A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Sad Necessity of Anonymity

A Wisconsin middle school teacher has been placed on administrative leave after somebody informed school administrators of an internet photo of her with a rifle. Betsy Ramsdale had been a teacher at Beaver Dam Middle School for a little over a year when the bru-haha erupted. Superintendent Donald Childs states a "concerned staff member" reported the photo to school administration. Childs goes on to say that he is "unaware of any sinister intent" but he still suspended the instructor because the use of the photo on a personal Facebook page "appears to be poor judgment".

Gun owners who walk among hoplophobes in the daily course of their professional lives have long known that their jobs could be in jeopardy if too much is made of their gun ownership. If the wrong person in charge has a fear and loathing of firearms, they could find themselves in the unemployment line at a severe disadvantage. Many gun owners use pseudonyms online not because they fear government oppression, but because they recognize the very real, unjustified and ill informed snap judgements that can and probably will be made if they are exposed as gun owners in the workplace. It is sad that the life liberty and pursuit of happiness of many law abiding gun owners is placed in jeopardy if they exercise their first amendment right to speak about their second amendment rights.

Update: The ACLU of Wisconsin has chosen to defend Betsy Ramsdale. "Absent any evidence that the teacher poses a threat, the district should not over-react to the sight of a gun in one of their employee's hands," said Chris Ahmuty, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin.



Blogger El Sid said...

Anonymity is the only reason I don't use my real name on my blog, don't even use my own e-mail account. If she get's fired or disciplined I'm gonna send her money to help in the legal battle that will ensue.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am an elementary school teacher who had a parent remove her son from my class and placed in another when she found out that I enjoy the shooting sports. My principal went along with it to avoid trouble for me. I find it sad and disenheartening that we have come to the point we have to be defensive about a sport that is not only safe but protects our way of life.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not the brightest thing to have a picture taken with the barrel pointing at the picture taker. Plus putting your real name on the internet for any reason is a really bad idea. Even so the actions that were taken against her were ridiculous.

10:03 AM  
OpenID reflectoscope said...



10:19 AM  
Blogger Crucis said...

Instant Lawsuit. Or...should be.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just crazy!!!

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

To me it isn't that she has a gun, it's that she is pointing it at the camera in a rather juvenile, threatening, gangsta-esque manner. I have pictures of myself with my firearms online, but they aren't pointed at the camera, and therefore the viewer, a-la Cho Seung-Hui--they're pointed downrange, where they should be.

I respect her right to free speech, but a teacher should display more maturity than that. Can't say I'm sorry to see her go.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Terry said...

They should have fired her. What she did was nuts. It's an assault rifle for God's sake. People like her shouldn't be teaching our kids.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Mr.Potato said...

I am not the real Mr.Potato

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that the photo with the barrel pointing at the viewer is not a good idea but...poor judgment (illegal action?)by the school for sure. All it's going to take to change anyone's mind is a situation whereby they wish they had a gun to defend themselves or their loved ones. She'd be hired back in a heartbeat.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Assrot said...

This is the exact reason I use a blog handle instead of my real name. I am a professor and a researcher at a few south Florida universities.

Although I have tenure at one of these universities and have been there well over two decades, I am one of very few faculty members that is not a Left Wing Liberal bliss ninny.

I made a comment on an email list server at the university once about law abiding citizens having a responsibility to defend their self and that I thought everyone that could legally do so should learn how to safely use a gun and get a concealed carry permit.

You would not believe the barrage of emails I received and the comments that were made against my character and my sanity. I was suspended from the university for two weeks with pay until upper management decided my fate.

They ultimately figured out that there was nothing they could legally do although they did want to terminate me.

I was told point blank that tenure or no tenure that if I ever made any comments pertaining to the use of firearms for self defense or any other reason on university equipment or services that the administration would make my life so miserable that I would quit even though they could not fire me.

Since I have seen this succesfully (although illegaly) done to other faculty and staff members before, and I still have 11 years before I can retire and a family to take care of I decided to go underground so to speak.

Universities in south Florida all have Liberal Left Elitist people in charge at the upper levels and they don't care if what they do is legal or not. They are just like the government. They will intentionally and blatantly break the law and deny you your constitutional rights and they will spend every penny of their yearly budget to keep you in court until you can't afford it any more and you have to give up.

They have no qualms about lying, paying others to lie and if that does not work they will threaten others to either keep them from testifying or make them perjure themselves in order to keep their jobs.

These people and organizations are evil incarnate and they will ruin you at any cost to get their way.

I fully intend to write a book about the work environment at the universities I have worked at when I retire. I have been collecting evidence and sworn statements in writing for some time now and I fully intend to open one hell of a can of worms the day after I retire.

I just hope us Pro-gun, Pro-constitution folks can hold out until then without the USA becoming completely socialist.

Now, having said all that, please allow me to go a little off topic here and say that I'm proud to announce the birth of my 6th grandchild. Check out my blog for pictures.

I'm also sad to say I lost one of my best four-legged friends. If you have a moment, please talk to what ever higher power you believe in and ask them to treat his soul kindly.


7:58 PM  
Anonymous Mr.Potato said...

someone once said that you can't win an argument with an idiot. It's sad, really but not using your own name on the internet is the best thing one can do.

10:20 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

terry is another misguided liberal koolaid schluper..but that's ok Terry,look over the edge of the cliff,the answer you seek is ...JUUuuust over the edge..now lean over..just a bit..a little more..now learn to fly,the ability to see the wrong in this escapes you as well.
she was warned and REMOVED it as objectionable,end of issue..not then fire her for liking a firearm,and posting to a NON School based media source.
Terry..I fear for your child,your a moron,and shouldnt be allowed to reproduce...it's for the child

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pardon the gutter-mouthed language, but

Liberals suck.

Big time.

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Bob said...

To all gun-owners, you can FIGHT BACK against gun bias and irrational fear of stupid people by claiming discrimination.

These people are discriminating against you and your right to legally own and use guns for self-defense.

You can make an unprecedented move to defend your right by filing a discrimination claim against your employer or school with your state's civil right commission.

It doesn't matter whether it would work or not, as long as you must press hard to stop discrimination and gun bias against your CIVIL right as a legal gun-owner. Use the Second Amendment to reinforce your case.

If you did nothing now, then it is all too late. ACT NOW TO DEFEND YOUR CIVIL RIGHT AS A GUN-OWNER.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Mr.Potato said...

Let's not make this a liberal labeled attack ok? There are plenty of liberals who support the 2nd amendment and there are also many non liberals who want to take them away from you. (NOPD ? ;-))

We as gun owners have to understand that our strength is in numbers. The biggest blow to gun opponents will be if we continue to convert 2nd amendment supporters from the ranks of those who appear to oppose us most.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Mikee said...

I took a picture of my son in his Prom tux, holding a Beretta Model 21 ala "Bond, James Bond." I was amused when he put it on his facebook page, but warned him against posting the one of his baby sister with a Mosin-Nagant 91/30 (bayonet attached, of course). After all, she prefers handguns, not old rifles.

While there can be repercussions for your exercise of such free speech activity when hoplophobes reacty to it, it is better to know who they are up front, rather than try to deal with them rationally until you discover later that they are irrational.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Shy Wolf said...

Terry said...
"They should have fired her. What she did was nuts. It's an assault rifle for God's sake. People like her shouldn't be teaching our kids"
...Gosh, golly, Terry- are you THAT frightened of a picture of a gun that it has to be 'an assault rifle'? For God's sake, WAKE UP! That is hardly an assault rifle. Of course, I probably shouldn't expect an hysterical person to know the difference between weapons.
And there's something 'wrong' with a piture of a gun pointing at the camera? I sure hope none of you ever watch tv or movies...oops, sorry: that's where you get the idea every gun you see is an 'assault rifle'. My mistake. I sure hope none of those tarantulas in the encyclopedia bite you. Or the snakes. Oops- bet none of you have ever seen a naked person on a page, either- hope not: you may get VD. Or run over by one of those foreign imports when it jumps off the page of an advertisement.
What stupidity you people can come up with.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting to say the least.Here in Texas the local school board just approved a clay shooting class for the local high school.
Vote with your feet, I'd say.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Alan McCright said...

A. Kudos, Sir for this > "I reserve the right to not publish ignorant ill-informed and filthy comments from vile cretins who have a four letter vocabulary."

B. If anyone might be interested, at this late date, on my take on this, please see my blog entry: http://amccright.blogspot.com/2009/02/lunatic-fringe-is-in-wisconsin-too.html

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people have criticized her for pointing the rifle at the camera. Has anyone considered that she might have used a timer, thus obviating a cameraman?

12:13 PM  
Blogger Selous Scout said...

Why does God allow these people tp reproduce? He know's the world would be better off without them.

I know Lord, to learn patience with the mentally handicapped. But Lord, how long must we be burdened with this repugnant task?

9:23 PM  

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