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Posted: 4/21/2007 10:34:31 AM EDT
ProGun Professor fired for VT re-enactment
Professor axed for VT stunt: Re-enacted tragedy to tout pro-gun perspective
By Casey Ross
Boston Herald Reporter

Saturday, April 21, 2007 - Updated: 12:00 AM EST

An Emmanuel College professor has been fired after re-enacting the Virginia Tech massacre in his classroom in order to air a pro-gun viewpoint that offended students at the Catholic liberal arts school, the professor charged yesterday.

Nicholas Winset said he was terminated and permanently barred from campus following a Wednesday lecture in which he dramatized the massacre to show that deranged gunman Cho Seung-Hui could have been stopped if another student had been carrying a gun.

“If there were more guns in society, the response time to the (rampage) might have been much faster,” said Winset, an adjunct professor of financial accounting. “Someone might have been able to do something to stop it.”

In an interview yesterday, Winset also decried media coverage of the massacre, saying, “Just because everyone is portraying this as the national tragedy of the year doesn’t mean it is. More people died of AIDS today” than in the massacre, he said.

Administrators at the college apparently did not appreciate Winset’s classroom message. They quickly fired him via a one-page letter delivered by courier yesterday.

“You are hereby directed not to enter the College campus or any College owned property at any time for any reason,” the letter states. “Also enclosed . . .is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts form, How to File for Unemployment Insurance Benefits.”

A spokeswoman for Emmanuel College, Molly Honan, would not give the college’s rationale for firing Winset. She said the school’s policy is not to comment on personnel issues.

Winset, 37, of Newton called the college’s decision to fire him “pathetic,” and said it will have a “chilling effect” on professors’ willingness to engage in open discussions about controversial issues.

“A classroom is supposed to be a place for academic exploration,” he said. “It’s just gotten so politically correct. It’s sad that we have come to this point.”

Winset said he gave students a disclaimer before he started his Virginia Tech re-enactment, which involved him pointing a Magic Marker at students and saying, “Pow.” He then had another student shoot him with an imaginary gun to make the point that Cho could have been stopped by another student with a firearm.

Winset said the skit was meant to be a somewhat tenuous segue into an assignment asking students to examine whether the massacre has had an impact on the financial markets, which have remained healthy in tragedy’s aftermath. He said he wanted students to see that intense media focus on a story does not always mean it has the same relevance to the markets or to society in general.”
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 10:39:51 AM EDT
My bad!  Sorry for the DUPE
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 10:42:12 AM EDT
I hope he finds work again soon.
Link Posted: 4/21/2007 10:43:16 AM EDT
I don't think he should have been fired, but why go into this issue in a Finance class? I know he gave the story about the shooting's effect on markets, but that's crap. He is pro-gun, which is good, but the problem is that he had a captive audience and used that position as a soapbox to expound upon his political beliefs. Those kids or their parents are paying for a Finance class, so they should get a Finance class, not have some professor go off on a tangent about gun-related issues. Some may disagree, but if a Western Literature professor used an hour of paid-for time to go on a rant about how we should all turn in our guns, any logical person would be asking "just what the hell does this have to do with Western Lit?"......and they'd be right. Let's not get into the habit of supporting a professor's grandstanding just because their beliefs are in-line with our own.
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