VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A student in Virginia Beach says his attempt to start a Second Amendment Club on campus at ECPI University fell flat, leading to heated call for change online. The school says people don’t know the whole story.
Right now gun rights websites are supporting Patrick Winslow’s fight to start his club, but the university claims it’s rooted in misinformation. 10 On Your Side got to the bottom of the debate that has so many people up in arms.
“I have now taken on an effort to want to educate the students and the faculty on the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, federal and state laws regarding gun control and gun laws and so forth,” Winslow said.
It sounds well-meaning, and many who have seen the response from the ECPI Campus Director of Academic Affairs have become immediately incensed. The response says, “Patrick, the University wouldn’t sponsor a club like this as it does not correlate to program enhancement or community service.” Those words are now being described as “Anti-Gun Double Standards” by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
“I was shocked,” said Philip Van Cleave. “It’s a group that would be meeting and talking about the Constitution, the Second Amendment and so forth, and they basically said that’s not a public service. You would hope doing the criminal justice system, they would understand what the Second Amendment is, but maybe they don’t.”
Van Cleave said he’d love to know the real reason Patrick got a “no,” and many people agree. But the President of ECPI says people aren’t getting the full story.
“I actually didn’t hear about it until we started getting bombarded with blogs and emails,” said Mark Dreyfus. “He wanted to start a club with the intent, expressed intent, with changing our policy on the carry law at the institution. It really tells you about the internet today and what’s out there is not necessarily the truth.”
When we spoke to Mark Dreyfus he had just finished a conversation with the National Riffle Association. He said there’s a big difference in the heart of the controversy, and this “initial” email presented to them, and that if they were against gun rights, the university wouldn’t have a criminal justice program with new technology aimed at gun safety.
Dreyfus also said they’ve been threatened and accused of a lot without people truly understanding what they were reacting to. Two federal laws restrict the possession of firearms in or near schools.
Patrick admits he didn’t really know how to go about setting up a club at the university. He does want to appeal the request with better verbiage about the intent of the club.