Michael Stipe campaigns against open carry gun law

The law would allow adults to carry a gun on a public college campus

R.E.M‘s Michael Stipe has written an op-ed for USA Today, arguing for Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to drop the state’s House Bill 859, known as the “campus carry” law.

The law allows anyone with a license over the age of 21, to legally carry a gun on a public college campus, except inside sporting events, dorms and fraternity and sorority houses.

As a University of Georgia alum and with R.E.M. forming at the college, the situation is close to Stipe’s heart. In the piece he writes that he’s worried about how the law could affect college life.


“I worry about what it means when loaded guns are allowed at a tailgate where alcohol is being served. I’m concerned for survivors of sexual assault, who may soon have to face an armed assailant at the time of the crime and again at their disciplinary hearing,” he wrote.

“I’m worried about classrooms. If students are debating a contested subject – which is crucial to learning and expanding their world views – I worry what will happen to that open and honest conversation when the participants know that the people around them could have loaded guns in their backpacks.”

Stipe also cited statistics that argue 78% of Georgia residents do not want the law passed. Ending his op-ed, he concluded “I hope the governor listens to his constituents and does what’s in the best interest of all citizens of Georgia by vetoing this dangerous bill.”