Every so often we get one of these Southern states — and, yes, it is mostly Southern or Southwestern states — passing a ridiculous law that leaves most sane people scratching their heads.
Arizona’s anti-immigrant Show Me Your Papers nonsense fed into their failed Don’t Serve The Gays Because The Baby Jeebus Said So bill, which gave us Mississippi’s newly passed Don’t Serve The Gays Because The Baby Jeebus Said So and now we have the new legislation signed into law by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal: the Guns Everywhere bill, AKA the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014.
Safe? Hardly; the new bill allows residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns into some bars, churches, school zones — though not on college campuses; government buildings — though not the state Capitol where Governor Deal has his office; and certain parts of airports. Churches and bars, however, will be able to determine for themselves if they’ll allow worshippers or drinkers to come inside their buildings armed.
But still, guns in schools, airports and government buildings are safe?
Deal’s signing of the bill was held at a picnic, and opened with a prayer — hopefully a prayer that no one mentally disturbed carries a gun into a church or airport, or a picnic — the singing of the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. Hundreds came out for the signing, many carrying their guns and proudly displaying their NRA hats and buttons with ignorant sayings like, “Guns Save Lives.”
Safe. Not at all. The bill allows hunters to use silencers and suppressors when the owner of the property where they're hunting is aware they're using that device; the bill allows former gun owners who have had their licenses revoked to apply for a new license after three years; the bill allows “restricted” access — whatever that means — for anyone whom a court has deemed mentally incompetent or insane, or anyone involuntary committed to a mental institution; the bill allows the carrying of firearms by any "duly authorized official of a public or private elementary or secondary school or a public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or other institution of post-secondary education or a local board of education;" the bill forbids any police officer who sees a resident carrying a gun from asking to see a gun permit unless the resident is committing a crime.
While trumpeted by the asshatted gun crazed loons of the NRA, the bill was opposed by Georgia law enforcement, county commissioners, municipal leaders, and the Transportation Security Administration for its potentially harmful impact on Georgians' safety.
And there is at least one church that won't allow guns inside. The Ebenezer Baptist Church, where, in 1974, a deranged man with a gun entered the building and shot to death the deacon and Alberta Williams King, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s mother, in its sanctuary.
The Reverend Raphael Warnock, the church's senior pastor, believes the shooting might have been even more tragic "had everyone been packing that day” and then added:
"The message of today's bill signing is very clear: Our politicians, tragically, are owned by the gun lobby. No one asked for this bill but the gun lobby, and still, we're here. ... We will remind them in November that they work for the people."
Also of note is that deranged man entered the Ebenezer Baptists Church and shot to people to death had access to guns, but no access whatsoever to health care.
And what does that tell us? Our politicians, in Georgia, and around the country are more concerned with arming citizens with guns that arming citizens with healthcare.
Think about that the next time you step into a voting booth. And think about whether or not anyone else in the room has been legally authorized to carry their gun in with them.