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Old July 10, 2012, 07:15 AM   #1
Botswana
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College students in Georgia want to be able to carry on campus

GA Students push for concealed carry on campus

I remember a time in my life when I took an odd comfort in "gun free zones". Unfortunately, those signs have morphed into "easy victims here"

At one of my kid's school events I actually felt a chill when I saw a sign that said "gun free zone". At the time I did not own a firearm of my own. I felt especially vulnerable.

These gun free zones have become advertisements to unbalanced individuals and criminals. In the article it mentions a sleeping student being woken in their dorm room with a gun pointed to their head. Not sure what size the GA Campus is, but at my college we had a dedicated campus police force with a fair number of officers and there was still no way they could continually cover the entire campus.

The other aspect I hate about no guns on campus though is once again we are infantilizing(sp?) adults. Students in college are typically of adult age and capable of making adult decisions. If someone is legally of age to carry a firearm and follows the law then they should be allowed to carry. Taking away their rights because they are a "student" and thus somehow less capable is a complete logical fallacy. Universities are supposed to be training these people to be educated individuals.
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Old July 10, 2012, 07:33 AM   #2
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while I do dot share your uneasiness(or fear) of gun free zones( Having known many many criminals in my life, I often think gun enthusiast overestimate them) I do however hate the idea that there is any public place where I cannot carry my gun. I agree with you on your second point. We do tend to treat students like children. I am almost 30 years old and have just recently re entered college, and it is a culture shock. For the last 10 years I was expected to do everything myself, and now I am being talked down to by people my own age who are also spoon feeding me their opinion of the constitution(and other works). it is frustrating to me however, these 18 and 20 year olds are soused to it that they are completely unbothered
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Old July 10, 2012, 09:52 AM   #3
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Although I hate to see both sides of the spectrum its blatantly obvious as to why many secondary institutions are gun free. It seems like every time you turn around there has been another college shooting. I go to school at Baylor in Waco Texas, and although we got past the crazed Davidians, there were an incredible amount of robberies just off of campus and even a few on the outer edges of campus. I don't own a handgun, but once all of that started happening I thought it would be rather foolish of me to NOT possess a gun. There wasn't a time besides hunting when my 12 gauge came out of my truck despite the chance that campus police saw it in my truck. Its just another rotten apple spoils the bunch situation where the very few criminals ruin it for the law abiding students choosing to simply protect their possessions or even life.
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Old July 10, 2012, 09:59 AM   #4
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Although I hate to see both sides of the spectrum its blatantly obvious as to why many secondary institutions are gun free. It seems like every time you turn around there has been another college shooting.
There's nothing about a rash of school shootings that makes a "gun free zone" a blatantly obvious choice, unless those in charge actually believe that criminals will obey a "no guns" sign.
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Old July 10, 2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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The trouble with getting campus carry in Georgia lies with the Board of Regents, a division of the state government that oversees the state university system. They are consistently anti-gun, and they have the clout to effectively kill campus carry bills.

Bringing them around is the first step, and it's a hard one, as that's essentially a closed culture.
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Old July 10, 2012, 12:00 PM   #6
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I went to college in Georgia for a while (Kennesaw State transferred to Rutgers) and most of my friends went to UGA or Georgia Tech and the crime at those two schools are unreal. Last year GT was in the paper for another student being robbed or attacked just about once a week. I had friends at UGA that got away from muggings and on a separate occasion had their front door kicked in. I'm in NJ now and crime on and around the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus is just as bad.

I think people have this idea from movies (animal house, American pie, etc) that colleges are nothing but big drunk parties and that the students are irresponsible. That is not the case in my opinion (I have yet to see a huge college party like that in the movies).

On the other hand, I have a cousin that goes to the University of Montana and although I do not know the rules for carrying on campus, I know they do not allow firearms in the dorm room, you have to check you weapon in at the front desk. But how many incidents with guns happen at UoMontana?

I think schools, especially schools located in an urban environment (GT and Georgia State are not in the nicest parts of Atlanta) should be much more fun friendly.
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Old July 10, 2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Regardless of what individuals may think about carrying on a campus, I live in the ATL metro and I don't blame the students who attend GA Tech. It is very dangerous and we are always hearing about crime against students in the area and on that campus.
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Old July 10, 2012, 03:05 PM   #8
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My uneasiness about gun free zones comes from the fact that nearly all of the mass shootings in the last few years have occurred in them. Maybe all of them but I'm sure someone will jump and point out that "Shooting X where X people were killed and X people were wounded occurred on a city street" or something.

Having that big "gun free zone" sign is just asking for trouble. Why not put up something that says "Easy victims here"

While I actually understand that the college's may worry about a liability issue, they could probably cover themselves better by just complying with local legislation rather than trying to create a perfectly safe environment. By disarming students they are taking on responsibility for their safety. In addition to treating them like children, I would think this opens them up for more liability when a shooting like VA Tech takes place.

In my opinion, when an organization or a business further restricts what a lawful citizen cannot do, they are taking on that responsibility for themselves.

Question is, how do you safely secure a college campus?

I think my roundabout point here is that these restrictions have no real world basis and are likely politically motivated without any real thought to student safety. I've met the stereotypical college fratboy. I'd still rather they be allowed to pack heat, in compliance with local laws, rather than take my chances where everyone but the criminals are unarmed.
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Old July 10, 2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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I live in suburban Atlanta and have followed these incidents pretty closely. Not sure that the “GunFree” zone is the primary attraction to criminals. The attraction is a low risk high reward type of environment to work in. Having taken a few classes on the Tech campus it can make you uneasy walking from the train station or through isolated areas. However, the biggest thing I noticed is students walking through these areas talking on their phones, listening to iPods, texting and basically not paying attention to their surroundings. They also have plenty of small electronic devices that the criminals love.

The students need to be more aware of their environment and take reasonable precautions. The news has reported that many students do not even lock their dorm rooms. Even though security access cards are required in many areas they routinely allow people to “piggy back” on other people’s cards. At the end of the day this is an urban environment and the students have got to take some personal responsibility for their own safety or go to school in the burbs.
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Old July 10, 2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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Here is the problem with firearms on campus... Now let me say before I say why I agree its a bad idea is that. I am still in college and asked this exact same question while attending a class for criminal justice as things were happening on campus and while I was in school then, there were college shootings going on same as all the time. First I had a long classroom debate with other students as well as the instructor, who was a current LEO. I am unsure if we all agreed in the end, but we all understood much more. Campus police or our LEO's are now, at least at my school, are not supposed to wait for SWAT. In this case they are on scene, guns drawn fairly quick. That is if there is a shooting. Now if you "could" carry and someone started opening fire and you shot them as the hero, if the police came in, they would immediately probably shoot you if they saw a gun. Another thing is depending on what statistics you look up, what I read in school is 10% of shots fired by trained LEO's in the field actually hit their target. Mind you, this is over all LEO's. Now I dont believe any of us would ever take that shot in a lecture with several hundred students running. I cant imagine the innocent people hit. Personally if I were ever in the situation I would either run, disarm or throw a book at the person. I would not even want a gun. No way. Another thing is I really dont know if we really want our antisocials, drunken frat boys, or confused barely adults sometimes going to "any" school for the first time(home schooled, It happens, my roomate was) to be carrying a weapon. Not that there is anything wrong with those people, I was in a frat and antisocial at first, but seriously, so many people with more backgrounds that you will encounter than anywhere else. If I could carry I would, but I would never vote for it to pass.

Food for thought.
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Old July 10, 2012, 05:05 PM   #11
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Universities should be a microcosm of the real world, not a sanctuary for overgrown children.

The diversity issues you mention happen in the rest of the world to. The idea that a campus is somehow magical and protected is a huge false sense of security. Most college campuses are separated from the rest of the world by nothing more than a few short walls or maybe just the curb of the street.
There are drunken idiots in the real world. They to can buy guns, though drunken idiots in college or the real world are far more likely to kill someone with their cars.

Also, no offense, but when I did my Criminal Justice degree it was a writing intensive course. While I don't want to be a grammar nazi and rarely use "proper" paragraphs, try breaking up your thoughts a little.

Third, read what was written. You are buying into the whole concept that a college student is not an adult, which is laughable when anyone at the age of 18 can enter into military service or vote. Why are we treating the people seeking higher education as though they are somehow less capable? If they are indeed less capable then we need to take a much stronger look at what they are teaching at these institutions and charging so much money for.
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Old July 10, 2012, 06:14 PM   #12
Don H
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Originally Posted by themalicious0ne
Another thing is I really dont know if we really want our antisocials, drunken frat boys, or confused barely adults sometimes going to "any" school for the first time(home schooled, It happens, my roomate was) to be carrying a weapon. Not that there is anything wrong with those people, I was in a frat and antisocial at first, but seriously, so many people with more backgrounds that you will encounter than anywhere else. If I could carry I would, but I would never vote for it to pass.
This doesn't seem to be an issue in those states that allow carry in colleges and universities. In fact, it sounds an awful lot like the "blood running in the streets" argument that the antis used when CCW was being considered in many states--an argument that proved to be totally unfounded.
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Old July 10, 2012, 06:28 PM   #13
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Botswana already covered most of the points I was going to address, but I'd like to add a few comments as well.

The danger of being mistaken for a bad guy by responding forces is not unique to college campuses. But no matter how good the campus response team is, I can almost guarantee that they won't be there *when the shooting starts*. If you need to defend yourself or others, you may need to do it right away, and worrying about what happens when the responders finally arrive is a secondary concern. You're not likely to be in the middle of a protracted gun battle with the bad guy, anyway.

Your concern about shooting an innocent bystander is a valid one - you are responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun, even in a self-defense scenario. But remember, just because you're carrying, you are not obligated to draw or fire. If the bad guy is in the middle of a crowd, or too far away for you to be confident of hitting him, then leave the gun in your holster, and flee if able or take cover if you must. But personally, I would prefer to have the option, rather than it being taken away from me by the school legislators. In the 1991 Luby's cafeteria shooting, Suzanna Hupp had a clean shot at the killer, and reached into her purse for her gun, only to remember that she had left it in the car, since concealed carry was not legal in Texas at the time. Both of her parents died in the attack, along with 20+ other people that day.
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Old July 11, 2012, 06:05 AM   #14
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I always laugh when someone points out that the "blood running in the streets" doesn't happen and everyone is upset over nothing. Well, if there isn't blood running in the streets, why not? Aren't all those pistol packing co-eds shoot people now and then?

I went to a school that had a sort of party school reputation, West Virginia University. The school mascot even carried a rifle. But there was a long standing tradition that the school was acting as your parent. There's a Latin phrase for that but we don't speak Latin in West Virginia (barely speak English but we aren't English either). That attitude has tended to go away, however. At one time there were curfews and so on. No more. Now there are co-ed dorms even, or so I understand. I never lived in a dorm.

The age thing is tricky. True, you can join the army at 18 but you can't drink at that age anymore. You can get married and have children but that's frowned upon in some circles, perfectly normal in others.

While I realize the Luby's Cafeteria is a good example, that happened over 20 years ago. Surely there is an example of something turning out the other way since then.
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Old July 11, 2012, 07:42 AM   #15
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Yes, but the drinking age should be 18, too, not 21.

Quite frankly, if 18 year olds aren't old enough to drink, or to have concealed permits, then 18 year olds shouldn't be old enough to be drafted, or to be held legally accountable for contracts.

I've always found it the height of hypocrisy to charge somebody as an adult for being under-age for whatever the status offense du jour.

As far as schools acting in loco parensis... no, thank you.

In this issue, as in pretty much all issues related to status offenses, or the immaturity and inabilities of the 18-20 crowd, I say we older folks and the government can't (morally) have it both ways.
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Old July 11, 2012, 03:13 PM   #16
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I agree with the facts about us 18-22 year olds in college. Anyone that has been to Waco or lives in the central Texas area knows that Waco is a very troubled city in certain areas. The trouble with our particular area is that our campus is situated right off the highway and the neighborhoods around it is a fairly shady area. This last year was my first year there and also the worst for robberies which included physical assaults. While no one was seriously hurt, criminals often get more gutsy with time and "success". This lead to the robbers starting to actually draw guns on the kids they were attacking. Freshmen are required to live in the dorms on campus but after that we all disperse into housing that is around the campus, into the rather shady part. I'm actually living almost a block from where a couple attacks happened. I'm fully aware that it is certainly not the optimal scenario, but what other choice do we have? In my dorm we weren't allowed to have any firearms in our rooms, but this year me and my housemates(and our parents) have all agreed that it is a very good idea to have guns in our house. This turned off on a huge tangent but I find it still relevant to the case of students in our situation, while being responsible and law abiding, should not be stripped of our constitutional rights. Even my mother who doesn't necessarily enjoy firearms fully supports the idea. It is something I hope to never encounter, but it is better to be prepared than not.
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Old July 11, 2012, 06:31 PM   #17
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If I could carry I would, but I would never vote for it to pass.
So you would like to, but you just don't want any other normal citizen to be given the same opportunity. I find that logic disgusting.
Apparently, some are more equal than others.
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Old July 12, 2012, 12:14 AM   #18
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If you reasearch the campus shootings...you will find tehy only happen on "gun free" campuses...never on campuses that allow the legal carry of firearms for your own self defence.

I also went back to school at 30+, Married, 5 children, Vietnam vet....to get my MBA, and I do not/did not apppreciate being treated like a child.

The only way to fix the regent problem is to fix the law so the regents can't do so... as in UT, CO and OR. It hasn't been through the courts in WA yet, but the law is such the regents don't have the power here either, even if they think the do under the "safety" provision. Not all colleges in WA restrict carry though, and WSU only restricts students.
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Old July 12, 2012, 08:48 AM   #19
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What we are seeing is the first few years of a 20 year long battle, so while this may not change in the next year or so, every news report like this, every conversation people have on the campuses, everyone open and closed meeting where people push the subject will advance the issue a little further. The best thing about this is that the stats from campuses that do allow concealed carry are really pretty exceptional (obviously, no surprise to us) but it makes education administrators looks so stupid when they have to defend their poorly informed anti-gun views in public - people will finally notice if we just keep at it long enough.
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Old July 13, 2012, 01:55 AM   #20
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Seems like there are really two different topics being discussed here.

1. Should students living on campus be allowed to keep firearms, eg shotguns or rifles in dorm rooms?

Lots of kids with notoriously poor judgment and lots of partying/alcohol living in very close proximity with unsupervised access to guns? I say no way. Massive potential for accidents, very little benefit.

There are some schools that have on campus apartments for faculty and graduate students, those would fine getting an exception.

2. Should CCW be allowed on campus?

I think there's a lot of FUD from both sides on this topic. If this article is accurate there have only been 12 "major" school shootings in the US in the last 100 years, so there's not exactly a high risk there. On the flip side, college campuses usually have crime rates that are only a fraction of the national rate, so in most cases it's nonsense to try and say that students are living in constant fear or something.

I really doubt that allowing CCW would have any affect at all on campus crime, good or bad. The overwhelming majority of students won't be legally able to carry. Many of those who are old enough don't have the money for a gun and/or license anyway. Bottom line, very very few people would actually be carrying on campus. I don't see much reason to have a ban on it but don't feel strongly one way or the other.
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Old July 13, 2012, 03:42 PM   #21
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Many of those who are old enough don't have the money for a gun and/or license anyway. Bottom line, very very few people would actually be carrying on campus. I don't see much reason to have a ban on it but don't feel strongly one way or the other.
But to have a ban on something because you (lawmakers) dont think people can afford it is silly. That is like banning private ownership of private planes because the majority of people can't afford it. So the people who can afford it and want flex their right (whether buying a plane or ccw) should not be limited to other people's finances.

I understand you are indifferent either way but I wanted to point out the earlier part of that statement. It's not an attack on you, promise
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Old July 13, 2012, 04:25 PM   #22
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But to have a ban on something because you (lawmakers) dont think people can afford it is silly. That is like banning private ownership of private planes because the majority of people can't afford it. So the people who can afford it and want flex their right (whether buying a plane or ccw) should not be limited to other people's finances.
Never said it was a reason to ban it. It's just a statement of the probable effect of removing the ban.
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Old July 13, 2012, 04:26 PM   #23
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Regardless of what individuals may think about carrying on a campus, I live in the ATL metro and I don't blame the students who attend GA Tech. It is very dangerous and we are always hearing about crime against students in the area and on that campus.
When I attended in the mid 70's, Techwood homes (a section 8 enclave) had the highest murder rates around, yet we walked through it at night to go to Hawk's games at the Omni - we always were in a LARGE group though.

Underground Atlanta, at that time was even scarier

The issue I see with college carry is the out of control frat parties that often times result in fights fueled by alcohol. I remember a few happening - if guns had been present, it would have been an ugly scene. If there is a way to balance that out, then go for it
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Old July 13, 2012, 06:25 PM   #24
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To Don and Raimius.

I am not saying I am against our given rights and would be very pleased to be able to cc on campus. There is a difference on a college campus between responsible adults and college "kids." I would feel less safe to know that student could have firearms in their dorm rooms or on campus. I cant tell you how many times at a house party right off of campus, someone who was drunk thought it funny to pull out there shotgun at the party. Another time where a kid down the hall of my dorm, somehow snuck in a bb gun and was shooting out windows down the hall, who also had a mental breakdown and broke car windows, our dorm bay window and ripped the shower heads out.

I mean seriously many of these people are not adults. Live accross the bathrooms in a dorm now days and see the childish things they do, Paper wads stuck on the ceiling, A live crab in the showers(kind of funny).

Our military makes boys and girls into adults and holds them responsible. You are not held responsible for much of anything in college. I know students who showed up to maybe 10 classes total a semester. Some are responsible but I really couldn't say all of my peers were adults, in fact the guy in the dorm next to me was 17. I truely believe it would be a coinflip. Someone mentioned earlier that the shootings have only taken place on a campus without cc. I dont believe that there are too many that allow cc. I would not fear for my life if people could carry on my campus. I fear for our rights and what the anti-gun people would do if something did happen. Most of our gun owning citizens are very responsible. If you are living at home with your parents, they keep you in check and safe with your firearms, when your on your own you are seeking out safety, information, simply paying your bills. In college, you can skate by, no job, no bills, no parents, all the time in the world to do whatever you want.

I guess in conclusion I was just ranting and appologize. I believe cc would be ok because you would have to be 21, which by then you are more grown up. Firearms in dorms is another matter.

My opinion is more or less irrelivant as I am one person just trying to turn the gears on you old folks. I really wouldnt put up a fuss either way, but I thought maybe you could use a perspective on college in the now.
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Old July 13, 2012, 06:45 PM   #25
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I believe being on a college campus should not be a reason in and of itself to deny our Constitutional rights.

However, as to the OP, I do not believe allowing carry at GA Tech would really have much impact on the criminal activity. For a variety of reasons some legal, economic or simply personal choice very few students would actually carry.
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