The protests for concealed carry are under way in front of Squires Student Center. The Virginia Citizens Defense League, in collaboration with the Libertarians at Virginia Tech, will protest for concealed carry on campus. Students for Gun Free Schools will protest against guns on college campuses.
Check this blog for updates, or follow @joshualhiggins on Twitter for live updates.
Last update: [3:40]
The crowd has dwindled, and only a few remain. VCDL has begun taking down their tent and signs.
Last update: [3:04 p.m.]
A photo gallery of today’s protest can be found here. Check out the events of the day.
Last update: [2:55 p.m.]
The number of protesters has decreased significantly from earlier. Protesters have been holding signs and demonstrating at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street. Police continue to patrol the area, but many of them have congregated in front of Squires.
Last update: [2:34 p.m.]
Protesters on both sides continue talking to students and passersby about gun issues.
Last update: [2:15 p.m.]
No other speakers have spoken. It seems that the number of people participating in the protests is decreasing, but a few protesters are still handing out fliers to people passing by.
Last update: [1:34 p.m.]
No new speakers from VCDL have spoken. Both protests continue to advocate to passersby, but nothing new has occurred. Check this blog for future developments.
Last update: [12:49 p.m.]
Speeches by the VCDL have begun. Kurt Mueller, a Students for Concealed Carry board member, just spoke.
“We believe that law-abiding citizens who have concealed carry permits don’t suddenly become irresponsible once they cross onto a college campus, and likewise, we believe that the criminals who are out there in the world do not suddenly become non-criminals when they cross onto a college campus.” Mueller said.
[CORRECTION: The original quote said "...citizens who have concealed carry permits suddenly become irresponsible..." The actual quote was "...citizens who have concealed carry permits don't suddenly become irresponsible..."]
But Mark Barbour, one of the anti-gun counter protesters, disagrees that concealed carry should be allowed on college campuses.
“I don’t believe anybody should be carrying guns on college campuses,” Barbour said. “My wife is a professor here. I think that some upset student, maybe over a bad grade, could possibly be concealing and carrying a weapon and lose their temper at my wife, or any other professor, or anyone here. It’s just wrong.”
Barbour, along with many of the anti-gun protesters, carried signs promoting gun-free campuses.
Mueller continued to say that concealed carry advocates are making progress toward fewer concealed carry bans on college campuses.
“With the addition of Liberty University, we now have 72 campuses nationwide where concealed carry is occurring for students and faculty,”
The VCDL crowd erupted in applause, while a protester from the anti-gun group said, “Go home! Most of you don’t live here anyway.”
Last update: [12:03 p.m.]
More people have congregated outside of Squires.
Many protesters have posters. One poster said “No guns? No Funds!” and another said “Rapists agree. Keep VT gun-free.”
Speeches have not begun yet, but VCDL advocate said they will begin “very soon.”
Last update: [11:35 a.m.]
VCDL supporters are outside of Squires Student Center handing out “Guns Save Lives” stickers and pamphlets about campus carry. The pamphlet explains a legally non-binding opinion articulated by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, why banning guns on college campuses is a problem, and who concealed carry permit holders are. There is also a list of quotes supporting carry on campus.
Police are also on scene. A few police cars are parked around the protest area, and policemen are patrolling.
No one from the counter-protest has arrived yet.