A pro-gun group announced yesterday that it had obtained a permit to hold a protest at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The university was the site of one of the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, where a gunman killed 32 students and faculty.
In its announcement, Virginia Citizens Defense League said they were holding the Nov. 17 rally in an effort to "save lives" and support "freedom and liberty." The group is not explicit about what that means but in their reporting about the rally, The Truth About Guns, a pro-gun site, pins down their thinking:
Virginia Tech was the site of one of the bloodiest school shootings in the history of the United States. On that day a single gunman killed 33 people and injured 25 more before he took his own life. Many of us on this site believe the vast majority of those deaths could have been prevented by a single legally armed citizen and their firearm, but thanks to gun-free school laws and policies every victim was unarmed and defenseless.
The Roanoke Times reports that this is one out of more than a dozen events planned for colleges and universities across Virginia to protest a ban on concealed weapons inside campus facilities. The Times adds:
The protest effort stems from an opinion issued by state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli that said to ban legal concealed carry in campus buildings, a university's governing body must pass a state regulation. A simple policy, such as that now in effect at Tech, is insufficient, Cuccinelli opined.
Tech's board of visitors is expected to follow Cuccinelli's advice and take up a regulation banning state permit holders from carrying concealed weapons in buildings and at events, although a timeline for doing so has not been announced. Other universities are considering similar actions.