The president of Liberty University is urging students to carry guns so they can kill Muslims before Muslims kill them.
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. made his controversial remarks in the wake of Wednesday’s massacre in San Bernardino, California. Fourteen people were killed and 21 were injured in the attack, which was carried out by a husband and wife who were described by family members and others as “devout Muslims.”
Speaking at a convocation on Friday at the leading conservative Christian school, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. said:
It just blows my mind when I see that the President of the United States [says] that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control…
If some of those people in that community center had had what I’ve got in my back pocket right now…
I’ve always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in…
The Christian students reportedly erupted into applause when Falwell called on them to carry guns and “end those Muslims…”
After some fierce backlash on social media, Falwell tried to do some damage control via Twitter, insisting that he was referring to the radical Islamic terrorists who carried out attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, tweeting:
I was referring to ‘those Muslims’ that carried out attacks in Paris and California.
In another attempt at damage control Falwell told the News & Advance:
There are many good Muslims, many moderate Muslims.
Falwell is the son of the late Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell, the school’s founder. Falwell Sr. was an obnoxious and despised Christian extremist who infamously blamed the 9/11 terrorist attacks on abortionists and homosexuals.
Reacting to Falwell’s suggestion that students should get a gun so they can kill Muslims, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe condemned Falwell’s remarks as “rash and repugnant.”
McAuliffe issued the following statement on Saturday:
My administration is committed to making Virginia an open and welcoming Commonwealth, while also ensuring the safety of all of our citizens. Mr. Falwell’s rash and repugnant comments detract from both of those crucial goals. Those of us in leadership positions, whether in government or education, must take care to remember the tremendous harm that can result from reckless words.
The Washington Post reports Liberty University’s convocation service, held three times a week in a 12,000-seat sports arena, is mandatory for the schools’ students who live on campus and is also watched by thousands of its 95,000 online students.
Liberty University is also a popular pilgrimage site for GOP presidential candidates. Several Republican presidential candidates have spoken at Liberty this year, including retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
In addition to Republicans, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders also spoke at Liberty University earlier this year, defending marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose an abortion.