The Collegian
Sunday, June 16, 2024

BREAKING: Second Amendment Protest to take place on College Road

<p>Graphic by Annie Scalet/The Collegian</p>

Graphic by Annie Scalet/The Collegian

The University of Richmond Police Department informed community members that a group will likely stage a Second Amendment protest on College Road Saturday, two days after an armed man stood outside the Robins Center. 

The protest is planned to take place on College Road near the Robins Center during the men’s basketball game against Loyola University Chicago at 4 p.m., Police Chief Dave McCoy wrote in an email to the campus community on Saturday.

In a video posted on Friday Jan. 10, Ron Hedlund, who was armed and outside Robins Center Thursday, said that he called URPD to notify about a potential demonstration on Second Amendment rights before the men’s basketball game tipoff. The police department will be monitoring the situation, McCoy wrote. 

Given that College Road and the adjacent sidewalk are public thoroughfares, peaceful assembly is lawful, McCoy wrote. 

“Virginia is an ‘open carry’ state, so it is lawful for individuals over the age of 18 who can legally possess a firearm to do so as long as they do not come onto campus property,” McCoy wrote.

However, as a private university,  UR prohibits firearms on campus. In Virginia, private institutions have the authority to regulate or ban having firearms throughout campus. 

According to a tweet from senior Madyson Fitzgerald, Hedlund was outside Robins Center Feb. 9 with a handgun and a flag that read, “Fuck Biden. And fuck you for voting for him!” 

Hedlund, 62, filmed and posted nine different videos from the UR campus on Thursday. 

One video, titled “UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND MAY DO REPARATIONS NEXT AFTER ELIMINATING T. C. WILLIAMS FROM THE SCHOOL OF LAW,” explained Hedlund was on campus because of T.C. Williams’ great-grandson's letter to President Kevin Hallock. The descendant asked for the money that his great-grandfather and grandfather gave to UR to be returned. 

The Board of Trustees voted to rename the University of Richmond Law School, formerly the T.C. Williams Law School, on Sept. 23, 2022. The renaming was in accordance with the naming principles adopted in March 2022, which state that no campus entity should be named after someone who enslaved people or advocated for slavery. 

T.C. Williams' great-grandson, Robert C. Smith, wrote a letter to Hallock on Oct. 11, 2022, after he received a call from Hallock informing him of the change.

“T.C. Williams practiced the tenets of his faith, primarily to love and serve others,” he wrote. “The mob that you and the board are so afraid of worships hatred and ignorance. They feign indignation, but their real objective is destruction. You and the board have fallen for this subterfuge.” 

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Smith wrote that his family’s honor has been tarnished by this name change. 

“Could no one in my family be contacted to put on a defense? It is despicable to destroy the character of an exceedingly good man out of political cowardice,” Smith wrote. 

Contact writers Son Tran, Amy Jablonski and Ananya Chetia at son.tran@richmond.edu, amy.jablonski@richmond.edu,  ananya.chetia@richmond.edu

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