Liberty U. President: No more 'gun-free zones'; let students carry
OneNewsNow - Lynchburg, Va. (December 10, 2015)
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. told students at the Christian school they could bring concealed weapons into their dorms, ending a "gun-free" zone on campus.
guns on Liberty Univ. campus The announcement followed his encouragement on Friday that students and other members of the campus community seek permits to carry concealed weapons to counter any possible armed assault on the campus.
"Let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here," Falwell told a convocation crowd of thousands.
Falwell said the recommendation followed the mass shooting days earlier in San Bernardino, California, that left 14 dead. He also mentioned Muslims in his call-to-arms but insisted he was referring specifically to the California killers, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik.
In an interview, Falwell said the guns-in-dorms decision was in response to students who had requested it. Since Friday, he said, about 240 students had sought free gun-safety lessons offered by campus police required for a concealed-carry permit.
Falwell said the proposal would have a limited impact because most students who are old enough to get a permit live off campus. In Virginia, 21 is the minimum age to get a concealed-carry permit.
The school's governing board must approve the change.
About 950 people on the Liberty campus — students, faculty and staff — already have concealed-carry permits, Falwell said.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League, says it is just common sense.
"Anytime you have a gun-free zone, you've got a dangerous area — especially if criminals or terrorists are aware of it," he said.
Having armed people around improves the chances of thwarting an attack and saving lives, he said.