Daily Archives: February 20, 2013

Reflection of the Campus Carry Hearing

So it’s been a couple of days since the hearings and I’ve had some time to ‘reflect’. I was genuinely impressed by how many people turned out for the hearings -in the middle of the day- in support of HB 28 & HB 29. Georgia Gun Owners, Georgia Carry, Students for Concealed Carry, students from various Georgia universities and many private citizens. It’s clear from the people who attended, with the exception of one student who had no argument and the University System of Georgia representative, who is so out-of-touch with what it’s like to be a student and what it means to be an American, there was overwhelming support for both bills.

I’ve also had the opportunity to reflect a bit regarding a conversation I had with a police chief from a private institution after the hearing. (Oh, the irony…me having a conversation with a police officer who would like to see unarmed citizens.)  I told him that I had attended Georgia State University, and he saw my testimony (seen here), as well as other students from the Atlanta area. His response was ‘Well, you don’t HAVE to go to those schools. You can choose to go elsewhere.’. I found this extremely amusing for a couple of reasons: First, this is coming from a liberal gentleman who wants everyone to have access to education but now he’s telling me that students shouldn’t attend Georgia State or Georgia Tech because of the of the “danger”. This is also coming from a public safety officer who is supposed to be protecting students, keeping campus safe. He should know he can’t, and his officers can’t, be everywhere at the same time. I asked him what he would tell his daughter who had to walk across the campus of Georgia State at 8p.m. in the dark after an evening class. He responded that he would ‘never send his daughter there’. Ah.. okay. So 1) you’re on a higher socioeconomic status than many of us (more than 30,000) students who attend GSU and 2) you’re so aware of the violence on campus that you would not send your own daughter there but you still don’t think that students should exercise their second amendment rights on campus.

I’m not following the logic, because there is no logic.
At this point, I extended my hand, thanked him for his service and said ‘have a nice day’. Before I turned my back, he said, “Well, if I went to Tech or State, I guess I would understand why you feel that way”.

But let me go on the record and explain something to you, sir, because you seemed to have missed a giant component of both HB 28 & HB 29. These bills, while they target the second amendment, are more about property rights. They would grant each university, private or public, the ability to regulate campus carry rules. It would be on an individual basis. So, Chief, if you think your campus is so safe so as not to need students to carry, it would be the institution’s right to deny that on campus. It would allow Georgia State support second amendment rights WHILE you folks at unnamed private institution, {cough- Agnes Scott- cough} deny them. The same concept applies to the bill for places of worship. Each individual church, synagogue, etc.  would have the ability to determine whether or not the parishioners could exercise their right in that particular place of worship. It’s a novel concept- actually. It removes the government from the decision. Kind of how Taco Mac won’t let you conceal carry in their bars. It’s an individual organizational choice. I believe you are private university for many reasons, many of which include funding, resources, and meddling from other organizations/government. And surely you understand the concept of ‘property’, as a law enforcement officer.

I’d also like to go on the record and thank Rep. Charles Gregory. As I said in my testimony, I’ve been writing my legislators for some time now regarding students and their right to carry. Rep. Gregory has really stepped up to the plate and gone to bat for all students who walk their campus in the dark or at night or have to go to their car in a bad part of town. But what’s amazing is that he didn’t introduce the bill for any of those reasons. The reason was liberty. The reason was the Constitution.
Thank you for recognizing that I am a citizen first, and a student second.