A University of North Georgia professor will be one of the speakers Thursday at a rally at the Capitol urging Gov. Nathan Deal to veto the “campus carry” bill.
Mathew Boedy, assistant professor of rhetoric and composition, is expected to speak at the 10 a.m. rally.
The organizers of the rally plan to deliver more than 20,000 signatures opposing the legislation.
Groups involved are Everytown for Gun Safety, Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action, the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, GunSense, Georgia, Moveon.org and CREDO.
The bill would allow anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun on campuses, except inside dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses and at athletic events. The legislation also would require that weapons be concealed. Carry permits require fingerprinting and background checks.
Boedy said Wednesday he “was concerned that Georgia would follow suit” after Texas implemented a similar law despite a “large academic, cultural statewide response.”
He recently moved here from South Carolina, which had just had the shootings at a Charleston church that killed nine people.
“I’m thinking my best message to the governor obviously would be to veto the bill,” he said. The best argument for that is that the “Capitol building itself is a gun-free zone. It also is a place for debate and discussion in a civilized society, much like a university.”
Boedy added, “I just think that the presence of guns in a classroom or office or disciplinary hearing, radically changes the relationship” among the people who are there. It also would “just hamper class discussion, something that already is difficult.”
He will be on a tight schedule, Boedy said. He needs to be back in Gainesville for a class at 12:30 p.m.