"Is it illegal to pull it out?" said Jerry Falwell Jr with a chuckle. "I don’t know." The president of Liberty University was speaking at a school convocation Friday about the apparent gun in his back pocket and the idea that students carry concealed weapons on campus, the Washington Post reports. "I've always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in," he said to rising applause, adding, "and killed them." Son of the famous religious leader Jerry Falwell Sr., he was talking to about 10,000 students at the Christian school's sports arena in Lynchburg, Va., the AP reports. "It just blows my mind that the president of the United States [says] that the answer to circumstances like that is more gun control," he said.
"I just wanted to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to get your permit," he added. "We offer a free course." Indeed, the world's biggest Christian university offers a free course in gun training, CNN reports. But Virginia residents must be at least 21 to legally carry a concealed weapon, and even Falwell noted that guns aren't allowed in school dormitories. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has called Falwell's words "reckless," while Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on Islamic-American Relations said they "amped up" angry rhetoric against Muslims. "It's part of an overall toxic anti-Muslim atmosphere that we're seeing, particularly in the past few weeks with Paris and San Bernardino," he explains. Muslim-Americans say anti-Muslim violence, death threats, and vandalism are at their worst since just after 9/11, the New York Times reports. (Read more terrorism stories.)