Georgia, like many states, is very close to passing a pro-gun bill that would recognize the right of college students to carry their guns concealed on campus, but it’s the reaction of anti-gunners that is simply amazing. They are coming unglued.
HB 859, also called the “Campus Safety Act” would recognize the right of students to keep and bear arms for self-defense and the defense of others on campus. Those students who are 21 and have obtained a concealed carry permit would be able to carry their guns on campus. The strange thing is that they would not be able to carry them in dormitories, buildings used for sporting events, and fraternity and sorority houses.
Why legislation wants to draw lines where rights end is truly beyond me. As one who carries concealed, it is always a strange thing to try to remember where you can and cannot carry your weapon, and since it becomes a part of you, most of the time you actually end up carrying it in places that pretended legislation says you should not carry. That’s just a side note.
So how are the anti-gunners responding to this? They are coming up with all sorts of scare tactics and claims, which are simply unfounded.
In February, prior to the House passing the bill and sending it to the Senate, Senator Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) said that allowing concealed carry on campus for self-defense is an “abomination.”
As Philip Hodges has pointed out, it isn’t just politicians who are losing it over the bill. He writes:
The campus carry bill is obviously not without its critics. One woman Carol Allen – who said she had two college-aged kids – was especially hysterical following the bill’s passage out of the Senate committee:
“It’s gonna increase the rate of suicide. These kids are gonna be tailgating and drinking. And they’re gonna have weapons… They are in the back pocket of the gun lobby.”
Another critic Cynthia Smith said that the bill would lead to “more murders on college campuses.” A few years ago, her son had been killed at Tuskegee University when someone had fired shots into a crowd where he was standing. She said that if the bill passes into law, “then you’re going to have more mothers burying their kids.” She continued:
“It’s going to be a lot of parents living the way I have to live the rest of my life now with part of my life gone…The first thing they think of is pulling their gun.”
Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety has been running a 30-second ad trying to get Georgians to oppose the bill. Here’s their ad:
The bill, which has now been favorably reported to the Senate, has several co-sponsors and looks to be on track for passage by the Senate.
However, any of the claims of hysterical mothers or gun grabbing nannies don’t really line up with the facts.
In defending his campus carry legislation, Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) said:
“It is patently absurd to suggest that additional security resources would be needed to accommodate faculty, staff or student (concealed handgun license) holders on Texas campuses. CHL-holders are statistically the most law-abiding citizens in our state, and I think it [is] bordering on offensive to suggest that they will conduct themselves any less thoughtfully or lawfully the moment they set foot inside a university building.”
I agree. Could someone intent on murder and crime come on campus with a gun and perform those deeds? Of course, but chances are that when that person knows that each person on campus could be packing themselves, they are less likely to attempt such measures.
Campus carry is a good thing, the only thing I would offer is the removal of restrictions of where students can carry. After all, if you live on campus and you carry concealed, where are you to put your gun when you go to sleep at night if you are not allowed to take it into your room? Those things just seem silly and ridiculously restrictive to me. I suggest amending that portion and then passing the bill.