After reading this, it makes you wonder whether or not it happened because the guy was advocating a repeal of the school’s gun ban or because he was a conservative (emphasis added):
Sipping soda from a straw and leaning on his elbows at Perkins, Troy Scheffler seems harmless enough. The 31-year-old Hamline University grad student resembles a post-Pulp Fiction John Travolta—slightly overstuffed, with graying sideburns and a small, tense smile. It’s easy to imagine him hitting on a girl at a dance club.
But Scheffler is packing heat. A gun-toting concealed carry permit holder, he rarely leaves home without his sidearm.
On April 16, colleges were rocked by the news coming out of Virginia Tech. Initial reports were sketchy and confused, but by the end of the day a clear picture emerged: An angry and deranged Seung-Hui Cho had killed 32 students and faculty before turning his gun on himself in the largest mass shooting in American history.
In the aftermath, officials at Hamline University sought to comfort their 4,000 students. David Stern, the vice president for academic and student affairs, sent a campus-wide email offering extra counseling sessions for those who needed help coping.
Scheffler had a different opinion of how the university should react. Using the email handle “Tough Guy Scheffler,” Troy fired off his response: Counseling wouldn’t make students feel safer, he argued. They needed protection. And the best way to provide it would be for the university to lift its recently implemented prohibition against concealed weapons.
“Ironically, according to a few VA Tech forums, there are plenty of students complaining that this wouldn’t have happened if the school wouldn’t have banned their permits a few months ago,” Scheffler wrote. “I just don’t understand why leftists don’t understand that criminals don’t care about laws; that is why they’re criminals. Maybe this school will reconsider its repression of law-abiding citizens’ rights.”
After stewing over the issue for two days, Scheffler sent a second email to University President Linda Hanson, reiterating his condemnation of the concealed carry ban and launching into a flood of complaints about campus diversity initiatives, which he considered reverse discrimination.
“In fact, three out of three students just in my class that are ‘minorities’ are planning on returning to Africa and all three are getting a free education on my dollar,” Scheffler wrote with thinly veiled ire. “Please stop alienating the students who are working hard every day to pay their tuition. Maybe you can instruct your staff on sensitivity towards us ‘privileged white folk.’”
After clicking send, Scheffler didn’t think much more about his emails. He’d never felt his conservative views were welcome on campus. In classes, he was often shouted down by students—sometimes even by professors.
So Hamline officials took swift action. On April 23, Scheffler received a letter informing him he’d been placed on interim suspension. To be considered for readmittance, he’d have to pay for a psychological evaluation and undergo any treatment deemed necessary, then meet with the dean of students, who would ultimately decide whether Scheffler was fit to return to the university.
The consequences were severe. Scheffler wasn’t allowed to participate in a final group project in his course on Human Resources Management, which will have a big impact on his final grade. Even if he’s reinstated, the suspension will go on his permanent record, which could hurt the aspiring law student.
“‘Oh, he’s the crazy guy that they called the cops on.’ How am I supposed to explain that to the Bar Association?” Scheffler asks.
He has also suffered embarrassment. Scheffler obeyed the campus ban and didn’t go to class, but his classmate, Kenny Bucholz, told him a police officer was stationed outside the classroom. “He had a gun and everything,” Bucholz says. Dean Julian Schuster appeared at the beginning of class to explain the presence of the cop, citing discipline problems with a student. Although Schuster never mentioned Scheffler by name, it didn’t take a scholar to see whose desk was empty.
Scheffler has tried to get answers from the university, to no avail. On April 25, he called President Hanson’s office to request a meeting, but when he told the secretary his name, she claimed the computer system had crashed and she couldn’t access the president’s schedule. She promised to call Scheffler back, but more than a week later, he’s still waiting.
All that for what? Expressing the viewpoint that students should be allowed to arm themselves against another Va. Tech massacre, as well as listing other grievances with the school? Apparently, Scheffler is being punished for ‘thought crimes’ and, astoundingly, we learn from the Hamline admin via implication that requesting to be able to assert your 1st Amendment rights, along with airing out your other grievances, is grounds to question your mental state.
Captain Ed had the chance to interview Troy Scheffler Saturday to talk about what happened at Hamline:
I was curious about what kind of person Troy was, and so I looked forward to meeting with him yesterday after our intrepid producer Matt Reynolds made the arrangements. I didn’t think he’d be a Seung-hui Cho type at all, but I was very much surprised when Troy turned out to be as mild-mannered as anyone I had ever met. He didn’t harbor any bitterness nor even anger over his situation, only a resigned bemusement. He, in fact, is a very nice guy caught up in the academic manifestations of political correctness.
Mitch and I asked him about what happened in the two e-mails he sent to Janet Hanson and David Stern (who declined to appear on our program). Troy told us that he sent the e-mail to President Hanson first as a reply to the counseling offer, but that he never used any kind of threatening language at all. In fact, he stressed that he believed in dialogue to resolve disputes. He referenced a recent incident where a female student had sprayed a swastika in a bathroom and said how “idiotic” that kind of activism was.
And, at least at first, Hanson appeared to agree. Troy says that she responded by offering to meet him the following Monday in her office to discuss his concerns. However, that morning, he received a letter by courier from Stern informing Troy of his suspension and the rather Staliniesque terms of potential reinstatement. At that point, Troy sent the second e-mail complaining about his treatment and pointing out the hypocrisy inherent in Hamline’s so-called diversity efforts.
As it turns out, Troy wasn’t even referring to the main campus when he complained about the gun-free zone. He told us that security actually does a good job protecting the main campus, but he attended classes in the school’s downtown Minneapolis facilities at night — which is not a safe place to be, and where Hamline provides no security. Since Troy has a state license to carry a concealed weapon — which means he’s passed the background checks and training requirements — all he wanted to do was to get their permission to have the opportunity to defend himself in case he got attacked.
So far, the school hasn’t budged. Troy doesn’t really want to return there anyway under the circumstances, but he worries that the incompletes he had to take and the record of the suspension will damage his chances to get into law school. In fact, he has just about despaired of that career at this point, and isn’t sure what he will do now.
Read the rest here.