Paste’s home state of Georgia been in the news a little too often recently for controversial reasons. Last month, Governor Nathan Deal vetoed a bill that would have legalized discrimination against the LGBTQ community, a move that likely saved the state’s now-bustling film industry. Now, he’s got another inflammatory bill to consider: this one would legalize concealed carry on college campuses. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people think that is a really bad idea, and speaking for the widespread opposition to the bill, REM frontman Michael Stipe wrote a strong op-ed in yesterday’s USA Today asking Governor Deal to veto the measure.
“For me, this battle hits close to home,” wrote Stipe. “I met my future R.E.M. bandmates when we were all students at the University of Georgia in Athens.”
Stipe went on to talk about the adverse effects the proposed bill would have on campus life, citing everything from the potential use of guns in sexual assault to the possibility of violence at alcohol-fueled tailgates or in contentious classroom discussions. He then discussed the overwhelming public opposition to the bill—78% of Georgians are against it—and warned the governor of potential ramifications of signing it into law, including the costs of preparing campuses for guns and the possibility of professors leaving.
You can read Stipe’s full editorial here.