UGA parents to Gov. Deal: Would you want guns in your grandchild’s school?

Protesters rallied last year against the campus carry bill at the University of Georgia. TAYLOR.CARPENTER@AJC.COM

This letter to Gov. Nathan Deal was signed by 66 parents whose children attend a child care facility on the University of Georgia campus.

They beseech the governor to veto the campus carry bill, asking, “Would you want people carrying guns where your grandchildren go to school?”

Dear Governor Deal:

We write to you, not only as University of Georgia faculty, staff or students, but as parents of children who attend pre-school on the University of Georgia campus in Athens. Our children attend the renowned Child Development Lab (CDL) at the McPhaul Center, an on-campus pre-school and childcare center for children ranging in age from infants to 5 years old.

As parents, we adamantly oppose HB 859 — the Campus Carry law — and in so doing we join the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, Hank Huckabee, UGA President, Jere Morehead, the UGA University Council, the UGA Student Government Association, the Faculty Senates of multiple colleges at UGA, campus police, and many individual faculty, staff, and students of UGA.

The Child Development Lab at McPhaul Center is one of eight childcare facilities within the University System of Georgia which is located on their respective university’s campus. Children attending campus-based child care programs are provided with unique experiences that cannot be duplicated at other childcare centers in the community, state or country.

CDL children are active members of the UGA campus community, attending various fine art events, exercising at Ramsey Student center, watching UGA sporting events, and going for walks across campus, to name a few of their campus activities. Students and faculty from various colleges and departments also come to our children’s classrooms to teach them about music, science, and other subjects.

Thus, in some ways, our children have very similar experiences to UGA students. They learn, grow, and play on the UGA campus. This is their campus too. In the state of Georgia, with the exception of caregivers picking up or dropping off their students (O.C.G.A.16-11-127.1(c)(7), firearms are not allowed on public school campuses because guns pose an unnecessary risk to the health and safety of our children.

Yet, by passing this legislation, you would be placing firearms on our children’s school campus. Passage of HB 859 may decrease our children’s involvement in campus activities because concerns for their safety would outweigh the benefits of our children attending those events. The CDL administration and teachers may not allow visitors to our children’s classrooms because as currently written under HB 859, guests would be permitted to bring firearms into our school.

Thus, passage of HB 859 will likely limit and impair our children’s access to the developmentally enriching opportunities they currently experience. Passage of this bill may discourage prospective faculty and staff members who have children or are considering having children from choosing to come to UGA over an offer from another institution of higher learning that does not allow concealed weapons on campus.

As parents, we constantly weigh the safety risks of an activity as balanced against the development it can provide for our children. We do all we can to minimize unnecessary risk, sometimes choosing not to allow our children to participate if a safety risk is too great. We require our children to wear helmets when they ride a bicycle because we want them to be as safe as possible while still having the opportunity to grow and play. HB 859, the Campus Carry bill, presents an unnecessary risk to our children.

Gov. Deal, we appeal to you as a parent and grandparent and ask you these questions:

Would you want people carrying guns where your grandchildren go to school?

Would you want people with guns walking by your grandchildren’s playground?

Would you want people with guns riding the bus with your grandchildren?

Would you want people with guns coming to your grandchildren’s classroom?

By passing this legislation as it currently stands, these are questions that we have to ask ourselves, something no parent should have to do.

In our view, the modifications proposed in your March 14th statement are insufficient; the only acceptable modification is that all Georgia colleges and universities be able to “opt out” of campus carry if administrative and faculty bodies deem that appropriate for their campuses.

We urge you to represent the wishes of those living, working, and sending their children to school on Georgia college campuses, including UGA, by vetoing this legislation.

 

Related

Reader Comments 0

38 comments
Valerie Hall
Valerie Hall

Republicans crying About what they voted for is new to me.

MattTiffany
MattTiffany

If those apposed to Campus Carry could answer a question for me maybe I would better understand their position. 

Why do they not want law abiding people whom are 21, or older, and who have a Georgia weapons license to carry a concealed weapon on campus?

**I am going to ask a follow up question so please don't reply if you won't answer a follow up question.

Geog_Rob
Geog_Rob

@MattTiffany Perhaps if you had a child at one of these facilities you would think otherwise--perhaps not.  If you're a responsible gun owner (as I am) then you know there is no reason whatsoever to have a handgun in the presence of young children.  Gun accidents do happen--every single day (e.g. there were over 500 accidental gun deaths in 2013 according to the CDC).  Folks put their bags down in common areas in these centers and kids are running around everywhere.  As a parent of a child at one of these on-campus childcare centers, I am appalled that these facilities were not excluded--so, it's ok to have a gun in a daycare, but not in a dorm or sporting event? How does that make any sense?



Mr_B
Mr_B

HB859 is simply the House's response to the thousands of University system students and faculty members who have felt incredibly vulnerable and naked without the comfort of a good old fashioned Glock stuffed into their waistbands. They have been besieging the administration buildings with demands that their Second Amendment rights be validated.


Or maybe they haven't.

MattTiffany
MattTiffany

@Mr_B I don't believe any faculty have done anything about their rights. Most believe if they make a law that no guns are allowed, well then anyone wanting to kill another person (of which a law already exists against) then when they come to campus with their gun to shoot someone they will stop because guns aren't allowed on campus. That law, not the law about killing people, will stop them.

MattTiffany
MattTiffany

EVERYONE WAIT!!!


There was a shooting at Georgia State University and that is IMPOSSIBLE!  It's a gun free zone. Surely there is an error in the reporting??? I'm confused. How is it that there could have been guns there when so many oppose it and there is currently a law against it?


Perhaps those intent on breaking the law don't care about the laws?


As much as those who appose the HB859 Campus Carry law, there are already people with guns on your campus' who don't care about your laws. Why not let the LAW ABIDING people also carry. You can chose to put your head in the sand and believe guns are not already on your campus if you like. You can protest and possibly defeat the HB859 law by getting Gov. Deal to veto it. But all you will accomplish is keeping the guns on campus ONLY in the hands of those who disregard your laws. Look to the shooting 2 days ago at Georgia State for proof of this.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Or how about if a radical Islamic terrorist enters the classroom armed with an AK-47?  Gonna read him some Shakespeare?

DCSSFrustratedParent
DCSSFrustratedParent

@class80olddog Really ?? You can honestly state that if someone were to burst into a classroom with an AK-47 or other weapon that some 21 yr old student is going to "save the day" with a Glock or other handgun?


class80olddog
class80olddog

The only people who currently carry guns on a college campus are the drug dealers.  Oh my goodness, am I a racist for saying that?  Something that does not even bring up race (see article about teacher suspended for Facebook post).

class80olddog
class80olddog

If I were the Governor, I would reply "He**, yes".  I want a person with a gun to help protect my grandchildren.  My response to those parents "if a Va. Tech or Sandy Hook shooter shows up in your son or daughter's classroom, do you want another person there with a gun, or would you just want them to curl up into a fetal position and get killed like 20 of the 32 killed at Va. Tech? " Well, what would YOU want?

Mike Dills
Mike Dills

you moan and groan when there isn't any protection in schools and you moan and groan when there is !

Joey Henry
Joey Henry

No. We should get more guns. Let the kids have guns too to protect them.

Michael Ward
Michael Ward

As long as they're not being unsafe with the weapon or using them in the commission of a crime, sure!

Warren Chew
Warren Chew

That's what happens when you vote republican

Warren Chew
Warren Chew

Constitution? Then the republicans should follow the constitution and do their jobs an appoint the Presidents Supreme Court nomination. Like I said you republicans are insanely Stupid!!!

Lisa Crowley
Lisa Crowley

LoL. Pot, meet kettle! Gotta love the liberal name calling.

Michael McIntyre
Michael McIntyre

Isn't it interesting that other states such as Tennessee are voting on the same type of bill -- with almost exactly the same wording!?!? I guess we have ALEC to thank for that.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Y'all just don't get it. You have to be able to protect yourself if someone tries to violently force you to bake a cake for a gay wedding on a college campus.

SmokinDawg
SmokinDawg

What a society of cowardly sheep are these millennials and the limp-wristed  professors and staff who are indoctrinating them. Outright embarrassing!

CharlesHendrix
CharlesHendrix

Right, they are so cowardly, they do not feel the need to carry a gun . I think you have it backwards. People who have to carry a gun everywhere are the cowards.

Stephen Scruggs
Stephen Scruggs

No research. Campus carry allowed in many states. Never has been an incident. Do you people ever research?

Starr Helton
Starr Helton

So no one has gotten mad at some one and shot them. Not one incident in any state?

Liz Bracey
Liz Bracey

You're talking about a man who has withheld healthcare from thousands for spite. No, he doesn't care about his grand kids or yours..

Jules Crush
Jules Crush

Who was going to pay for this health care

Starr Helton
Starr Helton

The federal government 100% at first and then it worked down until I believe 90% I know that we all pay federal taxes but guess what? You paid the same amount in taxes and got nothing back for it while south Georgia was closing hospitals. But hey, we don't need that stinking Obama Care. Tell that to the people who are driving to the next county with someone who is having a heart attack.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Supporters will point to the latest 2 incidents on GSU campus.  However, they ignore how "safe" the rest of downtown Atlanta is, where everyone even now can be armed.

DCSSFrustratedParent
DCSSFrustratedParent

@Wascatlady Come now - you can't expect the gun toting members of society to actually use facts do you. The reality is that this is all a HUGE red herring. If the Governor signs this bill there will be a small percentage of students who can legally carry anyway - 21 yrs old - 60%+ of the 4 yr students will be younger than 21 so the mantra that students can "protect themselves on campus" is complete fiction.

Paula Schwanenflugel
Paula Schwanenflugel

The Faculty Senate of the College of Education has sent Gov. Deal a letter asking him to veto campus carry. The vote to send this letter was unanimous.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Gov. Deal, I entreaty you to please VETO this gun bill.  Thank you.
  Lives will be on the line with your decision.