Advocates for Gun Control Plan Counterrally at ODU
By Julian Walker - The Virginian-Pilot - November 1, 2011
A gun rights group that plans a rally this week on Old Dominion University's campus will have some unwanted company when it gathers today on Kaufman Mall to push for less-restrictive weapons policies.
The group will be confronted by gun control advocates who said they've organized a counterdemonstration in support of a university proposal to ban concealed-weapon permit holders from bringing guns into school facilities.
"Decisions about campus safety should be made by administrators, faculty and students, not by extremists... who contribute nothing to the academic community in the commonwealth," Andrew Goddard, president of the Virginia Center for Public Safety, said in a statement.
His son, Colin, survived being shot four times during the April 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech.
Last week, the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League announced plans to rally at the Norfolk university as part of a broader push against campus rules that limit where people can lawfully carry weapons. The rally is scheduled from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
League leaders argue that the decision to carry a weapon should be left to the individual who legally possesses it, and they have scheduled rallies at several Virginia colleges to publicly articulate that view.
ODU's gun policy is being revised after Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued an opinion last summer that college bans on guns in campus buildings don't override permit holders' rights to carry a concealed weapon.
He said regulations carry the force of law and would apply, so ODU is developing a regulation patterned after one at George Mason University that the state Supreme Court upheld earlier this year.