Debates regarding firearm availability and gun violence in the United States have been ongoing for decades with no sign of reaching a foreseeable consensus. With this, many states have imposed their own restrictions. However, when it comes to campus carry laws, one sign posted to Reddit is evoking an important dialogue on whether firearms should have any place in schools at all.
Back in May, Georgia became the 11th state to allow students and faculty to carry handguns on campus with the exception of places like athletic sporting events and student housing. The concealed carry bill was signed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal despite vetoing a similar proposal a year prior stating that college campuses are “sanctuaries of learning.”
The law went into effect on July 1st, which has caused outrage amongst gun control activists. Many have voiced their opinion on the matter, but one sign that was created to emphasize the ludicrosity of the law has managed to garner a significant amount of attention. Supposedly posted outside of a lab at the University of Georgia, the sign shows what’s permitted in the lab versus what’s not for safety reasons.
The contrast between things like open-toed shoes, which are considered a hazard in the lab, compared to the more threatening nature of handguns, offers a perspective on the law that’s hard to ignore. A picture of the sign was posted to Reddit where it received over 1,400 upvotes in a matter of days and prompted discussion amongst users over the place that handguns have on campus.
Despite the fact that the University of Georgia faculty and campus law enforcement had no say in the matter, Governor Deal has defended his decision explaining that it could be of benefit to students going to or from a campus that may have to travel through “dangerous territory.”
However, many organizations are still trying to challenge the recent law. Andy Pelosi, executive director of The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, told ATTN, “This law, we think, is reckless. It does not take into account some things, like laboratories and other sensitive places on campus where guns should not be permitted.”
While the notion of guns on campus may continue to separate people, the ones affected by it the most seem to oppose it. A study that was done this year and presented at the annual American Educational Research Association found that 70 percent of university faculty were against the idea of concealed weapons on campus. This parallels with a 2013 study from Ball State University, which also found that a majority of college students don’t want guns on campuses.
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