By: Kelsi Holstein

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Students at Liberty University stand behind President Jerry Falwell’s good intentions to make the campus safer, but a very small portion of the student body can actually heed his advice to conceal carry weapons.

Young Christian conservatives abound at Liberty University where students seemed excited to hear president of the university, Jerry Falwell Jr. call for more good citizens to carry guns. Applause carried throughout the student body at convocation Friday, December 4 after he encouraged students to take a conceal carry class being offered for free at the university. However given Virginia’s conceal carry laws only students over the age of 21 are eligible to receive their permits.

Liberty University Senior, Micha Spriggs, says that he doesn’t personally know many students who would meet the age requirement. The goal of offering the course and allowing students over the age of 21 to carry weapons is to make the campus safer in the event of an attack. Falwell announced in convocation on Wednesday, December 9 that 240 students had already signed up to take the course in addition to the 950 that already have their conceal carry permits.

“I’d be surprised if it reaches 30 percent of the student body. I don’t think it will be more than that,” Spriggs said.

Those students that are eligible to receive their conceal carry permits are mostly seniors and possibly a few juniors. This means that when the upcoming senior class turns 21 they will have to get their permits in order to keep the number of students who carry up.

Liberty’s policy of allowing guns on campus is very different from most other universities. Falwell said that the policy change occurred after the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2011, not in response to terror attacks. Sophomore April Henry says she believes it is a smart idea for good people on college campuses to carry guns.

“At least you know that it’s not person against barrel, its barrel against barrel,” Henry said.

Falwell also announced that guns will now be allowed in dorms. When the previous rules not allowing guns in dorms was put in place when parking lots were closer to dorms and students could easily leave their weapons in their cars. This change will accommodate more students; however, the age requirement still stands in the way of most students on campus. Henry said that she does not believe that the new rule will benefit that many students living on campus.

While most students agree with what Falwell said and the new changes he implemented, many students are still divided on if his comments were appropriate. Some students believe that the media took Falwell’s words out of context, while others think that he should have been more careful in his choice of words. Falwell has done several interviews since with local media, as well as appearing on Fox News in an interview on the “Hannity” show.

In all of his interviews Falwell has expressed that he did not mean to offend the muslim religion and was speaking specifically about terrorists when he referred to “those Muslims.” Spriggs doesn’t believe that his clarification did enough.

“I understand his context, and I support his context. But he definitely should’ve worded things different. And when he did it he should’ve come out and apologized for his poor choice of words,” Spriggs said.

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Students at Liberty University stand behind President Jerry Falwell’s good intentions to make the campus safer, but a very small portion of the student body can actually heed his advice to conceal carry weapons.

Young Christian conservatives abound at Liberty University where students seemed excited to hear president of the university, Jerry Falwell Jr. call for more good citizens to carry guns. Applause carried throughout the student body at convocation Friday, December 4 after he encouraged students to take a conceal carry class being offered for free at the university. However given Virginia’s conceal carry laws only students over the age of 21 are eligible to receive their permits.

Liberty University Senior, Micha Spriggs, says that he doesn’t personally know many students who would meet the age requirement. The goal of offering the course and allowing students over the age of 21 to carry weapons is to make the campus safer in the event of an attack. Falwell announced in convocation on Wednesday, December 9 that 240 students had already signed up to take the course in addition to the 950 that already have their conceal carry permits.

“I’d be surprised if it reaches 30 percent of the student body. I don’t think it will be more than that,” Spriggs said.

Those students that are eligible to receive their conceal carry permits are mostly seniors and possibly a few juniors. This means that when the upcoming senior class turns 21 they will have to get their permits in order to keep the number of students who carry up.

Liberty’s policy of allowing guns on campus is very different from most other universities. Falwell said that the policy change occurred after the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2011, not in response to terror attacks. Sophomore April Henry says she believes it is a smart idea for good people on college campuses to carry guns.

“At least you know that it’s not person against barrel, its barrel against barrel,” Henry said.

Virginia is one of 23 states where the decision to ban or allow conceal carry weapons is up to the individual university. Those states include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

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