In an effort to be sensitive to their students’ emotional distress after the Va Tech massacre, the administration of Hamline sent an e-mail to all of their students offering free counseling and assistance in coping with the tragedy. Rather than accept his status as a potential victim , Mr. Scheffler responded to the e-mail by exercising his right of free speech and asking the University to reconsider their current weapons ban and allow him (and his fellow students) to exercise their right to carry a gun on the Hamline U. campus.
The response? Mr. Scheffler was suspended from classes and banned from campus; an armed (gasp!) guard was posted outside his classroom door to ensure that he didn’t attempt to enter; and he was ordered to receive (and pay for) psychological counseling, after which he would be granted an interview with the Dean and assessed for readmission to classes.
Hamline is a private university and can set its own standards for admission and retention. However, it should be made clear to its students and its potential students that Hamline has no room for intellectual dissent from its attendees. Students have to accept the victimology dogma of the administration in silence, and in return Hamline will help them cope with their powerlessness. If by chance one of the students challenges the university directly on its philosophy, they will treat him or her like a psychotic and hire the guards they should have hired when they decided to keep their students disarmed.
I’m not real big on lawsuits – I think they’re abused by those who have become “professional victims”. That said, I kind of like BoonDoggie’s idea about suing the establishments that refuse to allow their students/patrons/guests to arm and protect themselves and yet fail to provide alternative protection. Of course, I think Mr. Scheffler has a pretty good case, too.