When the gunfights return, churches — and maybe campuses — will be in the crosshairs

It is possible, though not certain, that one of the first real differences you may notice between Gov. Sonny Perdue and his successor, Nathan Deal, will come on a Sunday. In your church pew.

If the fellow with the hymnal next to you has tucked a .45 under his armpit, you’ll know there’s been a change.

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal, right, and the exiting Gov. Sonny Perdue. John Spink/jspink@ajc.com

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal, right, and the exiting Gov. Sonny Perdue. John Spink/jspink@ajc.com

Believe it or not, many gun enthusiasts — the hardcore, anyway — will breathe a sigh of relief once Georgia’s first Republican governor in modern history leaves office next month.

It was Perdue who, this spring, vetoed a bill that would have explicitly given those who hold concealed-weapons permits the right to carry their firearms in unsecured areas of the terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

During this year’s sweeping rewrite of the state’s gun laws, it was also Perdue who insisted that places of worship remain on a shrinking list of public venues where firearms — concealed or otherwise — are not permitted.

And, very likely, it was the governor who backed the Board of Regents in its fight to maintain control over where guns may be carried on college campuses. Which is to say, hardly anywhere.

With Perdue’s departure, each of those issues is likely to resurface when the General Assembly reconvenes in January. Gun lobbyists at the state Capitol are drooling over a significant increase in GOP lawmakers. And they have hopes that Gov.-elect Deal is more open to the finer points of their agenda.

The governor-elect isn’t saying exactly what he’d be willing to support — though during the campaign, Deal gave some comfort to those who want to pack heat at Hartsfield-Jackson. “He’s not going to comment on hypothetical legislation,” spokesman Brian Robinson said.

Gun enthusiasts are also smiling at the sidelining of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle as ruler of the state Senate. Cagle is another Republican who has shown a certain reluctance to engage in legislative fights over gun rights.

A new eight-member Committee on Assignments, packed with senators tired of coming in behind Texas when it comes to firearms liberation, is now in charge — and certain to speed new legislation along.

So what comes first? Concealed weaponry in churches is considered the low-hanging fruit.

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit backed by Georgiacarry.org, challenging the state’s prohibition against carrying concealed weapons in churches and synagogues.

A U.S. Supreme Court decision in June, which limited the restrictions that local governments can put on firearm possession, may also encourage state lawmakers to overturn the ban — with the support of many churches in Georgia that view the Second Amendment as an essential footnote to the Ten Commandments.

As for guns in airport terminals — that is likely to remain complicated by the issue of terrorism.

Which brings us to the place of firearms at colleges and universities. “I think campus-carry is going to be an issue at some point in time,” said state Sen. Mitch Seabaugh, R-Sharpsburg, author of this year’s rewrite of the state’s gun laws.

But Seabaugh says he hasn’t decided whether to make a fight of it next month.

Whether sanctioned by concealed-carry permits or not, guns in dormitories and classrooms stir the parental instincts like nothing else — possibly because so many of us have lived with, and barely survived, teenagers armed only with hormones.

When he was pushing the concept this year, Seabaugh could point to state laws that restrict concealed-carry permits to those over the age of 21. Maturity would reign, he argued.

That argument was weakened last week by two federal lawsuits filed in Texas and backed by the National Rifle Association.

One case seeks to overturn the 32-year-old federal ban on handgun purchases from licensed firearm dealers by those under the age of 21. The second challenges a Texas state law restricting concealed-carry permits to those over 21.

Says the suit challenging the age limit on handgun purchases: “At eighteen years of age, law-abiding citizens in this country are considered adults for almost all purposes and certainly for the purposes of the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights.”

We do not know how many state lawmakers in our Capitol would agree with dropping the age of concealed-weapon permits, or handgun purchases, to 18. If the Texas court cases gain traction, it might not matter.

Certainly, Georgia would become a more interesting place. A land where a teenager, college student or not, could plunk down $500 for a wicked-looking Glock 19 with a black matte finish, plus an extra magazine — but would still be banned from buying a six-pack of beer.

Because no one is suggesting that law should be changed.

– By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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82 comments Add your comment

pn

December 1st, 2010
7:07 pm

The unemployment rate is still 10%.
But let’s concentrate the what’s really important: guns in church.
What would Jesus carry?

Road Scholar

December 1st, 2010
7:19 pm

If this occurs , I can say “I told you so”. It’s not like water, education, budget, transportation, ethics, jobs (not neccessary in order of need/but all are high needs)…ya know the things that matter to ALL Geogians gets solved. No, we need “low hanging fruit”. What about abortions?

MLeake

December 1st, 2010
7:34 pm

Unlike water, education, budget, transportation, and jobs… guns in church, and for that matter, ethics, don’t actually require funding. In that sense, guns in church are low-hanging fruit, because the only cost from that legislation would be updating the state’s paper records and website.

Meanwhile, it’s interesting that people who normally insist upon a strict separation between Church and State suddenly want the State to tell Churches what restrictions they must impose.

MLeake

December 1st, 2010
7:36 pm

To clarify, if the legislation were to pass, the State would not REQUIRE churches to allow guns. Churches could in fact prohibit them. The State would stop telling churches that they could not allow guns, whether the churches wanted to or not.

Larry

December 1st, 2010
7:54 pm

So why should a congregation be defenseless by law?

There have been many instances of places of worship being targeted, especially (lately) Jewish ones. Why should criminals know, for a certainty, that the congregations within a church are completely defenseless? Who does that help?

Sandra

December 1st, 2010
9:01 pm

Our wondereful legislature at work! What a bunch of bought off idiots!

Mel

December 1st, 2010
9:11 pm

Just follow the campaign cash and watch who introduces which bill.

GaBlue

December 1st, 2010
9:26 pm

I’m not one to go to church much anymore… okay, not for years. But HEY, if I can tote my pistol in there, it might be FUN again!

vuduchld

December 1st, 2010
9:27 pm

Hey you idiots voted for this broke, bankrupt maggot so shut up! Don’t want to hear it. Far as I’m concerned I’m all for it because that means you Teabeggers will be shootin and killin yourselves over any minor infraction. As long as you monkeys point your guns at each other across the pew making yourselves extinct I could care less.

WickedGlock19

December 1st, 2010
9:35 pm

vuduchld, way to show your bigoted, ignorant intolerance. You sure do make those “teabeggers” look good in comparison.

Stephen

December 1st, 2010
9:37 pm

Jesus would command you to carry a sword more than likely….oh wait he did!!!

Luke 22:35-38 (King James Version)

35And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

36Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

37For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

38And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

Latter Day Hippie

December 1st, 2010
9:37 pm

Jim, I’m a little surprised by the tone and degree of bias in your latest missive. I know that the “guns” topic is always good fodder for a debate on a slow newsday, but you really come across even more one-sided than usual. Let’s talk about a couple of factual things that seem not to have made it into your article in favor of sarcasm:

1. Churches are private property. The ability of governments (federal, state or local) to dictate what private property owners can and cannot do or allow on their property (that isn’t generally allowed or forbidden everywhere) is fairly limited. How might you feel if the law said you can enjoy a Coca Cola while out in public but not in your own home? As other have pointed out, you seem to have skimmed over the fact that the proposed legislation (and the relief requested in the current lawsuit) do not mandate guns be allowed in church, but simply allow those who own that private property to make the decisions for themselves rather than having the decision made for them. I know more than a few congregations of varous faiths that don’t mind if their members are armed, and individual clergy who will appreciate not having to walk to their cars late at night unarmed.

2. The Georgia legislature already passed legislation permitting the lawful carry of firearms in the non-sterile areas of the airport. A Federal judge known to not be a fan of firearms elected to disregard the spirit and the letter of that legislation, and even prevented the author of that legislation from testifying during the court proceedings. A nuance in the language of the passed legislation allowed the judge to get away with such a ruling, The author and supporters have been working to modify the language to prevent an individual judge from overriding the will of the majority of the Georgia legislature.

3. Though Governor Perdue did block some elements of recent gun bills, he has been a staunch supporter of the restoration of Second Amendment rights for his entire political career. His views on churches, alcohol and the authority of government during states of emergency are long-standing and well-known, and so it should come as no surprise that whenever legislation is proposed that cross those views, he is against it. Not just “guns” legislation, but any legislation.

4. Many of the 18-20 year olds seeking to purchase firearms are active members of the military or veterans returning from duty overseas. I can say from personal experience that once you become accustomed to being armed and able to defend yourself, it is uncomfortable and even painful suddenly to be unable to do so. I challenge you to look a 20 year-old Iraq or Afghan combat veteran in the eye and tell him he can’t carry the same Beretta 92 pistol he carried in defense of our country to defend his family once he comes home and feel good about it.

5. The legislators and governors that have proposed, passed and enacted the past “guns” legislation you bemoan, and that will propose, pass and enact the future “guns” legislation you seek to derail, were duly elected by the voters of this state. I recognize your position with the AJC lends you some degree of visibility and perhaps even influence, but your personal view on “guns” is no more valid than that of those individuals who put said legislators and governors in office. The difference is that more of those individuals voted, and that there probably are more of them in this state overall.

Jim, I really do appreciate much of your work and your insightful commentary. It pains me to see you “bottom feed” with an article like this. Please do yourself justice and treat the “guns” issue with the respect it deserves.

Bravesfan79

December 1st, 2010
9:44 pm

Can you blame a kid for packing on a campus in a area like where Ga Tech or Ga State are located at? All the armed robberies prove that college campuses in black majority areas just provide the blacks with Exactly what they want. Young, Niave, non street smart kids who make easy targets!!

Don Edwards

December 1st, 2010
10:15 pm

I recently gave a second amendment presentation, on behalf of GeorgiaCarry.org, to an assembly of Apostolic men in east Georgia. The consensus amongst them was that they objected to the state telling them what they could and couldn’t do. They resent state control of their Second Amendment rights. It’s as simple as that. Churches, Synagogues, et. al., are vulnerable, and people want to be able to protect themselves. Relent, or loose parishioners! …………………………er, money?

bart

December 1st, 2010
10:35 pm

Georgians in their infinite wisdom have elected these jokers to office. To hell with the economy, jobs, education, transportation, and water. Let’s deal with important issues like guns in church and college, no abortion for victms of rape and incest, and no gay marriage.

Gator Guy

December 1st, 2010
10:43 pm

If Perdue was the “first republican governor in modern history”, he sure didn’t act like it. Thanks Sonny for hiring all the extra tax collectors who called in immediate payoffs right before Christmas. Hope your cronies in south georgia enjoy their payoffs with my money. I’m sure their families will have a very merry Christmas. Mine sure won’t. Good Riddance. You were a huge disappointment anyway and glad you and. your shady land acquisitions are gone. Hmmm, you must have been from Gwinnett originally

Phillip E.

December 1st, 2010
11:09 pm

Hey, Jim what’s wrong with an 18 or 19 year old teenager from plunking down “$500 for a wicked-looking Glock 19 with a black matte finish”? These men and women are old enough to be drafted in times of war to fight and die for our country. What’s wrong with these law-abiding adults protecting themselves, their families, and their neighbors by exercising their 2nd Amendment Rights?

Oh, and Jim…20 year olds are not teenagers just in case you didn’t know.

ThomasPain

December 2nd, 2010
12:03 am

There are a lot of emotions and emotional reactions to this issue. You don’t help things with the title of this blog.

But let’s look at the facts; how many airports in this nation do allow licensed weapon carriers in the non-secure areas of the airport? 40 states allow it. How many gunfights have spontaneously erupted in their airports? And why would a terrorist take time to get a weapons permit, if they’re even eligible? Terrorists are attempting murder, a much more serious crime, and that has no affect on the outcome of their actions. A silly little weapons charge means nothing to them.

How many states allow legal firearms carriers to carry in church? 6. Again, anyone care to tell me the stories of bloodbaths between the pews?

Now we’ve all heard the stories of people shooting up the schools. Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc. How many of these people were legal owners?

All these laws do is hurt law abiding citizens who follow the law. Anyone intent on shooting up a school will do so anyway; a silly law isn’t going to stop them if they’re ready to commit murder. But maybe the schools will be less of a target if these spree killers think that some may be armed for defense? Currently, the law doesn’t stop criminals, it only stops the law abiding. And by doing so, it creates an environment that makes for higher body counts for these sociopaths.

Try putting a lid on the emotional reaction and think logically.

philmarx

December 2nd, 2010
12:26 am

Jim, why do you never acknowledge that felons simply don’t care about any “gun laws”?
Why should an attacker know with certainty that his intended victims are defenceless?
“Gun free zones” cannot establish a magic “security zone”.
Law abiding, registered and fingerprinted license holders have something to lose, and they are aware of it. Armed citizens make America safer.
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!

Tuckerman

December 2nd, 2010
12:57 am

@Stephen — don’t forget the rest of the story….
Luke 22: 49-51

When those who were around him saw what was about to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we use our swords?”

Then one of them struck the high priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear.

But Jesus said, “Enough of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

I’D BE CAREFUL CLAIMING THAT CHRIST SUPPORTED GUN RIGHTS!

john

December 2nd, 2010
1:53 am

> What would Jesus carry?

Jesus said for his disciples to arm themselves with the most powerful personal weapon at the time, swords.

The sword of our times, M-16 or AK-47 rifles.

Jesus told his disciples to sell what they had and buy swords,

Luke 22 :36

peter already had one and was accomplished using it.

:John 18:10

Glad you asked?

Travis McGee

December 2nd, 2010
4:36 am

I’m not sure I’ll feel safer knowing that 18 year olds are packing heat.

Again, they are not deemed mature enough to buy alcohol, but let’s allow them to carry a gun.

Ignorance knows no bounds. . . .

Bill Orvis White

December 2nd, 2010
5:27 am

You liberals just don’t get it. WE THE PEOPLE have the right to carry arms. Somehow we have lurched away from what those who wrote, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Let me spell it out to you Godless secular progressive idiots who forgot September the 11th. A well regulated militia is just that. WE THE PEOPLE ought to be able to attend any function with our arms at the ready in case of attack. Our fathers knew this so well, yet through the years, liberals have taken this basic right from us. So our militias are important to our basic security! What part of that don’t any of you get? Here’s my favorite part: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED! That means that all of us ought to be able to protect ourselves whether it’s at school, the playground, the aiRport or the church! Do you any of you remember September the 11th? WE THE PEOPLE could have been the responders to stop this nation’s worst tragedy, but no, we were caught with our pants down because of the liberals in Washington and New York stopped us. Those twin towers would still be standing today, but they’re down because of people like Bubba Clinton, Jimmah Carter, Ralph Nader, Brain-damaged Harry Reid, Dick Gephardt, Wiccan Nancy Pelosi, Bawny Frank and Denny Kucinich.
Amen,
Bill

Tparty

December 2nd, 2010
6:32 am

Jim,
Your limited support of the 2nd amendment appears to only be matched by your ignorance of, as you and your colleagues might call it, ‘the other side.’

To help you with this, I’d like to invite you to come with me to the range. Unlike Chicago, there are several good ones in the metro Atlanta area (including one that is owned by a state representative). I’ll let you shoot a Glock 19 (similar to the one used at Virginia Tech). I’ll also let you fire an FN five-seven (similar to the one used at Ft. Hood), as well as the ‘evil black rifle’ (the AR-15), similar to what our men and women in uniform use to defend our country. Relax, though–you’ll be accompanied by a former military officer who is well trained and versed in their use.

Seriously, I think you should consider this. Perhaps you’ll have a better understanding about the subjects on which you blog.

CharlesTheBold

December 2nd, 2010
6:42 am

So how many church services have been disrupted by gunmen who think congregations are defenseless without weapons? None that I have heard of. The only case I heard of was when a member of the King family was shot in a church by a lunatic, because the GOP thinks every lunatic should have a gun.

The real purpose of the bill is to endanger the people of Georgia, so that they’ll feel compelled to buy weapons to defend themselves and thus increase the gun industry’s profits. Of course they’re the ones bribing the legislatures to introduce the bill in the first place.

I read in a history book that, in Imperial China, a government official who accepted a bribe could be executed for treason. We can’t even admit that a crime has taken place.

[...] Among Galloway’s comments: (Read his entire piece, if you can. It’s great.) Certainly, Georgia would become a more interesting place. A land where a teenager, college student or not, could plunk down $500 for a wicked-looking Glock 19 with a black matte finish, plus an extra magazine — but would still be banned from buying a six-pack of beer. [...]

barking frog

December 2nd, 2010
7:04 am

‘the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed’ except
by constitutional amendment. When and Where was the
U.S. Constitution amended to change that? Violating the
Constitution over the years does not constitute amendment.

Jeff

December 2nd, 2010
7:40 am

The only thing that matters is the words “shall not be infringed.” Your phoney baloney excuses all go out the window when we comply with the Constitution, which says, in case you didn’t get it, “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

Jack

December 2nd, 2010
7:41 am

He had his followers carry the weapon of the day. Swords! Read your bible!

Double Zero Eight

December 2nd, 2010
7:47 am

It looks like this bill will foster “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality.

Double Zero Eight

December 2nd, 2010
7:58 am

More to come from the Georgia “Hallbillies” (Deal and Cagle). Granny and Jed, better fetch your guns.

Confused

December 2nd, 2010
8:00 am

So attending your house of worship is akin to going to a night club in the hood?

Shar

December 2nd, 2010
8:08 am

These same bought-off legislators who are so eager to force WE THE PEOPLE (yes, those of us who support stringent gun control are still WE THE PEOPLE, Mr. White, despite your adolescent name calling and silly use of capitalization) to deal with gun-carrying strangers in every conceivable area of public life continue to hide themselves behind scanners, Xray machines and 24/7, taxpayer-funded armed guards to keep gun-carrying strangers out of their offices and homes.

I am the mother of three college students. I have extremely strong objections to them being roomed with, or in classrooms with, armed colleagues. College is stressful, with young kids struggling with grades, being on their own, social and romantic upheaval, financial strain and other stressors on their own. Putting a gun in the hand of an unstable 18 year old freshman (and, Latter Day Hippie, there are lots more of them than there are returning vets) with the inherent biological restrictions in the areas of self-control and implusivity is a recipe for disaster. This legislation, written up for the sole purpose of grandstanding to the NRA and its members, would prevent me from demanding a safe dorm room and classroom for my child. Mr. Edwards, you tout the support of your Apostolic listeners for allowing guns in their churches. I guarantee you that, if the parents of UGA or Tech students were polled, there would be overwhelming resistance to having guns on those campuses.

Until those who write the laws no longer take bribes from the special interest groups they reflect, and until those legislators are just as subject to these laws as are WE THE PEOPLE, I’ll regard them as hypocritical, dangerous and stupid.

Aberk

December 2nd, 2010
8:13 am

CharlesTheBold,
As you requested. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Colorado_YWAM_and_New_Life_shootings
Notice the women who stopped the armed attacker was an armed citizen and member of the church acting in a security capacity.

stephen

December 2nd, 2010
8:16 am

@Tuckerman, you need to keep going with your quote…Jesus told Peter to not use his sword offensively(against the guards) and not to get rid of his sword only to put it in its proper place! Defensive use is not the same as a person out robbing the right of self defense is affirmed throughout the old and new testaments…

Bill Orvis White

December 2nd, 2010
8:20 am

@Shar
They don’t have to be unstable 18-year-olds if you do your job as a parent. Obviously you think with emotion first with a total lack of logic. I have two boys who were reared by a mother and father who taught them to honor their leaders, the church and their weapons cache. I never once had to worry if they would misuse their firearms when hunting or carrying.

If those students were armed at Columbine or Virginia Tech, those tragedies would have been averted. Now that we’re on the 30th anniversary of his death, if that Socialist musician John Lennon was armed, we’d be seeing him out there protesting our wars right now and with him not realizing that it was the 2nd amendment that would have saved him.

Shar, you and your liberal friends just don’t get what the 2nd amendment is all about. Stop coddling your kids, pull them out of those elite schools, have them join the military and teach them useful skills instead of sitting around smoking the funny weed and engaging in unlimited sexual activity in dorm rooms and studying Fine (F)arts in college.

Buzz G

December 2nd, 2010
8:25 am

Why are liberals so afraid of guns?

wondering

December 2nd, 2010
8:34 am

If the purpose of the piece was to make me afraid of Deal, you needn’t bothered. I was already.

Road Scholar

December 2nd, 2010
8:39 am

I find a difference in having any 18 yr old and one who has gun trainning in the military. Most 18 year olds have an attention span of 30 seconds; the military provides focus.

The Bottom Line

December 2nd, 2010
8:40 am

The real issue is not about gun control but restricting individual rights and freedoms. Guns do not kill, people kill. Those people who are bent on killing will find a way, guns, bombs, knives or otherwise. No legislation or background check will prevent all of the tragedies that may occur. History, including recent history, is replete with major tragedies that have occurred because of gun control. One faction able to obtain weapons destroying another on political, ethnic or other grounds. Japan did not invade the United States in WWII because a very high military official had been educated in this country and knew “every household has a gun”. The lower crime rates around the world are in areas where people have weapons. Our problem is we want to restrict law abiding citizens from protecting themselves, but we do not want to punish the poor unfortunate sociopaths that commit atrocities. We have to rehabilitate them. I put much or out problems on the courts and the bleeding hearts that will not allow the punishment to fit the crime. We want to make examples of those that make a single mistake, but want to rehabilitate the habitual criminals instead of putting them away. We have weakened our punishments to the point that offenders, if they are caught, have no fear of what will happen to them. All this said, our biggest problem in this country is that we have turned away from our Christian values and from God. If we truly adhered to these, we would love our neighbor and have no propensity to do evil.

So much for my soap box.

fiwit

December 2nd, 2010
8:45 am

Charlesthebold has never heard of any church shootings — maybe he’s been living under a rock?
Here’s one the that was all over the news just 3 years ago.

Denver, 2007… a gunman who disliked Christians shot and killed 2 people at a missionary training center. Twelve hours later, he opened fire in a church parking lot as the service was ending, shooting another 6 people, and killing 2 more. He then entered the church, looking for more targets, but THIS church was not in GA, and they had a volunteer security guard who carried a gun and knew how to use it. She encountered him in the hallway, shot him multiple times, and he then committed suicide, ending the rampage. Had she not been armed, there could have easily been a hundred more deaths, according to the pastor.

Want something more current? These are all just from the first page results of googling “church shooting”

Aug 2010 – California church shooting.
Feb 2010 – California church shooting.
March 2009- Illinois church shooting
July, 2008 – Knoxville, TN church shooting.

Gun-free zones are nothing more than criminal safety zones. Criminals, by definition, DO NOT OBEY LAWS. So a gun-free zone will not stop them from bringing a gun – it just guarantees them a target-rich environment of defenseless victims. (see crime statistics for GA Tech area)

LizBeth

December 2nd, 2010
8:46 am

There they go again. Republicans are always hunting for an easier way to get rid of Democrats.

StJ

December 2nd, 2010
8:46 am

I see we’re recycling the old, tired “Wild West” analogies…

Criminals, by definition, don’t obey “no-gun zone” laws (or laws against armed robbery, murder, or anything else). Just look at what’s been going on at the Tech campus lately.

Self-defense is the most basic human right, but liberals don’t believe in that.

Tparty

December 2nd, 2010
8:48 am

Bill-you are spot on. The arguments made against the 2nd amendment are typically rooted in emotion and ignorance and not supported by data. This must be why John Lott (author of More Guns, Less Lies) drives the gun control crowd crazy. Consider this: the Brady Campaign rates California higher (79) than Utah (4) in their rating of state gun laws. Which state do you consider to be safer? What gives? Emotion.

As an engineer, I guess their emotional, ignorant approach bothers me since it continues to resonate in some circles despite having been discredited (although this seems to be dying out). Case in point: the anti-2nd amendment crowd attacked the legislative overhaul in Florida, led by Marion Hammer, in the late 1980s, yet crime dropped significant since then, despite no significant increase in law enforcement. Similarly, they attacked constitutional carry in Arizona, again with no scientific basis, and to date no problems. As an aside, based on Arizona’s success with constitutional carry, it’s being considered in Utah and Texas and is something we should be striving for in Georgia. The issue is clearly not the absence of gun control, but the failure by the courts to enforce existing laws.

To the point about 18 year olds with firearms, it’s done every day in the military. I was privileged to have these young men working for me when I was in the military–and I placed my life in their hands. That said, firearms are not video games. My 10 year old honor student loves shooting and reloading with me–she’s great with the .22 rifle. My 11 year old honor student has been shooting and reloading with me since he was six years old. There are rules and guidelines and they follow them to the letter. Nothing unnatural or strange about this–we’re going hunting later today (under my supervision, of course).

Perhaps the ‘gun-fearing crowd’ should direct their fear at screwdrivers, axes, pencils or even automobiles, as any of these tools can also be used to kill people. The emphasis needs to be on the behavior of the individual, not the tool. Funny these are used to kill people in ‘real life’ but not very frequently in the movies. The difference is emotion and Hollywood brainwashing, which is why it seems logical that we all consider boycotting Hollywood’s movies and spend the time on more fruitful endeavors such as with our children.

Nick

December 2nd, 2010
8:48 am

The only people that this effects are the ones that follow the laws. Open the AJC any day and you will see that the criminal class takes guns anywhere they want and at any age! So what is the big deal if the good guys are armed? Are we less responsible than the criminals?

Joel

December 2nd, 2010
8:52 am

The first time I handled an M16A2 assault rifle was when I was 17, in the service of my country. Forgive me for being a little perturbed at people who object to an 18 year old buying a pistol. There won’t be blood running in the streets, just as there wasn’t any after concealed carry licenses were issued, nor after the Clinton “assault weapons ban” expired, nor after concealed carry restrictions were eased this year. I understand that people are afraid of being victimized, but we need to deal with those who continue to commit crimes by reminding them that there are consequences to their actions. One of those consequences is that you might get shot.

Real Athens

December 2nd, 2010
8:56 am

Shar:

Bill Orvis White is satirist … and a damn fine one. Think Jonathan Swift, er, OK, Stephen Colbert.

Google his name. Read his blog. Laugh.

Mike

December 2nd, 2010
8:58 am

I’ve come to expect such nonsense from Mr. Galloway, but what’s really disheartening is the comments I see here. Where, in the course of our short American History, have we lost our desire for Liberty? How have we come to arrive at a place in time where we willingly watch our rights get taken away?

The continued dismantling of our guns laws across America is nothing more than RESTORING our rights as originally protected by The Constitution. For years now there’s hard evidence that when good people are allowed carry their firearms violent crime decreases. Those of you here who resort to name calling and bed wetting purposely ignore these obvious facts. Where in your family tree did the sheepish apple begin to grow?

“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” — Samuel Adams

The key words here are: GO FROM US IN PEACE.

Earl2a

December 2nd, 2010
9:08 am

“Certainly, Georgia would become a more interesting place. A land where a teenager, college student or not, could plunk down $500 for a wicked-looking Glock 19 with a black matte finish, plus an extra magazine — but would still be banned from buying a six-pack of beer.

Because no one is suggesting that law should be changed.”

Bait and switch journalism at it’s finest. Trying to bring the right of bearing arms down to the level of the privilege of buying alcohol. Show me where buying alcohol is protected in the Constitution.

Nice try Sparky, would you like to play again?

Earl2a

December 2nd, 2010
9:08 am

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