Tarrant County College Bans Empty Holster Protest

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by sculker, May 25, 2008.

  1. sculker

    sculker New Member

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    Tarrant County College Bans Empty Holster Protest

    by Robert Shibley

    May 22, 2008

    As we reported in today's press release, Tarrant County College (TCC) in Fort Worth, Texas, has banned students from wearing empty gun holsters as part of a protest against regulations and laws that prevent concealed carry license holders from carrying their guns on campus. Meant as a powerful metaphor for what these students see as being left defenseless under these regulations, this form of protest took place on campuses across the country this April. According to the organization that coordinated the event, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the protest involved 3,800 students from 600 campuses nationwide.

    TCC appears to be one of the few campuses where administrators interfered with this protest, and the method of the interference was more than a little suspect. As can be seen in Vice President for Student Development Juan Garcia's e-mail to student organizer Brett Poulos, Garcia says that he has "granted" their request to be able to protest, but goes right on to say that "you and other protestors may not wear empty gun holsters on campus, including the Free Speech Zone during the protest, or at any other time." (Emphasis was in the original.) Wait—they can hold an "empty holster protest," but aren't allowed to wear empty holsters? The only way you could call this "granting" a request is by using logic only a college administrator could love.

    So why the prohibition on holsters? An empty holster is merely a piece of leather. By itself, it is likely to be dangerous only if you were to hit someone with it. Other articles of clothing or personal items that college students are likely have on their person, such as books or backpacks, are inherently far more dangerous. Therefore, the objection to the holsters cannot be based in a real concern for safety; rather, it is based on what ideal administrators believe the empty holsters are meant to represent. This is the meat of the problem—TCC's restriction on wearing the empty holsters can only be based on the viewpoint that TCC administrators believe that the protestors mean to communicate—and that's unconstitutional. There is simply no reasonable way to look at the empty holster protest as it has been described and read into it some motivation that would allow the college to silence that form of expression. TCC may not like the message, but it has no justification for censoring it.

    The 1969 Supreme Court case of Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District is the seminal ruling on this kind of symbolic student expression. In that case, the Court determined that high school students were free to wear black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War because administrators showed no reason why such a protest would create substantial interference with discipline. And since a public high school is a far more regulated environment than a public college, TCC administrators accordingly have even less justification to interfere with peaceful symbolic protests.

    TCC's free speech zone is also a shameful abomination when it comes to free speech rights. Poulos describes the South Campus free speech zone as an elevated, circular concrete platform about 12 feet across. Sounds more like a free speech cage to me. It's certainly not a meaningful space in which to hold a protest, and what's the point, anyway, when you aren't even allowed to express yourself fully there? Further, Tarrant County College is in Texas, home to the legally-struck-down "free speech gazebo" of Texas Tech. Maintaining a similar free speech zone in the very same state is certainly unwise from a legal standpoint, to say the least.

    TCC has no real choice—it must recognize the right of its students to protest its policies and state laws in a peaceful manner—even if this involves empty gun holsters. Hopefully, the sunlight of public exposure will be enough to convince the school that its duty is to defend free speech, not restrict or quarantine it.

    http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/9343.html?PHPSESSID=75b0c6c39e63776d1ca85180e6cda17d
     
  2. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    I wish I was a student there. I'd be decked out with an El Paso rig and an empty bandolier across my chest. When they expelled me I would sue them for everything they're worth!
     

  3. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    That's exactly what the students there need to do: stand up to Mr. Garcia.

    Is this school funded by taxpayer dollars, or is it a private school?
     
  4. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    They're missing a great opportunity for a free education. I would go to the ACLU and let those *******s do some righteous work for once, if they would even accept the case...
     
  5. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Well, if there was enough notice, perhaps the students could print up a few t shirts with a picture of a holster on it. That would be the front side, the back side could have a picture of Mr Garcia, an equal sign, then a braying jackass....
     
  6. coltm4

    coltm4 New Member

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    in life there are sheep and there are wolves. people are free to choose what they want to be. i get pissed when others make the choice for us. i'm a police officer for a large university police dept (1100+ acres, 40,000 people). needless to say our prime focus as far as training goes has been active shooter response. people should be able to legally carry their firearms on campus. my only concern would be how they would ID themselves as friendly when we arrive. this issue could be solved easily by making standard operating procedures for students/faculty who carry in order to properly identify themselves to 1st responders. But noone wants to hear my crazy talk!! hell they shot down our request for AR-15s and body bunkers!! this is the world we live in. let's not do anything until after it happens. what do i know i'm just a crazy war vet.
     
  7. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    That's a GOOD idea! You should market that idea!
     
  8. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    As long as the "Government can Protect Us" mentality continues to rule, the score will remain Wolves 1 ; Sheep 0
     
  9. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Cafe Press costs too much money. There oughta be a print on demand online vendor....
     
  10. h&k bigdaddydieseldan

    h&k bigdaddydieseldan New Member

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    That's just total bs what happened to freedom of speech :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
  11. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Wait until all the disenfranchised Republicans "write-in" their protest votes...then after a a few years you'll be asking the question "what happened to my 2nd Amendment Rights?".....
     
  12. painted_klown

    painted_klown New Member

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    HAHHAHA!!! That's awesome and a great idea.

    It sickens me to see this type of censorship taking place, and at a COLLEGE to boot!!!:eek:

    What has happened to our most basic rights, freedoms, and liberties? Certainly you would think this is ONE issue the Republicans and Democrats could agree on.

    Republicans because of the second amendment and Democrats because of freedom of speech, plus they love rallies and protests. I don't understand how these school officials are getting away with this crap. There should be some action going on down there!!!:mad:
     
  13. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Unless we hold their feet to the fire, this kind of stuff happens all the time at colleges around the country. They are not bastions of free speech and open inquiry, they are bastions of protected hate speech and doctrinaire thinking that allows no deviation from today's "revealed truth."
     
  14. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Completely ascinine but expected from modern day Academics. Free speach should be limited to the professor accusing Bush of lying and how wonerful Oballery is.

    If any of the students has the guts to defy the order, he/she will surely prevail in court. The school is publicly funded. The voters in that district/community should demand the president's ouster. Of course he will get a SWEET severance package.
     
  15. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Look what's happeneing at Syracuse U. with the hate-filled racist rhetoric of that black professor - and it's condoned by the university chancellor! Reverse racism is now accepted, expected, and condoned.
     
  16. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I took a couple of mikes and went to the Tarrant County College web site and posted the e-mail addresses of the members of the board of trustees for the college. These folks are elected officials and ought to get an e-mail from each and everyone of us, whether we live in that district or not. Keep it civil. You may consider expressing your feelings about this obvious unconstitutional act by their employee (the university president) that will surely cause them to be sued (successfully) in Federal Court.


    Appleman, Louise appleman@tccd.edu
    Bell, J bell@tccd.edu
    Canedy, Randall canedy@tccd.edu
    McGee, Bobby mcgee@tccd.edu
    Morrison, Gwendolyn morrison@tccd.edu
    Vandergriff, Kristin vandergriff@tccd.edu
    Winnett, Robyn winnet@tccd.edu

    My e-mail to the trustees:

    I am appalled that Juan Garcia would even attempt to ban the wearing of empty holsters on the campuses. This is an obviously unconstitutional act by one of your employees that will surely lead to a successful lawsuit. Such irresponsible behavior will cause the taxpayers to loose hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in damages and legal fees. Why does this man even have a job? He should be terminated immediately. The weaing of empty holsters is a Constitutionally protected expression of protest and MUST be allowed.
     
  17. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    And they wonder why I don't give them any money anymore....
     
  18. bkt

    bkt New Member

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    Thanks for doing the leg-work on that, robocop. Here's my letter:


    To Whom It May Concern:

    It has been reported that a large group of students who belong to the group Students for Concealed Carry on Campus were recently told by Vice President for Student Development Juan Garcia that they may not carry empty handgun holsters in protest against the ban on lawful concealed carry at the school. Empty holsters are not weapons in their own right and they are clearly a means of expression in this case.

    To ban expression -- at a college, no less, where free expression is ostensibly welcomed -- is wrong at best and arguably unconstitutional and may well open the College up to law suits. Certainly, Mr. Garcia may make his personal views known and if he objects to the idea of students legally carrying firearms, so be it. But is he not obliged to show consideration for the students in letting them express their views?

    I sincerely hope you will contact Mr. Garcia and demand that he reverse his unilateral ban on students' free speech rights.

    Thank you for your time,

    Kind regards,

    XXXX XXXX
    Rochester, NY