The Arizona legislature is considering a proposal to authorize the carrying of weapons on campus by faculty members. The idea is simple—in case of trouble in the classroom, somebody needs to be able to blast away at problem students. But the question arises, should all faculty members be armed?
Adjuncts, for example—part-timers, "freeway fliers," paid by the course—are often burning with resentment over their low status and high student debt payments. They are more likely to be part of the problem on campus, more likely to need to be kept in line by others with guns. My suggestion would be that adjuncts and part-timers should be prohibited from carrying guns on campus.
And what about the assistant professors, the untenured junior faculty? They face a lot of stress and anxiety over the tenure process and the demands of the "publish or perish" system. Like the adjuncts, they are more likely to be part of the problem—and thus should be kept away from guns.
And then there are the women, the minorities, and the gays—always complaining about "underrepresentation" and "equity issues," always whining about pay differentials. Guns must be kept out of their hands, too.
The lesson is clear: guns on campus should be restricted to the hands of the senior professors—the old white men. They know the importance of preserving order.
Fortunately the legislature in Arizona is dominated by old white men. I am confident that, when it comes to deciding which faculty should carry guns on campus, they will do the right thing.