which was introduced by Sen. Curt McKenzie (R-Nampa), argue the bill upholds the people’s right to exercise the Second Amendment.
“People who take the responsibility to get concealed weapons permit train constantly," Boise State University junior Nick Ferronato told the Associated Press during a counter-protest in front of the Idaho Statehouse on Thursday. "They're lovers of shooting and they go out and shoot a lot. They take that responsibility very seriously."
On Friday, McKenzie presented the bill to a Senate committee and asked, “Would you rather that no one be armed but the murderer?” according to the Spokesman-Review.
Hampikian, however, strongly disagrees this bill has anything to do with public safety.
“This has everything to do with a certain view of the Second Amendment and a narrowing view of a lobbying organization called the NRA. There was no safety threat on campus. There was no incident that triggered this," he told HuffPost.
Adding that, “A lot of people in Idaho love their guns. It’s just a natural part of love that’s still at the frontier. But Boise, is a metropolitan city. There aren’t any grizzlies here, the only reason you would need a gun here is to kill someone."