It was nearly two years ago that a mentally disturbed student used a firearm to murder 32 people at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia and then committed suicide.
While this tragedy was used by gun control advocates as an occasion to promote additional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms in the Commonwealth of Virginia and elsewhere, CCRKBA pointed out that it was a Virginia Tech policy which was at fault and which may in fact have facilitated the violent rampage of the mass murderer.
CCRKBA noted that while Virginia law allows individuals with state issued permits to carry concealed firearms, the administration of Virginia Tech prohibits both faculty and students from carrying firearms on campus even if they have CCW permits.
In effect, then, the Virginia Tech policy actually prevented any professors or students with CCW permits from interrupting or stopping the April 16, 2007 rampage.
Since that time, there has been much discussion of the policy of Virginia Tech and other institutions of higher learning in Virginia and throughout the country.
One of the people who is trying to do something about the situation in Virginia is Delegate Robert Marshall, the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month for March.
In nominating Marshall for the Award, John M. Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said that, “Bob recently introduced legislation in the Virginia House of Delegates to allow faculty members at institutions of higher education in Virginia with CCW permits to carry on campus. Because of this, and because he has been a staunch defender of gun rights throughout his public life, he certainly is most deserving of this distinction.”
The bill, HB 1656, would provide that, notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no board of visitors or other governing body of a public institution of higher education shall adopt or enforce any rule, regulation or policy, and no appointee, employee, or agent of the institution shall take any administrative action governing the carrying of a concealed handgun on the property of or in buildings owned by the institution by a full time faculty member of the institution who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit.
The bill also would provide that any rule, regulation or policy adopted by a board of visitors or governing body of a state institution of higher education prior to July 1, 2009, that would prohibit a full time faculty member of the institution who possesses a valid Virginia concealed handgun permit from carrying a concealed handgun on the property of or in the buildings owned by the institution is invalid.
The bill has been referred to the Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety.
“One of the most important freedoms Americans have is the right to protect themselves from unlawful aggressors,” says Marshall. “This freedom is so important that our founding fathers saw it necessary to declare it our Second Amendment right, just after freedom of speech, assembly and religion. I strongly support the right of competent, law-abiding citizens to own and possess arms to defend themselves, to hunt or to pursue sporting interests. The freedom to own and bear arms for self defense or to defend another from an unjust aggressor is a natural right.”
Marshall was born in Tacoma Park, Maryland on May 3, 1944. He is married to Catherine Ann Fonseca. He is the father of Teresa Marie, Christopher Gerard (deceased), Mary Clare, Joseph Richard and Thomas James. Delegate Marshall is a member of All Saints Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the Prince William County, Virginia Republican Committee.
Bob received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History in 1969 from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, North Carolina and his Master of Arts in Humanities in 1991 from California State University.
Delegate Marshall is an independent research consultant. He has worked as a Vice President of Communications for Shenandoah Electronic Intelligence, an adjunct professor for George Mason University, the Director of Congressional Information for the American Life League, Staff Director of a U.S. Senate subcommittee, Legislative Assistant for two U.S. Representatives and one U.S. Senator, and in the Executive Office of the President as a “cost-cutter” reviewing grants for waste and efficiency.
Marshall was first elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1991. He serves on the Counties, Cities and Towns, Privileges and Elections and Technology committees. He is chairman of the Counties, Cities and Towns Subcommittee # 1, and the Privileges and Elections Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, Campaign Reform and Ethics.