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Don Corrigan

Beer Bongs, Butt Chugging & Handguns Don't Mix

October 10, 2012
It's been a while since any of the frat houses at Washington University or St. Louis University have made the headlines. Not to worry. Plenty of fraternity mischief on other campuses is making big news.

Greek life has always involved some peculiar practices. The latest is "butt chugging." A Pi Kappa Alpha party at the University of Tennessee (UT) got out of hand after students had alcohol administered into their rectums through rubber tubes.

One was almost the "death of the frat party," after his alcohol enema rendered him lifeless. At the hospital, medical personnel who worked to revive him thought he was a victim of a sexual assault, until they realized he was just "butt chugging."

None of this surprises me. My own fraternity days make "Animal House" seem tame. However, I will resist any temptation to tell hazing stories or to relate how we kept a hog in our frat house before it was sacrificed for a grain alcohol Roman Orgy Party.

This is what does surprise me. What surprises me is a national effort by state legislatures to pass "guns on campus" laws. With a boost from the National Rifle Association (NRA), legislatures in five states have now passed laws declaring that schools can't prohibit firearms on campus.

Missouri is no stranger to this law. In testimony for this bill in the past, supporters argued that as mature adults, college students should be allowed to conceal and carry.

Professors I know at St. Louis University or Washington University would beg to differ. I bet the doctors at University of Tennessee Medical Center would beg to differ.

Think about it: Who is most likely to pack heat on campus? It's not going to be the good fellows who are in Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society. More likely it's going to be the "real men" like the ones I lived with in my frat days — guys with nicknames like "Captain America," "H.H. The Toid" and "Fur Lips."

As much as I enjoyed the antics of my brothers in the bond, I shudder at the idea of their being armed back in the day. Beer bongs, alcohol enemas, college toga parties, hollow points and handguns don't mix.

2013 Legislative Session

The next statehouse session is only an election and a couple of months away. Given the number of politicians touting NRA endorsements, some who even use gun raffles to raise campaign cash, it wouldn't be at all surprising to see the "guns on campus" bill resurrected.

One House member whom you can count on to say "no" to such a bill is Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights. Newman recently fended off a stiff primary challenge from Rep. Susan Carlson, D-University City. Newman faces no opposition in the general election on Nov. 6.

Newman and Carlson were both good candidates and it's too bad one had to lose. Some critics of Newman told me that they found her to be too noisy and a showboat. As Todd Akin, candidate for U.S. Senate, might say: "She needs to be more ladylike."

Frankly, I am glad Newman makes a lot of noise. When you are in the political minority in the legislature, especially in Missouri, your only option is to make a lot of noise — and try to wake and educate the citizenry to some of the foolishness that passes for state lawmaking.

In the 2012 session, Newman did a great job lampooning the Jefferson City patriarchs after they decided to pass the so-called conscience bill on contraception. An employer can now decide to prevent a woman from having contraception covered under the firm's health plan, if he finds birth control morally objectionable.

Newman held a press conference to announce her own proposed bill to prevent a man from getting Viagra under health plans, if that is found morally obtuse by his employer. Call her a showboat if you want, I think Newman made a good point about politicians and employers getting in between doctors and their patients.

Newman also deserves credit for speaking out and publishing op-eds for tighter gun regulations after the Aurora, Colo., mass murder in July. After yet another scene of blood, mayhem and insanity, I was amazed that Newman was one of the few voices in our legislature to stand up and say "enough!"

The majority party in Jefferson City will not lift a finger in 2013 to restrict the sale of assault weapons like the AR-15, used in Aurora, and capable of shooting 800 rounds per minute in a movie theater near you. How many more Auroras will it take? If not now, when?

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