From the Editorial Board: Campus carry

Editorial Board

Every so often The George-Anne editorial board will sit down and discuss topics that are affecting the Georgia Southern community. We select these topics based on the potential effect that they have to our campus and students. Recently, the topic of carrying firearms on Georgia campuses has been brought forward by the passing of a new bill in the Georgia State House.

With the passing of House Bill 859, the State House voted to legalize carrying concealed firearms on Georgia college campuses. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the bill would allow anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a firearm on campus, with the exceptions of dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses and athletic events. The bill was set into motion after a string of robberies at Georgia State University.

After discussing the issue together, the majority of our board believes that passing this bill would be unwise, not just for our own community, but for other campuses around Georgia. An increase of firearms in the hands of college students is a reckless decision that could potentially cause individuals harm. Although the idea of keeping students protected is one that we agree with, we do not believe that this is the way to go about achieving that goal. Considering the emotional fragility of college students, the potential risks of allowing firearms on campus becomes quite apparent.

That being said, there are a few positives of this bill in the big picture. For example, there are carriers that are a danger to those around them but there are also a large majority of carriers that know what they are doing. These individuals, in the opinion of the board, can help create a barrier and help in times of danger.

Ultimately, in our opinion, the idea of college students having the ability to carry loaded firearms on a crowded campus is quite problematic. There are sure to be less radical ways of ensuring the safety of students than arming them. This bill is a long way from being passed and could evolve as it goes through the proper channels to become a law. Whether you agree with this bill or not, your voice can impact the future of carry laws on college campuses. Write to the state capitol and make your voice heard.