Safer dorms? GA Tech students push for right to bear arms on campus
A rise in attacks on students leaves many students wanting the ability—or at least the appearance of being able—to fight back.
Students who have made it into Georgia Tech aren’t aiming to turn the urban campus into the Wild West. They simply want to get home after class without being mugged at gunpoint. Sadly, that’s becoming harder and harder these days as crimes against students continue to rise.
The youth are easy targets. Many of them own expensive laptops, tablets, calculators and software. Even their textbooks are valuable and can be resold with ease. They must walk to public transit, their cars, or on foot to their homes and dorms in the area. It’s during these routes that they’re often intercepted by robbers yet even dorm rooms have been the sites of crimes.
Students in dorms are like fish in a barrel. Campus security isn’t so secure, and their students and their goods are concentrated into a few easily accessible buildings. Two break-ins occurred the first week of July alone. Students, who are not permitted to bring weapons onto campus, sat defenseless as their lives were threatened and their possessions stolen.
Some students have had enough. Georgia Tech Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (GTSCCC) has gained dozens of supporters in recent weeks. Many more have attended meetings to get more information on the organization and how it might benefit the campus.
GTSCCC leadership isn’t promoting violence on campus. Rather, the students would like to see their existing state rights extend to the campus. Many believe that if criminals think that students are able to defend themselves, the crime rate will decrease. Dorm life may once again regain a sense of security.
Critics believe that armed students in classes and dorms would only escalate reckless crime. At best, it wouldn’t help. Damon Johnson, student, told 11 Alive News, “We have enough cops. And if they can’t solve the problem, then carrying guns is not going to solve the problems. It’s just going to encourage more crime; it’s going to encourage more problems.”
There are a rising number of students who agree with peer Ben McBurnett, who doesn’t think legalizing arms on campus will encourage any more problems than students already face. “Well I guess if someone’s going to snap, they would bring a gun anyway. Why would it matter whether or not they’re allowed to? So I don’t have a problem with students carrying guns on campus.” Those who want to use guns for violent purposes have been doing so regardless of the law. The game changer is that students who abide by the law won’t be sitting ducks if the laws are changed.
The arms legislation is slated for review in six to nine months.
What are your thoughts on the policy?