Liberty University, a Christian college in Lynchburg, Virginia, is planning to open an on-campus shooting range to stop terrorists who attack the school in the tiny town.
Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, told The Washington Post how the students wanted weapons on campus:
This is one of the examples of how Liberty is unique and different. We really had the perfect setting for our own competitive shooting range. We have a very pro-Second Amendment student body. I was a little timid about telling parents about it because I thought some would be worried. But I never got such enthusiastic applause.
Falwell said that having guns on campus will help if there is an "active shooter" or terrorist scenario.
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"It’s where the terrorists are most likely to strike," Falwell told the newspaper. "[Students and their families] don’t want to see anything happen here like at Virginia Tech, where nobody was able to fire back."
Virginia Tech had their own armed campus police during the 2007 shooting, noted The New York Times. It was not a lack of firepower, but rather a combination of mistakes.
The campus police did not lock down the campus after the first part of the shooting, which they mistakenly thought was a self-contained "domestic" dispute.
Falwell did not say why terrorists were likely to strike the university, but he carried a .25-caliber pistol on campus during the convocation in December 2015.
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Falwell issued another warning to terrorists at the time: "Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here."
Brad Butler, Liberty’s planning coordinator, echoed Falwell's prediction to The Washington Post: "With president Falwell’s bold leadership, we’re going to avert something of that magnitude should evil like that ever come to this campus."
Jordan Stein, founder and president of Students at Liberty for Gun Rights, stated:
Liberty has a strong passion for the Second Amendment and a great respect for firearms. It will continue that tradition and teach how to responsibly use firearms and to responsibly use them for good and the defense of others.
Most of the tradition has been the expulsion of students for carrying firearms since 1971. It wasn't until 2011 that Liberty University changed its decades-old rule against guns, noted The Huffington Post.
The school Board of Trustees decided to allow students, faculty and staff who have concealed carry permit to carry guns on campus and keep firearms in their cars.