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Creighton University Strips First Amendment Rights of Students Over Gun Pics

Creighton University in Nebraska, a Jesuit-Catholic university, stripped a freedom-oriented youth organization, the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), of its First Amendment rights when the college forced the group to stop displaying posters that showed images of firearms. 

Creighton University Strips First Amendment Rights of Students Over Gun Pics

(Lost_in_the_Midwest photo / Shutterstock)

While many college campuses, unfortunately, ban guns even for lawful, adult students and campus visitors, it seems that administrators at some universities can’t even bear the thought of their students seeing a picture of a firearm.

Such is the case at Creighton University in Nebraska, a Jesuit-Catholic university, where student group Young Americans for Liberty (YAL)—an Austin, Texas-based freedom-oriented youth organization—was recently forced to stop displaying posters that showed images of firearms.

YAL chapter members at Creighton recently carried “Print Guns, Not Money” posters on campus, attempting to make the point that the government printing more money doesn’t solve any problems while firearms ownership does, since all Americans have a right to self-defense. The administration, however, forced YAL members to stop because the posters contained images of guns, and one of YAL's regional directors was escorted off campus for carrying the sign.

When YAL’s chapter leader at Creighton, Mason Wood, attempted to submit the proper paperwork to table on campus, the school again forced him to either cover all images of guns on the posters or go through a rigorous “Controversial Event” approval process. 

“Thank you for providing some more information,” wrote Sara Giacomini, assistant director for programming and student organizations. “However, we will not allow any images of guns to be used. Therefore, if you plan to use the sign, all of the guns must be covered, or a new sign must be made. The handouts you included on the event submission will not be allowed unless the gun is taken off of the pamphlet. This is something we have done in the past with other organizations.”

In fact, Creighton’s administration has consistently thought-policed YAL student activists at the expense of free speech. Giacomini’s email to Wood continued with limitations for future campus events.

“If you choose to use the images of the guns in the future and would like to plan an event under our Freedom of Expression Act or host a Controversial Event, we can have that conversation, but because you are just wanting to table this week, these are my requirements,” she wrote. “If these changes cannot be made, then you will not be allowed to table on campus tomorrow.”

JP Kirby, YAL’s director of student rights, expressed disappointment about the treatment of the Creighton members by university administration over the simple presence of a picture of a firearm.

“It’s surprising to me that institutions such as Creighton that claim to be places of higher learning can take themselves seriously while censoring and chilling student speech in this way,” Kirby said. “While the Second Amendment remains one of the top political issues in the country, Creighton's administration acts like its students are children—unable to handle the image of a common firearm or know how to speak about issues without permission from a bureaucrat. We at YAL trust our students as the free-thinking adults they are and we support their rights to share their beliefs with others.”

For more information on Yung Americans for Liberty, please visit YALiberty.org.


About the Author

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years.


If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.

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