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Letter: If guns keep us safe, why are they OK on campuses but not Capitol?

Saturday, campus carry became law in the state of Georgia. This bill, which was opposed by the university system of Georgia and by most students and voters, will lead to protests all around our state. Alas, we do not live in a democracy, so the law stands.

I could use my space here to denounce the cowardliness of this law. It was signed by our governor on the day that most Georgians, and most Americans, were looking at the United States House of Representatives for the fate of the Republican health care bill. I could also protest the injustice of this bill. After all, this is not a bill for everyone on the college campuses. My daughter, for example, cannot carry a weapon even if she wants to; she is only 20, and the legal age in this state for a permit to carry is 21.

I think, however, that my time would be best spent by arguing against this law’s hypocrisy. The ridiculous double standard that was used in this legislation should outrage both gun control and gun rights activists alike. The law tries to defend both sides of the argument, as it tries to tell both sides that they are wrong.

The law prohibits the carrying of firearms into sports venues. Why? It would stand to reason that the more people that are present, the more they need to be protected by responsible citizens with guns.

Conversely, the law allows guns in classrooms. Are not classrooms and stadiums equally vulnerable? Or are our lawmakers telling us that guns are dangerous? Why then are they allowed in the classroom? Surely my daughter’s life is as valuable as a star football player.

Of course, the preclusions in the law are only cited as misdemeanors with a minimal ($25) fine, so maybe they aren’t meant to be preclusions at all. Perhaps the gist of the law is that law-abiding citizens should be able to carry whenever and wherever.

However, this isn’t true either, because guns are not allowed into the governor’s mansion or under the Gold Dome. I am a lawful citizen, and a gun owner. I could, by law, walk into the University of North Georgia with my pistol, but for some reason, I cannot carry my weapon into the state Capitol. Do I not have the right to protect myself there? Would an armed, law-abiding citizen not be just as useful in the governor’s home as in my daughter’s classroom?

We must, at some point, come to a consensus. Are guns dangerous? Should the right to bear arms apply everywhere? Our laws and our representatives should have to be logical.

Again, there are many problems with this law. It is cowardly. It is unjust. Is it callous. It is illogical. But the worst aspect of this law is its hypocrisy. Our noble lawmakers continue to write laws that they do not have to abide by. If their word is law, they should be forced to live by it.

Jeff Casper

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