A nationwide silent protest has quietly impacted Linfield.
Sponsored by Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, the Empty Holster Protest concerning students’ right to carry concealed weapons on college grounds began April 21 and will continue through April 25. So far, one Linfield student, freshman Kurtis Williams, has joined the
“The empty holster is supposed to represent defenselessness,” Williams said. “It’s really just me walking around, going about my business (and) having an empty holster showing there’s nothing I can do if anything were
Both the SCCC and Williams believe students with a license to carry a concealed weapon have the right to defend themselves and others at school if
a dangerous situation
were to occur.
Because of the new weapons policy and that Linfield Campus Safety officers cannot carry guns, Williams said he thinks Linfield is
Williams refers to the Virginia Tech shooting when discussing students being able to legally carry weapons on campus. The first two victims shot were a girl and her Resident Adviser. Williams said he believes if the RA had been able to carry a gun, he might have been able to stop
“If a gunman knew or thought someone else would be armed, he might not do anything,” he said.
Although the protest is mostly to express students’ rights, Williams said he would be fine if only reliable parties on campus
were allowed to carry
“If there were weapons at least in the hands of responsible people like professors, RAs or Linfield campus security, there would be less of a chance that someone would want to commit a crime on campus,” he said.
To ensure people would not be surprised by the empty holster, Williams e-mailed Campus Safety Director Mike Dressel, his professors and the residence halls describing the protest and his part in it. He said he has received a few curious looks, but nothing too negative.
When sophomore Jasmin Carmi read the e-mail Williams sent out, she was not against his protest, but the causes behind it.
“I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other,” she said. “But I would hope that instead of treating the symptoms of this ‘epidemic’ of school shootings, we could cure the problem, and then this topic wouldn’t be an issue.”
If she saw a student legally carrying a gun on campus, Carmi said the situation would be shocking and a little frightening.
“Even if somebody does have a permit, there’s always the fear that it’ll go off accidentally,” Carmi said. “There’s always
The EHP has gained attention from media avenues of all types, from school and local newspapers to national radio broadcasts over the Internet. Even if this protest has little impact, Williams said he is still happy to support it.
“The discussion is being raised, which is really the important thing,” he said. “It’s being talked about and people are comprehending the idea.”