View Full Version : Concealed Carry topic at Virginia Tech speech

10-30-2007, 6:16 PM
From VA-ALERT: Virginia Tech talk wrap up

-----Original Message-----
From: VCDL President
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 6:12 PM
Subject: VA-ALERT: Virginia Tech talk wrap up

VCDL's Gun Dealer Legal Defense Fund -- help fight Mayor Bloomberg's scheme to cripple Virginia firearms dealers. See:
VCDL's meeting schedule: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings.html

My talk at Virginia Tech went smoothly last night.

I was really looking forward to speaking at that beautiful campus and to meet students, faculty, and staff. I definitely wasn't disappointed in any of those things. Nice people, including several VCDL members, and gracious hospitality.

TV station WDBJ (channel 7) estimated attendance at about 100 people.
Three or four people were open carrying that I noticed.

Thanks to the Libertarians at Virginia Tech for giving me the opportunity. Special thanks to Jonathan McGlumphy for moderating the event and Christine Malady, President, for the invitation.

EMs attending were Bruce Jackson (also on the VCDL Board), Sandy Ferris (both of whom travelled from Fredericksburg!), and Dave Knight.

Bradford Wiles also attended. Bradford, as you might recall, has been working the carry issue at VT for some time now as a student.

I have audio of the talk and my PowerPoint presentation, which I plan on combining into something that can be downloaded from the Internet.
The idea being that other interested groups can watch the presentation. I will let everyone know when it is ready and posted to the VCDL web site.

Here is coverage by a local TV channel:


Should college students and teachers be allowed to carry guns on campus?

The controversial question hit a feverish pitch across the country shortly after the Virginia Tech shootings. The question surfaced again at Virginia Tech Monday night.

The student chapter of the Libertarian Party at Virginia Tech sponsored the event. Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens' Defense League, spoke to a crowd of about 100 people.

Van Cleave told the audience while police are always "on duty", just like they were the day of the shootings, when seconds count, they are likely minutes away. He also says technology, like the warning sirens and the text alert systems, can't always be trusted.

Van Cleave says the Virginia Citizens' Defense League is currently working on a new bill which would overrule all university administrator's decision not to allow students and faculty to carry guns on campus.


Here is coverage by the VT newspaper, Collegiate Times. There is a
place for comments at the end of the article on the web and there are
quite a few. Feel free to jump in:


Speaker endorses concealed weapons
Caroline Black, CT University Editor
Tuesday, October 30; 12:00 AM

While the audience milled around in the entryway with exposed guns
hanging from holsters in their khakis, Philip Van Cleave took the
stage in Litton Reaves last night to speak on behalf of the rights of
gun owners to carry their weapons concealed on campus.

Van Cleave is the president of the Virginia Citizen's Defense League
(VCDL) and his lecture, Higher Education and Lawful Concealed Carry:
How Much is Your Life Worth?, was hosted last night by the
Libertarians at Virginia Tech.

Concealed carry is a legal authorization for anyone eligible to own a
handgun or other weapon to be able to carry that weapon in a
concealed, non-visible manner. Currently, it is against the
university policy for anyone to carry a concealed weapon on campus.

Van Cleave opened his presentation last night in front of a giant
screen on which was projected a PowerPoint opening with the words,
"When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only
minutes away."

That sentiment seemed to be echoed throughout his presentation, as
Van Cleave made several more allusions and references that
highlighted his apparent dissatisfaction with the performance of the
police when it comes to providing safety to citizens. He summed up
his thoughts on police protection with the phrase, "I'm responsible
for my safety, the police will be my backup, but I'll protect myself."

Making his first specific reference to Tech, Van Cleave asked "How
many students are here? How many police, how many square miles? It
may be too late, and that is the significance of being able to defend

He took issue with university police, calling the concept a "conflict
of interest" because with the administration as their bosses,
university police can be told to try and keep crime statistics quiet
by the people who "sign their paychecks."

Van Cleave governed his speech last night around a PowerPoint
presentation that made an explosive metaphor of his views of gun
control. Modeling gun control as a "bomb," the bureaucratic mindset
as the "fuse," and the criminal mindset as the "flame," he speculated
that when all of those elements come together, that is when bad
situations occur, and the right to carry concealed weapons on campus
is not the real problem.

He argued that students were being labeled as unstable or unreliable,
and that gun control advocates don't believe that students are mature
enough to handle the right to carry concealed weapons on campus.
However, Van Cleave explained, students over 21 who are able to
drive, drink, vote and serve their country should not be considered
incapable of handling the responsibility of a concealed weapon.

Of the alert systems, Van Cleave said, "Basically, (by restricting
the right to concealed carry on campus) the government is telling me
that if these things fail, I'll die."

He was also of the opinion that being able to carry guns, even
concealed, is actually a deterrent to crime, saying that there is a
certain look or attitude that comes with carrying a concealed weapon
that can alert potential attackers or criminals to the fact that
someone they may be targeting can defend themselves, and they will be
less likely to commit an act of aggression.

His presentation was peppered with personal stories and anecdotes in
which just the presence of guns have prevented dangerous crimes,
including a friend [That maverick, Dennis O'Connor ;-) - PVC] who was
in a bank openly carrying a gun in a holster when a man entered
wearing a ski mask, noticed the friend's exposed weapon, and
hurriedly left the bank.

During a question and answer session in which the audience could
write their questions on index cards, which were filtered by
organizers, most questions seemed to be about gun rights that are
already established.

One question was asked about whether or not Tech students had the
right to carry weapons in a visible manner, to which one audience
member loudly responded, "Only once!" to open laughter. [Board
Member Bruce Jackson, referring to students getting expelled for
breaking a school rule - PVC]

Van Cleave summarized his opinion that the right to conceal carry
guns on campus would benefit students with one of his closing

"(Seung-Hui) Cho had planned to kill himself when police showed up.
If someone else had displayed force, would he have done the same
thing? I believe he would."

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VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org
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