Back in May, Gov. Nathan Deal approved House Bill 280 allowing concealed weapons on college campuses. Known as the “campus carry” bill, anyone with a firearm permit can carry concealed guns on public campuses except in on-campus preschools, faculty and administrative offices, disciplinary hearings, dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses and classrooms that have a high school student in attendance.
Deal vetoed a similar bill earlier in the year because lawmakers wouldn’t agree to add more areas to the weapon-free zones.
Supporters of the law applauded Deal’s May decision to approve the bill believing that this law would add a vital safety measure for students and faculty.
However, critics believe guns create an unsafe environment for students. Those opposed believe adding guns will add to the number of deaths each year.
The Spectator disapproves of campus carry. This law adds confusion to local law enforcement’s already chaotic job. If there are other shooters at the scene, how will they know who to intercept?
Let’s say there was an active shooter on campus. Who would we want to respond to the scene? A cop who was trained to work under stressful situations or a random student who received a permit?
Also, how closely will people follow campus carry guidelines? Let’s say a student with a permit wanted to speak with their professor after class in their office. What are the odds they will go all the way to their car to dispose of it before walking all the way back to the office? Very slim.
The room for error is alarming, and disregard for the law could be widespread. There’s still so many questions left unanswered, and the confusion surrounding this law is endangering students more than its making them safe.
The Spectator encourages students and faculty to create a safe space on campus by leaving all weapons at home. Study and scholarly debate cannot occur when students and faculty fear for their lives.
This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.