More Books, Not Bullets

I spent four years at Georgia Southern proudly watching new academic facilities break ground and take shape, transforming the campus, its students and faculty for a better future. A greater interest in more meaningful educational opportunities has increased academic standards, making a degree from Georgia Southern one of the most enviable in the state.

Until recently.

I was extremely dismayed to read about the university celebrating the opening of its largely taxpayer funded, $5.8 million Shooting Sports and Education Center. Random rampages of gun violence continue to tear apart communities, destroy families and wreak havoc on a nation struggling to comprehend how such horrific acts are possible. Yet the university has chosen to pander to southern culture’s stereotypical and troubling obsession with guns. Never mind that since 1968, more Americans have died from guns than died in all U.S. wars going back to the American Revolution.

While intellectual leaders at Harvard, Stanford and MIT challenge themselves to equip students with the knowledge necessary to solve the world’s big problems, Georgia Southern’s ‘braintrust’ celebrates a shooting range on campus. I’d be hard pressed to think of something more tasteless, crass and insensitive.

If it’s truly an “education center,” I challenge the university to donate all of the proceeds to charities that help victims and families affected by gun violence in the state of Georgia.