The Joys of Higher Education


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bclark1
October 11, 2006, 12:33 PM
Also known as, allowing people's ignorance to become false expertise.

Guns have been vilified since day one of law school, and I have basically just kept my mouth shut as there's been a lot of things beyond guns where my classmates' opinions simply fly in the face of all that is good and right.

Anyway, today, I couldn't help but speak up, and I thought I'd have some support. My criminal law professor was in the IDF and I thought he may have been a recreational shooter. I took the "no accidental discharge" stance, saying they were all negligent, and no, guns don't fire themselves. My point was that, even in older guns that leave something to be desired mechanically, obeying basic safety rules in terms of the trigger, loading and unloading, and muzzle discretion will prevent ill. Before I could make this point though, it was shot down and turned around for the peanut gallery to comment on, who now have their false opinions on the subject emboldened. "Not only did I see it on TV, but my professor inferred it." It really seems pretty pointless to try and educate people these days. I was debating passing the hat around for ammo to start a "Take an idiot shooting" thing on the weekends and try and correct people's views, but I'm increasingly unconvinced that it would be to any good effect.

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El Tejon
October 11, 2006, 12:37 PM
What exactly did the peanut gallery say? What did your professor say to "shoot it down"?:confused:

bclark1
October 11, 2006, 12:43 PM
The case had to do with a man who threatened another, going to his car for a rifle, thinking he had unloaded it when there was still one in the pipe, and then claiming it was accidental when he shot the other man, saying that "the gun went off by itself." The professor said "Well what would happen if I dropped a gun pointing it at you right now?" to which I suggested most likely nothing. He then related his story of the Uzi having problems with firing unexpectedly. It would have been nice, although something of a tangent, to make it clear that if you're pointing a gun at me, that is in an unsafe condition to allow accidental firing, that you've loaded, and are then irresponsible enough to drop it, yes, you have definitely been reckless. Instead, the floor was opened to people who "know" guns can go off by themselves, because they saw "one time on TV" where if you "squeezed the barrel" (this was an actual thing put out there) it would shoot without pulling the trigger.

My whole point would have been that the guy was wrong for getting a gun while he was drunk, he was wrong for thinking cycling the bolt a few times had emptied it, and he was wrong for pointing it at someone. At that point, even if God were to release the firing pin, you've done enough that it's no "accident." I was not allowed to make this point, instead just getting a stock "You're wrong."

strat81
October 11, 2006, 12:45 PM
I've done my fair share of higher education and I'm even working on a Masters degree right now. I have NEVER had a professor cut me off before I could make my full point. Sometimes points of view are debated and are not always agreed upon, but that's life. However, in a university classroom setting, there is no reason why full discourse shouldn't take place.

However, you're professor shouldn't have stopped you before you finished making your point. I'd say switch schools, but you're not an undergrad and law school is a pretty committed endeavor. Trash him on the course evaluation, and, if it persists and/or if he was VERY out of line, speak to the department chair or dean. If you do, don't make it into a gun issue, make it into an issue about opinions being shut down.

I expect lousy tactics like that in the media, but you would think a university - a LAW SCHOOL - would show better decorum.

El Tejon
October 11, 2006, 12:57 PM
1. As you will discover after graduation, all defendants do things accidently.:D "Aw, man, I ass-i-ent-lee shot Ice Dawg 8 times with my 5 shot revolvers." "Aw, man, I assientlee had 14 keys of horse in my trunk while I was assientlee driving from Chicago to Indy."

2. Firearms, when dropped, do discharge. However, they do this only a fraction of a percentage point of what is claimed.:D "Aw, man, I didn't mean to shoot Ray-ray. I assientlee dropped my Glock and it went off 17 times in the same direction."

3. "You're wrong" is not an acceptable answer in law school and your professor should not have cut you off. You could argue recklessness, negligence or accident. Just ensure your argument is supported.

4. Always be ready to argue either side in an argument (always raise both sides in your exams in December).

5. Learn from this class today.:) Be prepared, never quit.

silverlance
October 11, 2006, 12:59 PM
You gotta know more than them.

So, go look up the gun in question.

Memorize how it works.

Draw them a picture and show them why it cannot just "go off" by itself.

a point, however.

Guns CAN -seem to- "go off" by themselves when the mechanism holding the hammer back gets worn. In which case, a jarring impact can knock it loose.

A friend of mine got shot in 11 2005 in Iraq this way. A Marine on guard was showing off rifle spinning tricks, and dropped a chambered M16. Either the disconnect was worn, or the firing pin had been crudded forward, but in any case an m855 went flying out at ground level and zipped a hole in my buddy's left calf. Fortunately, he is a medic and was literally right in front of the hospitol so now he just has a cool scar to show off.

1911 guy
October 11, 2006, 01:03 PM
The IDF had a habit of modding the uzi with a swivel stud on the cocking handle. Supposedly made readying the weapon faster. They stopped this when several people were shot by "empty" uzi's that had been inadvertently chambered by pushing down on the weapon. This operated the bolt via the sling. In the end, still a ND, not AD.

El Tejon
October 11, 2006, 01:08 PM
1911, isn't the IDF's UZI a slam fire weapon? How do you chamber an open bolt?

Sorry, not meaning to be difficult, just confused???:confused:

Lonestar
October 11, 2006, 01:10 PM
That is a shame that your professor is ignorant. Your wasting time and money in his class. It’s like blaming the perfectly functioning car for vehicular Homicide, or blaming the bat or a knife for a beating or a stabbing. Your professor really said, "What if I dropped a gun in your direction and it went off"? What if I threw a butcher knife and said, "CATCH". The difference between 1st Degree murder and involuntary manslaughter is all about intent...A LAW PROFESSOR SHOULD DEFINATELY KNOW THIS. The guy pointing what he thinks is an unloaded rifle at a guy he his mad at and pulling the trigger probably used the "I did not know it was loaded" argument to get a lesser manslaughter charge instead of a murder charge. The prosecution probably argued that as a gun owner should never ASSUME that a weapon is unloaded, and that if he truly intended to scare the victim he should have verified that his rifle did not have a round chambered in it, and he should have never pulled the trigger. The discharge was either intended or not, and that is what the jury or judge needs to decide. The firearm function has no bearing on the case, its the action and intent of the individual.

When I went to college I learned something about professors, they fall into certain categories. 1) Some teacher became teachers because they are book smart, never had real world experience in their field and went right into teaching 2) Others excelled in their field, but for some reason they decided to walk away from that and become teachers 3) Others where outright failures in their field, and became teacher to make a buck. The best professors are from the second category, and I would make a 5-dollar bet that this guy is either #1 or #3.

ReidWrench
October 11, 2006, 01:13 PM
You're lucky they didnt rush you and toss the lecturn .
Butt stroking an animal with some old shotgun might get you shot , but the predominant number of guns that still work , dont go off by themselves . They are there to take your money and they will , so keep it on the down low . The dude sounds like a weenie , watch out . I would still troll for a range buddy .

1911 guy
October 11, 2006, 01:21 PM
However, they're carried with the bolt in battery on an empty chamber. Jostling them around got the bolt retracted and when some Nimrod forgot several of the Four Rules...

El Tejon
October 11, 2006, 01:21 PM
Gotcha!

R.Edd
October 11, 2006, 02:01 PM
When my wife was going through law school, the anti-gun crowd was absolutley rabid. Conversations were seldom finished, and the professors were entrenched in their positions.

Good luck in there.

PlayboyPenguin
October 11, 2006, 02:27 PM
I also have my masters degree. It is in psychology and fine arts but I still have experienced higher learning.

I have always found the more educated people are the more willing they are to listen to opposing points of view and examine different sides of an issue.

I hate it when gun people try to make it seem like higher education is an enemy of RKBA. That is like saying "gun lovers like to be ignorant and uninformed and anyone that is informed is against RKBA".

Is that the image we want to put forth????

Arguing with the educated is a challenge because you have to think and stay on your toes...arguing with a "bubba" is impossible because they do not follow logic or rely on facts. "If Rush said it then it has to be true."

SoCalShooter
October 11, 2006, 02:34 PM
I too am in college..not law school however but have not been shutdown for my opinion but I have not had to have the gun debate...yet. I am surprised that in a discussion like that you were shut out. Any loaded weapon can "GO OFF" but its usually cause the idiot on the other end pulls the trigger and does not realize it. I would invite a couple of the anti-gunners to the range and ask them to squeeze your barrel in a fashion that will make the weapon discharge.

bclark1
October 11, 2006, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the replies - I just needed to get it off of my chest. Engineering was my undergrad, and it's a major where, by and large, you manage to stay away from the loonies.

I'm going to try and chat with him by myself, because I don't want to have to deal with this bothering me the rest of the semester. Yes, mechanical failures happen, but when they do no one needs to get hurt if you're handling your implement properly. I wouldn't bring it up in my other classes because I wouldn't expect most of the professors to understand that, but one with military experience certainly knows the rules of safe gun handling, and I had just hoped would have allowed me to point out that a bullet is not travelling down a barrel toward a person because the evil gun wanted it to. I'll probably just be for the most part biting the bullet, so to speak, here though.

I like a lot of what's been said here, though. It's always nice to be reminded there are pockets of common sense left out there, especially after you get publicly embarassed for being the one foolish enough to say something rational out loud. I'd be tempted to bring up how the IDF goofed with the slings, but I'm going to give that whole "drawing flies with honey" thing I used to hear about first.

Zundfolge
October 11, 2006, 03:46 PM
I have always found the more educated people are the more willing they are to listen to opposing points of view and examine different sides of an issue.
I've had exactly the opposite experience. I've found that the more formal education one has the less likely they are to listen to an opposing point of view (especially if the person espousing this opposing point of view has less formal education than themselves).

Most Academicians I know (and there's a few in my family that reinforce this) live in Ivory Towers and are disinterested in coming down regardless of the quality of the opposing position's data).

Glockamolie
October 11, 2006, 04:02 PM
I'm with Zundfolge.

PlayboyPenguin
October 11, 2006, 04:05 PM
I am sorry. I will have to disagree. To say to be educated is to be close minded is an untruth. it shines a bad light on anyone that makes this statement. It is a statement that comes across as based on fear and resentment and it shines a bad light on anyone that makes it. it seems to say that it is "better" to be ignorant.

K-Romulus
October 11, 2006, 04:10 PM
Maybe it was the particular class? My law school experience was more balanced overall regarding opinions on gun control and class discussions, though most people were apathetic on the issue . . .

Zundfolge
October 11, 2006, 04:18 PM
I am sorry. I will have to disagree. To say to be educated is to be close minded is an untruth.
You can believe whatever you want but I stand by my statement as it is based on my actual life experience as opposed to a theoretical or idealists view of higher education and the higher educated (BTW, I did go to college, so I do actually have experience with the close mindedness of academia).

it shines a bad light on anyone that makes this statement. It is a statement that comes across as based on fear and resentment and it shines a bad light on anyone that makes it.
Thank you for reinforcing my belief there. Surely anyone who disagrees with "the learned" is an idiot. I guess I'm just too uneducated to realize this.

it seems to say that it is "better" to be ignorant.
No, its just acknowledging that many highly educated people are extremely (and often willfully) ignorant, but because they have letters after their name they are unwilling to believe they can be ignorant.

Your assumption seems to be that only those with a formal education lack ignorance.



Clearly the two extremes (1 that all college educated people are close minded or 2 that all college educated people are open minded) are wrong here. But for many people, higher education ends up closing their minds more than opening it because they are programmed with the hubris that they are right simply because they have a sheep skin from an accredited university.

Otherwise how do you explain the massive wrongness of most of academia on the issue if guns?

At one time in history higher education taught critical thinking ... now most colleges and universities indoctrinate, not educate and students are taught not to question what they are told (so I don't know, maybe you're real old and went to school before the big shift :neener: ).

bclark1
October 11, 2006, 04:32 PM
I have known good people of all educational stripes, but the most vehement in their arguments against me in gun realms tend to be the "over-educated" in my circle of family and friends. I think the problem is the sort of people that want to learn forever end up living in a fantasy world because they see the world so differently, and want everything to fit nicely into their theory of the universe. If there is such a stereotype, the pseudo-libertarian who has forgotten what a necessary evil is comes to mind. That is not to imply guns are one, as punching paper and smashing clay are probably the two of the most relaxing-but-focused things I partake in, but they only see guns as a destructive implement because they never had that sort of a good experience, because even if the opportunity presented it does not fit the PC-mold which you need to fit in the circles they run with. There are 2 or 3 people I'm picturing right now, who I love very much, but that will just never "get" the reality ever again. Not to politicize the debate either, but young people tend to be more liberal, which usually means anti-gun. Good professors will get along with their students, who are young people. And so a lot of "good" professors, that will stick around teaching for a while, will be liberal, because they'll relate to their audience better and probably reach the majority more effectively.

MountainBear
October 11, 2006, 08:16 PM
This is why I gave up the idea of becoming a lawyer (I was all set with applications in hand and an appointment to take the LSAT's) and am going to a gunsmithing school instead...

TallPine
October 11, 2006, 10:35 PM
I would invite a couple of the anti-gunners to the range and ask them to squeeze your barrel in a fashion that will make the weapon discharge.

Maybe they're thinking of something else...? ;) :p

PlayboyPenguin
October 11, 2006, 10:40 PM
Zundfolge,

I am not saying that all educated people are open minded, nor am I saying all uneducated people are close minded, but you cannot make a gereralization that more educated people are not as open minded. In fact I have always noticed the opposite. People that possess the mental facilities to be successful in higher education usually have an open and analytical mind. Give them good information and they will listen. Give them faulty information and they will tear you apart. They tend to have a prove it or shut up attitude and sometimes do not believe anything they cannot discern to be true on their own. That is why they do not like people like Rush who twists facts or just makes stuff up. I have a book completely devoted to things Rush said and then the truth about the same topic.

Eyesac
October 11, 2006, 10:57 PM
I am not saying that all educated people are open minded, nor am I saying all uneducated people are close minded, but you cannot make a gereralization that more educated people are not as open minded. In fact I have always noticed the opposite. People that possess the mental facilities to be successful in higher education usually have an open and analytical mind.

You just made a generalization.

PlayboyPenguin
October 11, 2006, 11:05 PM
Is that what you do Penguin?
To a small degree, yes. I think people should be able to back up what they say. If they make a comment like "90% of the people on welfare are black" (as someone did in a pvt message to me) then refuse to accept contrary factual information and stick to their original incorrect statement I tend to take that attitude. More often I believe most of what someone says (especially if it is a personal reference or something they have more experience with) unless I know otherwise...even then I tend to look it up before I decide.

Eyesac
October 11, 2006, 11:10 PM
you cannot make a gereralization that more educated people are not as open minded

Then you said:

People that possess the mental facilities to be successful in higher education usually have an open and analytical mind.

So it's ok to generalize when you do it? What school of (double standards) higher learning did you attend?

History Prof
October 11, 2006, 11:17 PM
When you talk to your prof, find out if this is a hypothetical or if it is a case he defended. Maybe he defended the guy and convinced a jury it was an accident. If he is the condescending type, the last thing he need is some lowly *student* proving him wrong.

I love when my students prove me wrong. I learn from it. We all need to keep learning, even if it means embarrasment....

PlayboyPenguin
October 11, 2006, 11:36 PM
Eyesac, did you not read where the clarifying sentence before it states "I have always noticed"and then included another clarifier "usually"..That means I am relating a person experience and not a generalization. I generalization would have been.."I have noticed the opposite, therefore all educated people ore openminded".

Sorry to confuse you so badly. I will try to use simpler sentences from now forward...I mean..."me talk plain now on".

WheelGunMom
October 11, 2006, 11:59 PM
Hey bclark1,

Unfortunately, as a general rule, first year law school classes are still in large part about mocking/humiliating/crushing the egos of the students.

[Didn't you ever see the vintage "Paper Chase" movie :neener: ???]

You're just going through what most all attorneys experienced during their first year of law school. So chill out and please don't spend an undue amount of energy trying to show up your professors during your first year -- even if you are making a very valid and correct factual point.

Just hang in there -- 2nd and 3rd year are soooo much more intellectually satisfying than 1st year, I promise you.

cassandrasdaddy
October 11, 2006, 11:59 PM
that when folks grow up in an enviroment with limited eduaction escape and get some they tend to be overly enamored of it and sometimes themselves.i was once told its due to seeing what they weren't surrounded with as somehow better. The grass is always greener.On the flip side are other folks, and i fall in this group, who grow up in the other situation.I was surrounded by intellectuals and highly educated folks growing up. Father with 2 phd's and 9 languages and all his assorted cohorts and found them to be pretty self absorbed, pretentious and pretty funny to watch.As a result i made many choices that made my circle of friends not of that ilk. Life and human nature are peculiar that way

Eyesac
October 12, 2006, 12:05 AM
People that possess the mental facilities to be successful in higher education usually have an open and analytical mind

Nope can't fool me, that's a generalization.

javacodeman
October 12, 2006, 12:18 AM
PlayboyPenguin said"If Rush said it then it has to be true."

And???:D

DirtyBrad
October 12, 2006, 12:24 AM
Change teachers or schools based off of this? Give me a break. Even with the worst case of this, sometimes you get a bad teacher. Just like with any other, you'll learn what you need to do to succeed in the class. Beyond that, get whatever else you can from him. No one grows from having only nice people who think like them around.

As far as generalizing whether those in academia are this way or that, what's the point? Why not just take each as you find them? Obviously, that's not 100% possible with any group, but what do you get out of saying that "they" are this way or that way? Probably none of us want to be approached that way.

My college career was filled with all types of professors. Some toed the line and just instructed what we needed to pass the tests. Some really opened me up in how to think critically, some did neither and made me want to die of boredom every class. I'd like to think I got something out of all of them.

Take some of those kids shooting. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised by how many open minds there are. Hard not to smile and ask for more at the range. Is for me anyway...

Good luck with school.

1911 guy
October 12, 2006, 08:50 AM
The problem is people who are educated beyond their intelligence.

kevin davis
October 12, 2006, 09:19 AM
One problem I have seen in the posts and in society in general is the misconception that education equals intelligence and that education or knowledge constitute wisdom. Many uneducated people can be intelligent but have lacked opportunity for formal education and wise, based on experience is life. The school of hard knocks can do a good job of conferring wisdom, if applied well. On the other hand, many highly educated people, who also may be very intelligent, are unwise and at a complete loss in dealing with reality in life or outside their narrow viewpoint (Bill and Hillary come to mind). Intelligence affects the ability to learn, knowledge is possesion of information, wisdom is the ability to use knowledge well to accomplish good. Possession alone confers no wisdom (look at congress).

tcgeol
October 12, 2006, 10:34 AM
I am in grad school right now. The people that are around me are highly intelligent without question, but they are about as open-minded as a chunk of lead. Most of them wouldn't be capable of challenging their chosen positions if they tried. Trying to legitimately look at both sides of an issue would make their heads explode. There are exceptions, of course, but, in general, they are just as close-minded as the most ignorant out there.

BigG
October 12, 2006, 10:48 AM
El Teej: Some open bolt guns have enough travel that a jar with the bolt forward will set the bolt back enough to strip a round off without going back far enough to catch on the sear. That means it goes "bang." I don't know if an Uzi is one but some of the WWII guns will.

Superpsy
October 12, 2006, 11:03 AM
I keep my mouth shut and keep my thoughts to myself most of the time in grad school. This is my third year and I realize it's not worth it. Of course there are times when I can't stand it and I speak out...but it helps me to remind myself that I'm there to learn and get the diploma, not buy into their political agenda.

Open mindedness in most places of higher education means that they can hear all points of view and listen to all perspectives except the conservative one.:rolleyes:

History Prof
October 12, 2006, 11:06 AM
Open mindedness in most places of higher education means that they can hear all points of view and listen to all perspectives except the conservative one. "Academic Freedom" has nothing to do with true academic freedom. Trust me on that.

SuperNaut
October 12, 2006, 11:22 AM
One of the hallmarks of intelligence is knowing when to keep your mouth shut.

Superpsy
October 12, 2006, 11:24 AM
"Academic Freedom" has nothing to do with true academic freedom. Trust me on that.

tell me about it...I've only met ONE truly open minded person who is a liberal.

She always thought she was open minded...then she went to a graduate school supported by a church denomination. She said that it wasn't until she attended school there, listened in their classes, took note of how critically they thought about issues, listened to their opinions and how truly open-minded they were that she realized she wasn't as open minded as she thought. :what:

One is all I've met.

Prince Yamato
October 12, 2006, 11:40 AM
Doesn't the Uzi grip safety prevent the gun from firing unless the grip safety and (I presume the manual) safeties are engaged?

strat81
October 12, 2006, 12:10 PM
I am not saying that all educated people are open minded, nor am I saying all uneducated people are close minded, but you cannot make a gereralization that more educated people are not as open minded. In fact I have always noticed the opposite. People that possess the mental facilities to be successful in higher education usually have an open and analytical mind. Give them good information and they will listen. Give them faulty information and they will tear you apart. They tend to have a prove it or shut up attitude and sometimes do not believe anything they cannot discern to be true on their own. That is why they do not like people like Rush who twists facts or just makes stuff up. I have a book completely devoted to things Rush said and then the truth about the same topic.

I agree with you, Penguin. I am currently enrolled in grad school and this past week my professor started to discuss the research project we will have to do. His emphasis was not on the number of references we have, but on the quality of those references. He values studies presented in academic journals since they usually involve some type of test to prove or disprove a theory. He frowns on books that exist soley as someone's rantings.

My undergraduate education provided me with a foundation of many concepts. My graduate education is teaching me how to apply those concepts as well as showing me if they hold any water. There is a premium placed on research in most graduate programs.

I am not a big fan of generalizations or stereotypes, but the fact is we ALL make them. I have a strong disdain for "Someone said this... the guy on the radio says... I read on the internet..." Situations like that have created some tension between my fiance and I because she'll say something and I'll ask for proof. Show me an article, a study, a report... something CREDIBLE. An op-ed piece from a backwoods newspaper doesn't count. Neither does Rush's book, Al Gore's book, or anyone elses book.

I will respect an anti-gun person's wishes if they choose not to like guns. I don't expect them all to have rational reasons for it. I don't like peanut butter... just because. However, it's when people try to support their decisions with misinformation that most of us seem to get upset. I'd rather dislike something based on "just because" rather than on twisted lies, flawed statistics, and out-of-context statements.

I feel the primary benefit of higher education is that it provides people with the tools to make an informed decision. They will know where to look for information, how to organize it, and how to present it. However, just because they have these tools it doesn't mean they'll make a rational or logical decision. A gun is a tool - we can use it properly for defense and sporting purposes, or improperly for murder and violence. Of course, even the best research can be flawed and not all socially accepted practices are ethical. Eugenics is a prime example of a movement rooted in science, supported by the government, and encouraged by some of the best minds of its time.

History Prof
October 12, 2006, 12:22 PM
"Academic Freedom" has nothing to do with true academic freedom. Trust me on that. I wanted to elaborate more, but I was up against the clock when I made that post.

While I cannot prove it, I am convinced that there are a few positions I interviewed for that I did not get because I spoke my mind. I interviewed at a university near Dallas. I figured "This is a safe place to espouse RKBA!" Boy was I wrong! During the informal "chat" interviews, several professors asked me what I did in my spare time. I was honest. I target shoot. I clean my firearms. I belong to the NRA. This was a university where they called my dissertation "Cutting Edge." But I'm not in Dallas. I found out this place was the liberal bastion of the DFW area. Same thing happened in Wisconsin. Actually, I'm glad I didn't get that one. I grew up in the desert, so I'm glad I'm still here. I'm not complaining about where I am. I love teaching here. My current institution is about as conservative as they come. BUT, it is not a research institution, and I have to put so much into my teaching that my cutting edge dissertation is just sitting on a shelf gathering dust.:cuss: There are quite a few of us who are conservative. It seems, however, that we all get relegated to the NON-RESEARCH schools. There's academic freedom for ya. The good news is that we are doing much more to shape young peoples' minds than our liberal *research* counterparts. AND, believe it or not, we tend to get paid more than they do :neener:

Pilgrim
October 12, 2006, 01:13 PM
Before I could make this point though, it was shot down and turned around for the peanut gallery to comment on, who now have their false opinions on the subject emboldened.
In classes like this you have to assert yourself to have your opinions heard. I suggest the next time you are cut off you respond, "Excuse me. May I finish making my point before having it criticized?"

Pilgrim

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