University of Georgia faculty, staff and students (and parents): If you don't want North Campus to become the Wild West, better speak up now. Senate Bill 101 may have died last month, but the AJC's Jim Galloway explains why the skids are greased in 2014:
If you are a mom or dad with a firm Republican voting history and the thought of concealed weaponry on the same university campus with your offspring gives you the heebie-jeebies, then you have perhaps eight months to make your case.
If by Thanksgiving you can’t convince the occupants of the state Capitol that you are a force to be reckoned with, resign yourself to the fact that 21-year-old sweetums might soon be hitting you up for a fashionable Glock and matching holster to go with that tuition and three-a-day meal plan.
Because the state Board of Regents' clout on Second Amendment issues is draining away faster than a 30-round drum at a shooting range — and may be gone altogether by January.
That's because 2014 is an election year, and bills like campus carry are written with an eye toward the hardcore conservatives who vote in Republican primaries. Concerned parents won't raise nearly the fuss if the bill passes as gun nuts would if it doesn't.
As Galloway notes, the incoming chairman of the Board of Regents, Philip Wilheit Sr., is also the chairman of Deal's re-election campaign, so even though the board opposed SB 101 this year, it will keep its mouth shut next time.
And so the bill is primed to sail through the legislature next year, in spite of the fact that it is completely unnecessary, College campuses are safe. The rate of robberies is 25 times lower on Georgia campuses than the state as a whole, and the rate of aggravated assaults is 33 times lower, according to data obtained by the AJC. Just 47 robberies and aggravated assaults were reported in 2011 at all 30-plus colleges and universities in the state, out of more than 34,000 statewide.