No, not the same thing at all TA.
For one thing the topic for research projects was relevant issues in the media.
This was a college level course, not some random location. He didn't have to seek them out. He wasn't discussing a desire to commit illegal acts, but discussing something that he feels should be legal.
My favorite quote on this
“If you can’t talk about the Second Amendment, what happened to the First Amendment?” asked Sara Adler, president of the Riflery and Marksmanship club on campus. “After all, a university campus is a place for the free and open exchange of ideas.”