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Thread: Washington Post exclusive on GMU SCC & its President, Andrew Dysart!

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...061202408.html


    Ex-Marine at GMU Presses to Let Students Have Guns

    'Concealed Carry' Issue Reverberates

    By Fredrick Kunkle

    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, June 14, 2007; Page VA01

    Soon after Virginia Tech's mass shooting, some George Mason University students formed a group to do something about guns on campus: They want the right to carry them.

    Andrew Dysart, who heads George Mason University Students for Concealed Carry, said the group aims to overturn a university policy that prohibits students and faculty members from carrying firearms on campus. About 45 students have signed up since organizers began pulling the group together in late April, he said.

    The group has not drawn up an action plan or had regular meetings, largely because the school year was winding down when the effort got underway. But Dysart, a former Marine and a junior majoring in justice administration, said he hopes to formally convene the club, approve bylaws and obtain official recognition from the university this fall.

    Dysart, who has a concealed carry permit, said he met with GMU administrators who were receptive to forming a club that met university guidelines on official organizations. The administrators were less encouraging about its goals, he said.

    "At the same time, I think they're surprised at the number of students I've gotten behind me," said Dysart, 25, of Warrenton. "Talking to people, I get mixed reactions. I get people who support me and people who don't think it's such a good idea."

    George Mason's Board of Visitors reviewed its weapons policy and discovered that its prohibition was unenforceable. Policy No. 56, in effect since 1995, barred faculty, students, staff members, contractors and visitors from carrying firearms, concealed or otherwise.

    But a search of board actions found no official action authorizing the total ban, raising questions about whether the ban was enforceable, according to a memo prepared for the board by chief of staff J. Thomas Hennessey Jr. and legal counsel Thomas Moncure. In any case, the university had no authority over visitors who were lawfully permitted to carry firearms.

    "Since the current policy is unenforceable, it is prudent that the Board approves a policy as soon as possible that is both enforceable and unequivocal as to who may, and may not, bring weapons on campus," the memo says.

    Last Thursday, the Board of Visitors declined to act on the policy and asked the administration to clarify the school's authority and its intention to prohibit weapons on campus.

    In the meantime, GMU spokesman Daniel Walsch said the school's policy -- banning students, faculty and staff members from carrying weapons -- remained in effect. Failure to heed the ban could result in a range of disciplinary action, including expulsion, Walsch said.

    Some advocates of gun control said they could not understand a response to the massacre at Virginia Tech that would support arming more people. But Dysart and other gun rights advocates said the killer might have been stopped if a student or faculty member had been armed that day. In that incident, a student killed 32 people before taking his own life.

    "It's proof of why we needed it," Dysart said. Speaking of the killer, Dysart added: "You wonder how much it plays into people's minds that they know students don't have any weapons."

    Dysart grew up in Garland, Tex., near Dallas, and joined the Marines in January 2001 after high school, serving in Okinawa. He left the service in 2005. Dysart has a permit to carry a concealed weapon -- usually a Springfield Armory 9mm semiautomatic -- and has on occasion carried a firearm openly, but not on campus.

    As the gun club's founder, Dysart already has been dealing with the attention that it has created, giving several interviews to media outlets and appearing at last month's highly publicized gun raffle in Fairfax County by a gun rights group.

    On a television talk show, Dysart was asked whether students could be trusted with such an enormous responsibility.

    The moderator said: "The grownups say, 'I know how my kid is. I know how most kids are. The last thing I think would be to give some kid, in a place where kids drink and have emotional issues and are still growing up . . . access to a gun."

    Dysart said: "I think the main problem with that is we keep using the word 'kid.' To be able to get a concealed permit in Virginia, you have to be 21 years old, which would eliminate freshmen, sophomores and juniors. And you have to go through training."



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    Regular Member Bulldog1967's Avatar
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    Of course being the Washington Compost, they start off wrong by calling him an EX-Marine.

    Its FORMER Marine.

    Sigh.

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    If I may, another nail in the "students can't be trusted" logic. I attended the second public meeting of the Govenor's pannel investigating the VT massacre. One major topic of discussion was the EMS response.

    The pannel (and I) was amazed at how totally prepared the VT EMS squad was and how they did absolutely everything right. For example, they have a disaster response unit ready to go that can handle 30 casualties, and they hold annual multi-casualty disaster drills. They took command of the situation and coordinated the actions of IIRC 14 responding agencies and ~100 ambulance crews in concert with police, etc. Oh, and they had to contend with vicious weather and prepare for a third wave of mayhem. Making potentially life-and-death medical decisions probably seemed fairly passe on that day.

    So who are these wonderful EMS folks? STUDENTS! Not paid professionals, students - undergraduates no less.

    Of course they were trained and vetted before receiving responsibility. Me too; my CHP didn't come in a box of Cracker Jacks.

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    Interesting note about this story, folks.

    I was riding on the Metro train this evening and an older gentleman was sitting in front of me reading the Alexandria-Arlington Extra, (which is WashPost Lite for Metro riders). He was in one of those seats that faces inboard, so his profile was facing me and I could easily see what he was reading. I immediately saw the name "Andrew Dysart". The man was shaking his head slightly as he read it and looked vaguely disgusted. I couldn't tell what that meant...

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Interesting note about this story, folks.

    I was riding on the Metro train this evening and an older gentleman was sitting in front of me reading the Alexandria-Arlington Extra, (which is WashPost Lite for Metro riders). He was in one of those seats that faces inboard, so his profile was facing me and I could easily see what he was reading. I immediately saw the name "Andrew Dysart". The man was shaking his head slightly as he read it and looked vaguely disgusted. I couldn't tell what that meant...
    wow - you should have taken the opportunity to strike up a conversation with the amn - "excuse me sir, I just saw that headline in your newspaper, I actually know that fellow, he's doing a great job representing student's in this mess."

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    Regular Member possumboy's Avatar
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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Interesting note about this story, folks.

    I was riding on the Metro train this evening and an older gentleman was sitting in front of me reading the Alexandria-Arlington Extra, (which is WashPost Lite for Metro riders). He was in one of those seats that faces inboard, so his profile was facing me and I could easily see what he was reading. I immediately saw the name "Andrew Dysart". The man was shaking his head slightly as he read it and looked vaguely disgusted. I couldn't tell what that meant...
    It might have been me. There was also the article about how the families of the slain students were wanting on the panel. Because they wanted "unbiased" rulings.

    I'm a cruel bastard, but I have doubts about the "experts" that are on the panel now. The families can only bring emotions, not the rational thinking it is going to take to serve on the panel.

    The article then goes on to say "We want this panel to uncover the unbiased truth about the decisions of April 16th which took the lives of our loved ones." I'm going to trust people who lost children to be unbiased? I cannot even be unbiased when I see someone trying to push past my children to cut in front of line for something at the mall! (Full article - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...061202279.html).

    Most laws that restrict our rights come from the bottom of a Kleenex box. Emotions and rights just do no mix. I really doubt any of the report will be unbiased, it is so much easier to go through life thinking a gun kills instead of realizing that it is the person sitting next to you that kills. Fearing thetool and not thecause allows them to feel safe.

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Andrew once again speaks eloquently and well for GMU-SCC.

    I don't understand one thing about the panel, though. Why are they so focused on Cho's medical records? Isn't their charter to review the University's actions and determine what steps might be taken to prevent another such incident?

    Why are they so insistent on solving the last one? Did they all come from the Pentagon? The way to win the next effort is not to fight the last one, but rather to envision the circumstances which might come about, and to be as prepared as possible for them.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    damn techinical difficuties

    Chesty, He did later correct himself and use 'former Marine'

    You are an excellent representative for the forces of good, Andrew.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    ... Why are they so focused on Cho's medical records?*
    It's in the Liberal* mindset. He's a victim of society, not a murderous criminal.

    As long as they can talk in terms of mental illness, "Society" can "do more." Of course this means even more invasive government and bureaucracy to track people. "If only we have enough information on everybody, we can predict who's going to snap, and we'll all be safe."


    Of course, in their minds, anybody who desires to possess a gun for any reason is a priori mentally ill. Guns are evil. Murderers are the victims of that evil.

    You can probably do some googling to find all this right out of their own mouths. I'm too lazy to do dig up old news articles right now.



    * i.e. Government superior to the (helpless) People, as opposed a liberal (hands-off, People over the Goverment) mindset.

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