RU willing to render students defenseless?

[Denying teachers, administrators, adult-students, and visitors the right to carry at the university] will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.

– Virginia Tech VP Larry Hincker

This quote never fails to make my blood boil.

It is the perfect example of feel-good legislation that makes for good sound bites while actually harming those it purports to protect. And I have to believe that he knew it was less-than useless even as he was speaking. You will note that he was very careful to use the phrase “feel safe” rather than any assurance of actual safety.

Because it certainly didn’t make them “actually safe.”  Just a little over a year later, on a cold, sad Monday in April, Virginia Tech senior Seung Hui Cho went on a rampage that cost the lives of 32 of the Commonwealth’s best and brightest young people and sent a nation into mourning.

One of those we lost was Leslie Sherman.  Last year, on the 5th anniversary of Cho’s attack, Leslie’s mother Holly Adams courageously spoke out about what could have been done to protect her daughter and the other innocents at Virginia Tech that day. And she laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who denied the right to self-defense on campus.

“Because professors, staff and students are precluded from protecting themselves on campus, Cho, a student at Virginia Tech himself, was able to simply walk on campus and go on a killing rampage with no worry that anyone would stop him.”

And a jury agreed with her, holding that a university has a “special relationship” with students such that the students can expect to be reasonably protected. In such a case, forbidding such basic personal protection options to students will almost certainly give rise to future lawsuits against Virginia’s colleges and universities.

But despite the harsh lesson learned at Virginia Tech and the very real threat of future lawsuits, more and more of Virginia’s public colleges and universities have been passing regulations banning carry on campus after Attorney General Cuccinelli issued an opinion that university policies do not overrule state-issued concealed carry permits but properly promulgated regulations, which have the force and effect of law, do.

Since then, we have seen a flood of public colleges and universities passing regulations to the extent allowed under  Digiacinto v. The Rector and Visitors of George Mason University.  And it isn’t hard for them to do so.  Virginia gives colleges and universities fast-track regulatory powers that they have used to great effect in ramming these regulations through with little or no due process or public comment.

And that brings us to today’s update.  Sadly, last Friday, the Radford University Board of Visitors voted to join this trend. The vote was 9 to 5 with Rectors Linda K. Whitley-Taylor, Nancy Artis, Brandon Bell, Mary Waugh Campbell, Sandra Davis, Kevin Dye, Darius Johnson, Ruby Rogers, and Georgia Ann Snyder-Falkinham voting in favor of the ban.

The regulation will go into effect as soon as the final regulation is published in the Virginia Register.

About John Pierce

Monachus Lex is written by Virginia attorney John Pierce. John is a life-long gun rights advocate, an NRA certified instructor and co-founder of the nationwide gun rights group

He has an undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems, an MBA from George Mason University and is a 2012 Honors Graduate of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, MN.

Professionally, John is a member of the American Bar Association Second Amendment Civil Rights Litigation Subcommittee and his writings have been published by the ABA Civil Rights Litigation Committee and the ABA Minority Trial Lawyer Committee.

In addition, his open carry advocacy has been featured on Nightline and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.
This entry was posted in Abuse of Discretion, Abuse of Power, Administrative Regulations, Campus Carry, Virginia. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to RU willing to render students defenseless?

  1. Ken Stanton says:

    I was there at VT that fateful day, and I lost my great friend Jeremy. When April 16th happened, I was neutral on gun rights. After, I finally saw with my own eyes WHY someone would ever need a gun on campus. I was fortunate to be able to speak my voice; other victims’ families I spoke to agreed with me that guns should be allowed on campus, but were silenced by the anti-gunners who told them that if they spoke out, they would be made to be the enemies of the victims. And that pretty much describes the mentality of those opposed to self-defense on campus.

    • John Pierce says:


      I am so sorry for your loss and the loss of all those whose loved ones perished that day. And I am sorry that you were victimized again by those who would not let you speak out about ways to insure that such a tragedy never happens again. 🙁

      We must keep working to insure that someday, teachers, staff and adult students are not forced to choose between being on campus or being defenseless!


  2. Grapeshot says:

    We need fewer potential victims, not more. This why bringing state agencies under the umbrella of preemption is vital to putting a stop to this nonsense.

    Where should the risk of harm rest? Should each student and faculty member sign a pledge promising to be a good victim? Should not the risk of great bodily harm hang like a sword over the head of those that would bring such carnage to us?

    Duck, run and call 911……..Please, no more! Our young people are literally dying for lack of their rights.

  3. Ralph W. Guyton says:

    If I were a young student in today,s college or university, I would probably be classed as a lawbreaker ,because there is no way in hell im going without my personal protection firearm, not to satisfy the commie pinko liberals in charge of the educational process in America. They must love to attend funerals,for they want do anything proactive to let the folks protect themselves.

  4. Pingback: University of Mary Washington finalizes their gun ban | Monachus Lex

  5. Pingback: Radford University’s self-defense ban goes into effect even as VCU sees huge increase in crime against students | Monachus Lex

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *