With all the encouraging progress for concealed carry on college campuses made in the last few months, at times it’s easy to forget how vehemently many school administrators fight against the idea of allowing students to express their Second Amendment rights. Earlier this month, the Faculty Senate at Valdosta State University in Georgia unanimously passed a resolution to prevent any legal firearms from being carried on university grounds despite having already banned concealed carry in their policies.
The state of Georgia is known for comparatively open and accepting firearms policies, and the creation of HB 981, which, amongst other things, would ultimately provide for legal CPL holders to carry on college campuses and government buildings, is just another expression of this. However, as has been seen before, some university officials take reflexive responses to the thought of students and/or faculty legally possessing weapons in the educational environment. Despite HB 981 not yet receiving a vote, there is a good chance that it will come back in 2013 if enough pro-Second Amendment state representatives and senators remain in office. Even though the serious discussion and decision on the bill is far off on the horizon, the Faculty Senate at VSU decided to jump ahead and voice their displeasure for the possible law through this non-legally binding resolution, becoming the first university in Georgia to take such an aggressive stance against concealed carry:
“…the Faculty Senate of Valdosta State University opposes any bill put forth by the State of Georgia that could prohibit universities and community colleges from banning the carrying of firearms by non-law enforcement officials on the grounds and in any building of universities and community colleges in the State of Georgia.”
Of course, these sorts of debates have been raging at universities across the U.S. for quite some time now, and only recently have some states managed to prevent universities from banning legal concealed carriers from their premises, like Colorado did several months ago. VSU faculty is voicing their opinion in trying to prevent their anti-concealed carry policies from being preempted by state law. Their arguments in the resolution are typical, though brief, such as:
“Lawfully sanctioned concealed carry of firearms shifts the responsibility of protecting lives from the university police department to private individuals who lack sufficient proper training”
“Allowing concealed carry permit holders to bring firearms on university grounds or into classrooms threatens the progress of education and the expression”
“Scientific research suggests human cognitive risk assessment capabilities are not fully developed before the age of twenty-five years-old, thus predisposing the majority population of college students to impaired judgment and vulnerabilities not equally represented in the population at large”
Clearly not everyone agrees, and apart from active and concerned groups such as Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, even local businesses take issue with such arguments. Davis Day, salesman at T3 Outdoors, an outdoor shop in Valdosta, was quoted by WCTV as saying about the issues, “Criminals thrive in places where there are no guns, cause they know there are no guns there and the only people who can stop them are the police.” An anonymous user on the WCTV website summed up what many considered to be the frivolity of the resolution thusly: “A resolution isn’t going to stop anyone determined to shoot someone. A sign isn’t going to stop anyone determined to shoot someone.”
The resolution still has yet to be approved by the president of the university.
The text of VSU’s resolution can be found here.
HB 981 can be found here.
Photo: User Jadvii from the Wikimedia Commons