Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Bad faith discussion.

So a campus carry bill is wending its way through the legislature of the Gem State and the New York Times, obviously concerned with the goings-on of colleges 2,400 miles from Planet Manhattan, published a guest op-ed from Boise State professor Greg Hampikian:
In light of the bill permitting guns on our state’s college and university campuses, which is likely to be approved by the state House of Representatives in the coming days, I have a matter of practical concern that I hope you can help with: When may I shoot a student?
Ignoring the fact that the professor went on in the same vein, trying hard to be arch for another several paragraphs, my first impulse was to take his opener at face value.

Well, professor, since the whole point of campus carry is that you have the same rights on a college campus as you do elsewhere in the state of Idaho, understand that the Idaho Code lays out when you may shoot a student in Title 18, Chapter 40, under "Justifiable Homicide", 18-4009:
18-4009. Justifiable homicide by any person. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in either of the following cases:
1.  When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2.  When committed in defense of habitation, property or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,
3.  When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mortal combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or,
4.  When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace. 
Seems pretty clear.

Then I Googled up the good professor who, as it turns out, is not only a professor of biology but also of criminal justice, working with DNA evidence on the Innocence Project. Now, I'm generally in favor of seeing innocent people not incarcerated for crimes they didn't commit, but this guy has the earmarks of a crusader.

If you read some of his other opinion pieces on firearms, you begin to hope that he approaches biology with more rigor and logic than he does gun control, because his opinions on the latter are definitely shaped entirely by his widdwe fee-fees.

In other words, his whole "when may I shoot a student" thing is schtick. He knows damned good and well what Idaho law is on the subject, but he fears his own emotional incontinence and projects it onto everybody else, and that is why he refuses to engage in a good faith discussion on the topic.


Anonymous said...

Tam, very well thought out and written. I would have added a #5: Whenever someone exceedingly annoys one, especially those in academia (as they are so wont to do). Alas, I'm afraid the ammunition costs would be onerous.

Woodman said...

How scary it must be in these people's heads. I suppose you could make some sort of case saying gun advocates are scared of other people, but so many people seem scared of themselves.

I can't imagine not trusting myself, either to not do the stupid thing , or to not practice and train the stupid away. They really think that the presense or absense of a gun makes me more or less dangerous. Dude, I'm not even that well trained or anything, but as a 340 pound 6'4" dude I can put the hurt on someone pretty easily. A gun doesn't make me that much more dangerous to someone unprepared.

So far I've managed not to kill any one, mostly because I'm not this helpless bag of repressed feelings I guess.

Matt said...

When may the students shoot the proffessors?

JimB said...

Funny how many of these people approach the subject with "If I had a gun I'd be blowing people away for the merest slight" Maybe they should refrain from owning a firearm until the get themselves under control.

staghounds said...

rigorous logic

rigor and logic

staghounds said...

I liked his story of the looters in the house.

I wonder if he's asked his friend whether she's glad she didn't have a gun.

RevolverRob said...

Being a gun owning academic I can't help but wonder about my colleagues. Many of whom are genuinely afraid that if students of faculty carry guns in the classroom that heated discussion or discourse could end in violence. What stuns me about these things is that these folks have sufficiently heated discussions to cause students to react violently. I've worked with one such individual, who is purposefully inflammatory for no reason, other than to be inflammatory. I discuss openly and with candor some potentially heated topics in my classroom, but maintain absolute control and have never had more than a raised voice.

Frankly, Boise State needs to hire a new biologist, it's clear this faculty member has grown fond of his own voice and is spending his research time writing editorials (a clear indication that someone has given up on their primary academic pursuits). I'll be on the market in about 5 years, maybe he can hold out until then.


Anonymous said...

What a load of tripe.

"I don’t pretend to know what happened the night Trayvon Martin was killed, but it’s clear that if he and George Zimmerman had met without a weapon, no one would have died."

Prof. Hampikian doesn't pretend to know what happened but he's willing to jump to conclusions and state them as fact. Given that none of the witnesses to Martin's assault on Zimmerman intervened and the police took several minutes to arrive, it is likely that Zimmerman would have been beaten unconscious or to death or worse left so badly brain damaged he would vote Democrat.

"Fortunately, police officers are trained not to panic and draw."
The good Prof should state that to the parents of the teenager shot by police while answering the door with a video game controller in his hand, or the 70 year old man who was shot by police when his cane was mistaken for a rifle or the two women delivering newspapers who were mistaken for Chris Dorner, a tall black man by the LAPD.

If your facts are wrong, your conclusions will be too.


A Reader said...

Zimmerman was already a Democrat. If Saint Skittles had continued his assault but not killed Zimmerman, Zimmerman would be qualified to run for Congress afterward, but probably not much else.

Goober said...

I was perusing the comments of an anti-gun piece the other day, and a pro-gun guy showed up and said something along the lines of “Shall not be infringed” and in response, the article’s author came on and said:

“So you’d be okay with your neighbor owning an assault weapon and high capacity magazines! Could you sleep at night knowing that he has the ability to kill you at any moment he chooses?” with such a snotty tone that it was obvious that the author thought he’d really backed the commenter into corner.

The commenter responded “He DOES own several of them. We go shooting a couple of times a month. It’s a lot of fun!”

I, on the other hand, was not so kind. I responded:

“How in the hell does a soup sandwich like you even manage to get out of bed in the morning? How is it that you haven’t melted down into a quivering lump of terrified jelly? I mean, you’ve probably shared a beer or a bottle of wine with your neighbor at least once. How did you manage to not run away screaming in terror when you realized that he could break the glass in the bottle at any moment and plunge the shards into your throat? Did you even think about what he could do with the corkscrew? How do you sleep at night knowing that your neighbor is only one stomp of the gas pedal away from running his car right through your house and killing you while you sleep? If you really think about it, he could get you any time, right? You’ve probably even given him a key to your home, haven’t you? Remember how he was looking at you last summer while he was trimming his hedges? Imagine what that hedge trimmer would do to you!”

He responded that he doesn’t sit around thinking about all the ways that his neighbor could kill him, and that he’s not scared all the time, as I allege.

“So why do you fear your neighbor owning a gun, then?” Never did get an answer.

These people terrify me, because I'm relatively certain that this is a form of projection - they know that they can't be trusted with a firearm, and so they don't want anyone else to have one, either.

Jon said...

You think it's scary out there? I live in Boise and have to hear these idiots blathering all the time!

Sigivald said...

Could you sleep at night knowing that he has the ability to kill you at any moment he chooses?

Does he think that it takes "an assault weapon and high capacity magazines" to murder an unsuspecting neighbor?

A single-shot .22 could do the job in a pinch. Or an essentially-completely-unregulated muzzle-loader.


Chas Clifton said...

All of that statutory stuff, plus when you catch the student plagiarizing after having been warned once.

Anonymous said...

Boise State's a pretty good school. But Boise has "been discovered" and is turning a bluer shade of red almost every day.

Same ol', same ol': "We left that place because of ... But this place is differenter than we thought. Why can't this place be more like the place we just left?"


Ed said...

According to the FBI, in the years 2007-2011 more people were killed with either "Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.)" or "Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.)" than were killed by rifles:


The Biology professor may observe Darwin's Law of Natural Selection in action if he uses any weapon inappropriately.

Anonymous said...

Here is the good professor's email address: greghampikian@boisestate.edu

(Hey, it was linked to the NYSlimes article. I didn't even have to use a search engine.)

I wrote him a note (and I admit I stole a bit of your prose to do it.)

Wouldn't it be nice if his server crashed, or his inbox was a pain for the next few days?

I basically sent him a link to the code you so nicely reference. I may have called him a name or 2, and made reference to the fact that if a few coeds get raped because he hates self-defense, well that is a price he is willing to pay. (Not so sure about the coeds)

Goober said...


It doesn't take a firearm of any type to kill someone while they're sleeping.

I figure that even arthritic and fat old me could take the best MMA fighter on Earth if I had the advantage of standing over him while he's sleeping when the match starts.

The cold, hard fact is that every one of our lives absolutely relies on our neighbor not wanting to kill us. Guns or no, a society where you have to guard against your neighbor holding random raiding parties on your domicile would not be a very successful one.

The very idea of it seems ludicrous, which is why I don't understand how this guy even functions if he is truly that scared of his neighbors that he'd be upset if they owned a weapon.

The funny thing is that they probably DO and he doesn't even know it.

Matthew said...

We finally have a bill in the state Senate making it clear to the Univ of Alaska Board of Regents that their very limited grant of authority to set policy doesn't remove them from preemption. The bill would simply force them to remove their policy banning carry/possession so it will be "Alaska Carry" on campus.

The Univ. President has no legal leg to stand on so is trotting out K-12 kids on field trips, OC of rifles, and shoot-outs over grades. Th standard tripe.

I testify tomorrow.

If it passes, and I'm optimistic, we will tie Arizona for last place in the Brady rankings.

Mike_C said...

It doesn't take a firearm of any type to kill someone while they're sleeping.
Or someone strolling along fat and happy and unaware of his surroundings, for that matter. I used to be that way. Back in grad school I was walking down the sidewalk having an animated discussion with two friends. (Well, a friend and some physics dude I didn't much care for, but anyway ....) Two 20-something black guys (who we had never seen before) dressed all gangbanger style come up the sidewalk towards us. We moved out of their way and continued on our way and with our discussion. As they go by one of the guys suddenly lunges forward, stretches his arm out and taps me lightly on the stomach with the flat of his fist, the thumb and index finger part, and makes a twisting motion as if he were disemboweling me with a knife. "Thass how you do it," he says to his companion as they stroll on. Shit, I grew up in a midwestern college town where no one did stuff like that, regardless of color/race/whatever. At the time it was so unexpected (especially as I was busy arguing some fine point of engineering geekery) I didn't even react until the guy had "hit" me. Some welcome to the Hub of the Universe.... In retrospect, that random gangbanger-looking dude gave me at least one valuable lesson, but I was pretty surprised and a bit shaken at the time.

If a person is bent on mayhem, then they "don' need no steenking guns."

'm relatively certain that this is a form of projection - they know that they can't be trusted with a firearm, and so they don't want anyone else to have one, either.
I agree about the projection part. My typical European liberal (his self description) officemate basically has this attitude. After spending hours of my life I'll never get back arguing "gun control" he was finally reduced to the heart of the matter: "I don't like guns. They scare me and I don't think anyone should have them." After that little admission he's never brought up the issue again. Heh.

Chris said...

I was having a rather polite discussion about guns with a woman I had met casually a few weeks ago. She was a typical anti-gun rights type, and when I asked why she didn't want people to own guns, she admitted she didn't trust herself with them because she was so afraid of them. (Refreshing honesty!) So I replied, "Then I don't want you owning one, either." Her mouth snapped shut and she turned away.

Buzz said...

In other words: "I'm a blithering idiot just barely smart enough to know I'm not responsible or rational enough to handle a gun, so you shouldn't have one either."

Windy Wilson said...

Buzz, that first part was why Ray Bradbury (The author, in case there's another out there) didn't want to drive. He was quoted once as being afraid he'd be an absolute maniac behind the wheel. Unlike the anti-personal-safety crowd, he had the good sense to not insist that others share his restrictions.

And Ed, that Blunt objects and body parts vs rifles statistic has been twisted by the anti-personal-safety crowd has misquoted that into "more people killed by baseball bats than by guns", (from some drivel reposted in my brother's facebook page early last year), which is clearly false, but then they can say "this is the falsity the gang crime and murder lobby is spreading.

Matthew said...


I completely agree on citing statistics. I prefer to limit the claims to the (more-or-less) incontestable ones as the anti's will be quick to grab any opportunity to twist the discussion away from the issue at hand into a pissing match over numbers. (ex. not "more guns = less crime" but "more guns =/ more crime")

If there is anyone but the anti present our debate is with the anti but -for- the observer. We aren't going to change most anti's minds and we don't have to, we need to appear to be the reasonable one in front of folks who don't really care but who we want neutral or for us at the ballot box.

If we are calm, making reasonable points that can't be (simply) contradicted, the anti's will always reveal themselves to be the fanatical frothing at the mouth type that "normal" people don't want to associate with.