Two Sundays ago, Roanoke Times columnist Dan Casey had an excellent column entitled, Virginia Tech students fire back on gun debate. Casey describes his visit to Virginia Tech, where he talked to students about the issue of guns on campus, specifically in light of two things: 1) “a hair-splitting legal opinion issued in July by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli” which “holds that state universities…may not ban hidden handguns by mere policy, which does not have the force of law;” and 2) news “that the pro-handgun Virginia Citizens Defense League would soon demonstrate at Tech, and at some other state universities, for the right to carry concealed handguns on campus” (see here for more on that story).
So, what did Virginia Tech students think about all this? Casey asked them, and here’s what they had to say.
*Nobody raised their hand when asked, “How many of you feel unsafe?”
*They did NOT want guns on their campus, with one saying it would “freak me out.”
*One student pointed out that she “doubted that the suicidal shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, would have been deterred by the prospect others on campus may be armed,” adding that “[e]ven if guns were allowed on campus, he still would have been mad at people.”
*Another student was not thrilled at the thought of adding guns to the mix of “drunk-crazy fans who have a lot of alcohol in them,” as she described them. Yet another student added, “The whole drunk and with guns thing would be very bad.” Ya think?
Despite all of this common sense by students, not to mention the overwhelming majority of Americans (and Virginians) who oppose allowing guns in bars, in government buildings, or on college campuses, groups like the Virginia Citizens Defense League are working hard to allow just those things (see the VCDL candidate questionnaire here), not to mention – as Dan Casey points out in his column – “concealed gun-carrying in Virginia with no permit.”
The question is, who will win this battle: Virginia Tech students or the VCDL? For my part, I’m strongly with the former. How about you?
This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.