Why I decided to serve as faculty advisor for Students for Concealed Carry

My name is Kevin Kervick and I am an instructor and walk in academic advisor on campus. I am surrounded by an amazing team of creative and brilliant educators. They are pros in every way. I feel blessed to have an opportunity to work with them at MSU. I love my job. This is a great university.

I have a 27 year career as a marriage and family therapist in four states, but on a college campus I am small potatoes. I am just a guy trying to make a living doing some things I enjoy. I try not to take myself too seriously, but I do my best to live my values and act with integrity.

About 20 years ago while in my family therapy training program in Philadelphia I began to reject some of the Progressive political notions that were enshrined in our curriculum. While I considered myself a left of center liberal, I found myself thinking that a lot of the gender feminist and social justice assumptions of my professors seemed well, ridiculous. They seemed to be based more on fantasy and political wishlists than common sense. I found the assumptions coming from philosophy, evolutionary psychology and the emerging men’s movement to make more sense, but I was afraid to speak out because I could tell there was a powerful group-think around the dominant liberal worldview, and I did not want to come across as a heretic. That began my slow march to conservatism, a journey that has continued for 23 years. Today, I like to think of myself as a conservative populist or a conservative communitarian. I enjoy mentoring young people that share my values because I believe they are neglected, and there are growing calls to lessen political groupthink at universities.

When I read about Students for Concealed Carry in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle I was struck by the fact that this was a fairly large group that had already been able to amass over ten members (required to be a formal activities group at MSU), and it had a passionate and very bright student organizer. The group had a great Facebook page and it was connected to an existing national organization. The organizer was very clear about the goals of the group and there was an action plan in the works. There were veterans involved in the group. Essentially, these are the characteristics we would want every student action group to have.

The only thing this group lacked was a faculty adviser. That struck me as wrong. The organizer shared that he had consulted with several potential advisers who each told him they quietly supported the concealed carry cause, but they were worried about the effect their advising might have on their academic careers. That struck me as an injustice. These students should have the same access to faculty resources as all of the other students and groups on campus, even if their missions are controversial to some people. Heck, there are already a lot of controversial groups on campus that may have off-center missions and goals but they have faculty support. Concealed carry is a hot issue at universities all over the country, and it is an issue that matters to a lot of people. Several schools in “gun friendly” states already have concealed carry provisions at their state universities.

Consequently, after a lot of thought and realistic counsel with campus leaders I have decided to do it, if for no other reason, these guys need someone to help them. My parents and my religion taught me to do what I believe is right, and ignore the social costs, particularly if there is an injustice involved. Living this way has cost me income and friends at times but it has helped me make other friends and has me at peace with myself. Frankly, I do not know any other way to live.

I believe the United States is in crisis and it is going to take powerful grass roots leadership at multiple sectors of our society to save her. We need to cultivate and mentor passionate and committed millennial leaders who have the right stuff. Montana State University is a great place to do that.

My real dream would be to stimulate the start-up of a social group that would have a broader goal. Students for Common Sense would promote truth by battling political correctness. I believe there is a growing need for a group like that on college campuses around the country in light of the emerging anti free speech language codes at some schools and political bias in the professor class. There are some indications that the political correctness craze may have peaked and students are seeking other more honest expressions. Please contact me if you would like to be involved in Students for Common Sense.

The funny thing is even though I am a conservative I am not a gun guy. I don’t have any guns and I am not a particularly strong advocate for increasing the amount of guns in society. On concealed carry, I have an open mind. I want to study the issue. At the same time, I wish to support young men and women that embody small town American values that they believe create safe and healthy communities. I want to support students that are trying to contribute to a better world. These dudes appear to have the right stuff.

Kevin Kervick

University Studies Instructor

kervick@comcast.net