Without a doubt, this is a troubling time in America. Mass shootings have been happening with seemingly greater regularity. House Bill 859, the "campus carry" bill, sponsored by Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, would permit 21-year-old, licensed concealed-carry permit holders to carry concealed weapons on Georgia’s publicly funded college campuses, but not in dorms or at athletic events. The following is my publicly stated position on this very difficult issue.
First, let me share some eye-opening statistics about deaths occurring as a result of mass shootings in America from the FBI:
• 14.3 — The number of deaths, on average, in mass shootings when everyone in the victim group is unarmed.
• 2.3 — The number of deaths, on average, in mass shootings when at least one person in the victim group is armed.
The statistics are similar throughout the country. Cities and states with the toughest gun laws have the highest number of deaths caused by gun violence and the highest overall violent crime rates. Alternatively, cities and states that allow concealed-carry permits have the lowest number of deaths caused by gun violence and the lowest overall violent crime rates.
While I certainly do not like what our society has turned into, the facts are clear: Licensed concealed-carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding citizens in our great country, and they help to keep the rest of our citizens safe.
As I mentioned, the "campus carry" bill would only allow licensed concealed-carry permit holders over 21 to carry their weapon on campus, but not in dorms or at athletic events. I agree with the premise that allowing college students who are licensed concealed-carry permit holders to be armed on campus will reduce the number of deaths occurring in these tragic, horrific situations.