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"When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

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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.
Kyle Swanson / SPPSPhillip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizen's Defense League, spoke in Litton Reaves last night.

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 fr ont 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 yourself."

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 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.

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

"(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."
I have some Pro-Gun quotes on my website as well as an explanation of why I no longer use ebay (in response to ebay's response to the shooting at Virgina Tech). Someone submitted the quote (topic name) to me to use in those sections.
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