United States of America

Should Firearms be Allowed on College Campuses?

March 17, 2016

Eleven thousand, five hundred ninety-one people have have been killed  by guns in Georgia since 2001.  This is two times the number of American people killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars combined (Georgia Gun Violence Fact Sheet).  There is an increasing number of allowing guns; forty-five states allow firearms to be carried openly.  On March 11th, 2016, “[the Georgia] Senator motion[ed] to resolve [the] debate during the debate on HB [House Bill] 859, which would legalize firearms on all public colleges in Georgia” (Torres).  Georgia is the ninth state to allow guns on college campuses (Bluestein).  For students to obtain a license to be a holder of firearms, they must pass a background screening, but no training is required.  Therefore, it is not hard to legally be able to carry a gun.  Guns should be banned  on college campuses because when mixed with alcohol, greater issues can arise, and firearms are a scare to all members of the college campus community.  

When teens go to college, they leave behind their parents, and often times, young adults do not think about the implications of going out and getting drunk.  When alcohol enters the body, it travels to the brain.  Slowly, it affects vision, coordination, and the ability to make good judgements.  On average, 1,825 college students ages 18-24 die every year due to alcohol related accidents (College Drinking).  Students who get drunk and carry firearms have a higher chance of causing injuries and deaths because of their poor decision making when under the influence of alcohol. “Students understand is already rife with risk factors, including drugs, alcohol and academic pressures. Adding guns to that mix is dangerous and irresponsible” (Reindl).  Young adults may not be able to control their weapons when they are drunk.  This is an immediate issue in regards to guns and other weapons because there can be deadly repercussions.

The possession of firearms poses a huge threat to all of the administrators, professors, and students on college campuses.  “[A]n argument at a University of Georgia fraternity escalated when a student pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and started firing” (Reindl).  A 21 year old boy fired his gun into the air as a warning after two neighboring fraternity houses has a disagreement; his single shot represented him as more powerful than his peers surrounding him.  Though no one was hurt, this shot could have lead to greater consequences--death.  Students should not have to live their daily lives at school in fear of a random shooting.  

Also, it is almost impossible to regulate where gun holders bring their guns.  “People at public colleges in Georgia [can] carry handguns in most areas on campus, including classrooms, cafeterias and libraries” (Davis).  It is not fair to innocent students for them to have to travel around their campus in fear that someone could break out a shooting.  The latest legislation stated that guns and firearms could be carried anywhere on campus except for dormitories, athletic event, fraternities, and sororities.  Other places, such as music festivals, classrooms, and child-care centers, are not protected under this recent bill (Bluestein).  Students’ gun rights puts teachers’ children at risk because guns are not banned at campus daycare centers.  Governor Nathan Deal would like to make changes to the act for this reason.  On the other hand, John Monroe, a member of the gun rights group, said, “There’s no need to exempt day care centers from the campus carry legislation” (Bluestein).  These are the type of people whose mindset needs to be changed about guns--they are causing harm in our country.       

Professors and administrators agree fully that guns should not be allowed around campuses.  Since police are equipped with a gun at all time, they have a strong stand on this debate.  “We believe firearms on campus in the hands of anyone other than trained and certified law enforcement professionals is an irresponsible law and places us more at risk,” said Hope, the chief police at Agnes Scott College (Samuel).  He believes that only trained professions should be allowed to freely carry firearms because otherwise, everyone is put at risk.  Trained professionals know how to handle a gun in situations, and they know when to use the deadly weapon.  Other people may think that they are no boundaries for when to use it.        
Though some people may think that the possession of firearms can be beneficial in the event of a shooting, this is not the case.  In college, students are pressured by grades, peers, alcohol, and many more factors.  Adding guns to college students’ lives is the wrong move.  This may result in more campus deaths due to poor decision making done by drunk students who possess firearms; nervousness while being on campus pressures students as well.  Everyone is put at risk when guns are in the air; no one should have to live this way as they are trying to get an education.  

                                                                                  Works Cited
Bluestein, Greg. "Nathan Deal Fires a Warning Shot on Campus Carry Measure | Political Insider
Blog." Political Insider Blog. 14 Mar. 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
"College Drinking." College Drinking. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Davis, Janel. "Law Allowing Guns on Georgia's Colleges Likely." AJC. Law Allowing Guns on
Georgia's Colleges Likely. 5 Mar. 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.  
Georgia Gun Violence Fact Sheet           
Reindl, Jade, and Jean Cocco. "Say No to Guns on College Campuses (Opinion)." CNN. Cable
News Network, 26 Feb. 2015. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Samuel, Molly. "Opponents Of Guns On Ga. College Campuses Speak Out." Opponents Of Guns
On Ga. College Campuses Speak Out. 8 Feb. 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.
Torres, Kristina. "Georgia Passes 'campus Carry' Bill Legalizing Guns at Colleges." AJC.
Georgia Passes 'campus Carry' Bill Legalizing Guns at Colleges. 11 Mar. 2016. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.


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