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Gun Nut Intimidation of Academics


Kutztown University in Pennsylvania has decided to allow guns on its campus. This is a terrible move, but this isn’t the reason for the post. Rather, it’s the vitriol anyone even questioning the idea has received from gun nuts. This makes what happened to me seem reasonable by comparison.

This past week, Kutztown students, faculty and staff were first learning of the university’s new weapons policy which opens the campus to guns. The new policy, according to the Morning Call, will give ”Kutztown more gun freedom than most of the state-owned universities, even more than the sample policy suggested by the state’s attorneys,” despite statements to the contrary by the university’s president, Javier Cevallos. It didn’t take long before the radical, pro-gun playbook showed its ugly face. Shortly after he first heard about the policy under consideration at an April meeting of Kutztown’s Administrative Council, the president of the faculty union, Dr. Paul Quinn, began receiving anonymous death threats. Faculty first learned of these threats at a May 9th meeting of the union’s Representative Council and the Morning Call reported on the threats this past Friday.

I spoke with Quinn over the weekend about what happened.

Quinn, a physics professor, said after his classes on Thursday, May 2, he walked into his office to find that someone slipped a folded note under his office door. “At first, I didn’t think anything of it,” he said. “I opened the note and it said, ‘Drop the gun issue or else.’”

Quinn said that after he read the note he immediately made several calls, including one to the Executive Director of Kutztown’s Human Resources department. She told Quinn to go to the police immediately. “I alerted my Chair and my Chair said yes, go.” Quinn and a union representative met with Kutztown University’s Director of Police Services and Acting Chief of Police, John Dillon shortly afterwards. “The only time I could get there was around two o’clock,” Quinn explained. “I had an office hour from 1:30 to 3:00. So, I normally would have been in my office. I went at two o’clock to deliver that note to Public Safety. When I got back an hour and a half later, there was a second note under the door. The second note said, ‘What scares you more, guns or death?’”

“What this means,” Quinn said, “is that someone was watching.”

“What’s weird is that I have not taken a position on this new policy,” Quinn said.

I mean, at least I was actually attacking American gun culture and calling for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

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  • Bill Shankley

    I mean, at least I was actually attacking American gun culture and calling for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment preaching heresy.


    We do have a state religion — it’s just not the bog- or bastard-Calvinism that it looks like at first glance, or marketolatry.

    • Leeds man

      “Some people believe gun culture is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that”

      • Bill Shankly

        Well done…

      • Mondfledermaus

        Why is a Leeds man quoting Bill Shankley??

        • Leeds man

          I always had a soft spot for Liverpool, even without this;

          At the final whistle Shanks sent the Liverpool players to us at the Leeds end, applauding us and Don sent the Leeds players to The Kop where the Liverpool fans chanted CHAMPIONS at our players. An incredibly moving night and great sportsmanship orchestrated by Shankly.

        • Red Sanders, actually.

  • efgoldman

    Yeah, but he teaches physics, ya’ know. I mean, who knows, he could start teaching the actual way guns work, and what certain kinds of force does to certain kinds of tissue, and survival rates…
    All he needs is a couple big pig carcasses, CSI style.
    I mean who could be more of a threat to the Second Amendment. The campus priest? Meh. How many divisions Bushmasters does he have.

    Maybe heads on pikes wasn’t such a bad idea…

    • Bugs Bunny

      If students in Quinn’s classes can bring guns, then Quinn gets to bring a thermonuclear weapon.

      That should put a quick end to any campus violence. I’m not saying we won’t get our hair mussed, but 10-20 million, tops!

  • Hanspeter

    The comments on that article are priceless.

    • LittlePig

      That’s one word for it. PsychoPenisCompensators would be another (if English was agglutinative, anyway)

      • Pupienus

        English is glutin sensitive.

  • Mean Mister Mustard

    Someone needs to create a diary; you know, for the sake of History.

    • efgoldman

      `History is written by the winners’ – George Orwell

      • Ian

        Tell that to the Mongols.

        • Bill Murray

          did you not read the Secret History of the Mongols?

  • herr doktor bimler

    An armed society is a society of politely-worded death threats.

    • DrDick

      You have obviously not spent nearly enough time in redneck bars in Oklahoma.

      • herr doktor bimler

        To be honest, the language of the second note could be improved. I would have written ‘Which scares you more, guns or death?’

        • Tom in Texas

          What, no live cartridge included with the note like they do it in Iraq? Buncha pikers.

    • LittlePig

      What Brother Heinlein noted is how an armed society is polite AFTER all the folks with poor impulse control have been killed off. (That’s certainly how he meant it in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, though ‘out the airlock’ was the option).

      We’re still not getting enough for natural selection to play out like that, but given the religious fervor gun folks are getting into these days, it’s only a matter of time.

      The meek will inherit the earth, or at least the United States.

  • Well, considered the ability of most of the GUNFAIL supporters, I guess they might as well slip those notes under EVERY door, because they are as likely to hit innocent bystanders as anybody who actually opposes their fetish.

    • Unhinged Liberal

      Well, considered the ability of most of the GUNFAIL supporters, I guess they might as well slip those notes under EVERY door, because they are as likely to hit innocent bystanders as anybody who actually opposes their fetish.

      Yes, clearly we should hold tens of millions responsible for the act of one person who is unknown at this time. The seriousness of the offense allows it…assuming there really was a note.

      • Malaclypse

        You are obviously right – all gun violence is a series of unpredictable events committed by unrelated individuals, and should never be looked at in a systemic way.

        Fucking pattern recognition, how does it work?

      • Hogan

        assuming there really was a note

        Or a place called Kutztown. I mean seriously, I’m supposed to believe that?

  • herr doktor bimler

    “What’s weird is that I have not taken a position on this new policy,” Quinn said.

    Failure to support is the objective equivalent of opposition.
    They didn’t hear a ‘Harrumph’ from that man.

    • he better watch his ass.

      • Did he put it between two bales of hay to see if it would starve to death?

        • Lee Rudolph

          The Secret History of the Mongols is going to bury Dan Brown.

          • herr doktor bimler

            That’s about the only form of execution Genghiz didn’t use.

            • To be fair, he only used death by chocolate twice.

  • DrDick

    Thankfully our governor vetoed a bill passed by our Neanderthal legislature which would have allowed guns on all state college campuses here. I have been threatening to bring my .41 magnum to class if it went into effect and offer the students a deal. If they would all promise to leave theirs at home, so would I.

  • bgn

    Apropos of gun-culture outrages, see this sneaky bit of plagiarism (see update below)

  • i grew up in allentown (it’s amazing that the morning call still exists), and my mother went to kutztown to get a teaching certificate for nursery school and i have to admit: i’m astonished. kutztown is in pennsylvania dutch farm country, which i definitely do not associate with gun fetishists.

    • NBarnes

      Only takes one gun nut to fill the role being cast here. That’s part of what brings the crazy; gotta figure there’s at least one person crazed enough to make death threats in every single city in the country, no matter how sensible and liberal.

    • Pupienus

      It’s also deep in the Alabama portion of Pennyslavia.

  • Matt

    Ah, gun nutz: always ready to demonstrate exactly why we need to strengthen the background check system to keep paranoid lunatics SUCH AS THE GUN NUTZ from killing everybody…

  • BigHank53

    How big a gun would Mr. Note need to carry before he was willing to sign his name?

    • DrDick

      A howitzer at minimum.

  • bloviator

    “I alerted my Chair and my Chair said yes, go.”

    Hmmpf. I figured it was only the gun nuts who thought they were Clint Eastwood.

  • Thanks for the mention, Erik! This story just gets more complicated and weirder the more I look into it.

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