Students deserve protection

There is a fundamental change in the works regarding personal responsibility of our own safety with the introduction of Georgia House Bill 55, introduced by Bobby Franklin from the 43rd District. The current law on carrying firearms restricts carries on all educational campuses.

With the introduction of this bill, the wording regarding secondary educational campuses is removed. The laws for carrying, however, remain the same. A person wishing to carry must still be at least 21 years old and a responsible, law-abiding citizen who has obtained a carry permit through the county of their residence.

As an Augusta State University student senator and chairwoman of the Libertarian Party of the CSRA, I wholeheartedly support this bill. Being on campus every day, I recognize that a public safety officer cannot be in every location that students are at every second of every day, just like outside of campus a police officer would not always be able to respond at a moment’s notice. No matter how safe our campus may currently be, there will always be an inherent risk, as proven by several highly publicized examples.

Just because I am a college student does not make me a second-class citizen, and the same rights should be afforded to me, whether I am at school or not.

People who plan to do harm find safe haven in places where firearms are forbidden. Signs do not stop criminals from doing what they desire to do.

Self-defense starts with yourself. Whom better to trust with your own life than yourself? There are many classes – reasonably priced, some even at no cost – that teach gun safety and how not to be a victim. There are resources available for those with no experience with firearms to help citizens safely defend themselves.

With an open campus such as Augusta State University, anyone willing to hurt someone with a firearm or other means can. A firearm is nothing but a tool, with a user deciding the intents and purpose of its use. As it stands now, the advantage is in the court of those who can potentially hurt students.

I urge those who think that is an injustice to promote this bill’s passage. My rights to self-protection do not stop at my desire for higher education. Please support this bill.

Amanda Bryant

Augusta

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