Why consult experts when an echo chamber will do

When you want to talk about global warming, the first people you go to are climate-change deniers, right?

When you want to talk about the rights of LGBT or racial minorities, you get your local Grand Wizard, right?


Of course not. Well, of course not if you want to be taken seriously and have a proper conversation on the topic. Right?

When the University of Texas laid out their “campus carry rules”, one stand-out was a requirement to carry without a round in the chamber.

This is profoundly stupid.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what 4 experts have to say on the matter, including our own Karl Rehn of KR Training, and the legendary Bill Rogers and John Farnam:

UT Alumnus Karl Rehn concurs, stating, “In the most likely scenario, those that want to carry at UT are going to arrive on campus with a round chambered and will have to handle their gun, most likely in the awkward, cramped space inside their vehicle, to un-chamber the round and reholster before leaving the vehicle. That’s a far more likely scenario for a negligent discharge than someone simply unholstering and putting the gun in a storage locker—and the working group has already rejected that idea as ‘too dangerous.’”

UT keeps talking about “safety”, yet this requirement works against that very desire on many levels.

“The weight of the deliberation was that we were going to go on the side of safety, as opposed to having the tactical advantage of having loaded weapons on campus,” [UT President Gregory] Fenves said.

[Full Story]

That’s fine. You can poo-poo all the “tactical” reasoning as to why empty-chamber carry is a bad idea. Like I said, there are many reasons why empty-chamber is a bad idea, and in this discussion we can discard most of them in favor of just looking at what UT itself claims to want, which is safety. Fenves said it right there: they want safety above all things.

So tell me how forcing people to handle their guns leads to greater safety? This is as opposed to leaving your gun holstered and not touching it at all? Please answer the question. Please articulate how this is better, safer.

The thing is, UT didn’t consult any experts.

Asked later to point to which experts the school relied upon, spokesman Gary Susswein declined to do so.

He said the working group “did not formally hear from outside experts,” but that members spoke individually with law enforcement officials and others. He noted that the method “mirrors the policy used by the Israeli military.”

And he added that working group members with military experience “also used this approach at various times during their service.”

If they had gone to any actual industry experts, they’d be parading them around because it would certainly deflect the criticism. In fact, they flat out admit they didn’t hear from any outside experts – just anecdotal evidence. And frankly, if you know anything about those “sources”, you know they are questionable. This is akin to saying that I spend some time looking at the sky and reading weather.com, so I can speak to climate change.

But I know why such groups never consult with true experts: because they’d hear things they don’t want to hear.

You’d expect such intellectual dishonesty from Fox News or MSNBC. Not so much from a supposed institution of higher learning. And even worse when policy, rules, and/or laws are being made.

You are welcome to hate guns all you want. You are welcome to crusade for their banishment from the face of this Earth. But at least be intellectually honest about it, else you’re just a shyster and deserving of no respect.

8 thoughts on “Why consult experts when an echo chamber will do

  1. It’s not about safety. We all know this. We are talking about UT Austin here. They do not want their staff and student body to be able to defend themselves. So why would they ever consult people who actually know anything on the subject? Doing so would never give them the echo response they require.

    • I’ll take them at their word — that they want safety (however it is that they define safety). And if we follow their line of reasoning, proposals such as this will not give them the results they want. If they were willing to engage in proper discussion, they’d be able to learn that.

  2. You are far more trusting than I am. I find the older I get the less faith I have in the motives of those in power that have proven themselves to be counter the interests of freedom.

    • Oh I totally get where you’re coming from. Please don’t take this as not being cautious and skepticial of their motivations and intent.

      But I’ll take them at their word, because we cannot win this argument by presenting them with arguments they’ve already rejected. If they are going to claim “safety” then we must show them how this is unsafe — and unsafe within how they define “safety”. Basically, defeat them with their own words. 🙂

      • John, I know you are both cautious and skeptical. Good traits to possess these days.

        My issue and point is these people do not want to hear anything outside of their beliefs. These are the same kind of people who get themselves into a tizzy and require safe spaces and counseling when opposing views are expressed on campus. You can show them the light. They will still insist it’s dark.

        • I’d like to think there are still reasonable people in this world, and that they still outnumber the (willfully) ignorant.

          Gotta keep hope alive. 🙂

          • When 71% of those polled would still vote for Hillary even if she were indicted…. I find it hard to have hope.

            One of my T-shirts sorta sums it up… “You can give peace a chance. I’ll cover you in case that does not work out.”

          • Hopefully she’ll be indicted and have to withdraw from the race.

            But I must admit — there’s part of me that wants to see her win. Not that I really want it, but imagine the 4-years of comedy gold with having Bill as First Lady. 😉

Comments are closed.