Creighton University Bars Gun Rights Advocates from Showing Images of Guns on Campus

Creighton University is under fire this week after it told students that they could not continue to use posters or handouts that featured guns. In an email (below), Sarah Giacomini, assistant director for programming and student organizations, declared that “we will not allow any images of guns to be used.” Given students who want to advocate for Second Amendment rights, the ban is akin to telling pro-choice students that they cannot show pictures of morning-after pills or telling pot legalization advocates that cannot show pictures of joints. Creighton is insisting that you can advocate for gun rights so long as you do not actually show an image of a gun.Conservative sites such as College Fix have pushed the school for an explanation with no success.

While Creighton University is not a state school subject to First Amendment protections, it still guarantees students free speech.  The school follows Ignatian principles, the moral dictates of  the 16th-century Spanish saint Ignatius of Loyola and founder of the Jesuit order. It declares:

“It is because of these commitments that we embrace freedom of thought and expression. Essential elements in the Ignatian tradition emphasize active dialogue and the innate dignity of each member of our community.

‘Contemporary student activism creates both challenges and opportunities on college campuses. The issues that stimulate student activism vary widely as organizers target immigration bans, sexual assault, tuition increases, discrimination, investment in fossil fuels, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and a host of other concerns. Protests can be large or small, global or local, in person or online, single or multi issue.'(Harrison & Mather, 2017).”

While the list does not include more conservative causes like gun rights, it affirmatively assures students that they will be afforded free expression on campus.

The subjects of the email were student members of Young Americans for Liberty and they were further told that, if they wanted to challenge the ban, they would have to fill out paperwork to host a distinct “Controversial Event” to distribute a petition. That requirement itself raises concerns. What constitutes a “controversial event”? Would that include pro-choose or pro-immigration events or petitions? Is any political cause considered “controversial” or does the university apply a selective application of this rule? It would seem an invitation for arbitrary and capricious designations.

The gun rights are protected under the Constitution, but the University is saying that, if you want to argue for gun rights, you cannot show a gun. It is reminiscent of Yale University Press telling an author that you can write a book on the controversy over showing cartoons of Muhammad so long as you do not actually show the cartoons in question.

We have seen other similar controversies based on images such as pro-life displays showing fetuses.  Newspaper editors have supported the suppression of pro-life imagery.

Creighton University’s ban is wrong on many levels. It is an intentional, selective, and biased burden placed on gun rights advocates. It is also not clear how this rule applies to classes, which must inevitably show such images. Presumably, academic freedom will still allow a World War II history class to show images from World War II. Yet, you cannot display the same images just outside the door of the classroom.

If taken literally (as one assumes is the intention of the school), it would result in absurd results. Under this approach, Emanuel Leutze’s George Washington Crossing the Delaware would be banned from political posters:


So would be “Spirit of 76 (Yankee Doodle Dandy)” by Archibald MacNeal Willard:

Students using current or vintage posters for military recruiting would be banned.

It would also ban students from creating a National Rifle Association chapter that shows the NRA symbol:

In the end, the ban on the imagery of guns is a gratuitous and selective burden placed on advocates for the Second Amendment. The University should reverse this position. After all, St. Ignatius instructed “He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself.”


91 thoughts on “Creighton University Bars Gun Rights Advocates from Showing Images of Guns on Campus”

  1. Just a guess
    10,000 students at Creighton
    9000 all closely following the basketball team
    2 even know about this

  2. Totally not surprising. The Jesuits ( as opposed to the Marists) are socialist/communists who have fomented revolution and supported Marxist insurgencies throughout Latin America.

    1. The term “Jesuit” is a 15th and 16th century slur about the followers of Loyola. It translates to ” they speak of Jesus but don’t act like him”. They have been banned from many countries, banned by edict not to be allowed to be Pope ( since dodged), and as recently as the 1950’s have been allowed back in to Sweden. The thought and speech part, well only if it’s their thoughts and speech coming out of your mind and mouth.

  3. The school follows Ignatian principles, the moral dictates of the 16th-century Spanish saint Ignatius of Loyola and founder of the Jesuit order.

    This was not one of your better articles, vis a vis “moral dictates”.

    St Ignatius of Loyola did not set forth principles of moral dictates. He founded a religious order of scholastics who would shape in their students the whole person: emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical and social. The theme of a Jesuit education is to be “a man for others”, as articulated by the famous Superior General, Padre Pedro Arrupe, SJ, a Basque Jesuit. The origin of the word estovir is Jesuit.

    What is a Jesuit Education?

    Seek something greater. A Jesuit education goes beyond the classroom walls. It takes students into the communities to serve with and for others—to use their talents to address the world’s greatest needs. At the same time, students earn a high-quality and rigorous education leading to personal and professional success.
    An education at Creighton University shapes the whole person—emotional, spiritual, intellectual physical, social

    OTOH, John Adams detested the Jesuits

    In May 1816, Adams wrote to Jefferson about the “restoration” of the Society of Jesus: “I do not like the reappearance of the Jesuits…. Shall we not have regular swarms of them here, in as many disguises as only a king of the gipsies can assume, dressed as printers, publishers, writers and schoolmasters? If ever there was a body of men who merited damnation on earth and in Hell, it is this society of Loyola’s. Nevertheless, we are compelled by our system of religious toleration to offer them an asylum.”

    Alas, John Adams was a Protestant, one who protests all things Catholic


    1. And an early Bishop of Galveston/Houston commented that Houston is “full of mosquitos and Methodists”

    2. Our founders were not really religiously tolerant by choice, but by necescity.

      The new world was a collection of enclaves of religious disidents of all stripes – most of whom did not tolerate each other.
      Puritans, Quakers, Catholics, Moravians, Menonites, and on and on.

      The first amendment included religious freedom, because the alternative was religious conflict.

  4. Don’t know about Creighton, but the University of Iowa banned photos of babies inutero.

    Something about facts, scare leftists stupid.

  5. “Creighton University [. . .] told students that they could not continue to use posters or handouts that featured guns.” (JT)

    This is the Left’s determinism: See picture of gun. Have uncontrollable urge to shoot people.

  6. Out of sheer hatred, Creighton is using speech restrictions to troll gun owners.

    Dear Creighton University, thank you for proving to others what I already know. If I can’t even show a picture of a gun, why would I ever think you’re interested in gun control? You’re not. You never were. You want gun abolition, and you’ll abolish a lot more than guns if you ever succeed.

    This episode only proves how sanctimonious and arbitrary you are about any human rights that challenge your groupthink.

  7. Yes, let’s keep our young people in a state of denial, in a land of Unicorns and Rainbows., .. until one of them becomes a victim of multiple random gunshot wounds like the LSU coed. But I am sure that was a legally obtained gun…

  8. It’s like the old saying: Guns don’t kill people — paintings of guns kill people. That’s why all are invited to Bring Your Machete to the Museum Monday, to participate in the community Hack&Slash destruction of all images of guns, to show the world that gun-tolerance will not be tolerated.

  9. Censorship is alive and well in Democrat America. The Consitution and Bill of Rights have been suspended!

    Time to END all aid and loans to colleges and states!
    Also all non-profits, including colleges, hospitals, etc should pay taxes if they give ANYONE $100k+

  10. The fact they cannot, thus far, come up with a explanation is telling.
    Kinda like a spoiled child who did something wrong but will not admit it.

    I wonder, if I was a student there, and wore a “Black Rifles Matter” tee-shirt would they have a meltdown?

    1. Interesting. My first thought was, are they teaching them about draconian gun restrictions, and how California led the way in response to Black Panthers carrying rifles openly. What would they do about a photo of a group of Black Panthers all presenting rifles as they walked the street. They thought black rifles mattered – and so did the California Legislature, though to different conclusion..

      1. The Grapes of Wrath, pages 471-472:

        And Black Hat lifted his head up again, and the light fell
        on his bristly whiskers. He gathered some little rocks from
        the ground and shot them like marbles, with his thumb. “I
        don’ know. She’s a-comin’ awright, like you say. Fella toF
        me what happened in Akron, Ohio. Rubber companies.
        They got mountain people in ’cause they’d work cheap. An’
        these here mountain people up an’ pined the union. Well,
        sir, hell jes’ popped. All them storekeepers and legioners an’
        people like that, they get drillin’ an’ yellin’, ‘Red!’ An’
        they’re gonna run the union right outa Akron. Preachers git
        a-preachin’ about it, an’ papers a-yowlin’, an’ they’s pick
        handles put out by the rubber companies, an’ they’re a-
        buyin’ gas. Jesus, you’d think them mountain boys was
        reg’lar devils!” He stopped and found some more rocks tr
        shoot. “Well, sir— it was las’ March, an’ one Sunday five
        thousan’ of them mountain men had a turkey shoot outside
        a town. Five thousan’ of ’em jes’ marched through town
        with their rifles. An’ they had their turkey shoot, an’
        then they marched back. An’ that’s all they done. Well, sir,
        they ain’t been no trouble sence then. These here citizen
        • committees give back the pick handles, an’ the storekeepers
        keep their stores, an’ nobody been clubbed nor tarred an r
        feathered, an’ nobody been killed.” There was a long silence*
        and then Black Hat said, “They’re gettin’ purty mean out
        here. Burned that camp an’ beat up folks. I been thinkin’. All
        our folks got guns. I been thinkin’ maybe we ought to git
        up a turkey shootin’ club an’ have meetin’s ever’ Sunday.”

  11. This story brings to mind something I learned way back in ancient times when I was in elementary school. Back then, the women’s movement was in it’s infancy (it called itself “women’s lib”). WL was very, very particular about images, wherever they might appear, that re enforced the stereotype of women. For example, they would not tolerate pictures of women as home makers. What they knew instinctively, since they were for the most part people of the left, is that manipulation of what others can see and hear is fundamental to making the societal changes they want. In plain English, freedom of speech played second fiddle to their cause. The banning of pictures showing firearms continues this tradition.

    1. Very accurate quite conservative.
      Those that control the language, control the debate.
      Opposition to abortion is a lie. It is opposition to killing babies. Its about the people, through their elected Representatives striving to protect the lives of the must vulnerable. The left is forced to abuse the language in such a way to deflect the entire discussion.

  12. Their statement reads like a page ripped out of Jesuit Liberation Theology which is basically Marxism with a thin veneer of religion plastered on.

    1. I once read transcripts of an interview with a former KGB spy. He claimed Krushchev wanted to be known as the guy who turned Latin America communist. The strategy they landed on was to concoct “liberation theology” and use it as a way to get a foothold into Catholic dominated Latin America. It was only a matter of time before leftist radicals brought it to America.

      Obama, of course, spent 20 years in Reverend Wright’s black liberation theology church.

  13. Just how inane and utterly maniacal will we allow these wokesters to become. Just how much of our various freedoms will we cede to them? These tin pot dictators need to be shown the door when it comes to anything public in nature. They are intrusive and they are happy to be so without apology. Their goals are total control of thoughts and actions to the point of making a farce of our very government institutions. Just how long will this continue before we lose this nation?

  14. This is the university version of the 7 year old suspended for eating his pop tart into the shape of a gun. Next up: banning just thinking about defending the 2nd amendment.

    1. “Next up: banning just thinking about defending the 2nd amendment.” I think it will end up “just thinking”.

      1. Alma Carman,
        ” I think it will end up “just thinking”.”

        Sounds a lot like a Mao’s Culture Revolution.
        In order to prevent that kind of thing, we need the 1stA and the 2ndA.

      2. I was thinking of the two recent stories (separate incidents) of individuals standing in what is now a Public Spaces Protection Order (“PSPO”) “safe zone” near an abortion facilities in the U.K. They were doing absolutely nothing, with the exception of silently praying. When asked by police what they were praying about, they told them they were praying for innocent lives lost and murdered. They were arrested and charged.

  15. Ah yes… the rush toward virtue signally and the selective outrage. What’s next ? Banning pictures of the Betsy Ross Flag ? My uncle, Sergeant Kenneth Foreman, waded ashore on Omaha Beach with an anti-tank company of the 29th Infantry Division on D-Day (and miraculously survived). He must be rolling in his grave seeing all of this. Thank you, Jonathan for an excellent article.

  16. Newspeak 1984. Well it they want no pictures of firearms, then does that mean they disavow also the struggles using firearms that have established our rights over 200 years ago and sustained them ever since. I grant you the maybe the pen might be mightier than the sword but certainly not superior to firearms. And certainly not on a battlefield.
    Creighton, on the other hand, has developed a policy without a coherent or logical thought process. A suitable response for enterprising students would be to print all sorts of pictures of firearms and post them all about the campus. Or like Martin Luther, nail a picture of the Bill of Rights or the Gadsden Flag or both to the door of the Administration Building. Or even better yet place a big target picture on the door. That would certainly cause a meltdown without a voice being raised.

  17. If they ban Hollywood then perhaps Alex Baldwin might not become a recidivist and thereby they can save a life or two!

  18. Clearly, the Jesuit Catholic brand in US education has been in a shambles for at least a couple generations.

    Creighton is simply providing another example. On the other hand, can an institution with about 1% of its faculty and staff (40 of 3,200) really be a Jesuit outfit?

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