Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Higher Education and the Students 2nd Amendment Right

I have been thinking about this for over a year now. About a year ago, I faced a personal crisis where I feared for my safety. I wanted to pack a gun....Seriously, have you seen the campus safety security? About 10 years younger then me, and no help whatsoever. But after reading the handbook and talking to the administration, I knew that to even put a weapon in my car was grounds for expulsion....Not a good way to start your law career.

That's why Jeff Maxwell's story has caught my eye. Jeff's story is a bit different then mine. He attends a public university, so therefore he does not forego certain rights that I do to enter onto private property. Jeff was also a marine. Which poses a most interesting question: we trust a trained soldier to protect our freedoms, yet we don't trust him to protect his own?

This story promises to be just the kind of case that the Supreme Court is salivatating to hear. Nothing could be better suited to define where are 2nd Amendment "rights" end. With the decision announced last year, we know the court is leaning towards viewing 2nd Amendment right to bear arms as an individual right. If this is so, then it is afforded on of the greatest protections.

Jeff did everything right. He carried a concealed weapons permit. He did leave a weapon anywhere a crazy person could get at it. He did not brandish the weapon. He has extensive experience handling the weapons. The school clings to a state administrative rule, which by the way is not a law created in our house or senate, but a rule promologated by the executive branch of state government. This is a classic case of seperation of powers issues as well as federalism at work.

Oregon War Veteren's Association is helping Maxwell to file suit in federal courts. I believe this is a case to watch, because I would guess that in 2-4 years, this will have worked it's way to the Supreme Court.

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