University of Kansas gets its own bulletproof prof
A University of Kansas professor has vowed to wear a bulletproof vest for the entirety of the school year in protest of the state’s campus-carry law.
Professor Kevin Willmott, the second professor to attract attention for the practice, told The University Daily Kansan that the new campus-carry law, which went into effect July 1, will “obstruct the free flow of ideas on college campuses.”
“Try to forget that I’m wearing a vest, and I’ll try to forget that you could be packing a .44 magnum,” Willmott remarked, saying the “disturbing part of the policy” for him is that the law allows “concealed” firearms.
“It’s kind of a don’t ask, don’t tell kind of a policy, and so, you’re just kind of expected to forget that they’re probably there. And in that sense, you’re kind of living in a lie,” he said.
Willmot even suggested that the new policy will turn the school into a “war zone,” a characterization he plans to highlight by wearing a bulletproof vest.
“They don’t want it to be visible, because if it was visible, if everybody was walking around with a bulletproof vest on, people would say, ‘Oh my God, is this a warzone? What’s going on here?’ And yes, it is a war zone,” he explained, saying the policy “just puts a damper on free speech for everyone.”
However, The university already has a “red” free speech rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), meaning that it has one or more policies that directly restrict free speech.
Conservative student Garrett Miller told Campus Reform that Willmott’s claims are “borderline ludicrous,” pointing to the fact that the campus already has restrictive free-speech policies.
Miller went on to poke fun at Willmott’s use of a .44 magnum in his hypothetical, noting that he “should have done research on what handguns are generally used for concealed carry” because “any gun expert will tell you that a .44 is not recommended for conceal carry due to the fact that a .44 is too bulky due to the size of the barrel and grip.”
Meanwhile, Dylan Jones, chairman of the school’s College Republicans chapter, would like to know why Willmott “believes that a responsible and lawful gun holder is more likely to use his weapon to commit an act of violence as opposed to a criminal.”
Many students and faculty at the university have protested the new law, Willmott noted in his interview with the paper, urging the Board of Regents to keep the school gun-free.
“Students are scared, professors are scared,” Willmott concluded. “I think even the administration is frustrated and feeling a little helpless right now.”
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