If you need any more proof that free speech is becoming a thing of the past—at least for those who hold conservative viewpoints—look no further than the University of Toledo, where the student paper’s opinion editor was so offended by the prospect of a pro-gun speaker’s message that she tore down fliers advertising the symposium.
Earlier this month, Larry Pratt, who is affiliated with Gun Owners of America, was giving a guest lecture on campus about the need to eliminate gun-free zones. Gun-free zones have been a focal point of the debate that seems to follow any school shooting, such as the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida, because school campuses typically restrict lawful carry.
To spread the word about the guest lecture, fliers were posted at various spots on campus—at least they were until Jessica Harker, now the former opinion editor for the school paper, decided the event wasn’t worthy of being advertised. So adamant was she that when someone took a video of her committing the vandalism, she looked directly into the camera and said, “Do something,” according to a report in The Washington Examiner.
So, here’s a college student whose job reflects one of the core principles on which this country was founded, but she doesn’t respect the right to free speech if your view is different from hers.
The Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), who hosted Pratt’s lecture, had to post the same fliers three times before they caught Harker in the act of ripping down the notices, replacing them with posters that touted, “White supremacy has no place here.”
The YAL sent a representative to meet with the editor-in-chief of the student paper, The Collegian, who subsequently fired Harker.
Harker wasn’t the only opposing voice to cause problems before and during the symposium. A video posted on Facebook shows another heckler, who raised his hands and said, “Hands up, don’t shoot” several times during the speech, being led out of the lecture hall. Others had no problem making social media posts referring to Pratt as a white supremacist.