Professors clash at political science gun symposium

By Ashley Linder

April 16, 2014

College Republicans and Democrats pulled the trigger on gun control debate a symposium hosted by the groups on Thursday, April 10.

Jonathan Euchner, assistant professor of political science at Missouri Western, served as a monitor for the debate at in Spratt Education Hall.

Panelists Edwin Taylor, assistant professor of political science, Steven Greiert, professor of history, and City Councilmember P.J. Kovac sat in the front of the room as dozens of students filled the seats

The panelists gave their viewpoints on numerous questions, both prepared and submitted by the student audience. Each panelists was given two minutes to respond to questions over the true interpretation of the second amendment, permit processes and gun control effects on schools and mass shootings.

Taylor sided more liberally than the other two panelists. He tended to side with the Democratic Party and their belief that more guns did not mean more safety.

When asked if he believed guns should be allowed on campus, he responded with a firm “no.”

“You cannot shoot your way to a safe society. I think it is a terrible idea,” Taylor said. “I give out a lot of C’s, D’s and F’s, and it is a reasonable and legitimate fear that when I’m having a conversation with a student about grades, I don’t know if he’ll pull out a pencil or a gun.”

Taylor also did not believe that arming faculty and staff would be a good idea.

“In kindness, I think some of my colleagues are crazy, myself probably among them, and I don’t know if I would want them to have guns,” Taylor said.

Kovac disagreed with Taylor, and brought up the two shootings at Fort Hood, Texas.

“With that logic, it’s like Fort Hood, there have been two shootings. Those people are trained, that is their livelihood. Why in the world after one shooting, is Fort Hood a gun-free zone? It makes no sense, you can’t tell me that if they had guns that that guy wouldn’t have been stopped in a heartbeat,” Kovac said. “Same thing goes for a campus.”

Greiert, a Conservative, admitted whole-heartly that he disagreed with Taylor.

“The basis of the second amendment is rights versus powers. There is no parallel. This is an individual right,” Greiert said. “It is, as it’s said, ‘the right of the people.’ The militia are citizen soldiers. The well regulated militia is the people. So I believe it is the people who have the right to own a gun, not a militia.”