When the pen is truly mightier

It’s extremely difficult to use that phrase without thinking of SNL, but honestly in a potential case like this, there’s really no phrase that is more succinct or accurate to the situation.  Basically, because six redneck state reps are so eager and desperate to have guns be allowed on Georgia campuses, they neglected to have any proofreader go over their revision to the Campus Carry bill, and let it fly with a pretty ambiguous word choice, that if the bureaucratic process works the way it does both ways, could effectively kill it.  Again.  Until the next time it pops back up.

Long story short, because of improper use of commas, there is a sentence that suddenly becomes very vague, ambiguous and is subject to having numerous different definitions, subject to the eye of the beholder.  Yeah, as often as it unfortunately does pass, the law really shouldn’t be one of those things that’s supposed to be vague and up to interpretation:

Not apply to faculty, staff, or administrative offices or rooms where disciplinary proceedings are conducted.

The ambiguous line in its entirety.  Anyone notice where it seems weird?

Basically, it’s a weird double-clause, and even a potential double-negative.  Smarter people than I have deduced that there are potentially eight different ways this line could be interpreted; from what I can tell, some of the more humorously ironic ones would be:

  • Campus carry would not apply to faculty, staff or admins, meaning while all the students with licenses can carry guns, actual school personnel wouldn’t. This would amount to arming inmates in prison with guns, while stripping the guards of them; eventually something’s going to go wrong.
  • Campus carry would not apply to locations where faculty/staff/admins doled out discipline, but everywhere else is fair game; like classrooms, public spaces, living quarters and sporting venues; basically, everywhere you’d want to have guns, you can, and the places very infrequently seen by most students; can’t have your guns there.

The point is, the line was written poorly, and now there’s a lot of question to what it actually defines.  Depending on who’s reading it, it can have a variety of meanings, some of them more entertaining than others, but if it were ever to come into effect, then it creates a lot of gray area for terrible things to happen.  And if something terrible happens and this law is brought up in court, then someone’s bound to get away with it. 

So why not shelf this stupid, unnecessary and completely gratuitous gun law for the umpteenth time, at least until some properly educated people can write in a manner that makes it iron-clad, irrefutable and crystal clear of what the intentions should be.  Or better yet, why not just shelf the bill outright and maybe consider that Georgia colleges don’t need to have guns allowed on campus except by authorized law enforcement?

I can hope that the pen would triumph over the pistol, but let’s not forget where I live; hicks love their guns, and by golly they’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure that they’re allowed to have them.  I’m just glad that I’m not in college anymore and don’t have to worry that I’m going to get gunned down in the commons or dining hall, or if I decided to go to a sporting event, while the faculty would legally be prohibited from being able to have the capability to defend themselves.

But it’s a funny story nonetheless, and we can all hope that the English language would triumph over unnecessary firearms.

Leave a Reply