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From The Editor | Bloomberg’s Big Lie On Campus Carry

From The Editor | Bloomberg’s Big Lie On Campus Carry

Photo credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

I’m quite accustomed to anti-gun advocates twisting the facts, telling half-truths and even outright lying in order to sway public opinion to their side of the gun debate. Such practices are not at all uncommon, and can be heard from the local coffee shop all the way up to the White House. 

With the current movement in many states to deregulate lawful concealed carry on college campuses by those who are already licensed to carry their self-defense firearms while off campus, the deception by gun-banners has reached a new high—or perhaps, I should say a new low. 

So let me say this right up front: I’m sick and tired of gun-banners flat-out lying in an attempt to mislead people about the campus carry movement currently sweeping the nation. 

Everytown for Gun Safety, the Michael Bloomberg-funded anti-gun group, is currently running a TV commercial in Georgia urging residents to contact their state legislators in opposition of HB 859, the campus carry bill. “College students, guns and alcohol don’t mix,” the ad ominously concludes.  Everytown and others are playing on the stereotype of all college students being nothing more than drunken fools—probably because that’s what they were in their college days.

Of course college students, guns and alcohol don’t mix. Neither do businessmen, guns and alcohol; or senior citizens, guns and alcohol. Everybody knows that. That’s not the point here, however. 

Everytown and others are playing on the stereotype of all college students being nothing more than drunken fools—probably because that’s what they were in their college days. They want you to picture John “Bluto” Blutarsky, John Belushi’s character from the 1978 movie “Animal House,” running around campus with a beer in one hand and a pistol in the other, squeezing off random shots at innocent bystanders. They want you to envision a bunch of 18-year-olds sitting around at a frat party, playing quarters, swilling tequila shots and taking potshots with their so-called “assault rifles” at bicyclists as they ride by on their way to class.  

Such deception is more than disappointing—it’s maddening. Even Everytown leaders must know that such scenarios, while possibly changing a few minds and gaining a few converts to their anti-gun cause, have nothing whatsoever to do with legalizing carry on campus by licensed adults. 

Here’s why. 

In Georgia, an individual must be 21 years old to obtain a carry permit. This is also true in all other campus carry states: Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin; as well as in Texas and Kansas, where campus carry becomes effective in Aug. 2016 and July 2017 respectively. 

Additionally, most states’ concealed-carry laws already restrict carrying a firearm when drinking alcohol, and many even restrict carry in places where alcohol is served. None of the campus carry laws, proposed or on the books, change that. They don’t suddenly make drinking and carrying a gun legal, on campus or off. 

Third, these laws don’t change who can carry a concealed firearm, only where. In most states, along with being 21, a gun owner must undergo a strenuous background check, submit fingerprints to local law enforcement, pay a fee and even undergo mandatory training to qualify. These laws don’t change such requirements, whether you are 18 or 81. So no, anybody and everybody can’t just go out and buy a gun, strap it on and walk around campus armed—it just doesn’t work that way, despite what Everytown would have you believe.    

The real question here is: Why should 21-year-old or older adults, who have been vetted, background checked and have been granted a permit to carry a concealed firearm, lose their right of self-defense the second they step across an invisible line onto a college campus? The answer: They shouldn’t. 

The liars at Everytown certainly know that. They just don’t want everyone else to know it.

Here’s something else they know but won’t tell their donors and supporters: Current laws banning law-abiding, qualified individuals from practicing concealed carry on campus don’t stop criminals from doing so. That’s why they’re called criminals.