I’ve been a Christian since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at age 15. Since then, I have participated in thousands of worship services, Bible studies, and scriptural studies. I have three degrees, two in science, two graduate, and two summa cum laude.
I attended and graduated from Virginia Tech in the middle 1980s. Virginia Tech is, as you may well know, the location of the massacre perpetrated against fellow students and teachers by Seung-Hui Cho. The heinous nature of that incident affected all students, including we alumni.
At age 25 I became a U.S. military officer, serving our nation honorably for more than 20 years, beginning with the same oath of office as taken by every public servant including all judges, law enforcement officers, legislators and members of the executive branches (mayors, governors, the president):
“I, [NAME], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Please keep the aforementioned facts firmly in mind with respect to my credentials across several fronts backing up what I am about to say below. Put simply, this is not an “opinion piece.” These are facts:
In a flagrant violation of both the First and Second Amendment U.S. Constitutional rights of its students, the lacrosse coach of Palm Beach Atlantic University forbade a student, Zach Scholl, from posting pictures “guns and this stuff. Specifically, the coach said:
“You want to play lacrosse, you won’t post pics of your guns and this stuff. That’s simple. You want to continue to post this, you don’t play.”
Young Mr. Scholl displayed an exemplary level of mastery in his response to the coach’s flagrantly un-Constitutional mandate:
“As a citizen of this country, I have a second amendment right to keep and bear arms and a first amendment right to post the pictures of my firearms and photos from my hunts on my various social media accounts.
“These are my rights as a U.S. citizen and I’m not going to throw them away just to play ball under you. As much as I love the sport it is not worth it to me to surrender. So, thank you for the opportunity, but someone else will have to be wearing #40 this year.”
It’s more than a shame Mr. Scholl had to quit the team. It’s a crime, prohibited by federal law, for a coach to force any student to forfeit their Constitutional rights in order to play on the team. Now, to be fair, coaches, universities, and athletic organizations such as the NCAA can impose a very few limitations, such as maintaining a reasonable QCA/GPA, eating at an athletic dining hall, living in athlete dorms and maintaining a curfew during the season. They absolutely can NOT, however, force a student to pick between posting tasteful pictures of a lawful and Constitutionally-protected activity — by two Amendments, no less — and playing a collegiate sport.
Fortunately, the university published an official response to this incident in the clearest of terms:
“As a Christian University, PBA strongly supports our Constitutional Republic, the U.S. Constitution and all individual rights protected under the Bill of Rights, especially freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the right to keep and bear arms.”
Such an outstanding official position needs no explanation or interpretation, and neither do the two Amendments from which it was derived, Amendments with which the lacrosse coach is in sorely need of review:
Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment II: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
But hey, let’s watch what Dana Loesch has to say in her NRA video:
Well said, Dana. Well said.
In light of the coach’s heinous actions violating the Constitutional rights of he student as well as official university policy, three things must happen:
- The coach needs to be officially reprimanded, and if he insists on repeating his erroneous ways, he needs to be fired for wrongly imposing his NPOV (narrow point of view) i.e. political bigotry on his players.
- Palm Beach Atlantic University needs to issue an official and public apology to the student
- The student needs to be invited to re-join the lacrosse team, without prejudice, and in the same position and degree of play he held before.
If you would like to contact PBA’s Athletic Staff Directory, you can reach them, here.
If you would like to contact the university directly, their contact information is listed on the bottom of their home page.
For more information on Students for Concealed Carry, see:
ABOUT STUDENTS FOR CONCEALED CARRY — Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) is a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization comprising college students, faculty, staff, and concerned citizens who believe that holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses should be allowed the same measure of personal protection on college campuses that current laws afford them virtually everywhere else. SCC is not affiliated with the NRA or any other organization. For more information on SCC, visit ConcealedCampus.org or Facebook.com/ConcealedCampus. For more information on the debate over campus carry in Texas, visit WhyCampusCarry.com or tweet @CampusCarry.