Atlanta residents say ‘gunslinging’ is not the answer after Orlando shooting

The #WeAreOrlando Vigil was held Tuesday June 14 at the Center for Human Rights. Photo by Chelse Brown|The Signal

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A fun night at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida turned into complete horror with the death of 49 people and has left the country in mourning.

After this deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, some Atlanta residents are saying it’s best that Georgia Governor Nathan Deal vetoed the “campus carry” bill.

This past May, Deal vetoed the controversial House Bill 859, or “campus carry” legislation, that would have allowed students 21 years and up carry concealed weapons on college campuses followed by some guidelines.

“From the early days of our nation and state, colleges have been treated as sanctuaries of learning where firearms have not been allowed. To depart from such time-honored protections should require overwhelming justification. I do not find that such justification exists,” Deal said in a statement.

The bill was sent back to the General Assembly and will have to wait until next year to override the bill with a two-thirds vote of the House/Senate.

Since HB 859 was vetoed by Deal, Atlanta residents have been agreeing that more weapons will not solve the issue of gun violence. At a vigil for #WeAreOrlando, which was held Tuesday June 14 at the Center for Human Rights, Ramon and Amber Johnson both students of the Atlanta University Center disagreed with the bill.

“It would be irresponsible considering the senseless acts of violence committed by police officers and other perpetrators. There are other ways of enforcing the law without a firearm,” said Ramon, who’s a member of the LGBT Student Government.

Sister Carmen, a college graduate of 2012 and one of the 100 Atlanta residents who came to the vigil, said HB 859 would not prevent another tragedy.

“The ‘good guys with guns theory’ have been disproven many times by the most experienced combat veterans that have been in actual in actual wars and live combat situations. Think people tend to have this fantasy of gunslinging that they see in movies or video games, but that’s simply not the case,” Carmen said.

In the past few years mass shootings have been widespread in the United States, with the killings in the Colorado movie theater, Charleston church shooting, Sandy Hook elementary school and the infamous college shooting known as the Virginia Tech massacre that left 32 people dead in April 2007. This was one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history.    

Since the Orlando shooting, a June 2016 Huffington Post poll has found that Americans are supporting gun control, with 55 percent of them saying they want stricter gun regulations.  Of those polled, 59 percent of them say that guns are a “very serious” problem.