The Young Conservatives of Texas printed a humorous Top Ten Gun Safety Tips flyer and is now in threat of being disbanded by Lone Star College–Tomball (What the hell kind of college name is that? Did the college get married and change its name?). The Volokh Conspiracy has a discussion of the First Amendment implications, but if you look at the top ten list there, you may note that another issue is at play here: Plagiarism!
That’s right; the list is taken from my Top Ten Gun Safety tips t-shirt (in stock now!), with a few minor edits (for some reason, #4 is missing the punchline). I’m guessing the most controversial one is #10 “Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, such as at a Hippy or a Communist.” Now, a lot of people have crticized that line because it doesn’t use the preferred spelling of “hippie,” and I don’t really have a response to that. But do some people think it constitutes an actual threat?
Come on! This isn’t “dead baby humor” trying to be offensive. This is straight up conservatives like guns and don’t like hippies and Communists humor. It’s about as mild as “Why does the chicken cross the road?” for this site. It’s actually making fun of conservative bravado in a way, so you could actually call it quite nuanced — except that makes it sound gay. Anyway, I even remember one Simpsons episode that made jokes about shooting hippies (and graphically depicted it — it was awesome!). Hippies aren’t even real people. They’re just made up. As for threatening to point a gun at Communists, that’s like threatening to point a gun at Nazis. Reagan killed them all in the eighties anyway.
Anyway, Brian S. Nelson speaking on behalf of the Lone Star College System responded to FIRE’s free speech claim saying:
“The mention of firearms and weapons on college campuses – and in specific LSCS – Tomball – brings fear and concern to students, faculty and staff ‐ which translates into a ‘material interference with the operation of the school or the rights of others’.”
So basically you can have the First Amendment and the Second Amendment but don’t try to combine the two into one freedom peanut butter cup and talk about guns, because that’s verboten. So, I guess that can’t even talk about Heller in their Constitutional law class. Really, is our freedom of speech limited by what can scare sissies? In America, the last people we’re ever supposed to be concerned about are sissies. If it were up the sissies, we’d have the queen on our money right now. I hate that woman. I don’t want her anywhere near my money.
Anyway, just for the the Young Conservative of Texas, here’s a rewrite of item ten:
“Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction, such as at a Hippy or a Communist or a college administrator.”
Then again, that’s kinda repetitive. Of course, this could be some brilliant ploy by the Lone Star College system. They’ll have a meeting for anyone who felt threatened by the flyer, and then they’ll shoot all those people for being Communists (or hippies). That’s the Texas I know.