Gun owners hold open carry firearm walk on Ohio State campus week after attack


    Organizers said the purpose of the walk was to inform and engage college students and the public about the right to keep and bear arms. (WSYX/WTTE)

    (WSYX/WTTE) - One week after the horrific attack on the Ohio State University campus, about 17 men and women could be seen walking throughout campus armed with firearms.

    Organizers said the purpose of the walk was to inform and engage college students and the public about the right to keep and bear arms. Jeffry Smith of Cincinnati, said it's the seventh open/carry firearm education walk he's organized.

    "It's not meant to intimidate but it's meant to make people inquisitive, 'what's going on here?'" Smith said. "Students here are sitting ducks for another incident where a police officer isn't on top of the scene."

    Several armed college students, who do not attend The Ohio State University, were in attendance as well. One student described how she would like to see students have the right to carry firearms on campus to protect themselves.

    During the walk, a group of High School students from Eastmoor Academy were on campus and saw the open carry firearm education walk. Their teacher said she initially felt intimidated when her students saw the group, but then said she thought the open dialogue was educational.

    A pair of Ohio State Buckeyes walked by the group and said they were initially surprised and wondered what was going on. Once they were aware of what was happening, they were interested to take a few minutes and listen in.

    OSU police were present during the walk. Ohio State University officials said they did know about the walk before it actually happened. If students didn't feel safe, they were told to call dispatchers.

    Before the walk began, an Ohio State University professor vocalized his concerns to some of the people who were a part of the walk. He said he didn't agree with the walk and believes students could've been educated about open carry firearms in different way.

    "Doing this just now is appalling," said another professor Merrill Kaplan. "We're still all kind of a little shaky. I'm so glad there were not more guns involved (in last week's attack). These are people who want more guns on campus. I think that's a recipe for more lead in the air and more lead in the air is a recipe for more people being injured."

    During the walk reaction from students wasn't obvious. Some students walked right by without a second thought about what was going on. Other students shook their heads, and some gave the group a thumbs up.

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