Arm yourselves against 'Islamic terrorists,' Liberty U. president tells students

The president of Liberty University, an evangelical Christian college in Lynchburg, Va., urged students to carry concealed weapons.

The president of Liberty University, an evangelical Christian college in Lynchburg, Va., urged students to carry concealed weapons.

(Reuters) Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Christian-based Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, is encouraging students to carry concealed weapons on campus for protection, a local newspaper reported.

Falwell made his remarks at the school's weekly convocation on Friday night, according to The News & Advance in Lynchburg. The comments came two days after a shooting in San Bernardino, California left 14 people dead and in the wake of other shooting sprees in the United States, including some on college campuses.

"It just blows my mind when I see that the president of the United States that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control," Falwell said, according to the newspaper. " I've always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in."

Later on Friday, Falwell clarified via Twitter that he was referring to Islamic terrorists, not all Muslims, the paper reported.

Falwell, whose father Jerry Falwell Sr. was an evangelical Southern Baptist pastor, televangelist, and conservative political commentator, urged students to take free classes offered by the university's Police Department to obtain a concealed weapon permit, the newspaper reported. "Let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here," he said. Liberty University is a private institution with about 14,500 students taking courses on campus and another 95,000 enrolled online, according to the school's website. Falwell also tweeted that he had received a wave of support for his comments. An example: 


  1. “I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.”

    In ammo veritas.

    And yet in virtually every situation where these slaughters occur, there was NO ONE with a weapon until the police arrived. Except the shooter.

    didn’t someone– who is not really important to modern Christianity of falwell’s type– say that the answer to someone striking you on the cheek was to turn the other cheek? I believe concealed carry was not his answer.

    “It just blows my mind when I see that the president of the United States that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control.” Because no gun control to speak of has worked so well for us. And having everybody armed to the teeth is just like a sunday School version of Mad Max. If only those kids at Sandy Hook had been packing some heat.

    Or maybe just the teachers, unless the teacher was adam Lanza.

    And this guy is a moralist?

  2. I guess no one is going to answer my question. So I’ll take this opportunity to do so.

    A certain class of so-called Christian is always happy to inform the rest of us about their superior morality, their higher standards, and their status as god’s BFFF by virtue of the first two. If they REALLY feel superior to you, they will tell you how much they love, but hate your sin, just like jesusGod.

    This is how this not-far-from-the-tree apple demonstrates his higher plane of morality and theology compared to radical islamic jihadism– by pandering to the fears and paranoia of his flock, by threatening violence, by wishing a violent death on his enemies.

    By being willing to carry out that penalty of violent death personally

    In other words, he sinks to the level of violent, radical, jihadist islam to prove his superiority to them.

    Let’s fire up the kettles filled with No True Chrstian Stew!!!!!

  3. I do not own a gun, I never have, and I don’t know if I ever will.

    But every time a mass shooting takes place in America (every other week or so?), the conservatives point out that many lives could have been saved, if even one victim or bystander had been in possession of a gun and knew how to use it.

    And every single time the conservatives point it out, the liberals do NOT have an answer for it. Period. The liberals are totally unable to refute it.

    That’s why the libbies are focussing on Falwell Jr. saying the word ‘Muslims’, instead of Falwell Jr. correctly pointing out that one person with a gun could have stopped the Virginia Tech mass-shooting.

    The libbies continue preaching the failed policy of gun-control, even though Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago is the nation’s Exhibit A of worthless gun-control laws. Predictable results, of course.

    Nope, I don’t own a gun.
    Not even an excellent Taurus Raging Judge M-513.
    Not yet.

  4. I’m not surprised by Jerry Falwell.


    “I have come to bring fire…What constraints hold me back. I am impatient to bring not peace but disaster.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)
    “Submit yourself to perversity” – (1 Peter 2:18)
    “Allow evil…..submit to it” – JESUS (Matthew 5:39)
    “The perverse will all be forgiven ” – JESUS (Mark 3:28)
    “The slave shall be beaten” – JESUS (Luke 12:47)
    “….though perpetrators will be forgiven” – JESUS (Mark 3:28)

  5. if Jerry Jr. had his way (and every “good guy” was packing heat), there is no evidence tht it would have any benefit. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence to support the opposite: 20 “good guys” with guns responding to 1-2 bad guys with guns makes the situation unnecessarily complicated for the police who are trained to respond. It doesn’t make a lick of sense to me to think that more people shooting weapons would lead to less casualties.

  6. Doc, unfortunately for you, Australia’s success with gun control blows away your attempt at forming an argument against it.

    Read about it. Look at the evidence before you spout, next time.

  7. ” the conservatives point out that many lives could have been saved, if even one victim or bystander had been in possession of a gun and knew how to use it.”

    Thank you for making the best argument you could on this subject. you basically underlined the poverty of the argument. With one possible exception– someone took out a shooter at Walmart sometime in the last year– there has never ONCE been a good guy with a gun handy to stop the carnage.

    didn’t someone– who is not really important to modern Christianity of falwell’s type– say that the answer to someone striking you on the cheek was to turn the other cheek? I believe concealed carry was not his answer.

    Meanwhile, Falwell just advocated more death dealing, and true to form, you agreed with it.

  8. Sounds great for those who live in Australia, but it ain’t saving American lives at all (see Chicago).

    But congratulations on that “evidence” of yours. Tell me when it holds a drop of relevancy to THIS nation..

  9. Sorry, but I don’t see any workable alternatives coming from you. And it seems UNUSUALLY cold-hearted of you to be telling the families of murder victims that “Turn The Other Cheek” was their only moral option in mass-shooting situations.

  10. The conservative position on gun control and gun ownership is complete and utter bu11.

    The whole idea of encouraging trigger happy amateurs to act as law enforcement is ridiculous. Defensive gun use, loose rules on carrying firearms, loose rules on obtaining handguns has never ever had an effect on reducing gun crime. As someone who never owned a gun, No mass murder spree has ever been thwarted by amateurs.

    Conservatives have ensured that gun control measures are ineffective. Instead of useful national level regulations we have a patchwork of laws with huge intentionally large loopholes. Chicago’s gun control laws are undermined by the laxity of regulation in suburbs and rural areas surrounding it.

    Add to that conservatives destroyed the mental health system.. Ensuring crazy people will continue to patronize gun shops everywhere.

  11. Here are some, which conservatives have tried to quash over the years:

    National level regulations and registration
    National level gun crime databases
    Mandatory liability insurance requirements
    Restore the mental health system
    Curb dramatic budget cuts to law enforcement
    Curb the dramatic budget cuts for veterans benefits

    The blood of those murdered in preventable gun violence is on the hands of people expecting “good (white christian) people with guns” to solve their problems..

  12. This is a complicated issue and it doesn’t help that Falwell Jr. is inarticulate.

    That said, the tide of public opinion will change on this issue if there are more incidents like the murders which occurred in San Bernadino. Gun sales will soar and more guns will be in more places. The arguments pro and con will give way to a numerically illogical fear of confrontation with terrorists — we are a nation of 322 million people and the odds of being involved in such an event are pretty close to zero.

  13. The spirit of Falwell’s remarks isn’t good. There’s nothing humble or Christlike about them. And since the issue is life and death, there’s no excuse. There’s too much swagger, especially for the Christian president of a Christian university.

    Have I and other Christians been guilty of same in other contexts? Yes. But it doesn’t make it right.

    But on substance, Falwell, in spite of himself, is more right than wrong. If the right to self-preservation is a basic human right, which it is, then so is the right to procure the means to do so.

    And when law-abiding citizens have a gun, they can and do save other people’s lives, as well as their own. In the case of a past mass shooting on a campus in Pearl, Mississippi, a college professor helped stop the carnage by getting his own gun from his car. Further, it is hardly coincidental that mass shootings typically occur in relatively gun-free zones.

  14. I don’t think it’s a matter of superiority vs. inferiority, but what to do about the threat of mass violence, in this instance by radical Islamists.

  15. Turning the other cheek refers to one’s own, not that of another. It is right to turn one’s own, but it can be monstrous to force others to turn their own.

    Thus, the motive for a Christian carrying a gun should be defending others at least as much as self-defense. I see nothing non-Christian about that.

    What is wrong, though, is the virtual worship of guns in some subcultures of America. There’s a difference between a sad and sober recognition that law-abiding people having guns is a necessity in a fallen world and creating a whole subculture in which guns are gods.

    Thus, it’s not the assertion of gun rights that’s the problem from a Christian standpoint; it’s the idolatrous dependence on guns over God that’s the problem….and the arrogance that goes with it.

    Having a gun is an adult responsibility; building your entire world around guns is a sickness.

  16. Jazz, that’s a theory, but in practice, there is little question that in many situations involving mass shootings, a person with a gun could have stopped the carnage before the police arrived. In some cases, such a person did just that. Pearl, Miss. is one example.

  17. The arguments for gun control are weak….all the more so when you consider the fact that overall violence in our society is way down from decades ago even though there are far more guns now than then. No supporter of gun control ever predicted that. The premise of gun control is that more guns mean more violence.

    I’m not saying that more guns cause less violence. I am saying that when you have more guns but less violence, and no substantial changes in gun laws during that time, something else besides guns themselves is causing the drop in violence.

    An obvious explanation is that we’re putting larger numbers of violent people in jail and keeping them there.

  18. Of course, Jack, that wasn’t really the point. And if we had decent gun control laws, perhaps so many of the guns wouldn’t be necessary.

    ““ I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.”

    Falwell wasn’t talking about the right to protect oneself, but was talking about murder of people because of their religion.

  19. I wasn’t talking about forcing others to turn their cheek. and neither was Falwell. Falwell himself, and members of his congregation, were not being attacked. but he advocated murder anyway.

    “What is wrong, though, is the virtual worship of guns in some subcultures of America.” Ya think?

    I have very few issues with guns themselves. My issue is unregulated access to guns, ammo, and mass slaughter, with the concomitant claims of “loss of freedom” if any sane regulations are enacted.

    I have very few issues with religion itself. As I have often said, if it makes you a better person and your life better. have at it. My issue is with theocracy, and the concomitant claims of loss of freedom if theocratic beliefs are constrained by secular law.

    It’s remarkably consistent.

  20. My point was about hypocrisy. Christians of falwell’s sort are masters at it.

  21. Reference to anecdotes and paranoid fantasy scenarios is all the gun lobby has in the face of facts. In fact the NRA’s paranoid language is a change from more responsible rhetoric of the past. Wayne LaPierre has gone out of his way to make the NRA pander to the least responsible segment of gun owners.

    Defensive gun use has little to no to no effect on violent crimes

    “These results were similar to previous research on older NCVS data which showed that, while using a firearm in self-defense did lower a person’s risk of subsequent injury, it was less effective than using any weapon other than a gun.”

    “The surveys also found that when someone uses a gun in self defense, it is often part of an escalating hostile interaction — one in which both participants are likely to be responsible for the event that initially prompted the DGU (Defensive Gun Use)”

  22. We liberals have several answer for it, doc, but you aren’t interested in them.

    First, compare all of the shootings. mass or otherwise, to the number of times there has been someone else with a gun to stop it. Just about zero. In other words, it doesn’t happen.

    Second, life is not a Bruce willis movie, where the bad guys can’t shoot and the good guys manage to perform near impossible feats. It’s a childish fanatasy.

    Third, the idea the ordinary citizens will react just like trained officers is another childish fantasy. As Dr. Stabby himself said, “Hey, you’ll want to shoot that guy over there, not me”, and then sat down to enjoy his chicken.

    fourth, there is no failed policy of gun control. We barely have anything resembling gun control. People bring up places like Chicago and Caliofornia as examples of the failure of strict gun control. Neither place has gun control. Australia has gun control.

  23. Australia is a very good comparable to look at. They’ve had tremendous success in curbing gun violence, so we really should investigate closely what has been done there. It would be foolish not to.

  24. The arguments against gun control are ridiculous to say the least. Most fall under the aegis of bad faith arguments based on their own efforts to attack gun control or just ridiculous fallacy. The premise of gun control is that a gun is a lethal weapon with little utility outside of such functions which demands some level of regulation to ensure public safety.

    Most gun owners see the obvious flaws of more “good guys with guns” as an answer to gun violence. Few gun owners are proficient even with their own firearms and outside of those in law enforcement and specialized military roles almost none have experience using them in dangerous situations. Trigger happy amateurs is a recipe for a ton of accidental injuries and deaths.

    Rhetoric against national level regulations ensure that localized ones are ineffective. Even basic gun safety measures designed to reduce the abominably high accidental gun death/injury rate are opposed by the gun lobby.

  25. Do either of you even own firearms?

    I do, several even. Even I don’t trust the NRA’s rhetoric or the attitude of “good guys with gun”. Its a great way to get people killed by accident.

    “People who feel safer with a gun than with guaranteed medical insurance don’t yet have a fully adult concept of scary.”
    William Gibson.

    Fat lot much of the gun lobby is going to do for you, Doc. Black people are more likely than white people to be killed accidentally by police for carrying anything even resembling a legally owned and permitted firearm in public.

  26. It was the point I chose to make, Ben, after reading the article & your response.

    As for his comment on Muslims, he claims he was confining his remarks to radical Islamists. And I don’t know what he means when he talks about “ending” them “before they walked in.” I can guess what “ending” means but who is “them?” and “walked in” where?

    If it means he wants to blow Muslims away, he is a moral barbarian. If he means he wants people to procure the means with which to defend themselves against radical Islamist terrorists and other miscreants, I have no problem with that.

    When I analyze people’s words, I try to put them in the context of the likely intent of the person delivering them. Falwell does not strike me as one who would stand at a US port of entry and blast away at every Muslim seeking entry. So I interpret his words accordingly.

    As for gun control, I used to be for it, but now am skeptical about its efficacy.

  27. Ben, you implied that Christ’s response to a threat of violence would be to turn the other cheek rather than buy a weapon. I’m saying that if an individual interprets it that way for himself, fine. What is not fine is when that same person believes in imposing that definition on others through gun restrictions (depending on what they are, obviously).

    You’ve suggested that gun control is some kind of panacea to violence despite the fact that societal violence is way down at the same time that guns are more plentiful than ever.

    The fact that more guns not only did not produce more violence but coincided with less violence over the decades may not refute gun control arguments. But it strongly suggests that other factors having zero to do with gun control play a decisive role in raising or lowering the level of violence in society. And to ignore this is to bury one’s head in the sand.

  28. Christians in America are as capable as anyone of saying stupid things or speaking carelessly, ie in a way that they can easily be misinterpreted by those playing gotcha games. And I can tell you plenty of stories of hypocrisy by Christians that make my own blood boil.

    But to compare hypocritical Christians to radical Islamists, without a number of caveats embedded in the comparison, is to engage in hyperbole. And besides the baby boomer generation, which on both sides of the aisle thrives on that kind of language, the rest of America is tired of that. It doesn’t work.

  29. How about Chicago, where gun control laws are severe? How is that working out for Chicagoans?

  30. Chicago isn’t a great comparison, because guns can so easily come in from adjacent places. The controls need to be nationwide as well as strict.

  31. Larry, your first sentence is a throwaway — filled with empty rhetoric — which underscores how you have no answer to the fact that over the past generation-and-half, we have seen dramatic declines in societal violence without any serious change in gun laws and in spite of a tremendous increase in the number of guns circulating.

    If guns were key, this never would have happened. What is key is the fact that for the same time period, we have been locking up the violent through improved policing technology and strategy, taking out of society the relatively small numbers of people who commit a disproportionate percentage of the violence.

    Given that fact, and given the magnitude of the decline in violence, guns themselves, in comparison to who’s using them, are about as relevant to the problem or solution as a hair brush is to a xylophone.

  32. I agree with second Larry over first Jack.

    If it were the guns themselves, then what’s happening in Chicago should be happening across the nation. But for at least a generation, the opposite has happened — an exponential decline in societal violence.

    But nice try anyway. It must be tough to keep arguing for the impossible, not just on this issue, but on others, too.

  33. Anything on that list that is about gun control is pretty much useless.

    That leaves us with restoring the mental health system, curbing budget cuts for law enforcement, and maybe veterans benefits, although on that last one, linking it to sizable chunks of violence is a major stretch.

    Your last sentence is sophomoric nonsense — because the premise is that gun control is key to reducing violence, when the astronomical reduction in violence over the past generation had absolutely nothing to do with gun control, which didn’t happen, or with availability of guns, which actually increased dramatically.

  34. Larry, I never said I was in favor of crazy people owning firearms, so your citing yourself as a gun owner contributes nothing to the debate.

  35. So in other words, Ben, you want the sort of gun control that effectively abrogates the Second Amendment.

    Again, the fact that violence has plunged by gargantuan amounts over the past generation despite the lack of movement on further gun control and despite the leap in gun circulation strongly suggests what an anemic role gun control or lack thereof plays in determining the levels of societal violence. At most, it may have an effect on the margins…..but if the gun controllers were correct, we never should have seen such a steep and long-term decline in violence absent tougher gun laws and given more guns.

  36. You compare apples to oranges and making spurious correlation/causation arguments. Decline of crime in general is demographic in nature, following population declines. Gun violence per capita and frequency of gun violence remains at intolerable levels and increasing in lethality.

    Where sensible regulations are enacted, gun violence dramatically decreases. Australia’s efforts are a great example of it. They have the same demographic decline as us but reduced firearms violence to a trickle due to conscious efforts per capita.

    Mass murder spree incidents have been increasingly more common. Especially noticeable with a general decline of violent organized crime in the country. Guns per owner have gone up dramatically as well. As well as accidental/negligent gun injuries and deaths.

    Your response of “do nothing and wait for things to naturally subside” is not even a remotely sensible approach. Nor is the gun lobby’s approach of putting more guns in the hands of paranoids.

  37. You are full of it. The main reason most gun control measures in this country fail is due to regional loopholes and lack of coherent national policy. Chicago’s efforts get undermined because of the ease of obtaining guns in the suburbs and rural areas in close proximity.

    “Straw buying” is the chief method of obtaining firearms for criminal use. Something which only exists due to differences in state laws. Lack of national crime and gun ownership statistics hobble effective law enforcement.

    The purpose of gun control is to regulate guns like any other object people own which is potentially lethal. If we treated gun ownership with the same level of care for public safety as we do autos, there would be far fewer gun related deaths in this country.

    Every developed country had similar decreases in crime, but most others had far greater reductions of gun violence per capita than the US due to sensible regulation.

  38. Your attitude of “do nothing about firearms regulation” is essentially standing aside while we let crazy people dictate regulation of firearms.

    Firearms need to be regulated on the same lines as cars. For the same reason. It is a device which can cause grievous harm to the public when misused or used for nefarious purposes.
    -Mandatory liability insurance
    -National ownership and incident databases
    -Special licensing for certain types of firearms
    -Mandatory safety devices

    I am not one for restricting all gun ownership, but I also don’t think most people who buy assault weapons usually have legitimate purpose in mind outside of satisfying a fetish. I would rather encourage responsible ownership than cater to delusions and fantasy (what the NRA seems to be doing as of late).

  39. Wrong, Larry.

    I am spotlighting the fact that there is zero evidence for a central contention of gun control advocates — that more guns spell more societal violence.

    That hypothesis has been destroyed by the opposite happening over the past quarter century.

    And that has to mean that something other than the presence or absence of guns is responsible for the plunge in societal violence, sensationalist headlines notwithstanding.

    More guns but less violence means something is happening to people who are violent that is stopping or reducing their violence.

    And that something is, in part, jail time. Lots of it.

    As for your claim that demographic declines account for the plunge, do you honestly believe that the 80-85% plunge in yearly NYC murders from 2,000 a generation ago to less than 400 today is caused by demographics? Do you believe NYC is depopulating itself? Did NYC lose 80% of its young people? How absurd.

  40. What a nonsensical excuse for the explosion in violence in gun-control-happy Chicago.

    It begs the question: If the cause of Chicago’s spikes in violence are the guns that come into Chicago from the rest of the country, why has the rest of the country seen such dramatic declines in violence over the past generation?

    The reason for high violence in gun-control-happy cities is clear:

    The same leaders who push draconian gun laws on these places do a terrible job controlling crime and criminals, because they are either ideologues who despise the police or are political hacks who need the support of the ideologues & their political bases to win elections.

    A big exception is NYC, which had a succession of good-government mayors who, while leaving gun control alone, let the police go after criminals.

    They were a Democrat, a Republican, and an Independent — Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani, and Michael Bloomberg. And they ran NYC for 36 out of 40 critical years.

  41. Jack, there is a simple argument for why violent crime, and crime general has decreased.

    Legalized abortion.

    It’s all in a brilliant book called Freakonomics.

  42. No, I didn’t say that. Nor would I, even though I detest guns and the mentality that thinks that they are Good idea.

    Registration of guns. Severe penalties for use of a gun in a crime. Required things like trigger locks. Required liability insurance if you have failed to secure your guns properly. No sales of assault weapons. Limits on ammunition purchased. Required training courses and certification. Background checks.

    Not one of these things requires abrogation of the second amendment.

  43. No Jack, you are making a nonsense argument that gun control measures when effectively inolented have no effect on gun violence. It is a wildly extreme interpretation of the correlation between population decline and crime.

    BTW NYC demographics have shifted dramatically with gentrification pushing working and middle classes out to the adjacent suburbs and NJ. Crime decreased in NY (except the Bronx) but increased or stayed the same in the surrounding area.

    All developed countries have the same demographic based drop in crime and don’t have nearly the same level of gun violence.

    Your objection to sensible regulation is nonsense.

  44. Here is your caveat.

    Radical Islamists want to kill innocent other people who don’t conform to their beliefs.

    Radical Christians like Falwell merely want to.

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