Gun Group Packs Heat on GMU Campus

Protesting university's no gun policy for students, staff

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) joined with two student groups for a gun rights rally on the George Mason University campus Wednesday.

The protest was called "No Guns; No Funds." The group wants alumni to stop donating to the university, until the administration changes its gun policy.

Currently, students, faculty and staff are prohibited from carrying weapons anywhere on campus. Visitors can carry legally registered guns outdoors but cannot take their weapons inside university buildings or to campus sponsored events.

“Are they going to get rid of their police officers? They all have guns,” said Philip Can Cleave, of VCDL. “I don't understand. Guns are not the problem. It's bad guys with guns. People like me, I'm not a bad guy.”

The VCDL says any registered gun owner should have the right to carry their weapon anywhere on campus so they can protect themselves from attacks like the one at Virginia Tech.

Among the gun ban supporters was Joe Samaha, whose daughter Reema was killed in the Virginia Tech massacre.

“The opponents have never reached out to say, What can we do to make it harder for individuals to have guns?” he said. “It's always been, How can we make it easier for individuals to get guns?”

Gun rights supporters argue no school has the right to ban a citizen’s right to self-defense.

A George Mason spokesperson said the university respects the group's right to express its opinion but said the university has no plans to change the gun policy.

“If something gets out of hand and you have people in a crowded room classroom center pulling out random weapons, you have the potential for random violence,” Dan Walsch said.

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