Even as I write, my chamber is still perfumed with Hoppes Bore Cleaning Solvent: I cleaned my non-liturgical Beretta (9mm PX4 Storm) and my Springfield XD-S (.45 ACP – just back from its factory recall) after sending a couple hundred rounds down range at some dangerous and nefarious paper that needed to be stopped.
I have been following for some days now the bizzaro-world situation of two students at Jesuit-run Gonzaga University in Spokane.
A homeless man shows up at the door of the campus-housing residence of two Gonzaga students. They offer him a blanket and food. He demands money, displays his ankle tracker bracelet, and tries to force the door. One of the students, who has a concealed carry license, came to the aid of his roommate with his drawn Glock 10mm (I’ll bet a G20). The aggressor promptly departed.
It turns out that the would-be-intruder is a six-time convicted felon. His crimes have included riot with a deadly weapon, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful imprisonment. (Sounds like a “house-invader” to me.)
Anyway, the two students quite properly called the police. The police said they did the right thing. However, campus security shows up at 2 a.m, broke in, woke them, and (probably illegally) confiscated the handgun and a shotgun that was also in the residence.
What does Gonzaga U do then?
They throw a nutty and punish the students.
They have a hearing and find the students guilty of having weapons on school property. The school leases the building the students live in. They say the students put others in danger by their possession of weapons. I don’t think they meant convicted felons trying to forcibly enter student’s dwellings.
An alert reader sent me a link to a piece posted on the online Gonzaga Bulletin. It is written by Fr. Patrick Hartin, a professor at Gonzaga.
Here is the piece (edited):
After reading the Bulletin Friday morning, I’m convinced that I’m living in Alice’s Wonderland! Instead, it’s no “Wonderland” – more like Dante’s “Hell”!
Let me explain. The real world, Oct. 24, 2013, at 10:15 p.m.: Two students, Erik Fagan and Daniel McIntosh, are victims of an intruder trying to gain access to their apartment.
They acted, as would any true GU student; they acknowledged the intruder’s humanity by offering him a blanket and some food. That’s not what the intruder wanted. Instead, he intimidated them by revealing he had been in prison six times and showed them his ankle bracelet. [Which itself is a kind of threat.]
To protect themselves and others in the neighborhood, the students defended themselves by pulling out a gun (one with a legal permit). Then the students called the police (as any law-abiding GU student would), informing them they had a legal gun with a permit. The police congratulated them on their whole mature behavior and response to this incident. There, the incident should have ended (if we were in the real world).
But, we enter GU’s “Wonderland” or Dante’s “Hell.” 2:00 a.m. next morning: GU’s campus security breaks into the students’ apartment and their bedrooms and seizes their weapons. (The campus security officers do not even know how to handle a gun – the two students’ lives are in danger again.) [LOL] The campus police report that students appeared to be drunk. Well, wake me up at 2:00 a.m. and see how I react! In the real world, we would celebrate that these students are safe and alive, that no one was killed and that no students were raped. [Not sure where the “rape” part comes in but, hey! Who know what Washington state home-invading felons are into?]
Tragically, in GU’s “Wonderland,” these young gentlemen are turned from victims into criminals. Hauled before the university’s disciplinary committee, threatened with expulsion (because they had a gun to protect themselves), they are sentenced “to probation.” Instead of a medal (the real world), punishment is their reward (GU’s “Wonderland”). Curioser and Curioser (Alice in Wonderland, Ch. 2)!
There has not been any statement from the administration with a scintilla of concern or compassion extended to these remarkable students. The administration changed the subject of discussion: “Let’s re-examine GU’s policy on guns.” [I say: Be more like Wyoming Catholic College!]
What about the cura personalis that is the bedrock of GU’s ethos? We could have been mourning “Two funerals and a rape” this weekend. Instead, the heroes who avoided such a catastrophe are punished as villains. What a far cry from our Jesuit ethos! [Luke 22:36!]
In the Catholic tradition, to which I ascribe, every person has a right to defend him or herself and to use appropriate means to save their lives. Apparently not here in GU’s “Wonderland.” As one of the students said afterward, “I would rather be expelled and still be alive, than dead.”
The students living in the Logan Neighborhood are living in one of the most dangerous areas in Spokane. Surely, more needs to be done to provide security for them; maybe then students may find that they do not need guns to protect themselves at night.
Finally, before any new gun policy is enacted, let me suggest that GU’s administrators move out of “Wonderland” and spend a week living in the Logan Neighborhood. Then, perhaps we could draw up a policy for the real world.
Fr. Z kudos to Fr. Hartin.
Gonzaga U’s reaction was complete B as in B, S as in S, of course. This is the usual, liberal let’s blame the victims mentality.
In any event, I am glad the student with the Glock had his head screwed on in the right direction and that everyone is still on their feet.
If I ever get to Spokane, I’d like to buy Father, and those two students, a beer.
And for the readership, please donate to Fr. Z’s…
As a commentator reminds us, Gonzaga also didn’t want to allow students to form a Knights of Columbus Council! Remember that? HERE
I saw this and had to add it, for some levity.