Archive for the ‘Gun Bill’ Category

Crutchfield and Johnson Successfully Make OK Higher Ed a "Gun Free Zone": Burns Hargis and Boren Rejoice!

April 1, 2008

Law enforcement in Oklahoma recently interrupted (alleged) plans for a gruesome massacre on Rogers State University. While attorneys for Tywone Dion Parks argue his Constitutional First Amendment “free speech” rights to threaten to cut off and freeze a woman’s head, kill another man and shoot eight people, students accross Oklahoma were lobbying legislators for their Constitutional Second Amendment rights to defend themselves.

That won’t be necessary, however, because together with the presidents of OU and OSU, educators across the state say their campuses are a “culture of safety,” and there is no need for guns there. They have successfully convinced Senators Mike Johnson (R-Kingfisher) and Johnnie Crutchfield (D-Ardmore)to shelve the bill that the House recently passed – before the senate had an opportunity to vote on it.

Some recently pointed out that we have students who are active military and veterans who have G.I. weapons and government training in how to use them; there are other students who have taken time to attend classes to obtain concealed-carry permits. Why SHOULDN’T those students be allowed to use their weapons and skills to protect themselves and other students in case someone like Tywone Dion Parks actually follows through with his (alleged) plans?

Because, say V.Burns Hargis and David Boren:

University of Oklahoma President David Boren said the bill would hurt recruiting of students and faculty. He said it would pose a dilemma for police trying to determine if a person wielding a weapon is a “deranged gunman or someone who thinks he is doing good vigilante work.”

Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis said mass murderers [and military veterans] Timothy McVeigh and Charles Whitman would qualify to carry guns on campus under terms of the legislation.

McVeigh and Whitman were also not law-abiding citizens, and do not represent the majority of Oklahoma military veterans. This bill would not have made it legal for either McVeigh or Whitman to commit mass murder.

For those who agree with Oklahoma’s higher education elite that the mere presence of a gun in a classroom would distract teachers from teaching and students from learning, this is a happy day. The rest of us apparently need to be more creative in our thinking, so here’s a video from FoxNews to get us started.

Constitutional Protection of Hunting and Fishing Clears House Subcommittee

March 31, 2008

The House Environment and Wildlife Subcommittee voted today to give Oklahomans an opportunity to protect their right to hunt and fish by amending the state Constitution in November.

Senate Joint Resolution 38, by state Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore) and state Sen. Glenn Coffee (R-OKC), would require the Secretary of State to place a state question on the November ballot allowing citizens to determine whether the right to hunt and angle and take game and fish should be protected by the state Constitution. Terrill:

I call this measure the ‘Heritage Bill’ because we have a long tradition of hunting and fishing in this state that precedes statehood by centuries. Our right to hunt and fish is inherent and it deserves constitutional protection. It would be a mistake to turn a blind eye to the actions of liberal activist groups that are targeting outdoor gaming activities around the nation. This bill gives our citizens the chance to step up and protect their rights from being stolen by people who have no respect for our traditions and values.

The resolution will add a new section to the State Constitution that gives all Oklahomans the right to hunt, trap, fish, and take game and fish. The legislation would prevent new state laws from prohibiting anyone from engaging in such activities.

Award winning media personality, avid hunter and fisherman, and host of the television and radio program “Wild Oklahoma,” Ron Black told the committee than a 2007 study by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation showed the economic impact of hunting and angling on Oklahoma is more than $1 billion annually. In addition, hunting and angling keeps wildlife populations in check, reduces auto insurance rates by decreasing the number of deer that could cause accidents and protects agriculture land and products from destruction by deer and fowl, said Black.

Black noted that last year, more than 110,000 deer were taken during the hunting season:

We tend to take for granted in Oklahoma that we will always have the right to hunt and fish and pass those traditions on to our families, but that type of thinking has been a grave mistake in other areas of the country where the right to hunt and fish has been restricted by states, if not taken away completely. Our traditional way of life is under attack by animal rights activists and liberal groups that don’t understand the importance of outdoor gaming on our economy and our food supply. If we don’t use the state Constitution to protect our right to hunt and fish, we won’t have that right for very long.

Terrill noted the bill has received the support of both the Oklahoma Rifle Association and the National Rifle Association.

The measure now heads to the House Natural Resources Committee to await a hearing.

Conspiring to cut off and freeze a woman’s head, kill another man and shoot eight people…Protected by "Free Speech" (?!)

March 21, 2008

Conspiring to cut off and freeze a woman’s head, kill another man and shoot eight people is protected “free speech,” according to Attorney Jackson M., Zanerhaft, defense attorney for Tywone Dion Parks. Parks is facing a felony charge of planning or conspiring to perform acts of violence, reports The Oklahoman.

Parks is a (now former) Rogers State University student, and the people targeted in the murder plot were associated with Rogers State University in Claremore, OK. The Case File CF-2008-123 records the account of Parks’ alledged plans included in the police report:

…Planned to cut off the head of Paula Blalock and stick it in his freezer by obtaining a small ax and practicing the same by cutting off the head of a dog.

Planned to commit violence of kill Brandon Gaffney by having weapons and outlining plans in writing.

Further planning to commit a Rogers State Massacre involving the shooting of eight students and having weapons and having a plan of action.

Ironically, if Parks had not been apprehended prior to carrying out his plans, law-abiding students at Rogers State University, under current Oklahoma law, would not have been able to excercise their constitutional rights to bear arms and protect themselves; yet Parks is asserting a rather bizarre interpretation of his constitutional right to free speech as his defense in this case.

Legislation is currently being considered in the Oklahoma legislature to allow students with military training and Oklahoma concealed-carry permits to carry weapons on campus to protect themselves in the event of just such an attempted massacre.

Loaded or Unloaded: Campus Security Poll

March 14, 2008

In light of recent campus shootings, legislators and educators in Oklahoma are discussing the role of guns in campus safety.

Oklahoma House Bill 2513 passed the house yesterday, and moves on to the Oklahoma Senate, according to a report in The Oklahoman. This bill has been amended to allow certain faculty to carry guns and:

…would restrict eligibility to students and faculty members who are active military members; or were honorably discharged from the military, National Guard or Reserves; or had received at least 72 hours of training from the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, the agency that trains Oklahoma law officers.

To get a concealed handgun permit, persons must be at least 21 and have had training in the use of handguns.

Many educators are opposed to the proposed legislation. Mike Shelton (D-OKC):

The leadership of every college in the state is against this bill, yet the House has voted against the wishes of the individuals with the most knowledge about campus safety. I believe families, faced with the prospect of a gun-toting campus, will choose to send their children elsewhere, particularly out-of-state students who would otherwise come to Oklahoma.

We would like to know what OKPNS readers think.

Correction: Burns Hargis Does NOT Support Bill Allowing Students to Defend Themselves

March 12, 2008

Last updated 3/12/08

Questions have arisen lately about why only criminals and former students who’ve gone off their meds should be allowed to carry guns on our University campuses. New Oklahoma State University president, V. Burns Hargis, does NOT think the law-abiding students should be able to defend themselves against an attack.

The Elizabeth Nichols, of the Daily O’Collegian, is reporting,

President Burns Hargis said he supports the Faculty Council’s vote Tuesday to send a resolution to the Oklahoma Legislature promoting “a culture of safety” and denouncing House Bill 2513, which would allow students to carry concealed weapons on campus.

Although the bill would allow students to carry weapons, it does not allow faculty to carry them. Burns Hargis said, “That’ll give you real incentive not to fail anybody.”

The Tulsa World is reporting that some educators would like to amend the bill to include the right of faculty and staff to carry weapons.

Coburn’s Block May Change Strategy for Gun Bill

October 3, 2007

By Elana Schor

One Democratic leader suggested Tuesday that a gun-purchasing measure prioritized after the April shootings at Virginia Tech may move forward despite the objections of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who recently blocked a push to fast-track the bill to passage.

Shepherded to the floor by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the bill would provide grant money to states to expand the national database that gun dealers use for background checks. Coburn objected to unanimous passage of the bill last week, protesting its price tag and potential effect on veterans who buy guns.

Schumer, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and other Democrats are aiming for targeted changes that would resolve Coburn’s concerns, but the Democrats’ caucus vice chairman appeared open Tuesday to trying another approach. Read more…