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Guns on School Grounds: locals react to new campus concealed carry law in Georgia

Valdosta State University
Posted at 4:58 PM, May 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 16:58:00-04

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) - Georgia residents are reacting to landmark legislation allowing concealed handguns on public universities and college campuses.

Governor Nathan Deal just signed the new bill into law Thursday. Now, school officials are figuring out how they'll implement it before the next school year.

Some believe the bill it will go a long way to make campuses safer, allowing students and staff to better protect themselves in dangerous situations. Others think allowing guns on campus could do more harm than good.

"I think it is a horrific idea," said Mahsheed Khajavi. Khajavi is a college professor and her son is a college senior, so when it comes to guns on campus, she has some pretty strong opinions. Khajavi does not support the new law. She believes allowing guns on campuses adds another layer to some already complicated issues, like student drinking and sexual assault. 

"More men carry than women," said Khajavi. "Frontal lobe development isn't complete in males until their early twenties. Testosterone is highest during this age. The combination of non-complete frontal lobe development and high testosterone makes for poor decision making, and adding guns to that mix is just immoral. I think it's a morally inappropriate decision to do that."

Local law enforcement officers have also spoken out about the issue, saying it may make their jobs more difficult.

"It is hard already for a police officer who is trained to make those decisions. So, I am worried about the fallout if they shoot the wrong person, and there will be fallout," said Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.

Despite these fears, the change does have a decent amount of support. Some students say they 'll feel better with more guns around.

"Since I'm on a college campus, I honestly think it would make people feel more safe and that they have a way to protect themselves if needed. I don't see a problem with it," said Cara McCalley, a Georgia college student who supports the new law.