Updated Tue, Apr 3, 2012 8:31 am
Members of the Ohio University Second Amendment Club are planning to take part in a nationwide protest this week against laws that ban concealed weapons on college campuses.
From Tuesday until Friday, the students will wear visible, but empty, gun holsters.
"The hope is to interact with people. It's kind of a way to start these conversations and to say our viewpoints," said Thomas Stierhoff, president of the club.
The club has between 10 and 20 active members and about 100 alumni on its mailing list.
In Ohio, concealed weapons are allowed in many places. Last fall, carrying firearms in bars became legal. The students question why college campuses should be different, if the person who carries the gun is trained and has a license.
"They say one of the reasons for the ban is that college students get into drugs and alcohol. Personally, I have never seen a student coming into a 10 o'clock class drunk," Stierhoff said.
The junior in college said he has been shooting since he was about 12 years old. For him, guns were part of growing up because his parents were both police officers.
"It's an interest of mine. I enjoy shooting. I kind of like the physical aspect of it. There is a bullet in your gun and all these mechanical things have to happen to shoot," he said.
Stierhoff said he does not think allowing guns would make campuses more dangerous.
"If anyone ever was in trouble, who do they call? They call a police officer because they have a gun. I think everybody should have the ability or the chance to defend themselves."