Dan Pavlik, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor
For the fifth year in a row, Georgia legislators have considered a bill that would allow college students to carry concealed weapons on public campuses across the state. Even though Berry is a private campus, the bill will have statewide impact.
The state of Georgia permits concealed carry of weapons with a license anywhere it is deemed legal. Places like restaurants, K-12 schools and places of worship are instances where having a concealed weapon in the building is against the law. But virtually everywhere else, it’s legal.
So why is it that when we cross that imaginary line onto a college campus, carrying a concealed weapon all the sudden becomes a problem?
Well for starters, people are simply terrified of guns, and even the sight of them can make some people extremely anxious. In a place where students want a college campus to be a “safe zone,” guns may seem to contradict this idea. But I’m going to tell you why the concealed carry of a weapon could be a good thing for college campuses.
First and foremost, guns are not inherently bad. It is the bad people who get a hold of the gun that turn it into a malicious weapon rather than one for self-defense. The gun won’t pull the trigger by itself. It needs a helping hand to drop the hammer and aim the bullet.
Secondly, there are a lot of people running around these days doing some pretty hateful things. Coming to a place like college where there are thousands of others that you don’t know in a relatively condensed area can be extremely unsafe. Having a gun on your hip or strapped to your leg can not only make you feel safer, but can also help you and others in a violent situation.
Think about it, God forbid you encounter a violent criminal. Do you think they won’t have a weapon on them? Now, instead of just sitting there and being forced to do what the criminal says, you can actually make a stand and fight back. Without a concealed weapon in this case, you would have a tough time getting out of this stressful situation.
And especially to the ladies out there, I would think the female population would want to push this bill. Can you imagine, instead of walking around with a mace in your pocketbook, having a handgun for protection. So if a man with the wrong intentions were to walk up to a woman on campus, instead of holding up a small bottle to his face she could have a handgun. It’s a lot more frightening being on the other side of a loaded gun than a spray bottle.
Not only does the concealed carry of a weapon offer benefits on college campuses, it could also benefit the local community. I think law abiding, responsible citizens with guns are the biggest threat to criminals today because criminals thrive off of knowing that the public is not armed. This automatically gives them the upper hand. This is evident in many horrific cases over the past 20 years, including the massacre at Columbine.
Reciprocation to this has come in the form of concealed carrying licensed and brave citizens who have stepped up to end such acts of horror.
We should not wait for something bad to happen for us to act. Rather, we should be proactive and allow campus-wide concealed carry of a weapon, not only for the safety of the carrier but the safety of those around them as well.