Yesterday was VCDL‘s “Operation Campus Safety” protest at Virginia Tech. Based on what I saw in the short time I was there, in its last hour, I would call it a success. I got there at about 3:00, and this is what I saw.
It wasn’t apparent at first, but the group to the right of the stairs was actually the anti-rights counter-protest. I would say there were about 20 or 25 VCDL folks there at that point (several are out of frame to the left, past the tents), and about 10 to 15 antis. Keep in mind that this was 3 1/2 hours after the event officially started and 1 hour before the official end, and temperatures were hovering in the mid to upper 30’s, so it was really only the most dedicated people (on both sides)who stuck around that long. There were several speakers that were scheduled to start at noon, which I unfortunately missed.
There were a surprising number of students taking “Guns save lives” stickers and the VCDL handouts, and several specifically walked over to talk and voice their support just while I was there. I know I heard more than one variation on “I couldn’t stop earlier so I came back.” I didn’t see anyone stop for the antis, though I could have missed it. VCDL members were spread out and actively engaging passerby, while the antis seemed to be huddled together and just standing there. All reports from the people I saw were that the antis were unusually well-behaved.
VCDL had lots of signs out.
All in all, a good showing. I saw one semi-openly carried firearm*, and at least two empty holsters. I’m sure there were several more firearms that I never saw.
So many firearms on campus. Yet strangely enough nothing happened. Go figure.
It’s almost as if the antis don’t know what they’re talking about, or something.
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* Meaning that it appeared to be an open carry rig, and no apparent effort was made at deliberate concealment, but her coat frequently covered it and made it hard to notice – a normal consequence of carrying during cold weather. I was surprised, because she had walked by me several times before I noticed it. I’m not entirely sure, but I got an impression of 1911-ness.