It was the cheers that shook me. They echoed around in the dome of the stadium, the outpouring of more than 10,000 Liberty University students during our weekly convocation.
The school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., boomed from the speakers, spurring them on. He reached for his back pocket and referenced the pistol he had there. Then, he encouraged the rest of us to arm ourselves as well, in case “those Muslims,” ever showed up at our Christian college.
Some of us just stared in disbelief. As for the rest, perhaps they were excited to have someone speaking up about gun rights, a topic many conservatives feel passionate about. Perhaps they’d been waiting for an opportunity to release the pain and powerlessness over yet another attack on American soil. Perhaps they didn’t realize the exact implications of what Falwell was saying. Regardless, it turned out that their enthusiasm wasn’t limited to our Lynchburg, Virginia, campus. As Falwell’s ...1