I’m a gun guy. I love them. I love the way they function. I love the way they fit into my hands, the cool steel of the back of the weapon juxtaposed against the relatively warmer grip itself, and the feel of recoil when you squeeze off a round or two. I also love the feeling that I have yet another tool in my arsenal to protect my loved ones from an increasingly crazy world.
In the final days of this past legislative session, Georgia’s guns laws got a good bit clearer. Previously, the “public gathering” clause was murky at best. Toters from all over the state would debate as to whether this or that was a public gathering, and the legal system didn’t exactly clarify. One person was told by a judge that three people chatting on the sidewalk was a public gathering.
Needless to say, this doesn’t give the gun community a warm, tingly feeling.
However, with the passage of SB308 in the final hours of the session, the rules are much clearer. No churches, schools, nuclear power facilities, governmental buildings, courthouses, and mental health facilities. Bars, whose inclusion was much contested, have the choice. I still haven’t had a chance to really pour over the law yet to see details, but even this is good news.
Ayn Rand once said, “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” Whether she’s right or not remains open for debate, but it is true that a truly scary society is one where it is impossible to not break laws. The public gathering clause in the previous law was just such a rule.
On July 1, 2010, the new law will go into effect. It will be legal to carry firearms in many more places, and you’ll be a whole lot clearer as to whether or not you’re breaking the law if you carry someplace you’re not supposed to. The anti-gun crowd will scream that blood will flow through the streets of Georgia, despite it never having done so before, but the people who carry guns will know exactly where they can and can’t carry.
I’m usually pretty critical of government, and I believe I’ve got good cause to do so. In this case, though, they did the right thing for once. I only hope that this pattern continues so that we can return to the truly free roots that this nation was founded on.
Written by Tom Knighton. Read his blog at SWGA Politics.com. A lifelong political junkie, Tom started out his adult life as a journalism major at Darton College before leaving school to serve his nation as a U.S. Navy Corpsman. Through the years, he has watched government from outside and inside. A former Reagan supporter, then later a Democrat, Tom now finds himself quite comfortable as a card carrying Libertarian and all around smart-elec.