Cole Withrow’s life was thrown into disarray over a simple mistake: he forgot his gun in his car and drove to school. When he realized his mistake he tried to make it right by asking his parents to come and get it. The school decided to call police on the honors student. What did Liberty University and Jerry Falwell Jr. do when they saw the story?
Transcript of interview is below:
GLENN: Yesterday we told you about 18 year old Cole Withrow. He is an Eagle Scout. He’s weeks from graduation. He shows up at his school on Monday and he realizes that he left his shotgun in it because he had been out hunting over the weekend. He had been out shooting I’m sorry, not shooting but skeet shooting over the weekend. And he realizes that his shotgun is in the vehicle as he locks the truck up. He’s like, oh, crap. So he goes right to the office and he makes a phone call. And he’s calling from the office and he says, “Hey, Mom, can you come? My truck is locked. I have the key. Would you come and get my shotgun. I left it there over the weekend. I shouldn’t have it in the truck. Could you come go could you come and get it for me?” Well, he tries to do the right thing, but he’s overheard by somebody in the office and so they immediately say, “Oh, my goodness, there’s a shotgun and this crazy kid has it. He just called his mom and I just saw a crazy mom of Islamic terror and she was crazy and she was dismissing things, I know these guys are probably not Islamic terrorists because Islamic terrorism doesn’t really exist. These guys are probably Christians, and Christians are spooky and she’s got a gun!” So she
PAT: That was the thought process right there. I think that was the thought process.
GLENN: Thank you very much. Well, that’s what I do.
PAT: I know.
GLENN: And so anyway, next thing you know, cops are there and they arrest him. Now, this is an Eagle Scout. They arrest him. And then the school expels him for a year. And then the school won’t budge. Nevermind the vastly different, you know, treatments, adults who work for the school, you know, when they get when they’re in the exact same situation, they get suspensions.
Well, somebody happened to be noticing a T shirt that this kid was wearing. He was wearing a T shirt that said Liberty University and so the chancellor of Liberty University who happens to be a friend and an unbelievably decent and gracious man, Jerry Falwell, Jr., called him up. Well, I called the chancellor up and asked him to be on the program today. Jerry, how are you, sir? Are you there? How are ya?
FALWELL: I’m here. Can you hear me?
GLENN: I can. I can. So yesterday you called Cole up?
FALWELL: Well, I was in North Carolina. A dear family friend of my wife’s, we were there for her funeral and I was watching the late news at the hotel room, saw the story about Cole that you just described and saw the Liberty T shirt, called found on Facebook and saw that his sister was a graduate of Liberty. So I reached him through Facebook, ended up talking to him late at night at the hotel room, found out that his dream was to attend Liberty University but couldn’t afford it. So he was going to go to a state college and I found out he was an honors student, an Eagle Scout, just the type of student that we’re looking for here at Liberty. And so we have a special fund for kids that are outstanding and like Cole and so it wasn’t a hard decision for me to make to award him a scholarship and to make sure that he’s able to go to Liberty for four years and graduate. And so I think it was just one of those things, it was meant to be. I’m not in that part of the country very often and but I couldn’t believe how unreasonable and politically correct the administrators were. I mean, the kid is asking permission to take the gun home, he’s an Eagle Scout, an honor student, never has caused any trouble. Where’s the common sense? I mean, you don’t call the police unless you’re trying to make a point and unless you don’t support the Second Amendment and you’re trying to prove a point, but they
GLENN: They are not even proving a point. They are trying to strike terror in the hearts of all of the students that are currently enrolled in any of our public schools. They are trying to strike terror that when you say the word “gun,” you flinch. And so everybody, they are making such a point that guns are bad, guns are evil, and you are automatically bad and evil if you have one.
PAT: And let’s say there’s a legitimate concern that they fear for their safety. Could you not have someone at the school escort him to make sure he doesn’t go retrieve the gun and then bring it back in until his mom gets it and takes it home? I mean, there’s reasonable things you could do there without calling the police and having him arrested and then expelling him from school.
GLENN: Now chancellor, I just want to ask you a question. I mean, it sounds you know, he’s an honor student and an Eagle Scout and everything else, but may I ask you this question: Did you check? Because if he’s a Christian, he’s bound to be a terrorist, you know.
FALWELL: Well, that’s another reason we gave him a scholarship I could sense that he’s a humble and great Christian kid and he I just thought he would be a perfect fit and Liberty and we’re excited how it all came together. But it’s but Liberty recently loosened our concealed carry policy in response to what happened at Sandy Hook, you now can we’re one of only a few dozen colleges in the country now where you can, if you have a concealed carry permit, you can carry in our buildings. And we just believe we’re only an hour and a half from Virginia Tech and if something like what happened there happened here, I believe I believe the answer is to make sure as many responsible people as possible have guns, at least there’s a chance then that somebody will be there who, somebody good who has a gun and can stop the crazy people from doing what they do. And it’s just, I think the answer to gun violence is putting guns in the hands of the right people.
GLENN: I have to tell ya, let me may I embarrass you here for a second? I think Liberty University is one of the best universities in the country. I think its faculty and its staff are unbelievable, its campus is unbelievable. What you are doing to try to raise up another generation of lawyers and legal experts that understand the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and can really, truly argue it is remarkable.
Now let me tell you, at the height of me being slaughtered by the press and when really, because I’m a Mormon, I was getting hammered by a lot of Christians, Jerry Falwell gave me an honorary doctorate, which I have I want you to know I’ve been drilling people’s teeth for ever since and it’s great.
GLENN: But he gave me an honorary doctorate and asked me to speak
PAT: Made some good cash on the side.
GLENN: Oh, it’s great, especially with the healthcare, universal healthcare that’s coming.
GLENN: It’s going to be great.
PAT: It’s worked out nicely.
GLENN: Anyway, he stood up and took an awful lot of heat and invited me to give the commencement address one year and he is an extraordinarily brave man and a real true Christian leader and it is an honor, sir, to know you.
FALWELL: Well, we were honored to do that and to have you here, Glenn, and we it’s the least we can do. You’re on the front lines every day fighting for our country and we appreciate it. And you’ve got to come back soon. We’ve totally rebuilt the campus since you were here.
GLENN: It’s beautiful.
FALWELL: And it’s just exploding with growth, and it’s gone far beyond our wildest imaginations just in the last few years and so I hope you can visit again soon.
GLENN: I would love to come visit again. I will tell you this: I’m a little concerned because you have Christians with guns now on campus.
GLENN: And God only knows what will happen then. I also want to thank you and can I announce this, Joe? David Barton and I are doing a museum and we have some of the most amazing pieces of American history that you will ever see. Some things have not been seen, some of them, you know, in a hundred years, and they are all really important pieces of history and they tell the story of America the way David and I think it should be told. And we were we didn’t want this to be a self guided tour and we certainly didn’t want a bunch of museum people telling it. We wanted this to appeal to families and youth, and we also wanted to make sure that 20 somethings knew our history really, really well and so the first thought was we should reach out to Liberty University and ask if they would supply the students that David and I could teach and show the history and they’ll conduct these tours. And so at Jerry’s expense, he is sending all of these people out to do a fundraiser for Mercury One, our charity, to put this museum together and they are the students from Liberty are going to be explaining liberty in our museum this week of Fourth of July, and I thank you so much for that, Jerry.
FALWELL: We’re glad to do it. The students are excited about it and we also are looking, we’ve got 85,000 online adult students now in addition to our 13,000 here on campus and we are we’re creating an American history course that we’re going to provide to high school students free of charge, college students free of charge because so many colleges and high schools that don’t teach American history anymore and we actually are going to award credit for this free course so that if they can’t get history at their school like the school up in Maine where the, I forget the name of it, but the donor did a survey and found that there’s not even a single American history course in the curriculum, if you’re in a school like that, you can take this course and get credit for it and complete the rest of your courses there and that goes hand in hand with what you’re trying to do. I think it’s so important for our young people to learn American history.
GLENN: So when does that start?
FALWELL: We’re actually creating the course right now. It will be this fall before we can offer it.
GLENN: Would you please do me a favor. When you have it all ready, would you let me know and I want to expose that on TheBlaze in the news, I want to I’d love to do a whole show on this and show what you guys are teaching, and I’d like to help you in that in any way I possibly can. I think that’s absolutely fantastic.
FALWELL: Well, we deeply appreciate it and hope to have you back here soon, Glenn.
GLENN: You got it. Thank you very much. Well, if you can I know I’m a doctor I’m a doctor now, but if you could make me maybe a chiropractor next time or…
FALWELL: Our new medical school opens Fall of 2014. So maybe you can
GLENN: Maybe you could give me a specialty in, like, podiatry or something. Thanks a lot. I appreciate it, chancellor Jerry Falwell from Liberty University.