Miguel has touched on University of Texas at Austin Professor Frederick Steiner’s elevation to anti-gun folk hero, for his decision to leave his position because of the passing of campus carry.
The people over at Everytown are now doubling down on this. They are celebrating that campus carry will lead to a “brain drain,” calling for more professors to leave Texas. The comments over at the Everytown Facebook account, as well as on the Rawstory article, fall into two camps (sometimes both):
- I’d never send my kid to a school in Texas/state with campus carry.
- “‘Brain drain?’ People in Texas don’t have brains, yuk yuk yuk (insert Bush joke).”
I don’t know Dr. Steiner. I’ve never met him. I can tell you from his interviews, I don’t like him. In my long academic career, I have met many professors who just didn’t like students. They loved research, writing, fundraising (which comes with taking a cut of any grant money brought in), and the prestige of holding recognized chair in a field. They just didn’t like having to show up in a classroom and interact with students. I hated professors like that and swore that I’d never become one. From the way Steiner just casually insults the (what would be mostly graduate level, since you have to be 21 to get a CCW permit) students of Texas – assuming that they are irresponsible and dangerous, I believe that he is one of those types of professors. He “like[s] fund-raising, obviously,” students, not so much.
But I digress.
The “brain drain” that the anti-gun establishment is hoping for, I don’t think is going to happen. The causal assumption here is that antis are smart and gun people are stupid. My favorite professor as an undergraduate was in the Mechanical Engineering department. He taught Materials for Mechanical Engineers, and is the man who got me interested in Materials Engineering, and Design for Manufacturing. He was also the faculty sponsor for the college gun club – yes, we had a school funded gun club. During DfM, he would bring in samples (the way good profs do) of parts manufactured in different ways. Guess what he brought in as an example of forging? If you guessed an AR-15 upper receiver blank, you are right.
My graduate adviser is/was also a gun guy, and has been a consultant for the firearms industry for years. He actually got me working on my very first firearms related failure analysis while I was a student. We actually got the school to change its policy on firearms on campus (before the state legalized campus carry) in order to bring guns in to do materials testing on them in the lab.
When I started working, one of my colleagues turned out to be the former chief metallurgist of one of the largest firearms and ammunition manufactures in America, and one of the smartest men in the world on brass metallurgy. He is now semi-retired as a consultant and is a adjunct professor at am engineering college in Indiana.
There are a lot of gun guys in Academia. We’re pretty quiet and don’t like to rock the political boat. Engineering and hard science is a lot more conservative than you think. Sure, maybe some professor that teaches “sexism in pre-colonial cave paintings” may flee for the Blue states, but I have total disregard for their un-serious field of study anyway and don’t consider that a loss for the university.
There isn’t going to be a “brain drain” in campus carry states. At most it will be a culling of the heard of useless academics.
For all those anti-gun snobs who look down on Texas and other Red states south of the Mason-Dixon, let me remind you that Texas has consistently been in the to 5 states for economic growth for the last 10 years. It was No. 2 last year, beat only by the North Dakota oil boom. Manufacturing and technical industry is booming in the south. Detroit is hemorrhaging jobs. Alabama is now home to manufacturing for Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Navistar, Mercedes-Benz, and Airbus. Huntsville may be “Rocket City USA” by history, but it’s fast becoming “Motown 2.0.”
I am reminded of stories from history about poor, racist whites, no matter how poor and illiterate they were, no matter the conditions of barefoot squalor they lived in; comforted themselves in the knowledge that they were white and therefore “better” than their black neighbors who might actually work harder and make more money. Today, Blue state liberals, no matter how bad the economy is in their states, no matter how in debt they are, no matter how high their unemployment may be; they take solace in the fact that they are not southerners. It is the same attitude, filled with the same smug bigotry and hatred, and it is just as ugly.