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Too many Alaskans, other Americans cower at the risks of freedom

  • Author: Paul Jenkins
    | Alaska opinion
  • Updated: June 26, 2016
  • Published February 20, 2016

There is entirely too much loud, mean talk nowadays, too much lunacy, quackery and bold lies from the likes of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump -- not to mention newspapers and television talking heads and Barack Obama.

Somebody should do something. After all, the Founding Fathers could not have imagined today's rampant, destructive wackdoodlery when they crafted their pie-in-the-sky protections for Americans, protections that do little more than interfere with government.

Our path is clear. We must ditch the pesky First Amendment, regulate the dummies into a respectful murmur and crank down the nation's political thermostat. Their yapping scares us. Muffling them would make this a better, more orderly nation. Most important -- this is key -- it would make us all feel safer.

There are other problems too. Far too many of you -- you know who you are -- hide stuff in your homes and cars; stuff that could harm the rest of us, and -- it goes almost without saying -- children. You have stuff that could trigger suicides or murders or gruff talk in a fit of pique. Sharp objects. Pointy things. Drugs. Things that go bang! Booze. Twinkies. Then there are the iffy books and videos and ... those other things.

Absolutely frightening.

While we are at it, we could dump the Fourth Amendment too so government can take a peek and protect you -- and us -- from you. If you have nothing to hide, why would you object? We would all feel safer. Aw, heck, let's suspend the entire outdated, ill-advised Bill of Rights and allow government, which already ignores most of the founding documents, to protect us.

Some are already ahead of the curve -- the University of Alaska Board of Regents, for example. It is determined to make us all safer.

The university system, it turns out, is no fan of guns. While allowing them on campuses if they are kept in a designated locker or locked car -- one of the worst places to leave one, by the way -- it is a little antsy about concealed carry, never mind the "keep and bear arms" thingy in the Second Amendment or the Alaska Constitution's Article 1, Section 19, oh, or state law.

Does it strike you as incongruous that the federal and state constitutions apply here but not there; that the Board of Regents in 1995 decided to ban concealed carry despite state law to the contrary; that state law does not apply on campuses but it does everyplace else? Simply baffling.

To fix that, Fairbanks Republican Sen. Pete Kelly, always a convenient lightening rod for leftist bolts of self-righteous tomfoolery, introduced Senate Bill 174, triggering hysteria from the usual suspects. He stands accused of wasting the Legislature's time; of "misdirecting" public attention from the fiscal crisis; of grandstanding; of being hypocritical; and, perhaps worse, of failure to do right. So much for simply wanting the law followed.

His measure would allow campus concealed carry and return firearms regulation to the state. Kelly accepted -- even says he supports -- most of the regents and university administration's policy recommendations to improve his bill. But, he said, he does not accept barring concealed carry at university events.

If concealed carry is approved for UA campuses, as it should be, the move would not plow new ground. The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that eight states -- Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin -- allow campus concealed carry. A ninth, Texas, last year approved concealed carry starting in August. Utah is the only state where public colleges and universities lack authority to ban concealed carry, the NCSL says.

If there is a common thread linking Utah's 10 campuses and those of other systems allowing concealed carry, it is this: Problems virtually are nonexistent. That, of course, is no surprise to rational people. Those legally carrying on campus are the same ones who legally carry off campus. There are, day to day, in places where law-abiding people legally carry weapons concealed, very few problems with any of them.

The emotional arguments against concealed carry -- about suicides, about angry people whipping out a gun to shoot counselors or teachers -- are threadbare, specious and disingenuous. Make no mistake, there already are guns on UA campuses. Bad people could do bad things today. Just like every day. Signs and rules will not deter them. It would be nice if there were an armed good guy someplace close if the balloon goes up. Even the belief there could be one might be enough to head it off.

It is easy for those opposing concealed carry to play "what if," but this is no game. It is about the denial of selected constitutional rights in the delusional hope it will make us safer.

There is no safety in any of that.

Paul Jenkins is editor of the, a division of Porcaro Communications.

The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email Send submissions shorter than 200 words to or click here to submit via any Web browser.