Archive for the ‘gun control’ Category

Your daily jolt: GPB producer resigns over hiring of Chip Rogers

News that former state Sen. Chip Rogers has been given an executive position at Georgia Public Broadcasting with a hefty starting salary of $150,000 has prompted the resignation of a longtime executive producer at the network.

Click here to read the resignation letter from Ashlie Wilson Pendley to GPB President and CEO Teya Ryan, sent to us this morning by Bryan Long of Better Georgia. Here’s the meat:

I know that you have faced a variety of challenges and difficult decisions in the last four years since you assumed leadership of GPB. I’ve witnessed four rounds of layoffs. I’ve watched the outsourcing of the sales staff, the IT helpdesk and most recently, Master Control operations. I have loyally accepted stagnant wages for the last five years, even while the cost of my benefits has increased- even in the times when furloughed- because I believed GPB was an organization that was worth the sacrifice and the hard work.

In December, it became public that GPB was hiring former …

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Your daily jolt: A state Senate under new management

In the minutes surrounding the passage of Senate Bill 24, Gov. Nathan Deal’s solution to the “bed tax” dilemma, the sharp-eyed could – through the door leading to President pro tem David Shafer’s office – spot a giddy state Sen. Jeff Mullis dancing through the anteroom, arms in the air.

That’s how happy the new leaders of the state Senate were on Thursday, following passage of the Hospital Medicaid Financing Program Act. The bill, which now will receive the same railed treatment in the House, solves the sticky problem of legislative approval for a continued levy on hospitals by shoving the issue behind the executive curtain of the state Department of Community Health.

In fact, the contrast with Senate passage of the original “bed tax” in 2010 couldn’t be starker. Three years ago, GOP senators tortured themselves over the issue for three months. The caucus split, and two Republicans lost chairmanships when they refused to go along – despite furious arm-twisting.

On Thursday, …

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With a little selective editing, John Barrow becomes poster child for anti-gun group

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has entered the debate over gun control with a video that features U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, as its poster child.

The video splices in a 2012 campaign ad used by Barrow, touting his support of the National Rifle Association and his opposition to gun legislation, with scenes of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Additionally, the group points out that on Wednesday, Barrow was critical of gun control legislation proposed by President Barack Obama. Said Barrow, In part:

”I strongly disagree with proposals that would deny law abiding citizens their Second Amendment rights, and I’m disappointed he did not propose increased security measures for our schools.

Here’s the CSGV video:

The group points to the $27,250 that Barrow has received from the NRA over eight years. The quote from CSGV executive director Josh Horwitz: “Representative Barrow has been bought for the price of a new truck. It would be laughable if his lack of regard for our …

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Nathan Deal to beef up mental health reviews, gives green light to guns for school administrators

Gov. Nathan Deal said Wednesday he will initiate a stricter review of Georgia’s mental health records for gun permit applicants, and gave a green light to legislation that would allow school administrators to carry concealed weapons.

The governor made his remarks during a reporters scrum that included my AJC colleague Greg Bluestein, who filed this:

Deal said he’d support procedural changes to ensure state agencies are checking mental-health records of people seeking guns. “We think that is one area where we need to be more vigilant,” he said.

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said there’s no legislation tied to the effort, but that the state will beef up its review process to make sure the state is “doing everything it can to protect Georgians’ safety.”

A federal law adopted after the Virginia Tech massacre requires states to share the names of mentally ill people with the national background-check system to prevent them from buying guns. While many states don’t comply, …

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Your daily jolt: Gingrey open to limits on mag clips, says Todd Akin was ‘partly right’

Schmoozing with constituents in Smyrna on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, had already made news when he said that he was open to some new restrictions on firearms. From the first five paragraphs written by Jon Gillooly of the Marietta Daily Journal:

“There are some problems, and maybe these huge magazines even for someone who says, ‘look, I just use an AR-15 for target practice,’ but do you really need to be standing there shooting at a silhouette a shot a second or even quicker with that kind of weapon? For what purpose?” Gingrey asked. “I would be willing to listen to the possibility of the capacity of a magazine.”

Gingrey, who took the time to praise Adventure Outdoors owner Jay Wallace as the gold standard for running a responsible gun retail business, said he is also open to revisions of the so-called gun show loophole.

But then the Marietta congressman decided to wax eloquent on the most egregious Republican misstep of 2012 – the concept of “legitimate …

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FAU prof says Sandy Hook massacre may have been gov’t conspiracy

A cogent argument against tenure, from Florida’s Sun-Sentinel newspaper:

A communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversy at Florida Atlantic University with claims that last month’s Newtown, Conn., school shootings did not happen as reported — or may not have happened at all.

Moreover, James Tracy asserts in radio interviews and on his memoryholeblog.com. that trained “crisis actors” may have been employed by the Obama administration in an effort to shape public opinion in favor of the event’s true purpose: gun control.

“As documents relating to the Sandy Hook shooting continue to be assessed and interpreted by independent researchers, there is a growing awareness that the media coverage of the massacre of 26 children and adults was intended primarily for public consumption to further larger political ends,” writes Tracy, a tenured associate professor of media history at FAU and a former union leader.

Here’s hoping the good professor has no …

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Your daily jolt: ‘The Lawmakers’ shifts to twice a week

For 41 years, every day that the Legislature has met during its annual, 40-day sessions, Georgia Public Broadcasting’s “The Lawmakers” has been there with a 30-minute, televised recap.

That’s about to change. One of Georgia’s longest-running public affairs programs will shift to a twice-a-week format for its 42nd season.

GPB executives say the decision has more to do with viewership than budget cuts. The problem is that “The Lawmakers” has aired only on days when state lawmakers meet. But the 40 days allotted to each session are spread out over four months.

“We’re trying to make it easier for the viewer to know when to expect it. If you don’t have a legislative calendar in front of you, in the past it was really hard to figure out when the show was airing,” said Robert Brienza, vice president for news and sports at GPB.

“One week it may be on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the next week it may not be on at all. The third week, it may be on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” he …

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Legislation would allow school boards to designate armed administrators

State Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville, today pre-filed legislation that would give Georgia boards of education leeway to allow school administrators to carry concealed weapons in buildings, at school functions – even on buses.

HB 35 becomes one of five gun bills already lodged with the House, with the start of the 2013 session of the General Assembly still six days away – all with the December massacre of school children in Newtown, Conn., in mind.

Battles emphasized that his legislation is a “may” – not a “shall” — measure. The bill “is very simple. It’s not absolute,” he told my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin.

Under HB 35, armed administrators would be required to complete a basic training course, and would have to “annually qualify with each fire arm that he or she intends to possess or carry.”

School systems would be required to pay for all expenses associated with training.

Battles said he spoke with superintendents of Cartersville and Bartow County schools to …

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How to survive a mass shooting: Alabama’s video advice

Alabama’s Department of Homeland Security has released the above six-minute video on how to survive a mass shooting incident.

The sobering video is more disturbing than graphic, but the advice seems sound.

Two things to note as you watch: First, the lack of a deus ex machina. No one comes to the rescue with a pocketed firearm. The possibility isn’t even addressed. Secondly, you have to wonder what the grade-school version would look like.

From the Associated Press:

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has released a video that instructs people on what to do in the event of a shooting like the one at an elementary school in Connecticut.

Gov. Robert Bentley asked Alabama Homeland Security officials to develop a strategic plan for dealing with such incidents after a gunman killed 20 students and six adults Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The shooter also killed himself.

The release of the video comes as Alabama officials seek ways …

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Your Daily Jolt: Racing over the cliff

Christmas is over, but Cliffmas is still bearing down. Here’s your morning shot of reality from the good folks at Politico:

Nearly all the major players in the fiscal cliff negotiations are starting to agree on one thing: A deal is virtually impossible before the New Year.

Unlike the bank bailout in 2008, the tax deal in 2010 and the debt ceiling in 2011, the Senate almost certainly won’t swoop in and help sidestep a potential economic calamity, senior officials in both parties predicted on Wednesday.

With the country teetering on this fiscal cliff of deep spending cuts and sharp tax hikes, the philosophical differences, the shortened timetable and the political dynamics appear to be insurmountable hurdles for a bipartisan deal by New Year’s Day.

Lawmakers are starting to emerge from their egg nog break today: President Barack Obama is flying back to D.C. from Hawaii, and lands late this morning. His Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner shot up a flare Wednesday reminding …

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