1/2*: reDeclaration of Athletic Facility
DATELINE MIRTHOLOGY —
My workplace is eligible. Now that people with concealed weapon permits soon will be welcome to roam armed throughout campus, barred only at qualifying athletic events, it’s time to out my office.
Suite 248 also houses the little known but very real r’Asadink Stadium, for tiddlywinks and other tabletop sports.
Unlike football’s Reynolds Razorback Stadium, which is unlocked only some six days a year, r’Asadink is multipurpose, an old experiment of the Department of Athletics where every other facility tends toward single use. (Even track-and-field are over a mile apart, between Tyson Track Center and McDonnell Field.)
It’s not only for games. The tiddlywinks and table croquet crews also practice on the 2×3-foot green felt mat in 248.
The 248 test was abandoned but not forgotten, least of all by me, still on the Razorback (or was it RazorTemp?) payroll as r’Asadink table sports coach and caretaker. It’s moonlighting, outside of my full-time Web job.
Yet we must take weapons seriously with Arkansas Act 562. While apparently there’s a winning argument that guns wielded by slightly trained amateurs protect democracy except at fields of play, guns never have been welcome at my arena and they never will be.
The now-signed amendment (Act 859) notes that “‘Collegiate athletic event’ means a sporting or athletic contest, event, or practice of an individual or team of individuals. …”
This is not because rage — or rage fueled by youth, lost youth, intoxicants or a combination — is likely. In tabletop sports, the concern is repressed rage, which almost by definition is even more unpredictable than spontaneous anger.
By the way, the motto of our tabletop croquet team is “the stakes are so small.”
The campus exception besides fields of play are medical schools, because having handy health-care students, interns and residents — already wearing lab coats — defeats the remote possibility of an amateur gunslinger wounding not killing the human target outright, docs increasing the possibility for survival.
Licensed concealed weapons holders also may not carry into the state’s primary inpatient public psychiatric facility, the State Hospital, even though a vast majority of the Arkansas’ certifiable don’t live in the 226-bed institution but roam about freely.
“More than 220,000 people have concealed handgun licenses in the state,” The Associated Press reported.
Suite 248 welcomes everyone, sane and otherwise, if all you plan to wield is a smile. Players of course wield squidgers with which to propel the winks.
This new law or amendment, signed April 3 by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, stipulates that the management of collegiate athletic facilities must submit a security plan with the Arkansas State Police to apply for the exemption. The sporting event gun ban lasts one year, having been filed no less than five days before a sporting event, then a renewal can be sought.
As the coach/athletics director/facility caretaker, a draft of that document is forthcoming, and will be linked at this sentence.
The state’s legislation is tied not to the physical structure but to the sporting event, metaphysically as it were. (An “event” happens in time, while objects appear in space.) As the r’Asadinks plays matches at odd times though 12 months a year, the events are continuous, practices ongoing, so Suite 248 must never allow weapons at any time, even if their owners have had those few hours of active shooter training.
Although it was the inaugural sport for the Southeastern Conference, in the late 1890s, tiddlywinks is the 16th listed sport in the SEC. This makes players, leadership and fans of both Arkansas and Deep State universities vulnerable.
To earn my coach’s salary, I will endeavor and persevere to keep my own office safe.
— ©2017 Ben S. Pollock Jr.
Note, Oct. 14, 2017: The Arkansas State Police has released its proposed “Arkansas Concealed Handgun Carry License Rules” (PDF).