Tag Archives: Georgia State University

The 2nd Amendment: Give it back to students

Below is a copy of my letter to my State Representative (and some others that I respect) regarding 2nd amendment privileges on non-traditional college campuses:
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January 16, 2013

Representative Edward Lindsey
415 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334

CC: Representative Chuck Martin, Representative B.J. Pak, Representative Paulette Braddock,
Senator Hunter Hill, Senator Judson Hill, Senator Brandon Beach

Re: Second Amendment privileges on alternative college campuses.

Dear Representative Lindsey,

My name is Jessica ________ and I am one of your constituents. I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration program at the University of Georgia, though I attend the satellite campus in Gwinnett. If you’re not familiar with this campus, it is a multi-story office complex that serves as an alternative campus for working graduate and doctoral students. The “campus”, which includes classrooms, study rooms, a library and a few administrative offices, encompasses the entire first floor of the building, with corporate offices on floors two and three.

As I know you are aware, firearms are prohibited on any college campus, regardless of a carry permit presence or gun caliber. As a Georgia State alum, I recognize the vulnerability of students on a college campuses and I feel that vulnerability is no less simply because my current campus is in a suburb. A “gun-free” zone, regardless of location, places students at an unfair advantage. I recognized the true disadvantage when I was informed by campus personnel that even “non-traditional” campuses fall under prohibited zones. Students have no barriers, as most walls and doors are made of glass and doors open outwards into the hallways (I’m sure you recall the dilemma with this in the Virginia Tech case). Without the ability to protect themselves, the only line of defense is to duck.

Classes at the Gwinnett campus often begin late-afternoon or early evening and release late and after dark. This is true of other campuses, such as the Georgia State campus in Alpharetta, the Terry Business School in Buckhead and the Georgia Perimeter satellite campuses across metro Atlanta. Further, nearly 100% of these students are graduate level and higher, therefore invalidating any argument regarding firearms in the hands of minors or those not eligible for a carry permit.

I understand that a blanket permit of firearms on campuses across Georgia is a long shot, especially in this political climate. I am, however, asking for proposed legislation which would allow firearms on alternative campuses which are adjacent to business offices. Business persons have no restrictions on their second amendment, however, as a student, I immediately stripped of my right to bear arms simply because of a ‘status’, even though we are all operating in the same building. Not only am I student, I, along with my classmates, am a sitting duck with a label of “potential victim”. I believe Georgia can do better and I believe students deserve better.

I welcome your feedback.

Respectfully,

 

Jessica _________
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Exercising Our 2nd Amendment: A Case for Guns on Campus

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage that to prevent, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” –Thomas Jefferson quoting Cesare Beccaria
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After way too much time in the heart of downtown Atlanta at Georgia State University, I developed my own opinion on whether students should have the right to carry firearms on campus. As I was getting into my car after leaving an evening class, I heard gunshots in the parking lot above me. About an hour later, I received an email from the Georgia State University Police detailing the incident. A little late don’t you think?

This semester Georgia Tech, also in Atlanta city limits, has been plagued with some pretty brutal attacks including muggings, sexual assaults and most recently, an intense robbery that left a student badly beaten. Many of these assaults occurred at gunpoint and all have taken place on campus.

Georgia Tech, and all colleges for that matter, have a DUTY to protect the students. Countless resources from Georgia Tech Police and Atlanta Police are being implemented to no avail. Both Georgia State and Georgia Tech offer ‘Courtesy Officers’ who will escort students to their cars and campus dorms but they can’t escort everyone and they can’t be everywhere. Georgia Tech’s campus spans over 400 acres and Georgia State’s campus spans 34 acres. Both touch on some of Atlanta’s roughest areas of town.

After the most recent robbery and assault, the Georgia Tech College Republicans sponsored an event for the right to carry guns on campus. Adries Celedon, the Chairman of the GTCR said in a statement to WSBtv, “From my experience, the people who have concealed carry licenses are the most responsible people”. They face significant opposition, though. In 2009, Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson said mixing alcohol, guns and 20,000 students is a “terrible combination…I think it’s a recipe for a disaster.” You know whats a disaster? The tragedy at Virginia Tech. Or how about the shooting at San Jose State this year? Ohio State University and University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2010? The list is long. Imagine if there had been students or teachers on those campuses who were armed. The gunmen could have been stopped, or what’s more, deterred all together.

Why shouldn’t Georgia Tech students be allowed to carry a firearm? These students are being targeted because criminals KNOW they are unarmed. They are walking around a gated (in a sense that all University grounds are firearm-free) area with no protection. They are sitting ducks. Note: What’s happening on the Georgia Tech campus is EXACTLY what would happen if the right to bear arms was banned: weapons would be in the hands of criminals. The advice the university is recommending (stay in groups, don’t walk at night if it’s avoidable etc) isn’t satisfactory. Students in groups have been attacked and both Georgia Tech and Georgia State offer evening classes. So what do we do?

The Right to Carry age should be reduced to 18 in order to cater to students. If you can serve in the armed forces, buy cigarettes and purchase a home, you should certainly be able to exercise the 2nd amendment. If the school cannot protect the students, the students need to be able to protect themselves.

Update: the same day this blog was posted, there was yet another tragedy at Virginia Tech What else has to happen????

“If gun laws in fact worked, the sponsors of this type of legislation should have no difficulty drawing upon long lists of examples of crime rates reduced by such legislation. That they cannot do so after a century and a half of trying—that they must sweep under the rug the southern attempts at gun control in the 1870-1910 period, the northern attempts in the 1902-1939 period, the attempts at both Federal and State levels in 1965-1976—establishes the repeated, complete and inevitable failure of gun laws to control serious crime.” Senator Orrin Hatch

What do you think?