After rebuke from a free-speech watchdog group, a Florida
university has relented and allowed students to hold a protest on
campus in support of gun rights.
Peter Bonilla of the Foundation for
Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports that when the
Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter at Santa Fe College in
Gainesville announced its "empty holster" protest, campus police
Chief Ed Book said he would draw his firearm on any protestor
wearing an empty holster.
"It's a statement that the chief of police later denied making
when asked, but it was certainly suspicious enough and raised
enough flags for us that that FIRE needed to get in on the ground
floor," Bonilla shares.
But he asserts that this is not an unusual type of event to take
place on college campuses.
"This kind of protest has been going on at dozens of college
campuses over the years, and very rarely is there any sort of case
where it gets official pushback from the administration on the
basis of its message," the FIRE spokesman details.
In this case, after FIRE got involved, college President Jackson
Sasser affirmed YAL's First Amendment rights would be fully