Tell Georgia: NO guns on ANY campuses!
ATLANTA, Ga. — The Georgia State House of Representatives have ignored the will of the people and decided to ram a dangerous – not to mention unconstitutional (more on that in a little bit) – bill to allow guns in schools and colleges.
The powerful Georgia Board of Regents has declared their opposition to the law and they have vowed to keep guns off any of the campuses it owns, including Augusta University and Georgia Southern in Statesboro.
Georgia passed its existing law barring guns on the hallowed grounds of educational institutions when Zell Miller was the governor in the early 1990s in response to the Harlem High shooting on March 18, 1993.
Democrats said that higher education officials should make campus security decisions, not out-of-touch Republican lawmakers. State Representative Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) said the change would breed fear and paranoia among students on campuses.
“No one needs a PhD to understand that introducing guns among binge-drinking, drug-using, hormone-raging college students is not good policy,” she said.
And besides, the most outspoken critics of the push to allow guns on campuses are rape victims.
Almost all victims of rape oppose guns on campuses because that would mean legally arming their rapists – only 3%, that’s 1 in every 33 for the arithmetically challenged conservatives and gun lobbyists, of all rapists are ever convicted of the crime.
“If my rapist had a gun at school, I have no doubt I would be dead,” Landen Gambill, one of the activists working with Know Your IX, wrote in a recent petition aimed at the politicians currently debating proposed campus carry bills. “That’s why I started this petition asking legislators in these states not to allow guns on campuses and put survivors like me in even more danger.”
A different petition from the two groups asks supporters to “tell lawmakers to apologize for blaming victims of sexual assault, and to stop exploiting campus sexual assault to push the gun lobby’s agenda.”
From what we know about the way sexual assault operates on college campuses, adding guns to the mix doesn’t make much sense. Most sexual violence between students takes place under the influence of alcohol among people who already know each other. It’s not clear that college women will actually feel comfortable wielding a firearm against one of their friends.
Plus, there’s a lot of empirical evidence suggesting that firearms make sexual assault more deadly for victims. Access to guns increases the risk of homicide in the home. And women are more likely to be shot and killed by an abusive partner than the other way around, even when they’ve purchased a gun for their own protection.
That’s why university presidents, college students, and domestic violence experts are all opposed to the idea of allowing concealed weapons on campus. Critics have accused the gun lobby of hijacking an important conversation about campus rape to push their agenda. “This is just a problematic tactic conjured up by the conservative right to use the purity of young women as a bartering chip in the ongoing gun control debate,” one student at Indiana University wrote in a recent op-ed.
Not to mention that campus carry is unconstitutional because it violates Article I Section VIII’s public safety clause. That clause allows for more law enforcement in schools. A gun-owning private citizen is not part of that public safety, no matter how good the intentions of such a person.
There is a poll on WJBF-DT’s web page you can take about this. Vote NO on this poll.
Alternatively, write to your state Senator and tell her/him: vote NO on HB 859!