KENT, Ohio -- One person was arrested for an unspecified disturbance during a campaign rally at Kent State University Wednesday night.
Democrat presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke was in town speaking on campus for the first time since saying he would confiscate all AR-15 rifles if elected president.
Almost immediately after the stop was announced pro-gun KSU alumni called on supporters to exercise their right to “open carry” a firearm at the event.
“We’re here to educate and talk,” said Andy Walls, VP of the Akron Canton Proud Boys, a pro-second amendment group, “I think the tragedies we’ve seen from both the right and left totalitarianism shows you might need military grade weapons to keep yourself free.”
About 200 people showed up for the event. Some were Beto supporters, others undecided and at least a couple dozen were pro-gun, the majority of whom held signs and a handful were openly carrying rifles and side arms.
In response O’Rourke said, “There is no problem owning a firearm for responsible uses, but there is no place for a firearm that was developed to kill people on a battlefield. We should stop selling them and we should buy them back.”
Extra police were on hand just in case things escalated between the two sides, but overall the crowd remained peaceful and respectful.
“The crowd here tonight has been incredible,” said Tyler Gardner, Political Director, “We couldn’t have wished for a better turnout.
Most students told FOX 8 they just wanted to hear O’Rourke speak and look forward to hearing other candidates as well.
“Just having dialogue with anybody doesn’t need to be a raucous debate, it’s civil, intelligent debate, that’s what the cornerstone of America’s about,” said Benjamin Evans.