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Jerry Falwell Jr.: School Has Offered Gun Classes Since Va. Tech Shooting

Image: Jerry Falwell Jr.: School Has Offered Gun Classes Since Va. Tech Shooting
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. with commencement speaker Jeb Bush in May. (Getty Images) 

By    |   Monday, 07 Dec 2015 11:12 PM

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. defended his stance that his students should be carrying guns on campus, saying the policy has been in effect since the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings that killed 32.

"If some of those people in that community center [in San Bernardino] had what I have in my back pocket right now," Falwell said at a recent convocation. "I always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walk in and kill."

Falwell encouraged students to take free conceal-carry courses offered at the Lynchburg, Va. university.

"I just want to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit," he said in his convocation speech. "We offer you a free course. And let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here."

Falwell's comments drew criticism from Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, who said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that Falwell's words were "deplorable" and a "hateful response to a legitimate security issue" that is "giving aid and comfort to ISIS and other jihadists."

"I'll tell you what's deplorable is that Hillary's a liar," Falwell said Monday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity." "That's not what I said."

His entire speech shows he was clearly referring specifically to Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the radicalized Islamist couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino last week, Falwell said.

Falwell called the classes for students and faculty are "common sense."

"I just remember eight years ago just an hour and a half from Liberty University the terrible carnage at Virginia Tech," he said. "I remember thinking for years after that, what if just one of those students, one of those faculty members had had a concealed carry permit. What if they had been able to stop that shooter before he killed 30-plus lives? And I just determined after that incident to make sure that Liberty University students were prepared, were able to protect themselves, to have the chance to protect themselves."

Students have to be 21 years old to carry weapons on campus, he said.

"We don't have a bunch of 18-, 19-, 20-year-old students running around with handguns," Falwell said.

Falwell also said he has reached out to the families of the victims of the San Bernardino shooting, offering scholarships to any who have children.

Hannity asked Falwell, the son of the late Moral Majority Leader Jerry Falwell, if he has any favorites in the presidential race.

"I've got three favorites at this point: [Donald] Trump, [Ted] Cruz and [Ben] Carson, not necessarily in that order," Falwell said.

"I think Trump reminds me so much of my father. He says exactly what he thinks no matter what anybody [thinks]," Falwell said. "Carson is so intelligent and so level-headed and Cruz is just – I love Ted Cruz."

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Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. defended his stance that his students should be carrying guns on campus, saying the policy has been in effect since the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings that killed 32.
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2015-12-07
Monday, 07 Dec 2015 11:12 PM
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