Oct 21, 2008

Concealed Carry unloads on an unsuspecting inbox

by Tim Mattingly

There is nothing like receiving spam e-mails to make someone’s point of view really sink in. As I contemplated my overflowing inbox, I came to the realization that being mass-messaged is a lot like eating pizza.

Now, I love pizza (more than is natural). I also love a good opinion (not as much as pizza). On a good day, I could eat eight slices of pizza and each one would taste just as good as the first. But on the other hand, if I were to be force-fed 20 slices in one hour … let’s just say that a stomachache would be the least of my problems.

With that said, the organization known as Concealed Carry, along with its chapter at Liberty, has officially clogged any chance they had of me trumpeting its cause. At the same time my curiosity was peaked, so I followed my nose to Facebook to see what the stink was about.

Group: Students for concealed carry at Liberty University — 492 members. This is a respectable number, falling a little short of 5 percent of resident students enrolled this semester. In fact, it comes close to Liberty’s “Chick-fil-A! Woohoo” group count of 672 members — no small feat considering our generation’s growing reliance on fried chicken.

As I gazed down at the topic of discussions, I immediately came upon a posting entitled “Having a weapon at LU = illegal.” It sounds like someone is a party-pooper to me but I decided not to judge until I read what he had to say.

The initiator of this post, Jan Michael Dervish, cited legal clauses saying that the “possession of firearm, stun weapon, or other weapon on school property is prohibited.”

Dervish argued that because Liberty Christian Academy (LCA) is on campus, it is unlawful to permit concealed carry at Liberty.

Dervish said places, which the law deems illegal locations to possess any of these weapons, includes “the property of any public, private or religious elementary, middle or high school, including buildings and grounds.”

After such heinous claims, the forum exploded with opposition to Dervish’s post. One proponent of concealed carry on Liberty campus immediately responded saying, “I believe LU [has] a distinction, however, to where the high school stops and the college begins.”

The argument escalated as a team of concealed carriers virtually surrounded Dervish in an attempt to squeeze his opinion out of the picture. Some made sound arguments against him, while others could only respond with statements such as, “Everyone I know or have met from Wisconsin has been a liberal. Why is that?”

To which Dervish mercilessly shot back, saying, “Wisconsin was the birthplace of the Republican party.”

Clearly, people like Dervish, who stir up trouble in these forums and cause my e-mail to get spam messaged. His (antics) has shaken up a hornet’s nest of concealed carriers, which in turn brought their concerns to the top.

“Liberty University will consider whether to allow concealed weapon permit holders to carry guns on campus at its next board of trustees meeting,” Jerry Falwell Jr., is quoted as saying in the News and Advance.

Apparently the Liberty board of trustees will be the ones to flush out the details of concealed carry on Liberty campus. One thing is apparent in all of this — the board of trustees can eat more pizza than I. They will be deciding about this in March 2009.

In the meantime, I invite proponents and opponents of Concealed Carry on Liberty campus to write thoughtful 300 to 500 word, factually based articles and submit them to liberty.opinion@gmail.com by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 31.


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