There is so much wrong and misguided — not in the presumed intention but rather in the details of this rather lengthy legislation — that it needs to be shot to death in the Senate and put out of its misery. Read it for yourself at http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20132014/133357.pdf.
It would be welcome to see senators, as is the current speculation, prove themselves saner than their House counterparts (other than the 56 who opposed it). The Senate, having already passed a more reasoned SB 101 expanding gun ownership protection, has good reason not to commit political suicide by following the House’s strange thinking. Once the public finds out what is in the measure other than what gets chatted up by supporters and in the media, it is likely to become livid — led by most church congregations in the state.
Indeed, a number of pro-gun groups have already opposed HB 512 for various reasons including the absurdity that your guns can be taken away if you are “heard” or “reported” to have made a threat to do physical harm. People who think like this ought to be horsewhipped — whoops! There go our guns.
THE PURPOSE of HB 512 is to permit Georgians with concealed-carry permits to tote their weapons into bars, churches, most of college campuses, unsecured government buildings and similar — but not the floor of the House, Senate or other places of governmental deliberation. Politicians aren’t so crazy regarding gun rights as to not protect themselves inside a gun-free zone. After all, in Georgia, while some semblance of not being either a criminal or insane is required to get such a license there is — amazingly — no requirement that the gun bearer know which end of the thing the bullets come out of or prove ability to hit even a target as large as the Gold Dome when aiming for it.
Still, most Georgians with concealed-carry permits (about 400,000 of them) are proficient, even the 80-year-old ladies who still keep their .25 auto in their purses, as they have most of their lives. They’re likely not wrong to do so, by the way — given how lopsidedly male killers are, every female when born should probably receive a birth certificate and carry permit.
Of course, HB 512 while allowing teachers to be armed in classrooms does provide that they be fully trained, go to gun ranges regularly and so forth — at school system expense since, as all know, the educational system is totally awash in state tax funding support. And this would cover not only public schools/colleges but private ones as well.
It even spells out that such weapons must be attached to the body by holster or similar, not kept in purses or such (a majority of school teachers are female). Given normal differences in male/female attire, that means the football coach will invisibly carry one underneath his windbreaker while the kindergarten teacher will get to explain her shoulder holster to the 5-year-olds and pass on the psychology of fear.
THE DETAILS of this legislation are littered with items such as this that betray poor thinking, although the worst is likely: “owners or persons in legal control of private property through a lease, rental agreement, licensing agreement, contract, or any other agreement to control access to such private property shall have the right to forbid exclude or eject a person who is in possession of a weapon or long gun on their private property ...” The underlines indicate additions to existing law, the strike-through removal.
Since state-sanctioned religions are totally illegal in this nation, all churches (like bars and such similar covered in the wording change) are private property. This means no congregation can simply prohibit gun-toters in its pews ... not even, say the famously pacifist Quakers or Seventh-Day Adventists. If a congregation seeks to do so it must first detect and then eject the armed would-be worshipper. Are churches (and bars) now to make all those entering pass through metal detectors and have armed security teams on hand to do the ejecting? And/or provide on-site gun safes for those willing to park their weapons in order to worship (or imbibe)?
This also likely totally changes any liability issues involved. If a property is posted (“No trespassing”) and someone ignores such, what might then happen is their fault. If it is up to a church (or bar, etc.) to detect/eject and the gun gets through to later cause mayhem, it will likely be the “fault” of the private-property owner.
There’s plenty more in this that all citizens should read and lawyers may particularly enjoy as business opportunities.
For example, college students would be able to take guns on campus and to class ... but won’t be allowed to have them in student dorms/fraternities/sororities. Guess they’ve got to keep them in their cars so the thieves know where to find them.
FRANKLY, IT IS getting difficult to understand what both gun-control supporters and gun-rights advocates are so frightened by — probably overly hyped media coverage of every gunshot heard. According to FBI statistics, the number of gun-caused homicides in this country has gone down 33 percent in the past decade. That sure doesn’t square with either the pro or con gun rhetoric, does it?
Second Amendment supporters hit the firing pin dead-center on the primer in insisting: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Same with knives, cars and so forth. So why this assumption that spreading guns far and wide results in only “good people” having them? Both the Newtown and Colorado theater shootings were done with legal weapons owned by people beforehand presumed good.
Everybody pretty much knows that the First Amendment (freedom of speech, etc.) does not cover yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater. Should the Second Amendment allow anyone invited to a backyard barbecue at your home (private property) to come armed unless you detect/object and, if ignored, presumably shoot them using your own firearm under the state’s “stand your ground” law?
All of this is getting pretty nutty, a signal of the sort of insanity that in individuals would preclude gun ownership.
The Senate or Gov. Nathan Deal with a veto should it pass need to totally unload HB 152.
The state’s best course to protect the true interests of law-abiding gun owners would be concentrating on doing a better job of identifying “good people” rather than presuming everyone is good until they kill somebody. Insisting on gun-safety training and shooting-range proficiency, as most states already do, before permitting citizens to walk about armed for other than game-hunting purposes would be the logical place to begin. If nothing else, such would display with time and effort a thought-out dedication to a basic American principle rather than simply a kneejerk response to fear.
DO NOT let this become the land of the not-so-free and scared witless.