Our campus is a place for learning, for discovery and even for debating. It’s not a place for guns.

Ironically, College Republicans hold signs that say, “The Constitution still applies on campus.” I agree; it sure does.

What does that mean for guns on campus? James Madison drafted the Second Amendment and along with Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. As the first protector of the Second Amendment and a founder of a university, he is well positioned to offer sage advice about guns on campus. So, what did he decide? One of the first orders of business at the University of Virginia was to establish a policy that prohibited weapons on campus.

Cliché as it is, there’s a time and place for everything, and Madison knew that. Even conservative hero Justice Scalia wrote in D.C. v. Heller that “the Second Amendment right does not cast doubt on the validity of laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools.”

In 2016, ignoring the strong opposition from all major stakeholders including college and university administrators, campus security personnel, faculty, students and parents, legislation was passed allowing full-time employees with concealed carry permits to carry loaded guns at Tennessee’s public universities.

Republicans in Tennessee have a pattern of ignoring the stakeholders and voters and imposing laws that are pushed by the gun lobby. We need to make our voices louder and come together to oppose any expansion of guns on Tennessee campuses.

If you are a student opposed to the expansion of guns on campus, please email me at ccranfo1@vols.utk.edu to let me know you are interested in attending an informational meeting later this month. Together we can fight any expansion of guns on campus.

Caroline Cranford is a junior in communications studies, the president of the College Democrats and a volunteer for the Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She can be reached at ccranfo1@vols.utk.edu.

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