Dear Poets, Writers, Artists, Friends, and Allies:
It’s spring in Georgia and unfortunately this means that our university system is once again under threat by the gun lobby. Last week the state legislature passed a law that would allow people age 21 and over to carry concealed weapons on public campuses in the state. Now the bill sits on Governor Deal’s desk. He has 40 days to either sign or veto the bill.
As some of you know, we are poets who work at the University of Georgia in Athens. Maggie is a professor in the English department, Jenny is the managing editor of the Georgia Review, and Laura is the public outreach and digital projects manager at the Georgia Review. Last year in our fight against guns on campus, we created the Poetry Action Network as a means to protect our students, our colleagues, our classrooms and offices, and ourselves.
Nothing has changed since the veto of last year’s Guns on Campus bill in GA: Every public college and university president in the state and the entire board of regents are STILL against this bill. The campus and local police are STILL against it. The majority of Georgians are STILL against it. So why is this happening? Once again the gun lobby is influencing our legislature. This year’s version of the bill is also unfunded, with implementation costs estimated at over $70 million. These dollars will presumably come out of the state’s budget for the university system, putting education in danger of yet more financial shortfalls.
Guns on Campus isn’t an issue specific to the state of Georgia. Guns and gun violence are an American problem. And many of us teach and work at universities. We see campus carry as an important political issue for poets, writers, editors, artists, and educators throughout the United States.
We are writing again this year hoping that you and members of your community might support us on Monday, April 10th for a day of action demanding Governor Deal #SAVEtheVETO that ended last year’s guns on campus bill.
What do you need to do to help? Print out the attached sign (<– click to download) and take a picture of yourself, your class, etc. Or make your own sign of support. Then email the picture by Saturday, April 8th to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then Twitter bomb the governor with your photos of support all day on Monday, April 10th.
We would appreciate you forwarding this letter to any parties who might support us. Your efforts last year helped us get our much needed Veto and we have faith that we can do it once again this year.
With love and solidarity,
Maggie, Jenny, & Laura, Poets
Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing
University of Georgia
Managing Editor, The Georgia Review
Public Outreach and Digital Projects Manager, The Georgia Review