To carry or not to carry? That was a question many government officials, college students and faculty debated tirelessly over a year ago when a “Campus Carry” bill was struck down by state Senate. However, a similar bill has been proposed and has the potential to be passed.
The new bill would allow anyone, 21 and older, with a gun permit to carry a concealed handgun on campus. It would exclude athletic facilities and student dorms, but would allow guns to be carried most places o
Both supporters and those who opposed the bill have sited robberies and other crimes as causes to allow and prevent the carrying of guns on college campuses.
According to statistics from the National Center for Victims of Crime, the amount of crime occurring on college campuses has decreased considerably since the 90s. A 2014 Department of Education Criminal Offense report indicates that burglary, motor vehicle theft, rape and robbery were amongst the highest reported crimes on Georgia campuses in 2014. The highest of these crimes was burglary with a total of 264 offenses being reported. While campus crime has decreased over the years, we can see why numbers like this are still a cause for concern; the VSU community has seen its fair share of crime over the past year.
Still, we at The Spectator have been asking ourselves the same question that many people have been grappling with over the past few years: is it a good idea to allow students to carry guns on campus?
Our answer is not definitive. The new bill would provide students and faculty with a way to protect themselves at a moment’s notice. It allows them to feel better about walking around campus at night and at least partially eliminate the fear that something bad could happen to them and they won’t be able to protect themselves.
On the other hand, a bill like this could make crime— or at least the fear of crime—much worse for students and faculty members. Going to class everyday knowing that the student sitting next to you might have a gun can make a lot of people uneasy. Even if someone has no intention of shooting other people, accidents is always a possibility that people on campus would have to be wary of.
In fact, when discussing this editorial, one of the editors mentioned that he has a license to carry a concealed weapon. This made deciding where we as an editorial
We, at The Spectator, believe that students should be able to protect themselves and that no one should have to walk around in fear, which is why this isn’t simply a black and white issue for us. While we may not all agree on the best way for students, faculty and staff to protect themselves, we all can agree that the safety of students and university officials is of the utmost importance.