Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Elephant Guns

That's what I would have named the pro-gun rights club founded in 2003 by a handful of students at my alma mater, Tufts University, home of the Jumbos.

As one would have expected, the creation of such a "radical" organization as Tufts Right to Arms on campus was not without controversy.

Gun Club Fires Up Students

In a Nov. 10, 2003 press release, Tufts Right to Arms (TRA) announced its official recognition by the Tufts Community Union Judiciary (TCU J) as a campus organization worthy of Tufts funding. The TCU J approved the club in a controversial vote heavily covered by the Tufts media. In the press release, TRA defined the organization as "a second amendment rights and firearms training advocacy group aiming to educate students about the benefits and safe use of firearms.” From its inception, TRA faced opposition concerning its creation and funding as critics claimed the club promoted a political agenda, and therefore should receive its funding from the Tufts Republicans.

But I thought it was the Democrats who love guns. Remember when...

Oh, wait. Never mind. This article is dated December 2003. John Kerry hadn't gotten around to ordering his new shotgun and L.L. Bean barn jacket yet.

Tufts students that opposed the club’s formation believe it should be a sub-group of the politically oriented Tufts Republicans. Boyd, however, likened TRA to SETA (Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), saying that TRA is "no more required to be under the Republicans than the above groups are obligated to exist under the Democrats."

Now, there's the inconsistency and disconnect from all things reality-based from the left we've grown to know and love. Speaking of which, here is a more recent story of political ongoings from the campus of Tufts University.

It seems the local chapter of the United Nations Buttlickers Union wanted to observe U.N. Day by lowering the American Flag on the academic quad and replacing it with the Flag of the United Nations. They were then shocked to learn that some of their fellow students actually found such an action to be unacceptable. As Tufts senior Jordana Starr explains:

Let Her Fly

As part of an annual tradition, the IR Directors Leadership Council, the University College of Citizenship and Public Service, the International Club, the Institute for Global Leadership, and Pangea had arranged to hold a celebration of the inefficiency and irrelevance that is the United Nations. During this ceremony, organizers intended to lower the United States flag over the academic quad and raise the UN flag to fly in its place.

A concerned group of Tufts students sent a petition to event organizers and University administrators, upset about the reprehensible treatment planned for the US flag.


Less than 24 hours before the ceremony was scheduled to take place, University Provost Jamshed Bharucha announced a change in venue for the ceremony. After consulting with legal council and US State Department Office of Protocol, Bharucha acquiesced to the petition and stated that the US flag would continue to fly on the Academic Quad flagpole. Moving the event to Fletcher would allow the University to observe proper US flag etiquette and at the same time appease the UN Day organizers who wished to raise the UN flag.

Or so one would have hoped. While the petitioners accepted this compromise, UN Day organizers were disgruntled, it seems. Some responded by accusing the University of bending to "a small fraction" of the student body, and one of the petitioners was actually called up and yelled at for ten minutes. This reaction demonstrates the UN Day organizers' commitment to upholding the true UN legacy: failed diplomacy.