Front page editorial in UGA student-run newspaper: Almost no one wants guns on college campuses

Students are increasingly speaking out against the campus carry bill, which passed both the House and Senate and now is in the hands of Gov. Nathan Deal.

Deal is facing tremendous pressure from the gun lobby to sign House Bill 859, but he risks the ire of parents and students who believe legalizing guns on campuses is a mistake. I attended a Leadership DeKalb education program yesterday where dual-enrolled high school students from DeKalb Early College Academy said they opposed guns on the Georgia State University campus where they take classes.

Nationwide, students are protesting campaigns to open college campuses to firearms.

Nationwide, students are protesting campaigns to open college campuses to firearms.

Deal himself has expressed concerns about the high school students who attend college under state acceleration programs. The real possibility parents will be fearful about sending their 16-year-olds to classes with armed college classmates was first raised by local college instructor Rick Diguette in a Get Schooled blog piece last month. Go back and read his column if you missed it.

Now comes a student-written editorial on the front page of the University of Georgia independent student-run newspaper, the Red & Black:

Here is an excerpt of UGA student’s Daniel Funke editorial on behalf of the editorial board of the Red & Black:

According to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, only 20 percent of people agree with permitting guns on college campuses. Among dissenters, virtually nobody who is actually involved in higher education wants firearms on campus. On Wednesday, University of Georgia students, professors and Athens community members held a march and protest against HB 859 at Tate Plaza and the Arch.

According to an online poll conducted by The Red & Black, approximately 62 percent of UGA students disapprove of campus carry — but the opposition doesn’t stop at students. In a rare public statement released March 2, UGA President Jere Morehead voiced his opposition to the bill by supporting Hank Huckaby, the chancellor of the University System of Georgia, who testified in the Senate against HB 859.

The message to state lawmakers is clear: Almost no one wants guns on Georgia college campuses.

Passing legislation that affects students, professors and administrators without their support is not only politically stupid — it’s morally reprehensible. Georgians elect officials to represent their interests and act on their behalf. By ignoring the opinions of the higher education community and passing campus carry, state representatives have foregone the tenets of democracy, opting instead for a government that legislates beyond the people. For a party that totes the merits of small government, it’s ironic that state Republicans would support a measure that is essentially a unilateral decree.

For some students, it’s painfully obvious why gun rights are so popular. Georgia is traditionally a deep red state, where Republicans are more common than Baptist churches or two-lane highways. But campus carry doesn’t only amass support from radical conservative ideologues from rural areas. Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens) represents UGA students and Athens citizens alike, yet he voted in favor of HB 859 last Friday, thereby helping to pass the bill. Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens) also voted in favor of the legislation in the House — despite the fact that 71 percent of North Georgia opposes it, according to the AJC poll.

These people aren’t just figureheads — they’re representing Georgians. They’re creating and voting on legislation that could govern the way we live our lives. And they’re failing us.

 

Reader Comments 0

172 comments
Bob Denver
Bob Denver

Majority opinion doesn't necessarily translate into majority rule.  We see that all the time.  

Too many people are making a big deal out of nothing. On average, those with a conceal carry permit are more law abiding that those individuals in law enforcement.

No one is forcing anyone to carry a firearm against their will. Just as we won't infringe upon your right to voice your opinion even when we disagree, we ask that you not infringe upon the rights of those individual who choose to carry on campus.

Melody Dareing
Melody Dareing

I have felt that way about liberal politics for years...

T.J. Gauthier
T.J. Gauthier

Of course the gentle snowflakes think their feelings trump all empirical evidence on the inverse correlation between gun ownership and carry vs violent crime.

Shane Drayton
Shane Drayton

I want guns.. then again i am not apart of this snowflake generation who never had to do anything with their life lol..

Laura Evans Majors
Laura Evans Majors

Because we can't tell the difference between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun. We just see someone with a gun. No thank you

Brina Doc
Brina Doc

People kill using guns aren't u supposed to there to acquire a education. ....not target practice in the classroom ...... Sad\U0001f62d\U0001f62d

Michael A Dekle
Michael A Dekle

I guess if a gunman intent on harm comes into their classroom, they can always throw spitballs at them,

Patty Hopper
Patty Hopper

how do you suggest one tell the difference between someone exercising their right to carry and the one with the intent to harm?

Danny Garner
Danny Garner

College students hand wringing over people carrying guns miss the irony of the fact that their very right and security in general is guaranteed by a group of 18-24 year olds who carry guns every day. They're called the military.

Max Smith
Max Smith

It is a good thing then that this is not a majority rule state, (aka mob rule!) If it were, there WOULD be a need for a gun in every home, store and school.

Chris Franklin
Chris Franklin

Let someone come in there and kill a classroom of these liberals and BAM then they'll be crying about security.

Norman Gurnee
Norman Gurnee

only the security guard should carry a gun..

Kedra Holland-Corn
Kedra Holland-Corn

But why are guns needed in the classroom? If you want to carry them on your person in open outside areas... Ok... I don't understand it but ok.... But passing, trying to graduate is hard enough without wondering if the person next to you is having a good or bad day. Or slaps the His automatic on the desk because it's too bulky.... Do I walk out or stay.... Why should our children have to worry about these things in a university setting? I know you won't understand this point of view... But just think of you and your family eating in a restaurant .... 5 men come in with guns on there hip..... Unsure of their motives, (eat or kill), you have to automatically decide to keep eating or walk out.... Why?

Kedra Holland-Corn
Kedra Holland-Corn

But are they needed inside establishments? I don't think they will rape us inside in open view.... True we have had 3-4 mass shootings in a relatively short period of time...... Mainly by psychopaths who should have been banned from even being able to purchase a weapon.... But if everyone were caring weapons during these mass shootings don't you think more than the few that were killed would be killed..... That panic would ensue and many would shoot aimlessly killing a lot more ..... I understand protecting yourself from these idiots...believe me I do.... But is publicly caring weapons the answer? I know you will say yes....but I think there's a better solution...

Kedra Holland-Corn
Kedra Holland-Corn

I fear eating and being in public in the states... Not because of the psychopath but because of the "normal" person who's having a bad day who I've accidentally bumped into...who've decided that there's no reason I should have touched him... Just a thought...

Kedra Holland-Corn
Kedra Holland-Corn

Normally they would just flip me off and unleash a barrage of four letter words at me.... But now they are licensed to do more...

Kedra Holland-Corn
Kedra Holland-Corn

Yea... You are not trying to get it.... Have a good day... Be safe\U0001f643

Kathlene Gerety Miller
Kathlene Gerety Miller

so the criminals having a bad day will not carry their guns because you've passed a law saying its a no no?

Gabriel Gonzalez
Gabriel Gonzalez

The loudest are usually the stupidest. And that rag red and black can shove. It reads like huffpost or gawker with misdirection and false facts.

Michele Ely
Michele Ely

These are suppose to be educated people? Do they not understand that people ARE already carrying guns on campuses? And that they do not have a permit to carry and are there to hurt, kill or mame?

Cindy Burrier Hubbard
Cindy Burrier Hubbard

I think every student, professor and administrator should have been polled before it got a headline. Looks like a pretty slim group to be given news coverage.

Mike Williams
Mike Williams

The law allows guns, it does NOT require them. Enough of the hysteria!

Brian Mac A Phearsain
Brian Mac A Phearsain

I attended that crime-ridden school, campus carry should help to clean up the place a bit.

Don Vollenweider
Don Vollenweider

Someone at AJC needs to preview their stock photos before posting. The students in the picture are obviously not at UGA. The are holding a sign that indicates they are at the University of Tennessee.

redweather
redweather

The caption beneath the picture reads "Nationwide, students are protesting campaigns to open college campuses to firearms."

redweather
redweather

Hey, no more cracks about our state legislators.

Paul Simon
Paul Simon

If the GA legislature really wanted to help our students there are so many other things they could have done...

redweather
redweather

Like maybe allow students to bring guns into the House and Senate chambers?

Frankie Helton Stephens
Frankie Helton Stephens

if whats in picture showed up.i don't think that's everyone that goes there..not even 20 there and your saying they speak for the other students..

Michael McIntyre
Michael McIntyre

It is truly a shame, though, that the lawmakers will only listen to their pro-gun lobbyists and the concentrated simple majority of voters in their electorate -- and pay no consideration to the overall majority of the electorate across the state. Here again is where gerrymandered legislative districts totally work against any common sense lawmaking.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

More anti-gun hysterics from the AJC, I see.  Most of the arguments against campus carry are the same ones the anti-gunners used when concealed carry permits first came onto the scene when Florida enacted their concealed carry legislation in 1987.  The anti-gunners predicted "Wild West shootouts" and "blood flowing in the streets".  The reality was that an interesting phenomenon was observed - Florida's crime rate fell from 36% above the national average to 4% below.  When Texas adopted their concealed carry legislation, rapes fell 93% in the first year and 500% the second.


The fact remains that concealed carry permit holders are 570% less likely to commit a violent crime and 1350% less likely to commit a non-violent crime than the general population.  There are over 8 million active CC license holder in the US (old data, 2011) and over 750,000 license holders in GA.  Very rarely do you read about a CC holder on the wrong side of the law (I can recall only one article in the past several years)


Most police officers welcome the armed citizen exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.  A survey of over 15,000 police officers found that 93% supported citizen concealed carry laws.


The Campus Carry Law merely removes a restriction on an existing right. 

Charles Marvin James
Charles Marvin James

Now you can teach Intro to GUNS 101, Gun safety 102, Gun Laws and Geography 103.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Not to mention psych and soc classes!

Paul Simon
Paul Simon

If the legislature really wanted to help students, maybe they could have legalized weed and allocated money for a realistic / modern public transit system for GA ?

HarryJames
HarryJames

You were stoned when you wrote this, right?

Gene Shillcutt
Gene Shillcutt

Wow final a picture of all the dumbasses at UGA. I was wondering who they are. LOL As you can see there are only a few in the picture out of 22000 students. So their opinions count for nothing!!! When I was going to school there, many students were armed. Of course most of these were hunters with shotguns and rifles in their cars and dorm rooms. Never heard of anyone harmed there! Maybe the reason was that so many were armed, criminals backed off.

Mitch Bosworth
Mitch Bosworth

Most people on campus don't want free speech either... but they're Constitutional rights.

Joshua Bedlam Grosh
Joshua Bedlam Grosh

I don't mind them. The article is slanted to the writers' friend groups.