The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) protested at Wednesday. VCDL members and volunteers were visibly and legally armed. Anti-gun advocates from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence counter-protested.
The university has a ban on weapons for all students and faculty. However, those who aren't students or faculty may carry guns on campus, if they have the proper permit. The Constitution of Virginia protects the right of citizens to keep and bear arms from government infringement. An overview of Virginia's gun laws are posted by the Virginia State Police.
"I kind of understand both sides, I'm not really lenient towards either," said Julie Manausa, a conflict analysis major at Mason. "I understand the need for self defense, but I honestly don't really see why there would be a need on a college campus for weapons."
Others disagree. In a preelection debate at , he did not believe in any type of gun control measures and viewed them as an infringement of individual rights. “Criminals will still continue to get guns, regardless,” he said. Kane also said that the Virginia Tech shootings could have been averted if students had been allowed to carry guns on campus.
According to their website, "VCDL is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to advancing the fundamental human right of all Virginians to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I Section 13 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia."
"The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy," says their website.