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Lift on anti-gun ban pursued

 The student sitting next to you could be carrying a gun if Georgia legislators continue to pursue a bill lifting the anti-gun ban on college campuses throughout the state.
 Georgia representative Tim Bearden has been working on a bill for over a year now, known as House Bill 615, which would follow the lead of over a dozen other states who are also taking steps of their own to implement a “concealed campus” policy.

 Currently, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Michigan, New Mexico, Tennessee and Arizona are standing at the forefront of this newly-waged anti-gun ban that is forming a trend throughout the nation that other states, like our own, are quickly following.

 The rationalization provided behind these newly proposed gun regulations is that students would be able to legally arm themselves while at school so that in the event of shootings like those seen at schools in the past, there would be a much greater chance of sustaining less casualties. 

 Students would be able to defend themselves, and others, against any sort of violent or terroristic disturbance.

 Nationally accredited groups such as the National Rifle Association do not hold back when confronted about their stance regarding the issue. 

 “We do indeed support the possibility of students being able to carry personal guns on college grounds,” NRA information specialist Miranda Bond said.  “As long as students possess a registered firearm and they are of the legal age to carry a gun, the NRA fully supports this new proposal.”

 Some VSU students have different opinions concerning whether or not guns should be permitted on the campus.

 “It is a terrible idea,” Jenna Speece, freshman chemistry major, said.  “Just look at what happened at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School. Allowing anyone and everyone to carry a gun on campus is just asking for another tragic event.”

 Other students feel that guns on campus would have a positive impact on the general safety of everyone.

 “I definitely support the idea of guns on campus,”  David Kouril, psychology major, said.  “There is no reason why a responsible gun handler with a permit should not be able to arm themselves for their own protection.”

 Despite the pressure conveyed by those who do or do not support the new bill, the official resolution will still fall into the hands of each state’s legislators.   While no state has officially lifted the gun ban, armed students still remain a looming possibility that may soon become a reality across campuses nationwide.

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  1. In reference to Mr. Hardin’s comment, his terminology is incorrect. Georgia does not issue concealed carry permits. Georgia issues the Georgia Weapons License (GWL) which allows for the carry of weapons either openly or concealed. This is a key distinction as some states require no license or permit for the open carry of weapons. In some states, open carry is actually illegal. Georgia requires the GWL for open and concealed carry.

    Also, there is no proficiency training requirement for a GWL. A GWL is obtained through the Probate Court in the county of residence of the applicant. The applicant is fingerprinted and a background check is run. Provided the applicant has no disqualifiers in their history, the license is issued. There is no test for proficiency with a weapon.

    My comments are not intended to be construed as in support of a weapons ban on campuses. I offer them simply to clarify certain points.

    J. Lee Weems
    Class of 1998

  2. Jenna Speece’s comment is typical of those in opposition – it is based on a misunderstanding of the proposal.

    The proposals do not involve “Allowing anyone and everyone to carry a gun on campus”. Rather, they propose allowing only those who have obtained a state concealed carry permit to carry on campus. Obtaining a concealed carry permit has age restrictions, and requires background checks, and generally proficiency training. “Drunken fratboys” aren’t going to go to the effort and expense involved, and those who do go to the effort and expense to obtain a CCW permit have shown themselves to be more law-abiding and responsible than the general population.

    Contrary to her assertion, leaving the campus gun bans in place is just asking for another tragic event. Campus gun bans _demonstrably_ do not prevent massacres on campus using guns.

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