Military and Police

More Anti-Gun Sentiment and Ignoring the Law at Portland State University

Once again, guns and the people who dare to carry them are under attack from academia. Not surprisingly, this is happening in the formerly live-and-let-live, quirky city of Portland, Oregon. A university is demanding a national conservative talk show host sign a pledge not to carry a gun on campus, or they will punish the student group who invited him to speak—to commemorate Second Amendment Week!

Recently, on the “John Carlson Show” on KVI Radio, guest-hosted by David Bose, conservative talk show host Lars Larson told the audience about a despicable incident involving leftist administrators willfully ignoring the law at Portland State University (PSU) in downtown Portland, Oregon.

Larson said the College Republicans asked if he would address the student group on campus during Second Amendment Week. Larson agreed and said he would absorb all the costs.

But there were problems. This is a conservative student group. And, even worse, these students support the people’s right to keep and bear arms. And, most heinous, they plan to say so out loud. So, in typical Marxist fashion, which has become an appendage of the left’s ideology, PSU sent a letter to Larson.

Larson said, “I get a demand letter from Portland State University, yesterday (10/17/18). ‘You must declare to us that on Second Amendment week when you’ve been invited as a Second Amendment proponent to do a broadcast from the campus…that you will not carry a firearm on campus.’”

Oh, is that all… What the…? “Demand?” “You must declare?” Welcome to PSU’s fascist nightmare. Bold words coming from people who have no right to make such a demand. No, really. The courts already told them they can’t legally prevent people lawfully carrying guns on campus, but they do it anyway. See? Don’t like a law, just ignore it.

Carrying a firearm onto a public university is legal in Oregon. However, the administration doesn’t care about that law. Reportedly, if a student gets caught carrying a gun onto campus, they will expel him or her. If faculty or staff possess a firearm on campus, they will lose their jobs.

Neither a student nor faculty or staff, the administration has no means with which to sanction Larson if he fails to comply with their edict to sign his constitutional rights away. So, in their finite wisdom, they threatened to punish the student group if Larson refuses to submit.

Larson mentions receiving “an email from Taylor, who’s one of the students, this morning. He told me the university is threatening to take away funding from their group.”

So, you might say, “What’s the big deal, Larson? Just leave your gun at home.” But there is a fundamental principle here. How much is a natural right, the right to carry a gun for self-defense, worth if a public university can illegally bar you from exercising it? Larson said, “This campus has become antithetical to Second Amendment rights.”

Larson sees PSU’s actions as no different than religious discrimination. “It’s a civil right to practice your religion. It’s also a civil right to carry a gun.” So anti-gun is the school, they are currently looking at disarming their own police officers.

The courts agree. “The university actually took it to the [Oregon] Court of Appeals a couple years ago, seeking the authority to tell citizens they couldn’t carry, and they lost. And they know they lost. So, their lawyer, Cindy Starke, sends me a letter saying, ‘before we allow this broadcast, you must declare that you are not going to carry,’” Larson said.

This is such a blatant disregard for an American’s civil rights it boggles the mind to think Starke is an attorney. Again, such is the left’s lack of respect for the law. If you don’t follow laws you don’t like, then what value has any law? Law and order morph into lawlessness and disorder. Then again, just look at the leftists taking over the streets in—where else?—Portland.

So, have I got this right? A student group invites Larson to an event organized specifically to recognize the importance of preserving Americans’ constitutional, Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms. But the university administration says he must “voluntarily disarm at the demand of a government that doesn’t have the right to tell me to do that because the courts have told them they can’t do that.”

Like I said, the left doesn’t care what the law says. They don’t like the law, and that’s all the “authorization” they need to flout it. People must conform to the leftist groupthink mandated by the PSU administration.

Larson said the university administration asking him to give up his Second Amendment rights is the same as the university requiring a Muslim speaker to abdicate his First Amendment rights to speak about his religion by signing a form promising not to carry a Quran onto campus before addressing a student group.

You can insert any religion into this equation. Ban a priest’s New Testament or a rabbi’s Torah. You might say, “but a gun is much more dangerous than religion.” Well, there are many people of various religious and political views who would argue that assertion vehemently.

But, seriously, if you think about it, there is no difference—natural rights are unalienable. People who carry guns legally are among the most law-abiding in our society. You are as safe standing next to a law-abiding woman with a gun concealed in her waistband holster as you are standing next to a construction worker with a hammer on his hip. Or a carpet installer with a razor knife in his pocket. In fact, you’re safer.

I’m not sure what Larson will do. While he wants to stand up for his (and our) rights, he doesn’t want to see the students punished. He alluded to seeking some legal advice.

Judging by the letter sent to Lars Larson, the Portland State University administration has an official school policy of routinely violating its students, faculty, and staff’s constitutional rights. So, the university bans people from legally carrying firearms on campus, ignoring the Court of Appeals ruling. Then, logically, wouldn’t they have a commensurate obligation to guarantee people’s safety while on the PSU campus?

Is that what you’re doing, PSU? Guaranteeing everyone’s safety? If not, how can you in good conscience infringe on a law-abiding person’s right to self-defense and to the means to carry it out?

I feel like a skipping record, having to revisit the left’s anti-law proclivities so often lately. It’s astonishing that America has one major political party, Democrat, that has so little respect for the law, not to mention those who enforce it.

Democrat leaders have aligned themselves with a relatively small, virulent, and violent far-left faction. And their media allies give this faction more attention and influence than it has earned or deserves.

Along with this radical faction, the Democratic Party, as demonstrated in the Kavanagh hearings, is showing America its new platform. It has no use for the First or the Second Amendments, does not believe in due process or an individual’s right to self-defense, and refuses to obey laws they don’t like.

Consider the street take-over in Portland I mentioned earlier. According to Scott Morefield at dailycaller.com, one Antifa member, working with others to force drivers to turn right at an intersection, told one driver, “Just go that way.” When the driver asked why, she responded, “Because I told you to.”

If you ever wonder what type of person would have worn a brown shirt in 1920s and 30s Germany, you’re seeing them in the streets of Portland and other American cities, in 2018, fighting for leftist causes.

Do you know why Antifa was out there? They were holding a vigil for Patrick Kimmons. Portland police shot and killed Kimmons. Why? Were the cops hunting Kimmons, who is black, so they could shoot him down in the street for no reason?

Not exactly. Police suspected Kimmons had just shot two people. Then, he approached the cops while holding a gun. Yeah, that’s a for-sure way to get yourself shot. But, for these lefty loons, there is no such thing as a “good” police shooting—well, unless it’s the cops who get shot.

Make no mistake. Like the PSU administration, if you oppose a person’s right to keep and bear arms, you oppose a person’s right to self-defense. How? Well, if you say you believe people have the right to self-defense, but you would prohibit people from keeping and bearing the most effective tool for self-defense, you are lying. How do you reconcile these positions?

Again, like the people running PSU, many on the left still believe gun laws work on criminals. Astounding. They know another word for a criminal is an outlaw, right? Meaning, outside the law. By definition criminals (outlaws) break the law. No, really…it’s in the criminal’s handbook—page 1.

By supporting a violent fringe, the Democratic Party, along with the mainstream media wing of that party, emboldens these radicals. Fortunately, it’s a suicidal strategy for winning national elections.

Then why should I care if it’s bad for the left in the long run? Because it’s bad for our country. Some on the left are committing violence. A candidate in California was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant, and a Minnesota candidate was punched in the head so hard he suffered a concussion. And we all know what happened to Rep. Steve Scalise.

Sadly, this aggressive, sometimes violent, confrontation strategy is encouraged by the overt calls for action by several Democrat leaders. I’m wondering when true Democrats will rise up and take their party back. This is not like a sports team you stick with no matter what. The neo-socialist takeover of the Democratic Party is dangerous for America and must stop.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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