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Guns have no place on campus

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., explained during a recent convocation that the school will begin allowing students to carry and conceal guns inside residence halls. He noted that many of the residence halls are located far away from parking lots, implying the school’s current policy makes it too difficult for students to grab their weapons at a moment’s notice.
 
Falwell encouraged the school’s students to take advantage of the new policy, citing the recent San Bernardino attack as evidence that people might need to defend themselves at any time. 
 
He even added, “If more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they … go out there and kill.” 
 
We are appalled both by Liberty University’s new policy and the unforgivably hateful rhetoric Falwell used to justify it. 
 
The U.S. Department of Education reports that campus shootings have increased in recent years. We struggle to understand how increasing the number of deadly weapons on campus will remedy this. 
 
Although Liberty University is a private institution with religious affiliations, SB 11, a similar concealed carry law, will take effect on public university campuses in Texas on Aug. 1, 2016
 
Laws like these reflect a troubling absence of foresight. Colleges are supposed to be places of learning and reflection, not barracks for a student militia. We fervidly hope that
Liberty University and Texas schools rethink their decisions — and that, in any case, no tragedy makes them regret the policies they have enacted. 
 
 
 
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