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Editorial: VSU responsible for safe space after Campus Carry

Back in May, Gov. Nathan Deal approved House Bill 280 allowing concealed weapons on college campuses. Known as the “campus carry” bill, anyone with a firearm permit can carry concealed guns on public campuses except in on-campus preschools, faculty and administrative offices, disciplinary hearings, dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses and classrooms that have a high school student in attendance.

Deal vetoed a similar bill earlier in the year because lawmakers wouldn’t agree to add more areas to the weapon-free zones.

Supporters of the law applauded Deal’s May decision to approve the bill believing that this law would add a vital safety measure for students and faculty.

However, critics believe guns create an unsafe environment for students. Those opposed believe adding guns will add to the number of deaths each year.

The Spectator disapproves of campus carry. This law adds confusion to local law enforcement’s already chaotic job. If there are other shooters at the scene, how will they know who to intercept?

Let’s say there was an active shooter on campus. Who would we want to respond to the scene? A cop who was trained to work under stressful situations or a random student who received a permit?

Also, how closely will people follow campus carry guidelines? Let’s say a student with a permit wanted to speak with their professor after class in their office. What are the odds they will go all the way to their car to dispose of it before walking all the way back to the office? Very slim.

The room for error is alarming, and disregard for the law could be widespread. There’s still so many questions left unanswered, and the confusion surrounding this law is endangering students more than its making them safe.

The Spectator encourages students and faculty to create a safe space on campus by leaving all weapons at home. Study and scholarly debate cannot occur when students and faculty fear for their lives.

This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

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2 comments

  1. “Back in May, Gov. Nathan Deal approved House Bill 280 allowing concealed weapons on college campuses. Known as the ‘campus carry’ bill, anyone with a firearm permit can carry concealed guns on public campuses except in on-campus preschools, faculty and administrative offices, disciplinary hearings, dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses and classrooms that have a high school student in attendance. Deal vetoed a similar bill earlier in the year because lawmakers wouldn’t agree to add more areas to the weapon-free zones.”

    My goodness. As the restricted areas already are, it looks as if concealed weapons are allowed on college campuses… except almost everywhere. And Gov. Deal believes he needs to add more areas to the restricted list. What’s left? The cafeteria? The student union? The parking lot? Remember, every restricted area is an area where criminals might attack a student with deadly intent, while the student has no effective means to defend him- or herself.

    The VERY IDEA that a student may not possess a gun inside his (or her) dormitory is crazy. That is, after all, where the student sleeps at night, when criminals might break through a window to attack him (or her). Excepting a solitary walk across campus during the dark of night, the dorm is the place where that gun is most likely to be needed in self-defense.

    The possession of a gun should never be penalized, any more than the possession of a screwdriver should be penalized. Penalties should be reserved for _misbehavior_ … with either the gun or the screwdriver.

  2. From the article:
    “Let’s say there was an active shooter on campus. Who would we want to respond to the scene? A cop who was trained to work under stressful situations or a random student who received a permit?”

    Police response time nationwide is approximately 8 minutes. A person dies in an active shooter event at the rate of approximately 1 per 15 seconds. To suggest that students wait until an officer arrives with a response is to suggest that students sacrifice 25-30 students to a shooter before police ever arrive.

    Or you can announce that your campus is a legal CCW campus (deterrent enough to most would-be shooters) and have one or more students confront the threat in the first minute or two of the event. Is the number of lives saved under such circumstances worth the small risk of legal CCW carriers bringing their weapons to class? I’d say yes.

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