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Campus carry backlash: 'If governor wouldn't let guns in his office, they shouldn't be in my kids' classrooms.'

Note Friday night: The commenting tool on this blog was broken, and only comments flowing from Facebook were appearing. It is now fixed. Maureen

Parents are expressing disappointment over Gov. Nathan Deal's decision to sign the campus carry bill today.

"By signing the campus carry bill into law, Gov. Deal has made the campuses of Georgia’s colleges and universities far more dangerous for students, faculty, and staff.  There will be an increase in gun deaths due to homicide, suicide, and accidents at Georgia’s Universities as a result," said parent Carlos Moreno. "I personally am deeply concerned for the safety of my son and his classmates at Georgia Tech.  The mixture of stress, youth, impulsiveness, hormones, and alcohol present on college campuses is a recipe for tragedy."

"As the parent of a rising second-year student at Georgia Tech, I'm appalled that Gov. Deal has bowed to the NRA," said Carolyn Wood. "Georgia college presidents, the Board of Regents, and campus security officers were vocal in opposing campus carry legislation, as were untold numbers of Georgia parents. In vetoing incredibly similar legislation last year, Gov. Deal rightly recognized that college campuses have long been ‘sanctuaries of learning’ and that there was no place on them for guns," said Wood.

Social media exploded with angry responses from parents, some of whom declared they will now not allow their high school students consider attending public colleges in Georgia.

Among the comments:

"If he wouldn't let guns in his office, they shouldn't be in my kids' classrooms."

"I thought he was a better man."

"Omigawd....what century is this?"

"To hell with Gov. Deal. Maybe Georgia Tech will change the last line of the song."

"Do none of these politicians have children in our universities? What is particularly sad, is that Gov. Deal knows better.... he just didn't have the courage to do what was right."

"We cannot, however, carry a gun anywhere on the grounds of the State Capitol or any other state building. No, there is a gauntlet of metal detectors and X-ray machines to guard against someone with a gun. But they will gamble with the lives of college students just to make a political point. Cowards."

"Zell Miller's legacy will be smarter kids. Nathan Deal's legacy will be dead kids. History has a way of making sure of that."

"I plan to talk my child during the break about transferring."

But a few parents and students expressed support of guns on campus.

"Campus carry in other states has not resulted in the doom and gloom many of you are suggesting. Both my children graduated college and own Glocks and have had carry licenses since they were 21. I would have been glad to have had this law when they were in school and I am a retired teacher."

"Why should the government take away the Second amendment right of a licensed adult gun owner because they are on campus? I say this as a non-gun owner."

"Georgia Weapons License holders rarely commit crimes."

"Before this bill I was unable to carry and unable to protect myself against those law breakers well now I can defend myself."

Postscript: (Could not get this to publish in comments, which apparently are not working tonight for some reason.)

Some folks are confused where guns are allowed under House Bill 280 as signed by the governor:

Guns are allowed many places on campus -- classrooms, dining halls, student centers, recital halls, coffee shops, study halls, campus quads, theaters and bookstores. They are banned in child care centers  dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses, areas where high school students attend class, disciplinary hearings, teacher offices and buildings used for athletic events.

The only classrooms where guns are banned are those with high schoolers present. Guns are also not allowed in high school career academies that may be located on a college campus. (There are a handful of those in Georgia.)

The bill lists the banned areas as:

Not apply to buildings or property used for athletic sporting events or student  housing, including, but not limited to, fraternity and sorority houses;

Not apply to any preschool or childcare space located within such buildings or real property;

Not apply to any room or space being used for classes related to a college and career academy or other specialized school as provided for under Code Section 32 20-4-37; 33 (iv)

Not apply to any room or space being used for classes in which high school students are enrolled through a dual enrollment program, including, but not limited to, classes related to the 'Move on When Ready Act' as provided for under Code 36 Section 20-2-161.3; 37

Not apply to faculty, staff, or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted;




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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.