Florida Bill Seeks To Allow Guns On College Campuses

If you’re a 21-year-old college student–and a significant number of college students are that age or older–and you have a concealed carry permit, should you have to disarm when you go to class?

The answer is no. Disarming to attend class means disarming before you get to campus, which opens you up to numerous violent crimes. Since the areas around college campuses can sometimes be kind of sketchy, disarmament is a bad idea. And that’s if you completely ignore mass shootings as a potential threat.

Unfortunately, many states don’t allow students with permits to carry their firearms on campus.

Now, a Florida lawmaker is looking to change that.

A freshman GOP legislator from Lake County has revived a bill that would allow some people to carry guns on college campuses — a proposal that has split his party in the past.

State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, said he knows Senate Republicans in the past few years have successfully blocked campus carry bills, including former state Sen. John Thrasher, now president of Florida State University.

But, he said, that was because he felt “many people inhabiting political offices ignore the constitutional rights of their own citizens. They’re afraid of controversy … and they sidestep issues and kill bills considered more controversial.”

Opponents are gearing up for a fight on one of the few issues where Florida’s gun laws are stricter than in many other states.

“We definitely have a battle on our hands when it comes to campus carry this year,” said Andy Pelosi, executive director of the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.

Sabatini, who filed the bill last week along with state Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola, said, “I find it offensive that because of political rhetoric, I’m not allowed to defend myself just because I’m on a college campus.”

I agree with Sabatini completely. The idea is offensive.

It should also be noted that contrary to what anti-gunners like to claim, there’s been no rash of students carrying concealed on campuses suddenly flipping out and gunning down their professors over a bad grade. There’s been no shooting of loudmouthed activists telling these students all the ways they suck as human beings because they’re white, male, or able-bodied (or whatever else is oppressive that day of the week). It’s just not happening.

Students who are carrying guns everywhere else aren’t acting rashly or emotionally. They’re acting like anyone else old enough to lawfully carry a firearm. Shocking, I know, but that’s what’s happening.

When it comes to constitutional rights, the burden of proof falls on those who wish to restrict that right, not those who want to loosen those regulations. Unless someone like Pelosi (and honestly, that name’s a coincidence?) can provide us a real, evidence-based reason why these students should be denied their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, he doesn’t have an argument.

Honestly? He can’t. There isn’t an evidence-based reason. Instead, he and his folks will spout emotion. They’ll use fear-mongering to try and sway public opinion against this measure.

That needs to be countered with the fact that those fears haven’t panned out anywhere else.