Campus Carry: Good Idea Or Not

Monday night I spoke with the Georgia Tech College Republicans. We engaged in a spirited discussion on the subject of whether or not to allow college students who qualify for a carry permit under Georgia law to carry their gun on campus.

So what do you folks think? Should Georgia allow this?

66 comments

  1. southernpol says:

    Rep. Brockway — I’ll explain it like I did to a representative that I know very well. I am a college student and I own a handgun. I know how to safely use said handgun and would like to be able to protect myself as everyday citizens are allowed to.

    I also understand the flip side. While it is discriminatory, I understand it.

    My thoughts are this: make us jump through every safety course “hoop” possible. Those that want to defend themselves will do that — I will do that — and you’ll be able to ensure that if someone is carrying they know how to be safe.

    • Nonchalant says:

      Not for grad students, especially around the last three weeks of class.

      Wouldn’t be a professor left alive.

    • Jackster says:

      I can’t tell if you live on campus. Without absolute control over access to your room and your valuables, how can you ensure the safekeeping of your firearm?

      • southernpol says:

        Typically only Freshman live on campus. I’d be fine with the law saying that if there are off campus options at a school, if you want to possess a gun you would need to live off campus.

        Include in the ridiculous hoops I would need to jump through that if the gun were to be left in a room without the owner it would need to be locked in a lock box or gun safe of some sort.

      • southernpol says:

        And for the record, I do not live on campus and I have control over access to my room. Although I think it is technically illegal for me to ever have my gun in my truck because my truck is parked within so many feet of a campus building.

        • mountainpass says:

          If you are the truck’s owner and you have a GA weapons license you can park it on campus with a firearm in it.

  2. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    “So what do you folks think? Should Georgia allow this?”

    [HECK] YEAH!!! Georgia should absolutely allow this as criminals who don’t qualify for carry permits clearly already carry their guns on campus.

  3. HCL3 says:

    Take a look at the states that do allow campus carry – Colorado, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. Have there been problems with allowing concealed weapons permit holders to carry on campus? Guess what, there haven’t. I see no good reason to keep permit holders in Georgia from doing the same.

    One thing I think is missing from this discussion is the distinction between a pretend gun free zone and a real gun free zone. What we have now on college campuses and schools around the state are pretend gun free zones – meaning the only thing stopping someone from carrying a gun on a college campus or school is a law or sign saying “no guns allowed.” A real gun free zone is like the secure area of an airport. I’d like to see the General Assembly move toward eliminating these pretend gun free zones statewide and allowing those authorized to carry concealed weapons to carry wherever they wish. Furthermore, I’d like to see the list of places where permit holders are prohibited from carrying drastically reduced. It is time to remove churches, government buildings, courthouses, bars, and polling places from the list of places where permit holders are prohibited from carrying.

  4. Noway says:

    The more law-abiding people who are armed is a good thing and a deterrent to criminal scum! Do away with all location restrictions with the exception of courts. If you gotta permit for concealed carry it any damn place you want. And if you want to carry open? Knock yourself out, too!! Don’t need a permit for that!

  5. John Vestal says:

    One issue…..if I’m not mistaken, one of the current restrictions on the Georgia Weapons Carry License is they are not issued to anyone under age 21 (active military exclusion?). Even if ‘campus carry’ were to be allowed, this would still prohibit the majority of undergrads from carrying. Further insight welcomed!

  6. Daddy Got A Gun says:

    Repealing the ban on background checked – licensed adults from carrying in schools and on university campuses is an important step to make our schools and universities safer. These gun free zones attract killers because they are an environment that has a high number of defenseless victims in a small confined space. This is the ideal condition for these killers to rack up the highest body count and achieve their media driven fame.

    Contrary to the intentional lies of Bud Peterson, repealing these laws would not let Tech’s sex crazed – drunk – untrustworthy undergrads carry (see Maureen Downey’s Article from 1/20/10). These laws impact adults like my wife and myself who went back to get advanced degrees when we were in our 30’s and 40’s. Oddly, we safely carry in restaurants, stores, homes, etc. but are a danger to society if we carry when we are studying Options Pricing or Thermodynamics.

    Sandy Hook School Shooting proves that gun-control is a failure and in fact results in more deaths. Connecticut left the safety and security of the children to an unarmed woman with an education degree secured behind a glass door. When the children needed help, Law Enforcement was 20 minutes away (CNN). If an adult, whether a visitor, parent, janitor, or teacher had a gun, the story could have been much different.

    Besides the active defense reason to allow licensees to carry in school, deterrence will be the biggest factor that will make our schools much safer for these attacks. Active Killers are opportunistic. They will wait for the time when their odds are the best. The killers at Columbine waited until the school resource officer left the building for lunch. The Aurora Theater killer drove by several movie theaters that allowed guns and attacked the one movie theater that was marked as a gun-free zone. By allowing adults to carry in schools, killers won’t know which adult has the capability of defending the children. That uncertainty will drive the killers to other more defenseless targets where they can more successful achieve their evil goals (think any location in NY).

    Hopefully, the Legislature will look at the facts and get past the hyperbole, panic and emotion. If they do, they’ll find that allowing background checked licensees to carry in K-12 schools and at universities is the ONLY long term solution that will minimize the risk of these attacks and reduce the death toll when it happens.

    • Obi's Sister says:

      “Contrary to the intentional lies of Bud Peterson, repealing these laws would not let Tech’s sex crazed – drunk – untrustworthy undergrads carry (see Maureen Downey’s Article from 1/20/10). These laws impact adults like my wife and myself who went back to get advanced degrees when we were in our 30’s and 40’s. Oddly, we safely carry in restaurants, stores, homes, etc. but are a danger to society if we carry when we are studying Options Pricing or Thermodynamics.”

      True. Also factor in the faculty, staff, and visitors, all walking around on campus and working in those easily breached buildings and you’ve given criminals a target rich environment. Check out this map (http://www.police.gatech.edu/crimeinfo/crimemap/). Those are incidents for just the last 7 days.

  7. Eric The Younger says:

    There were a couple of times when I was at Georgia State that I would have felt more comfortable with my Glock. I was a grad student and most of my classes didn’t get out until 9:45 at night so the walk from the General Classroom Building or One Park Place to Five Points was a worrying walk at times. That being said, I think anyone that would be able to do it should go through a safety class at the least, like southernpol suggested. And, preferably a tactical shooting class as well. Those skills would be incredibly useful in an active shooter situation, but it also keeps an individual’s skills up so it would be safer should that individual need to use their weapon.

    On a side note, can we make the permit look a little more legit? Currently it looks like a library card I made on my scanner. If you have to wait a month to receive your permit, why doesn’t it look like a driver’s license?

    • George Dickel says:

      Judging by the descriptions of most muggings that have victimized Georgia Tech and Georgia State students, you wouldn’t have been safer with your Glock unless walked from place to place with the thing cocked and in your hand.

      • Eric The Younger says:

        At the time of night I was leaving class and the route I would take it was easy to see where people were, if there were any. Most of my time there I was fine, it was just two nights it would have been comforting to have. I’m not sure about GT but most of the incidents at GSU were idiots walking around with their laptops/ipads out in the open listening to music on it through their headphones.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      You must not have applied for one in a while. Mine is up for renewal and I have a friend who says the CCW permits now look more like driver’s licenses and costs a whopping $75. I’ll have to see for myself when I go to the courthouse.

      • I got mine in May of 2011 and can verify that at least the ones from that era… my library card looks much more professional. The “Weapons Carry License” issued by Cobb essentially looks like a piece of paper cut with a pair of scissors (the bottom of the paper is a little uneven) and then run through a laminating machine.

  8. D_in_ATL says:

    Wouldn’t a saner compromise be to allow/encourage students to carry non-lethal methods to defend themselves? Mace, tasers…etc?

    • Harry says:

      No. The only effective deterrent is a lethal one. What would be the outcome of pointing a can of mace at a gunman?

      I like the idea of putting uncertainty in the mind of a criminal as to whether any teacher or student is concealed carry. And yes, anyone carrying in school should have a CCW permit and safety training.

      • D_in_ATL says:

        If you think about it a person who is willing to commit that sort of crime already has impaired judgement. What would be the point of trying to ‘teach them a lesson’ if they are not functioning on a normal level? This seems to me to be similar to the death penalty debate in that even the threat of death doesn’t deter the criminal. Armed students eventually will lead to innocent bystanders being shot and killed which pretty much is the thing we’re trying to prevent.

        • Harry says:

          How do you know that the threat of death is not a deterrent? The large majority just want a fix of some sort.

        • mountainpass says:

          “Armed students eventually will lead to innocent bystanders being shot and killed which pretty much is the thing we’re trying to prevent.”

          Evidence of license holders shooting and killing innocent bystanders?

          • seenbetrdayz says:

            Better yet, where’s the evidence that confronting an armed shooter actually ends in a higher body count due to ‘stray bullets’, than if everyone just hides under their desk and waits to be executed?

            Basically, we have to sit and listen eye-witness accounts from survivors as to how the shooter was going down the aisles casually shooting people at point blank range, and then in opposition, we have people saying, “Oh no, don’t fight back, it might get ugly.”

            I mean, seriously? Like it’s not a deadly situation already?

            • Daddy Got A Gun says:

              From Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel
              http://www.governor.virginia.gov/tempcontent/techpanelreport.cfm

              Meanwhile, in room 211 Madame Jocelyne Couture-Nowak is teaching French. She and her class hear the shots, and she asks student Colin Goddard to call 9-1-1. A student tells the teacher to put the desk in front of the door, which is done but it is nudged open by Cho. Cho walks down the rows of desks shooting people. Goddard is shot in the leg. Student Emily Haas picks up the cell phone Goddard dropped. She begs the police to hurry. Cho hears Haas and shoots her, grazing her twice in the head. She falls and plays dead, though keeping the phone cradled under her head and the line open. Cho says nothing on entering the room or during the shooting. (Three students who pretend to be dead survive.)

              ….Cho returns to room 211, the French class, and goes up one aisle and down another, shooting people again. Cho shoots Goddard again twice more. A janitor sees Cho in the hall on the second floor loading his gun; he flees downstairs.

              Here is a link to Emily Haas story and her heroism. Read it and think how the story would have been different if one of the students or professors were armed that day, especially if this brave woman had a pistol herself.

              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/21/AR2007062102497.html

              • seenbetrdayz says:

                But but but. It would have been like the wild west if people had shot back!

                These days, we’re much more civilized as we watch someone pop people in the head repeatedly.

                Were you raised by wolves or something?

                (sarcasm)

        • D_in_ATL says:

          I’ll just go ahead and apologize for trying to bring a bit of moderation and reason into this discussion. Your mass paranoia must effectively short-circuited any ability to recognize common sense.

          • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

            D_in_ATL, January 30, 2013 at 3:32 pm-

            You’re not trying to “bring a bit of moderation and reason into this discussion”.

            You’re trying to impose your personal extreme pacifist views of “No one should be able to (legally) have guns to defend themselves from murderous scum because I’m personally scared of guns” on everyone else.

            And multiple armed robberies and violent assaults every week just on the campuses of Georgia Tech and Georgia State alone, not to mention the violent and deadly home invasions (in which the last time I looked, violent felons were carrying weapons that seemed to be just a bit more lethal than butter knives) that occur throughout the greater Metro Atlanta, on almost a daily basis, seems like overwhelming evidence that the need to protect oneself is not just “mass paranoia” but completely justified.

            There are places in this town (metro area) that has historically been ranked as the second-most violent metro area in the country where public safety funding is being intentionally shorted by incompetent (and corrupt) politicians who won’t even as much as pay to replace the locks at the county jail (Fulton) and the cops may not show up for half-an-hour or more if you call them (DeKalb) due to extreme underfunding and you’ve got the nerve to call the need and want to defend one’s self against violent and deadly armed criminals “mass paranoia”? Give me a break!

            Go take that anti self-defense pacifist crap to Illinois where that total gun ban in Chicago seems to be working quite well as I hear only about 30-plus people were shot in two days last weekend and only about 508 people were killed by handguns in a “gun-free” city last year.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          D_in_ATL, January 30, 2013 at 11:39 am-

          “Armed students eventually will lead to innocent bystanders being shot and killed which pretty much is the thing we’re trying to prevent.”

          You seem (or pretend) to not have noticed, but innocent bystanders are already being shot and killed…by armed CRIMINALS who carry in “gun-free zones”.

          By your logic, it’s okay if criminals maim and kill law-abiding innocent bystanders, but it’s not okay if law-abiding innocent bystanders return the favor and maim and kill the armed criminals who are trying to maim and kill them.

          Yeah, that’s some logic…

            • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

              Resorting to name calling is an indication that you have no valid argument to respond with to a very valid point and thus, have lost the debate.

              Your calling me an “idiot” shows that you can’t come up with any valid reason why law-abiding citizens should not be allowed to defend themselves other than your personal dislike of firearms.

            • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

              And, for the record, it’s spelled “GLENN” Beck, not “Glen” Beck, though just because I may agree with a Glenn Beck on the God-given Constitutional right that Americans have to defend themselves does not mean that I may necessarily agree with him on every other point that he makes.

            • Noway says:

              You’re the idiot, D. And the sophomoric ‘Glen Beck’ addition was typical of a person with no real substance to ad.

              We have a right to protect ourselves. Says so in the 2nd amendment.
              D, why do Obama’s Secret Service agents carry guns? Think hard….
              Could it be to be able to protect the prez with deadly force if necessary?
              D, why do cops carry guns? Think hard…
              Could it be to be able to protect themselves as well as innocent civilians?
              D, why are we guaranteed the right to have a weapon? Think hard…
              Could it be to be able to protect our lives and the lives of out families?

            • Noway says:

              D, if you don’t want to or are not comfortable carrying or having a gun, then don’t have or carry one and don’t try to make those of us who do carry feel like a dinosaur or something for doing so.

              But lease do remember this, cops are not proactive, they’re reactive. They will not be in your living room when a bad guy busts down your door for whatever crazed reason.

              I’d actually like to see you have a pistol for your own protection. Or for the protection of your family.

              I sure as hell hope you never have to be in a predicament where you’d wish you had one.

              I carry everywhere. I’ve been trained and feel confident in my ability to protect my life if the need should ever arise.

              It’s simple peace of mind.

              Let’s us go target shooting one day. I’ll show you how to shoot if you’d like. After you hit a middle of the target a few times, gain some confidence, you’ll be grinning like a 10 year old and want to head to the nearest gun store to get your own!!

              • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                Amen. I’ve had my own door busted down by bad guys when I lived immediately next to the Atlanta Airport in College Park, fortunately we were not at home when it happened (fortunate for THEM, I guess).

                I’ve also lived in a brand-spankin’ new neighborhood in extreme South DeKalb where there were a shocking number of seemingly random home invasions being committed to the point of the neighborhood association sending out warning flyers to every house in the newly-constructed subdivision in which there were probably two or three home invasions during the brief time I lived there.

  9. Five Minutes After Hemingway says:

    I am a twenty three year old Georgia State student. I have a handgun, with a carry permit. 90% of my associates and friends are permit holders, EMS, LEO, active or retired military, and guardsmen. I also have friends that have no background in any of those things. In my experience with them, those who have permits and carry are the ones trying, in all their power, to avoid the possibility of a confrontation. Why? Because, first, they know that if it goes too far, someone is going to get shot. That is something that they all take seriously. Ironic that the reason they would be willing to kill is that they value people so much. Every one of them would die for their families, friends, even people that they do not know from “Jack,” and would rather just let someone insult them, cut them off in traffic, or whatever, to avoid the potential consequences of an escalating argument. Secondly, they all passed background checks, they are in the system. We intentionally allowed someone to look at our lives and record whether or not we are responsible enough to carry a weapon. I know of no PERMIT holder that would bring their weapon out “just for kicks and giggles, ” or for anything less than an imminent, violent threat.

    If these men and women are capable of carrying in so many other places, with out incident, what is the real difference on campus? Are we afraid that gun owners are going to start killing people over parking spaces and grades? Those with permits are very unlikely to attempt it, and besides, those acts are already illegal. Adding one more charge of “Possession of a Firearm in a restricted area” isn’t going to magically stop a person if they could already potentially be charged with “murder, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, robbery by force, etc,.”

    There should certainly be some prerequisites. A permit for starters, a pistol course maybe, but closing the door entirely is absurd. Personally, I think that having made it a Gun Free Zone in the past will result in at least one incident, with a student pulling a gun on an assailant, if the ban is lifted. This will be because the criminals will have gotten used to students and others on campus being unarmed, and can be directly attributed to legislative ignorance of the human nature. After that, the criminals will pass the word(if you think they are dumb and don’t talk to each other, you should do some research into it) “Students are armed, the buffet is closed.”

    I see no reason that we can be expected to be discreet everywhere but on campus, and that, somehow, we are a detriment to the classroom if we are armed. I do think that carriers should be required to conceal so as not to distract from the learning experience, but in no way should we be disarmed because of the actions of others.

    Already have an AA in English
    Junior, Georgia State University, Majoring in English
    3.86 GPA
    Ground Search and Rescue Instructor
    Employed full time and Enrolled full time, have been for every year in college and most of high school.
    Working the grave-yard shift at the airport, Aircraft Maintenance.

    • southernpol says:

      Good post. What do you think about training/safety requirements? This is an active discussion right now with legislators.

      • Five Minutes After Hemingway says:

        My apologies for the late reply, class load and all.

        I personally do not think that adding more safety requirements to have a weapon on campus, beyond the requirements by the State, make much sense. Not that having no required training at all for a permit makes sense in the first place, but adding extras because they are in a “special” zone seems…discriminatory, at least by the State. I like the idea of having training opportunities for students. There are those who will want to begin to carry if allowed, despite not having any background in weapons (I was born in a duplex in the Fayette/Coweta areas. Grew up around weapons my whole life). An unaware mind holding a weapon can be just as dangerous as a child with one. A fact I saw recently while shooting with a friend’s father. He accidently discharged it because the DA/SA on my pistol caught him off guard. In the interest of center aisle ideas, I think that an awareness and safety course should be offered for those wishing to carry on campus. Leave it up to the school as to whether they want to mandate it. If they do, they can provide the logistics for the class. This way fewer laws are changed, and the school can have a say as to how educated their students are on it.

        A few ideas for a single weekend course:

        Firearm handling and safety
        Safe storage
        Tenets of Concealed Carry
        Terms, and mechanical familiarization of the principles behind firearms
        Choosing the right firearm
        Roles in regard to society and implicit responsibilities of an armed citizen
        Range time (at least 2-300 rounds)
        LEGAL LIABILITY (this will most likely be your biggest deterrent for morons who think guns are cool)
        Situational Awareness
        Actions to take in self-defense
        Actionable threats to others and best practices in defending other people.

        This is ambitious, but I think it is a better deal than outright stigmatism for being a weapon owner and carrier. Also, the schools don’t have to offer them all the time. Initially they will only have to do it before the start of the semesters to accommodate the few people confident enough to want to carry. After that, who knows?

  10. jbgotcha says:

    I see the same nuts posting on these threads EVERY TIME. The first person who posted was trying to be rational only to be drowned out by these same posters. I won’t spend any time arguing with them. I just wanted to call it out. Anyway, carry on…

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      jbgotcha, February 1, 2013 at 11:53 am-

      Yeah, I know the feeling, too. I also get tired of arguing the with same gun-grabbing anti-2nd Amendment “gun control” nuts over and over and over again.

  11. mblanos says:

    I have a grand experiment for all gun lovers! Let’s just give out guns on Halloween and see what happens. C’mon, you all know the sayin: “Like Father, like Son” and “You, Son of a Gun!”

    • The gun lovers I know would say that’s not how you teach responsible gun ownership. You don’t just give a gun to a kid. However, if someone does decide to do this, please let me know where you live… I’d love to come trick-or-treat at your house this year. (This is one treat that I’d have to take from my toddler.) 🙂

  12. rmodel65 says:

    I am a college student in south GA. I am non traditional since I’ll be turning 30 this month. I attend full time I really would like to be able to carry on campus instead of leaving my pistol in the car where its easy for someone to steal. And when I ride my motorcycle I just have to leave it at home because I can’t even lock it up which leaves me disarmed the entire day unless I spend 20 mins to drive home to retrieve my pistol from the house. But yet if I went to school in neighboring Alabama I could carry..why does Alabama trust me more with my Georgia Weapons License than my own home state?

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