In groups of 32, protesters around the nation will lie on the ground for three minutes today to protest gun laws they say are too lax, says the Raleigh News & Observer. This will occur at least 80 times in 33 states. The choice of the Virginia Tech anniversary is a matter of some disagreement. The lie-ins were pushed by Abby Spangler, 42, a cellist from Washington, D.C. Some gun rights advocates say the timing is in poor taste. At Virginia Tech, a lie-in organized by the friend of a shooting victim was met with opposition but is expected to take place.
Protesters will lie prone for three minutes because that’s about how long a licensed gun seller takes to conduct a computerized background check on a customer. No such backgrounding is required at gun shows, a central complaint of the protesters. The organization Students for Concealed Carry on Campus thinks Spangler’s lie-ins exploit a day of remembrance for political means. The group’s leader created a Web site, www.protesteasygunsLIES.com, and emphasizes that the background check loophole that allowed Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho to buy two handguns was quickly closed.