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From The Editor | OMG It's The ROTC

From The Editor | OMG It's The ROTC

When it comes to hand-wringing, arm-waving gun haters, you wouldn’t expect to find one of the shrillest in North Dakota. Yet that’s right where we find University of North Dakota English professor Heidi Czerwiec, who has taken an apparent fear and hatred of guns to an all-new level.

Our story starts with Czerwiec looking out of her office window and seeing some men with guns—specifically, university ROTC cadets doing drills with their nonfunctional rifles. No big deal, right?


“I look up from my office computer to see two figures in camo with guns outside my window,” Czerwiec later wrote in a letter to the editor in the Grand Forks Herald. “My first thought is for my students’ and my safety: I grab my phone, crawl under my desk and call 911. The dispatcher keeps me on the line until someone can see if ROTC is doing maneuvers.”

If you are thinking, “That’s crazy,” just wait. It actually goes downhill from there.

“I can barely talk—first, with fear, and then with rage when the dispatcher reports back that yes, in fact, I’ve probably just seen ROTC cadets, though they’re going to send an officer to check because no one has cleared it with them,” she wrote. “They thank me for reporting it.”Czerwiec’s alleged inability to tell an ROTC member with a fake gun from an active shooter intent on mayhem is likely only a figment of her imagination.

When a university police officer called her back to inform her that ROTC has permission to conduct practice drills on campus, that news didn’t make her any happier.

“A few minutes later, a university officer calls me back—not to reassure me, but to scold me for calling 911,” she wrote. “He says ROTC has permission to do this exercise. When I tell him that this was news to 911 and that they encouraged me to call whenever I see a gun on campus, he seems surprised.”

Czerwiec’s alleged inability to tell an ROTC member with a fake gun from an active shooter intent on mayhem is likely only a figment of her imagination. I’d wager that she doesn’t like guns and she doesn’t like ROTC, and this situation allowed her to make those feelings public.

And that publicity is exactly what she received.

“It’s not my job to decide whether people carrying guns at school are an actual threat,” she wrote in the op-ed. “It’s my job to teach and to get home to my family.”

What does she think she is? A police officer? A U.S. Marine? Is there some new national phenomenon we haven’t heard about that is causing college professorship to be so dangerous that many are not able to make it home to their families at the end of the day? Perhaps they are being picked off one at at time by ROTC cadets with their nonfunctioning rifles, and we somehow haven’t seen the news reports.

In truth, Czerwiec’s made-up school attack is likely nothing more than the ridiculous fantasy world of a person who doesn’t like guns, and is scared of them. And this fiasco is, apparently, going to continue.

“So I reply that I guess I’ll be calling 911 for the next couple weeks—and I will,” she wrote. “Every time.”

We can only hope nobody in real peril is endangered by Czerwiec clogging up the 911 lines for episodes she now knows for sure pose no threat. After all, it’s illegal for a person to continually dial 911 when he or she is aware that no danger is present.

Perhaps a visit from campus police to explain that fact might change her mind.

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