How often has campus carry staved off attacks in states that allow guns on campus? Zero.

Protesters rally in opposition to campus carry at a University of Georgia event last year. TAYLOR.CARPENTER/AJC

I have two high school seniors likely to end up at public campuses in Georgia next year, one at the University of Georgia and one at Georgia Tech.

Despite polls showing the majority of Georgians oppose guns on campus and a veto of a similar bill by Gov. Nathan Deal last year, the General Assembly is trying again. Georgia voters continue to oppose efforts to legalize guns on the state’s college campuses, according to a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll.

I am watching the campus carry bill with trepidation. I don’t want guns on public campuses with my kids or anyone else’s.

Neither does Matthew Boedy, an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at the University of North Georgia. Boedy has devoted a lot of time to researching the claims being made by campus carry proponents in the Legislature, debunking most of them.

He does so again today.

By Matthew Boedy

Advocates of “campus carry” – that policy inscribed in House Bill 280 now before the Georgia Senate that would permit concealed guns on college campuses – continually tell us about other states who has passed similar laws.

They put great emphasis on Utah and Colorado, the two states that have allowed guns on campus for some years. Utah higher education officials fought a 2004 law allowing guns on campus, ultimately losing at the state’s highest court in 2006. Colorado also started allowing guns on campus statewide in 2012 after a court ruling, though Colorado State University began the practice in 2003, banned guns in 2009, and restarted the practice in 2012.

The main sponsor of HB 280, Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton, highlighted these states in her comments March 3 before the House voted overwhelmingly to pass her bill. Rep. Ballinger noted guns should be allowed on Georgia campuses so anyone can exercise their “right to protect themselves, should the need arise.”

Are people on Utah campuses exercising that right?

I asked the campus police chiefs from the two largest universities in Utah – the University of Utah and Utah State University – for reports from 2004 to 2016 of a victim using a firearm to stop a crime in progress.

Both universities had zero examples to report.

Let that sink in.

“Campus carry” advocates continuously talk about stopping robberies and rapes with guns. Yet in states with a robust history of “campus carry” not one victim reported to campus police that a gun helped fend off an attack.

In other words, the cry from gun rights advocates for self-protection on college campuses has resulted in not a single reported instance of self-protection in more than a decade.

I found similar lack of reports for the use of stun guns by victims since July 1 in Georgia.

To be fair, a lot of crimes nationwide go unreported. The National Crime Victimization Survey reported that from 2006 to 2010, 52 percent of all violent victimizations were not reported to police, though about a third of these were reported to another official, most likely a mandated reporter themselves. Yet not a single report from two universities with a combined staff, faculty, and student population of more than 80,000, roughly the same size as University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. Granted, very few crimes occur on Utah campuses, like Georgia.

Rep. Ballinger and others also repeatedly make the claim (exemplified here) that a “resulting” act of violence or suicide has not occurred during the 2,000 semesters on nearly 200 campuses where guns have been allowed.

But consider this story from Colorado in 2011. According to news reports, a 24-year-old University of Colorado student held police at bay as he sat against a wall at a local hospital in Boulder in 2011, threatening to kill himself with a .357 Magnum. The standoff ended hours later, the man alive. That same man was seen walking near the campus library with that same gun earlier in the day. Because this incident happened while guns were illegal on campus, the man was charged with a felony – unlawful carrying of a weapon on university grounds.

A similar story happened in 2014 with another Colorado student and his three knives hidden on him and his backpack. He had been told not to return to campus by the university due to his “disturbing” behavior. He did and was confronted by police in a classroom. He told them of neo-Nazis trying to kill him and new boyfriends of his ex-girlfriends tormenting him. He was arrested because it is illegal to carry concealed knives in Colorado.

These are two of more than 20 reports of unlawful weapons from 2010 to 2016 that I received through Colorado’s open records laws from campus police chiefs at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University. As for legally permitted guns, it is illegal to drive under the influence and have a gun. There was more than one example of this reported.

Yes, these incidents ended without violence to anyone. Even the guy who had a loaded, but not primed powder pistol in his saddlebag as he drunkenly rode a horse through the Boulder campus in 2013.

But that is mainly because university police did their job well. They know how to handle these situations.

Are Utah and Colorado campuses previews of “campus carry” in Georgia? You decide. One place does not see the need for guns. The other has people in need of protection from themselves. Police are the cause of the former and the providers of the latter.

House Bill 280 will not help Georgia campus police. This is why every campus police chief in the state is against it. Faculty and students are overwhelming against it. And so too is our governor. College and university campuses are sanctuaries, as Gov. Deal noted in his veto of last year’s version of this bill. They are such because we are well-protected by well-trained police.

If you agree, call the governor and let him know to veto guns on campus.

You can send the governor an email through this link. 

You can call:  404-656-1776

Or, fax: 404-657-7332

Reader Comments 0

31 comments
jerryeads
jerryeads

I only played college professor for bit of my career, but have carried for most of my 71 years. One of the egregious stupidities of Georgia law is there is no requirement to even know which end to point in order to get a permit, yet the halfwits in the legislature want to let immature untrained kids pack on campus.

Glad I retired. I'd rather not feel I had to hang the HK on my hip for the times when we have to fail some kid who hasn't even learned yet how to be a student.

Monte Poitevint
Monte Poitevint

Our colleges have become indoctrination camps for leftwing subversives. The violence and uprisings from these nut-jobs is escalating. Violent uprisings on college campuses are becoming the norm. A gun on campus would be good protection from these lunatics.

Al Effendi
Al Effendi

The fantasy that a gun is a viable means of defense is a sign of mental illness.

Joseph Schriefer
Joseph Schriefer

The delusion that a firearm is not a viable means of defense is a sign of mental illness, obsolete culture, and a fake profile to troll with

Francisco Perez
Francisco Perez

"The history of liberty is a history of resistance" you are a dumbass.

Francisco Perez
Francisco Perez

People who want to hurt people won't be deterred by policies or signs.

Len Craft
Len Craft

how about one on one attacks. any stats for those?

Joseph Schriefer
Joseph Schriefer

How many mass shootings have happened on campuses in states that allow campus carry? Fixed that illogical headline for you

Jack Warner
Jack Warner

Joseph, you stated not only a fact but reason. Something the ajc has a hard time doing.

USMC2841
USMC2841

Which other civil rights do you support being banned on college campuses?

Astropig
Astropig

@USMC2841


They've made it crystal clear that they're against freedom of speech.

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

Shhh....don't tell anyone, but it doesn't make a difference any way this goes down.


Do or don't...none of this makes any difference at all.

Just continue to spin your wheels about nothing and try to convince each other of nothing. Let me know when one mind is changed by a blog or comments section.

Astropig
Astropig

IMHO,the proponents of this in the legislature are going about this all wrong.A better approach:


1) Give the governor what he wants.Include his exceptions.


2) Get your picture made at the capitol at the signing ceremony.Flip off the AJC in the picture.Make sure your voters know that you're doing this.(You maybe should write the letters "A-J-C" on your ring finger)


3) Go home and tell your constituents that you are (for one of the few times in your career),keeping your promises.Keeping promises seems to be quite popular at the moment.Ride the wave.See (3) above.


4) Let time pass.When the carnage that liberals always hysterically shriek about doesn't happen,then work to improve the law.Put some of those exceptions back on the table and nibble away at getting what you really want in this bill,just spread out over a few election cycles.


5) Work to elect a governor in 2018 that will sign off on some of the things in (4) above.


That's the way to get this done.



GAStaterights
GAStaterights

If you were a shooter, would you target an area with laws prohibiting guns? Or, would you target an area where you have no idea who is carrying and who is not?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Gun owners are statistically, significantly more likely to commit murder, twice as likely to be murdered and 3 times as likely to commit suicide (Univ Penn LDI Issue Brief 2003;8(8), 1-4; Ann Int Med, Jan, 2014).Those who are shot and survive are 21 times more likely to be shot again and 5 times more likely to die than those wounded by some weapon other than a gun or injured in an accident (Ann Int Med, April, 2015).

USMC2841
USMC2841

@Ralph-43 You seem to be linking gun ownership to carry concealed.  They are two different groups.  A valid Georgia Weapons Permit is required by the bill.  Legal carry permit holders are less likely to commit gun crimes than police officers.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

The people eager to get guns on campus are, of course, the gun manufacturers (and their Political Action Committee, the N.R.A.) as well as the gang bangers always looking for a supply line. 

USMC2841
USMC2841

@Ralph-43 Yes, Gang Bangers always wait for bills to be passed before implementing their gun distribution networks.

Smit71
Smit71

Do you truly feel if guns are illegal on campus, it will stop the "bad guys" from bringing them on campus. Bottom line- if someone wants to do harm, they will. A person planning to do harm on a campus isn't going to remember "oh shucks, it's not legal to have my gun on campus, so I guess I won't do it"??

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

@Smit71 You would think with the millions of guns in America that there'd be no crime and you'd be reading multiple stories a day about how "good guys with guns" were helping. Instead, we read about people with guns snapping and shooting people (including themselves), their children getting the guns and killing and, like John Rocker, getting their guns stolen by people who otherwise wouldn't be able to get a gun. Sad. 

Smit71
Smit71

Do you think the answer is to take away guns legally? Do you really believe criminals won't find illegal ways to get guns?

1776 Nation
1776 Nation

What's most notable about the writer's "lot of time researching" is that it's apparently failed to turn up any real evidence that campus carry results in the murder and mayhem opponents suggest.

So if being armed makes vulnerable students feel safer, and perhaps makes bad guys think twice -- then why not?

RationalThoughts67
RationalThoughts67

Eighteen year olds with guns... what could go wrong?

So the overwhelming number of residences and police chiefs in ga are against this law but still these idiots push this..... only in Georgia.

USMC2841
USMC2841

@RationalThoughts67 Not every 18 year old has a valid carry permit, which is required by the law, those that do are less likely to commit gun crimes than even full time police officers.

Mr. Boedy and the article overlooks the lack of any gun violence on these campuses, which is your same assumption.  Increases in legal concealed carry does not lead to increases in gun crime.  The data shows the opposite.


Which other civil rights do you support being banned on college campuses?

Astropig
Astropig

@USMC2841 @RationalThoughts67


"  Increases in legal concealed carry does not lead to increases in gun crime.  The data shows the opposite."


Entirely true-according to the U.S. Department of Justice.In fact, armed robbery and agg assault decreased 47 and 40% at Colorado State and Utah respectively after allowing campus carry.This ^^ article can be 100% true and 100% misleading at the same time.It seems to be only about 43.9% complete.I'm sure that's by design.