Liberty University, the largest Christian-affiliated university in the country, recently revised its campus gun policy to allow concealed weapons.
Having read the official transcript from the university and researched how to get a concealed weapons permit in the state of Virginia, this is horrific.
In order to legally carry a concealed weapon in Virginia, an individual must be at least 21, complete a training program, present evidence of said training to a judge, pay a fee and not be a felon or have multiple misdemeanors within a given time range. This means the average senior college student could qualify for a concealed weapons permit.
At Liberty, people can carry a weapon on campus if they have a concealed carry permit. However, only RAs can keep them in resident halls, and all other weapons must be kept in a locked vehicle, in a secure box or in other area on campus.
Otherwise, students can carry weapons wherever they wish on campus, including into classrooms.
It has been argued that more guns mean less violence. Aurora, Newtown, Virginia Tech… If only someone there had a gun, proponents say grimly.
Many have mulled this issue over, including Collin Goddard, an April 16th survivor who is now working with the Brady Campaign — an organization working to close loopholes for weapons purchases, among other issues.
Goddard came back to Tech in October, 2012 for an event with Democracy Now, and I had the honor of hearing him speak.
Despite being seriously wounded, he moved on to physical recovery and eventually, graduation.
Goddard has been closer than most of us to a school shooting, and his stance can appear shocking.
In an article for CNN, published in January, 2011, Goddard wrote:
“Rather than pushing to bring more guns onto college campuses and trying to react to violence while it’s under way, my point is we should work harder to stop the guns that make it there, and to prevent those shootings in the first place. Once someone is on campus with guns and intends to kill, we’ve already lost. Let’s take steps before the last possible second to make our schools, and every American, safer.”
In his October, 2012 speech, Goddard went on to add that none of the students thought the noises they heard in the building were gunshots.
Someone said it must have been construction, and they continued with class until the shooter was in the room.
There was also a well-documented case in the 2011 Tucson, Az. shooting in which an armed bystander nearly shot the wrong person: a split-second decision that would have left an innocent bystander dead.
Do I trust my classmates with weapons? Do I want a classroom environment to include firepower?