“Live by the Gun, Die by the Gun.” “No Guns on Campus.” “Zero Guns = Zero Gun Deaths.” “Guns Ruin Lives.”
These words were seen on signs held at the corner of University Boulevard and Alafaya Trail at 5 p.m. Friday during a "No Open Carry" rally.
Diane Rambo, the organizer of the rally, sent emails Thursday to spread awareness of the protest near UCF.
“I organized this, calling our friends who have been touched by so many horrible events on college campuses,” Diane said in an email. “Our son graduated from UCF. Our neighbors go to UCF. It is our college, our people.
“We do not need to create opportunities for terrible events. We want a peaceful campus for all.”
Dexter Rambo, Diane’s husband and co-organizer of the rally, said the main goal was to protest against the possible passing of the Florida bill in the legislature that aims to arm people with guns on campus.
“We don’t want the bill passed because we don’t want the same sort of thing to happen here that happened in Oregon,” Dexter said.
People driving by the small rally honked in approval as Dexter held a sign that read, “Live by the Gun, Die by the Gun.”
After about half an hour, more protesters began to arrive to show their concern for the passing of the Florida bill.
With fliers that read, “Say No to Campus Carry,” Aurora Cox showed up to the busy street corner to share additional information and help Dexter protest.
Cox’s daughter is a UCF graduate, and she said if UCF was a school with open carry when her daughter was a student, she wouldn’t have let her attend.
“I just don’t buy into ‘more guns make us safe,’” Cox said. “It’s just not the kind of world that I want to live in.”
A few minutes later, protester Lorraine Tuliano arrived with blank posters and markers in hand.
Tuliano said her concern about the bill raises even more worry for her son who will be going to UCF when he graduates from Valencia College. If the bill were to pass, she said she thinks UCF would be a very scary place.
“We have police officers on campus who are trained; they’re professionals. I think we ought to leave policing to them, not to the students,” she said.
As a UCF engineering graduate, she said something must be done to prevent this bill from passing.
“More guns in more places is not the answer,” Tuliano said. “Everybody’s a good guy until they’re a bad guy.”
Rachel Stuart is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.