DeKalb student to governor: Veto campus carry so I can feel safe at a Georgia college

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

Jacob Busch is a junior at Chamblee Charter High School. He is also editor of his school newspaper. In this piece, the DeKalb County honors student explains how guns on campus will likely cause him to decide against attending a Georgia public college.

A page in the state Senate in 2016, Busch was thrilled when Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed last year’s campus carry legislation. He is urging Deal to do so again this year with the 2017 campus carry legislation, House Bill 280.

By Jacob Busch

On Sine Die last year, the final day of the legislative session for the Georgia General Assembly, I took a break from my Senate page duties to pursue a story for my high school’s newspaper. The topic: House Bill 859, more commonly known as the “campus carry” bill.

The bill, which would have allowed permit holders to carry concealed handguns in most places on Georgia’s public college campuses, including classrooms, was vetoed by Gov. Nathan Deal. He cited numerous issues with the bill in his veto message, noting it was “highly questionable” student safety would improve from more guns on campuses and that he did not “find that such justification” to stray from previous gun-free protections on campuses existed in HB 859.

I made calls to rally other Georgians to encourage the veto. I  talked to a friend who had chosen the University of Georgia over Princeton University about the bill (he strongly opposed it). With Deal’s eloquent denouncement of the legislation, I felt for the first time the governor had heard my voice on an issue that my local representatives did not.

Now, almost a year after his first veto of guns on campus legislation, Gov. Deal has House Bill 280 on his desk. Despite this push for more guns on campuses, opposition in the Georgia higher education community is tremendous.

The Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia opposes the bill, and the Chancellor of the Board testified against it at the State Capitol. The president of UGA opposes the bill, as does the president of Georgia State University.

The fight against guns on campus is a personal one for me. In a year, I’ll be off to college, and I may attend one of my state’s respected institutions. I am fighting not only for the quality of my future college career, but also for those of other students who will be sitting beside me in lecture halls.

This is what passage of the legislation would mean for some of our most revered educational institutions: the volatile mix of alcohol and deadly weapons would threaten the safety of young adults who are enjoying the inevitable party life of college. The academic stress that many students experience would be exacerbated with greater access to weapons on campus.

I attend one of Georgia’s most prestigious high schools; Chamblee ranked 14th in the state in the U.S. News & World Report Best High School list released last week. I have seen the immense pressure that the best and brightest of this state face. We cannot afford to lose more of our peers to suicide because it is easier for them to access a handgun at their university.

Texas has seen the ramifications of a similar campus carry law firsthand. Since Texas enacted campus carry last year, prestige has been lost; professors sued the state and its flagship school, the University of Texas; and prominent faculty have packed their bags and quit. We can only expect the same here if HB 280 becomes law.

Like my friend with whom I discussed this bill last spring, I plan on applying to both UGA and Princeton. If this bill is signed into law by our outgoing governor, I will be unwilling to attend a Georgia public university. I am unwilling to compromise my safety during some of the most exciting and formative years of my life, and more students will follow if HB 280 becomes law.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

55 comments
Jackalope
Jackalope

Go to Georgia Tech or Georgia State.  Walk those campuses at night.  Come back and tell us how safe you feel.

Prince Slingshot
Prince Slingshot

Now, here's a scenario ... The high school student that is on joint-enrollment taking college classes in Georgia is afraid of a person with a concealed weapons permit. They're afraid because they sit next to a 21 year old college athlete with a concealed carry permit. The student-athlete is also a member of a fraternity or a sorority and lives in the dorms and has a child in the college daycare center. The high school student is afraid of the day when the college athlete has a meeting with the dean due to their bad behavior or grades. This meeting is scheduled to take place on the way to a sports event and the college student-athlete has to pick up their child from daycare after the meeting, but before the sports event. The college student athlete has to leave class, meet with the dean, pick up the kid from daycare, then go to their sports event that the high school student can't attend. Really?! The question is ...How is the student athlete supposed to breastfeed her 4 year old son while at a volleyball match at 10 o'clock on a Wednesday night and play in the match when she left her AK-47 that she has had for 5 years on the bench next to the baby carrier in the locker room and has a soror hazing ceremony on Thursday morning before class!? That's why the high school student is afraid? That's what HB280 is trying to prevent? Not that ... on the way home from class, the high school kid got carjacked at knifepoint by a 14 year old girl at the gas station right outside the campus gate as he walked out of the convenience store while listening to his music on his headphones and texting his boyfriend after stealing a pack of skittles from the convenience store because he left his keys in his brand new Mustang GT500 that he got last week as a sweet 16 birthday present. Maybe the high school student should have used his taser on the assailant. But, at least the 14 year old assailant was nice. She left the 16 year old's miniature poodle in it's kennel next to the gas pump and everyone recorded it on their phones but you couldn't see the carjacker's face. But that'll never happen. Did I offend anyone? Is that enough "other" issues to support Campus Carry? That's how ridiculous opposing HB280 is.

Paul Merck
Paul Merck

Whoa! whoa! whoa! UGA graduates aren't intelligent enough to operate a firearm. Y'all put the socks back on your hands and get back to the slow class right now!!! Somebody gotta call yalls mommys....

Paul Merck
Paul Merck

But safety using voice text on 316 takes priority.

Prince Slingshot
Prince Slingshot

So, let me get this straight ... someone with a gun license can already carry their gun into daycare centers, elementary school classrooms, middle school classrooms, and high school classrooms and the only people that has to know is the carrier and the Principal. But, this high school student is against the Campus Carry Bill.Right?

Lindon Hooper
Lindon Hooper

Work on the problem of why so many young people chose to end their lives. We are not sure how many chose a car to end it, we just classify it as an accident.

kuxetaluro
kuxetaluro

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Gerald Miller
Gerald Miller

Get lost you pos more people are hurt by your stupid ideas.and your stopping free speeches. Which are guaranteed by constitution

Jim Clay
Jim Clay

Take away the guns bring Islam for sure you will be safe

Alt AJC
Alt AJC

Sign the bill, Mr. Governor.

edugator2
edugator2

Well said Jake!  Guns and college students are an unhealthy combination.  Keep the guns off campus so we can tell who the bad guys are. 

class80olddog
class80olddog

@edugator2  It is pretty easy to tell who the bad guys are - they are the ones shooting innocent people, refusing to drop weapons, and shooting at police.  It ain't rocket science. 

Don Morgan
Don Morgan

When I attended UK in the early 70's, my shotgun slept in my closet. Right beside my rid and reel.

Monoleto Lewis
Monoleto Lewis

More Guns More problems. .. be smarter about who your friends are, were your at at a certain time, and just put God first.

Troy Mahaffey
Troy Mahaffey

Funny thing is the first person you call when there is trouble is a man or woman with a gun. Smdh...

Sandy Whitney
Sandy Whitney

First person you call is a TRAINED man or woman with a gun, not someone in the next dorm room who has spent all of 2 hours on a shooting range.

Troy Mahaffey
Troy Mahaffey

Ok, in the meantime you die. No one is asking you to carry , however no one has the right to tell me I can not protect myself.

Thomas Jay Anderson
Thomas Jay Anderson

It was, of course, completely understandable why the NRA did not allow guns into the hall when President Trump addressed them last week. The Georgia Legislature also does not allow guns in the state Capitol -- again, completely understandable. So why do these groups get to exclude guns from their venues, and we are on the brink of not allowing our colleges and universities to do the same? Why do others, with their obvious agendas, get to force this on us? I and all of my colleagues do NOT want students carrying guns into our classrooms. How can anyone think this is a good idea? I allow and encourage the discussion of any hot button topics in my classrooms, as long as everyone does it respectfully. But there are lots of strong opinions these days, on all sides. Adding guns to the mix is just a really bad idea.  It will definitely mean we will not discuss these issues at all in my classes if the Governor signs this legislation. 

Gunluvr
Gunluvr

@Thomas Jay Anderson I don't know of anyplace where the president is that doesn't screen for guns, but you only tell half of the story everyplace else at the convention guns were allowed, open and concealed.

Cubby Jay
Cubby Jay

If you feel safe in 2017 your too dumb for school.

Shaun Whit
Shaun Whit

The irony of your statement is lost on you.

Will Dou Jones Boswell
Will Dou Jones Boswell

I've never had issues of going to classes on campuses during my college career. Without campus carry....

Joseph Schriefer
Joseph Schriefer

The irony of a minimally educated pot head attempting to call anyone else out for irony is lost on shawn

Thomas Adams
Thomas Adams

This just gives you a choice to protect yourself and your friends or not. It does not involve just on campus but those who live off-campus that are robbed, raped, car jack, and the list goes on with crimes!!

Sandy Whitney
Sandy Whitney

Are you a trained SWAT team or military trained first responder? Would you really know what to do if someone put a gun in your back? Most college students do not have the training to be effective in a crisis situation. Could be more dangerous than helpful.

Shira Newman
Shira Newman

Then they shouldn't be carrying. But for those who do why shouldn't they be allowed?

Thomas Adams
Thomas Adams

Wow......... I did not realize you had to be a Seal Team Six Commander to own a gun?

Joseph Schriefer
Joseph Schriefer

Sign campus carry so students can BE safe. There remains no rational, logical argument against campus carry

Erwin Veale
Erwin Veale

Va Tech. Logical? Oh wait. Carrying students would have solved the problem. Got it. I'm the stupid one and I'm SO SORRY

Issac Reid
Issac Reid

I hope you guys convince deal to veto that crap. As for the others. ....just stick to gunsmoke reruns. You'll have all the guns you need

Woodrow Winters
Woodrow Winters

Tell that to the students that got stabbed yesterday in austin. If they were armed might have been a different outcome.

Prince Slingshot
Prince Slingshot

So, in Georgia, at 15, one can get a job and a driver's license. At 16 years old, one can consent to sex, drop out of school, and be legally emancipated. At 17, one can be charged as an adult in a Court of Law. At 18, one can purchase a rifle or long gun, vote, join the military, and sign legally binding contracts and agreements. But a law-abiding citizen, 21 or older, with a Concealed Weapons Permit (which includes more than a gun) can't protect themselves (which is a Constitutional Right) on a college campus. Luckily, and quite fortunately, a Criminal doesn't care about following the law nor do they care about your safety. They count of you being vulnerable prey. Governor Deal, please sign the Ga Campus Carry Bill 2017 (HB 280). Thank you.

Sandy Whitney
Sandy Whitney

Are you a trained SWAT team or military trained first responder? Would you really know what to do if someone put a gun in your back? Most college students do not have the training to be effective in a crisis situation. Could be more dangerous than helpful.

Prince Slingshot
Prince Slingshot

Why yes, I am a military-trained first responder. I was on the "special reaction team" on my ship as well as on the "fire response team". I was also on many of my command's small arms training teams. I am also one of the only two know African-American Hebrew Linguists to retire from the USNavy with 20 years of service. And I am currently a college student with a Carry Permit at 50 years old. But I have to leave my weapons (of any kind) at home when I go to class. What if something happens anywhere along the way to or from class? Holding my bible and praying out loud might help, right? Who's protecting everyone else? What other Constitutional Right is ever denied a law-abiding citizen? So, when you get the chance tell me what a CTI1 (NAC), USN (Ret) is. Thank you for your reply.

Prince Slingshot
Prince Slingshot

Thank you, Governor Deal for passing the Ga Campus Carry Bill (HB280).

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Let me guess, young Jacob is going to major in Drama.


Please sign the bill, Nathan Deal.  I want to see snowflakes running around campus screaming "wahhhh, wahhh, wahhh"  Besides, Maybelle just had her kittens.  I figure I can drop them off at the snowflake petting zoo on campus.


"Guns on campus.  Wahhh, Wahhh, Wahh.  Ooooh, kittens..."

Alt AJC
Alt AJC

@Lee_CPA2 

Bless you. The urge to ridicule the silliest liberals can indeed overpower one's ability to find the words. 

Robert Reems
Robert Reems

Don't forget about the crazy people better to have a gun hard to catch them bullets

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Any shoot outs going on at Georgia colleges?  Almost no armed assaults and these have been in front of armed security by campus invaders and no one was injured.  So - apparently, the students are smarter than the governor (and, unlike the governor, they have not received any bribes from the gun manufacturer's Political Action Committee).  More guns, more shootings.  No evidence that guns protect, in fact, registered gun owners are statistically, significantly, more 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).

Freethinkethman
Freethinkethman

In our words, let the assaults and armed robberies continue at GSU and GT.

Only the thugs should have guns, right?