COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Big guns on campus. That’s what Ohio State students saw going to class Monday. A group of gun rights advocates held an open carry walk in response to last Monday’s knife attack on campus.
A little more than a dozen people walked. There were more guns than people! While it was a scary sight for many students, the group said guns would make campus safer.
“I hope we open some people’s eyes. I hope they do start asking questions,” said marcher Hunter Sorm.
Jeffry Smith, a firearms instructor and gun rights activist out of Cincinnati, organized the walk. He said it was coincidence a police officer was in the area during the attack last Monday.
“It was absolutely luck. It was fate. It was absolutely luck and fate that it happened as it did,” said Smith. He wants OSU to allow concealed carry on campus.
“In certain circumstances it’s the only thing to shut things down,” he said.
All the guns caught the attention of Eastmoor Academy teacher Amanda Clark’s class, on a campus visit. “They were scared at first they’re like moving over to the side because they had, first of all I’m sure none of my students have never seen a gun in real life,” said Clark.
She said open dialogue is encouraged at her school. “I always tell my students to ask questions first to find out what’s going on.”
An OSU professor confronted the group saying more guns aren’t the answer.
“You do not need to parade your guns!” said Department of Classics Professor Richard Fletcher. He said armed students would make him feel less safe in his classroom. “I defend your rights to have your firearm, but not on this campus.”
The group pointed out that Professor Fletcher wasn’t a US citizen. He said he has lived in the US for 10 years and is applying for citizenship.
Students like Matthew Locaputo welcomed the show of force. “I always carry some form of protection. I’ve got a knife on me right now which is the best I could carry so worst comes to worst I got that, but I’d rather not be the one bringing a knife to a gun fight,” said Locaputo
Ohio State said they were notified in advance about the walk. OSU police followed in cruisers the entire way.
The group met at the Ohio Union on N. High Street at about 11am, Monday, with each member carrying a various assortment of guns.
Last Monday, November 28, a man plowed his car into a group of pedestrians at Ohio State University and began stabbing people with a butcher knife Monday before he was shot to death by a police officer.
Eleven people were hurt.