Brian Fanney of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette delved in detail today into something we mentioned when the legislature was passing the bill to require colleges to allow guns on campuses in the hands of permitted holders.
The eStem charter school high school rising in two buildings on the UALR campus means that most of the campus will remain off-limits to guns because of a federal law that prevents guns within 1,000 feet of a school. Drawing circles around buildings to be used by students will exempt much of the campus and eStem boss John Bacon said he intends to set the zone “as wide as possible.”
If there’s one thing mightier than the 2nd Amendment in Arkansas it’s the Walton-financed charter school junta, so I suspect Bacon will get what he wants. The secret deal that put eStem on the UALR campus in the first place still rankles more than a few people in Little Rock who see it as a UALR investment in destruction of the local school district. Ongoing is a movement to ensure that the eStem truly serves a population equivalent to that served by LRSD schools.
But never mind that. Here’s my idea. Let’s put a charter school on EVERY college campus in Arkansas. Gun problem solved. The Waltons can afford to underwrite it.
I await word from the gun nutters on this UALR loophole. Several of them chastised me severely the other day when I noted that you could make a legal argument for college autonomy under the Arkansas Constitution’s Amendment 33 and do as the University of Michigan has done to use that power to override any state effort to open campuses to guns. (Wishful thinking, I acknowledged.) Haven’t I heard of the 2nd Amendment, the nutters asked? What is it I don’t understand about the words “shall not be infringed”?
I was surprised to read in Fanney’s account that Rep. Charlie Collins, one of the nuttiest of the gun nuts and sponsor of the college carry legislation, seemed to accede to the primacy of federal law when it comes to guns near schools. Many in his cohort do not, U.S. Supreme Court precedent notwithstanding.
Charter school rights vs. gun rights. Waltons v. NRA. Now there’s a big shootout if there ever was one.