Opinion: Ten reasons Gov. Nathan Deal ought to veto campus carry law

Nationwide, students are protesting campaigns to open college campuses to firearms. (AJC file)

Matthew Boedy, an assistant professor at the University of North Georgia, has researched whether guns are needed on Georgia’s public college campuses. Based on his research, Boedy says they are not needed and will not enhance safety.

You can read his research here and here. 

In the wake of the General Assembly’s passage of the campus carry legislation, Boedy urges Gov. Nathan Deal to veto House Bill 280 and lists 10 reasons.

By Matthew Boedy

If political writers and those who crafted the midnight version of HB 280 are correct in their prognostications, Gov. Nathan Deal will allow guns on college and university campuses. Here are 10 reasons why you, sir, should veto again:

  1. If you wanted guns banned from faculty offices, it is unclear whether this bill does that. I’m no lawyer but I do have an advanced degree in something that deals with grammar. And even I don’t know if House Bill 280 as passed bans guns from faculty offices. Others who I have asked also are confused. The phrase reads the proposed allowance for guns would “not apply to faculty, staff, or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.” Oh, for want of a comma after “offices.” Need I remind the governor of the company that lost millions due to the lack of a comma? Does the line mean that faculty offices only used for disciplinary proceedings would not have guns? Or does it mean that indeed no guns would be allowed in any faculty office at any time? No one I know holds such hearings in their office but that doesn’t stop the legislators who voted for this bill thinking we do.
  2. If guns are banned from offices in this bill, can I as a professor ask a student if they are carrying? And what if they are? Do they return the gun to their car? If guns are not banned from offices, can I hold office hours in the campus police station? There are other questions about insurance, storage areas, hospitals run by universities, and mental health. Texas gave its universities a year to answer such questions. HB 280 gives us presumably until July 1.
  3. This year’s sponsor of “campus carry,” Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton, told 11 Alive some weeks ago that guns on campus were needed because of all the male professors hitting on female students, presumably alone together in their offices. Well, that problem wouldn’t be addressed by this bill if indeed guns are banned from faculty offices. And of course any faculty who wanted wouldn’t be able to have a gun in their office. So they can’t so easily go armed into the classroom next door and “take out” active shooters, the ideal scenario of gun advocates. Who is this bill supposed to be helping?
  4. The bill also would ban guns from “any room or space being used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program…” If the intent is to protect these 16-and-17-year-olds from guns, it does not do that. Surely the legislators who voted for this bill know that these students crisscross campus like other students, taking my First Year English course in one building and Biology 101 in another. Under this bill they would be around guns in hallways but not in classrooms, lobbies but not labs.
  5. On the subject of banning guns from the presence of this age group, gun advocates are implying then these teenagers are too young and immature to be around guns. But at the same time the Georgia legislators who voted for this bill are more than willing to let first semester freshmen around guns. Man, what a difference a summer makes in a teen’s life.
  6. Also these legislators are also saying when on a college campus these high school students should not be protected by guns held by concealed carriers in an active shooter scenario, that mythical “sitting duck” attack described by gun advocates. I suppose the police will have to protect them. Or they can act themselves, like tackling an intruder. Or put themselves between the vulnerable and a gun. Or use reasoning. Or stand behind me.
  7. The fine for a non-licensed person who brings a gun on a Georgia campus is to be no more than $10,000. The crime will also be a felony. That is stiff, as the governor wanted in his veto from a year ago. But under this year’s bill, the fine for a licensed gun owner who doesn’t conceal their gun or carries it in a banned place is $25. And the crime is a misdemeanor. I am sure that will be a deterrent.
  8. The slippery slope will have begun, if it has not already. First, gun advocates wanted Tasers and stun guns on campus (which students are not using). That wasn’t enough. Now they want guns. Yes, the bill has some banned locations. But you don’t think the NRA caucus in the Georgia Legislature will come back next year to erase these imaginary lines they so complain about? And yes, the bill limits guns to licensed people 21 or older. But just this month, the governor of Utah – where they have had “campus carry” for a few years for people 21 and older – signed a bill allowing it for people 18 and older. You don’t think the NRA caucus wants that next? By the way no one uses guns to stop crimes on Utah campuses.
  9. The overwhelming majority of faculty, students, and staff don’t want guns on campus. Campus police chiefs don’t want guns on campus. The university system doesn’t want guns on campus. Did I mention there was less House support for HB 280 in the wee hours of March 30 compared to the March 3 vote? Same with the Senate.
  10. And you, sir, as the governor of this state do not want guns on campus. You said so yourself in your forceful veto last year: “If the intent of HB 859 is to increase safety of students on college campuses, it is highly questionable that such would be the result.” Our campuses are just as safe as last year. There is no crime wave. Despite misleading statistics from gun advocates, some even spouted from the Well in favor of this bill, our campuses are overwhelmingly safer than other places in our state. And there is the historical argument you so strongly noted: “From the early days of our nation and state, colleges have been treated as sanctuaries of learning where firearms have not been allowed. To depart from such time-honored protections should require overwhelming justification. I do not find that such justification exists.” The majority of Georgians don’t either. Which is why they also don’t want guns on campus.

Please veto House Bill 280, Gov. Deal. It is the right thing to do.

Reader Comments 0

61 comments
Starik
Starik

Lets handle this problem by letting the second amendment enthusiasts have their law and see what happens. Mistakes in laws are correctable, if they are mistakes.  Hopefully the experiment will work out better than Trump has. That one is hard to fix.

PTC DAWG1
PTC DAWG1

Criminals don't give two squats about the Law....allow the law abiding citizens to carry too...

DogTheMan
DogTheMan

There is no reason why  students need weapons on campus. Has the country gone gun crazy and insane.. Wait until a student does not like his or her grade and uses a weapon to try to intimidate a teacher or some person looses a girlfriend or boyfriend and wants to take the hurt out on the world. I BET THE NRA WILL BE AS QUIET AS A MOUSE LIKE THEY ARE WHEN A POLICE SHOOTS AN UNARMED BLACK MAN!!!!!!!! ITS A CATASTROPHE!!!

chazzy
chazzy

What I find so disturbing by all of this is not a single one of these bills requires a FIREARM SAFETY CLASS!!  How damn stupid are our elected officials that they pass these laws and will not even require individuals to sit thru a 8 hour class before getting a concealed carry permit or carrying a firearm on a campus.  You would think the NRA would at least support that!!  I support the right to carry but only by those competent to know how to use a firearm!!  

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

Constitutional rights do not end at the campus gates. Even at the State level, the left wants to substitute their self-perceived wisdom for the law and the constitution.


I'm planning a watch party to see their heads explode when Deal signs the bill this time.

LegolasMirkwood
LegolasMirkwood

Yeah, do we need a law to put guns in classrooms?


NO.  It's stupid.

William1952
William1952

Thank goodness we have Governor Nathan Deal as a counterweight to our screwball legislature. I have known him for many years, trust his judgement, and will be surprised if this campus carry bill is not vetoed - again. I will certainly lobby for a veto.

weechie
weechie

What a disaster! I don't remember too many of my classmates in college that I would have been comfortable with carrying a gun, and the professors, give me a break. There is a reason they are educators and not police officers. The good news is college students don't use drugs any more, so at least we don't need to worry about a student high on what ever hurting anyone with his or her gun.

quickdigits
quickdigits

Oh there's no doubt in my mind that Governor Nathan Deal Will veto the campus carry law. That's because Governor Deal is the Sorriest Excuse for a Republican Governor we've every had. He's a pansy snowflake if there ever Was one! He is Against the second amendment. He is a Republican in Name Only....everything he does and says is Liberal Democrat. We need a Real Republican Governor in office after Deal leaves. I hope Karen Handel runs for governor and I hope she wins. We need a change.....if there's one thing I despise it's someone who Misrepresents him/herself. This is Deal in a nutshell. There are also lots of people here in Georgia who are Pseudo-Republicans. I am NOT one of them, Thank God!

Patterson612
Patterson612

@quickdigits No digits, He is not a right wing radical nut job!  He is more of a moderate Republican and I guess in your mind, I would be better off a Democrat.  Well then so be it.  I taught for ten years and Kennesaw State and I know first hand, guns have no business on a college campus.  By the way what is a "Real Republican"?


Renia
Renia

Ralph-43

So what is your point?We already have a severe teacher shortage. When immature students get angry about a grade, especially one that will stop them from graduating, they now have the law on their side side to wound a teacher. You have blood dripping from your mouth. There are enough guns already. Now we have the morally deficient wanting to arm those who have a history of mental illness. HOW QUICKLY WE FORGET SANDY HOOK!

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@Renia Maybe, you should re-read my posts regarding the data surrounding guns in the United States.  Sounds like you missed the point.

dsmtward
dsmtward

The most compelling reason for Governor Deal to veto this bill is #9 above. The academic community does NOT want campus carry. The academic leadership has directly expressed at the capital  their opposition to the bill. Faculty leadership have issued statements opposing it. Student government associations have protested against it. And perhaps most importantly, campus security throughout our state have jointly said that campus carry will make our campuses LESS safe, not more. While its interesting information what legislators think, and what the NRA thinks, and what moneyed interests both in our state and throughout the country think, what matters most on this issue is what the people who will live daily with the effects of this bill think. And those folks have all spoken, and their leadership all agree - they do not want campus carry.Governor Deal, we hope that you again listen to the members of the Georgia academic community and veto this bill. Thank you.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

With respect to Kennesaw, GA, a small town of 32,000 in Cobb County, some have reported that there is no crime because the citizens are required to defend themselves with an in-home firearm.There is a Police contingent and the Chief, William Westenberger, reports that in the past 3 years there have been 45,640 complaints filed and 2,858 arrests.The crimes have included 5 rapes, 44 aggravated assaults, 19 armed robberies, 337 burglaries, 1,399 larcenies, 80 stolen autos, and 318 narcotics violations.

A few recent gun murders in Kennesaw, GA:

www.murdertrial.org/georgia/kennesaw.htm

kennesaw.11alive.com/news/crime/227282-man-found-dead-kennesaw-home

www.gadailynews.com/news/58945-suspect-michael-ntiamoah-charged-in...

www.examiner.com/article/kennesaw-man-charged-with-double-murder

cherokeetribune.com/.../article-2-charged-in-murder-of-Kennesaw-woman

www.wsbradio.com/news/news/local/two-arrested-murder-one-run/nMhqL

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Penske_shootings

www.cbsatlanta.com/story/17655452/man-shot-killed-in-kennesaw-driveway

marietta.11alive.com/news/crime/cobb-police-search-murder-suspect/...

woodstock.patch.com/articles/woodstock-man-wanted-in-kennesaw-shooting

mdjonline.com/.../22322943/article-Body-found-in-Kennesaw-driveway

smyrna.11alive.com/news/crime/113518-2-arrested-1-sought-murder-case

KENNESAW, Ga. -- Cobb County Police have named three suspects in a murder case that occurred over the weekend. The victim, 53-year-old Milton Kelley, was found …

www.ajc.com/news/...to-appeal-decision-on-kennesaw-man-who-kille/nSgFH

www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20012171-504083.html

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

So if a prof were hitting on a student, he/she would be allowed to blast away outside the prof's office?  Is this some new kind of "stand your ground?"


Profs don't meet with students in rooms with closed doors.  Not if they are smart,anyway.  Even elementary school teachers are taught that!


This bill will just be another nail in Georgia's reputation.

MargaretHolt
MargaretHolt

As a retired professor from the University of Georgia (1981-2000), I completely support these research positions.  

Meaty Urologist
Meaty Urologist

The NRA  really couldn't care less about the average American.  They just take their money and smile and nod at how willingly they are to fork over their hard-earned money to an organization that really doesn't even care if they live or die.  The NRA's bread is buttered by the REAL money supporters...firearms manufacturers.  The NRA's only purpose is to support legislature that favors the manufacturers so their revenue stream doesn't dry up preventing them from buying legislators.  Now, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, since they operate within the limits of the law, but it's patently absurd to think that Wayne LaPierre only gets his work clothes on every day because he's motivated by Billy Bob Cousinhump from Goatlick, GA.  It's straight up advocacy theater.

independentiii
independentiii

This is totally a sell out by our Republican legislators to the NRA. 

The NRA make up less than 5% of americans.  Our legislators are listening to them instead the large majority of Georgians don't want this bill, not to mention the overwhelming majority of teachers, campus police, school administrators, etc - pretty much everyone associated with any of these affected schools.

Hopefully, Gov Deal will do the right thing and veto.

If not, lets hope that the large majority who oppose this bill will vote against those legislators who supported this ill conceived bill in 2018.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

" Funny" comment about the profs hitting on students. Don't cell phones with cameras work in those offices/classrooms?


And how would these guns be drawn since many students carry a laptop or books while walking mindlessly reading/texting their cell phones?

Falcaints
Falcaints

Once again the NRA creates a problem that does not exist and then uses like-minded legislators to push it through state houses. 

MissDaisyCook
MissDaisyCook

Two reasons he should sign it into law:  freedom and responsibility. 

Getthetruth
Getthetruth

@MissDaisyCook Exactly the two reasons why it should not be signed into law.  We have no effective means to ensure that those bearing arms are sufficiently responsible without violating the freedoms of all.  

threespeed
threespeed

@Getthetruth @MissDaisyCook Sounds lofty, but that isn't required int he 2nd Amendment. By the way, it is a special bonus of the 2nd Amendment that it drives anti-gun nuts absolutely bat guano crazy. It's a lot of fun to watch. 

dawg fan
dawg fan

This is easily one of the dumbest stupidest sh** for brains ideas of all time.  I live in a college town and local law enforcement has been on record that they were not consulted on this and think it is a bad idea.  Just more redneck bullschitt out of a bunch ignorant ideologues catering to their dumb as a rock constituents.  It's the same thing that got our piece of trash President elected.  It is unbelievable what is happening to this country.  There is no regard for facts, reality and common sense anymore.  All that matters is believing you are right and everyone else is wrong.  A bunch of hungover 20 year olds do not need to be bringing guns on campus and leaving them in their cars. I can't tell you how many times I hear of a stupid redneck leaving a gun in their car and it getting stolen.  It happens EVERY DAY.  What do you think happens to those guns morons?  They get sold to criminals who use them to kill people.  Yay for you and your stupid guns!  What are you going to do if some mass shooter starts shooting up the school there Tex?  Shoot up at the OK Coral?  You aren't John  Wayne and this isn't a freaking movie. Unless you are trained to deal with such a shooter, which God knows you are not, you will put more lives in danger by bringing another gun to the situation.  Anyone who actually knows what they are talking about believes this.  Law enforcement goes through intense training to deal with active shooters but you're going to be a hero with your gun and save the day?  Use your freaking heads!!!  Rant over. 

An American Patriot
An American Patriot

@dawg fan Lot of rhetoric with NOTHING to back it up.  Oh, and I'm one of those ignorant idealogues who happens to be pro 2nd amendment.  I don't agree with the governor on many things; however, this I do. OH, again, his name is President Donald J. Trump, the constitutionally elected president of The United States of America, the country I love very, very much.  You know, when you quit wetting your pants, you might learn something.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@An American Patriot Nothing to back it up?  What part of local law enforcement is against this does your pea sized brain not understand?  You idiots are simply delusional.  His name is President Trash because that is what he is, a lying shyster scumbag who BS'ed and bullied his way to the White House.  He is a total fraud playing morons like you like a fiddle.  Congratulations. 

threespeed
threespeed

@dawg fan Thanks snowflake. Insulting every gun owner in GA isn't exactly the right way to get you opinions enforced, but us 2nd amendment supporters can always count on the outright ignorance of the anti-gun folks. Thank you. By the way, shouldn't you be a fan of a school that doesn't actually approve of manliness? 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@dawg fan And you are being kind and restrained in pointing this out.  What kind of idiots do we have coming up with these ideas?

independentiii
independentiii

@threespeed @dawg fan " approve of manliness" - yes, many of those who 'carry' guns do so because of a feeling of not being 'manly', it's true.  But isn't it really due to them having a small penis?

dawg fan
dawg fan

@threespeed I must have missed the part where I said anything about gun owners as a whole.  I didn't.  Just another straw man argument out of a stupid redneck too ignorant to argue things on the merits.  It's all you people know how to do.  It really is unbelievable.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Know the DATA.  Registered 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).States with high gun ownership (Montana, Arkansas, Alabama and Idaho) kill law enforcement officers 3 times more often than states with low gun ownership (Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey) (American Journal of Public Health, 2015).

USMC2841
USMC2841

@Ralph-43 It's a good thing this bill does not apply to gun owners but legal Georgia Weapons Permit holders. For someone telling others to Know the DATA you've seemed to have missed that point.  You're either innocently ignorant or intentionally lumping these two together.  In either instance you're wrong.

Astropig
Astropig

Guns are already on college campuses in Georgia and elsewhere.This bill won't change that.Students, professors,law enforcement and even,yes,criminals are already armed.If anything,this will codify the requirement for the students and others that already carry a gun for protection to "come out of the shadows" and get legal.I'm told that that is what we want on other matters of law.


Astropig jr. starts his masters program at Tech on August 21.If the governor signs this,he'll be carrying legally.I'm comfortable with it and plan to buy him a Beretta 21A Bobcat as a birthday present.


Governor Deal, the legislature gave you the exceptions you asked for last year.Please sign the bill.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

The gang bangers are celebrating, along with the N.R.A. and the gun manufacturers.  Having trouble meeting their quota breaking into cars in the 2-4 A period, this looks like much more fun.  Good looking co-eds, goof ball frat boys, and some of them are carrying pop guns?  Sleep in till 10 A, get the 3 man crew together - dress like college dorks.  Pick the one with the bulge, 9 mm to the back of the head, one to frisk, one at 30 feet to pick off 'heroes'.  Should be good for at least 5 per day ($200 dollars on the street, $400 in Chicago and New York.) Better than those minimum wage 'stand all day' stints at Mickey D's. 

USMC2841
USMC2841

@Ralph-43  When you can explain why this doesn't happen in Kennesaw or outside of gun ranges we'll listen to your rants.

USMC2841
USMC2841

This is twice you've opined on Mr. Boedy's writings while ignoring the fact that this bill will only allow those with a Georgia Weapons Permit to carry on campus.  Mr. Boedy is fond of pointing out that other states cannot show a decrease in crime as a benefit of campus carry but no one can show the wild eyed, blood in the streets, rampages of someone who can legally carry.  Permit holders commit fewer gun crimes than average citizens and Law Enforcement Personnel.  Again, If there is not data supporting an increase in campus shootings by legal permit holders why would you seek to limit a civil right?  Which other rights should be ceded upon entering a college campus?


The UNG, which employs Mr. Boedy, happens to be one of the four Senior Military Schools in the U.S. Close to 800 of their students are in the Corps of Cadets.  Does their Rifle training lead to a higher shooting rate than other campuses that don't have 800 individuals with access to rifles?

RufusATL
RufusATL

@USMC2841 No, you miss the point.  Nobody should be allowed to carry a gun on college campuses, except employed university security personnel.  Period!  Fact!!

LookCloser
LookCloser

Typical moronic thinking Maureen.  Banning a gun from an office is NOT going to stop someone with bad intent from breaking the "rules"  


"you broke the rules, you broke the rules"  why not just yell that at them?


Stupid thinking....give humans a chance to get trained and protect themselves and stop being such a typical liberal fool.

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

This is a very bad idea. If you have one ounce of the common sense that God gave you, you would know that. Who really wants this?  Is there an out cry, a demand, a need for this? No. College kids at an age in life  ruled by unbridled passion, thoughtlessness, impulse, contentiousness, bull sessions with lots of disagreement and back and forth,often fueled by alcohol going late into the night, lack of life experience, but an answer and solution for everything, and just plain old fashioned ignorance and some times hate and intolerance? Hey. I know. Let's allow them to arm themselves. What could possibly go wrong? 


No one but the gun nuts and the representatives of gun nuts in the state legislature and those with ties to the fire arms industry and sales outlets want this. Hopefully, Deal will veto this very bad bill one more time.  

LookCloser
LookCloser

@Ficklefan Banning a gun from an office is NOT going to stop someone with bad intent from breaking the "rules"  


"you broke the rules, you broke the rules"  why not just yell that at them?


Stupid thinking....give humans a chance to get trained and protect themselves and stop being such a typical liberal fool.

USMC2841
USMC2841

@Ficklefan Only those with Georgia Weapons Permits would be allowed to carry.  In comparison these individuals commit fewer gun crimes than Law Enforcement Officials.  I'm not sure if your illustration of the random, unstable college kid legally carrying a gun to a party is honest ignorance or malicious deceit but in either case it's wrong.

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

@LookCloser @Ficklefan I am far from being a Dem/Lib. Pro-Second Amendment all my life with a full, well secured gun cabinet to prove it. Aside from the brainless idea, in and of itself, of having gun toting students on college campuses, which does not require a very high IQ for any one to recognize, I just never took a drink of the gun nut Kool-Aid. There are those of us who understand what the Founders and leaders of America in its formative years understood and worked for decades, centuries to eliminate - a gun toting citizenry. They lived that - out of necessity - a necessity we cannot even imagine, and no, the bad hombres with guns out there do not come close to what they faced in order to survive. And they managed to create America out of a dangerous wilderness. And guess what they were all working toward, a civilized nation. And civilization meant that the citizens would no longer have to tote guns to protect themselves and their families. But we are giving into the devolution of the American civilization by promoting the arming of all of our citizens - even college kids. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Please VETO the guns on campuses, Gov. Deal.  Even one death because of that bill is too many.

Spinoza
Spinoza

Mandi Ballinger is the female face they put on this egregious legislation as their latest ploy in their five attempts to pass it. She has the intellect of Sara Palin without the willingness to stand up in public and defend her views.  She literally ran away and hid at the capitol rather than debate any of us in public or take questions in private.  Better than being exposed for the fraud she is I suppose.


It is only in the United States that a reactionary special interest group is able to introduce such uncivilized practices that are considered insane in all other Western and Asian democracies. Shame on these people, they are nothing but the knowing instruments of the National Rifle Association and care nothing about the universities, colleges, learning, or scholarship. 

RufusATL
RufusATL

@Spinoza If this bill becomes law, then "carry" should be allowed, or even required, in the chambers of the state legislature.  That way, during heated arguments and debates over legislation, it's every "man" for himself.  The Wild, Wild West all over again........I can't wait.