As WALB reported, there are a couple of bills in the General Assembly that would permit guns in new places, including college campuses. Clearly, these are going to be hotly contested bills, as all gun legislation tends to be, even without the current political climate. As WALB reported:
Monday evening, the State Senate passed a bill that would keep details of gun owners who have concealed weapons permits secret, and it would allow guns on public housing property.
Also Monday, a House committee passed a bill that would make it legal to carry guns into bars, churches and college campuses.
I’d like to take a moment to address each of these provisions and articulate my stance. Yes, I already know thatyou know I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, so you probably already know where I fall on these issues. That said, I’m still going to give my thoughts.
First, let’s look at the idea of keeping weapons permit holders identity secret. I’m sure you all remember the column I wrote about the irresponsible journalists who felt everyone had a right to know who had a gun in their community. In the aftermath, it appears that many criminals used this listing as both a shopping list – after all, if you want to steal a gun, it helps if you know where the guns are – and a warning to avoid those houses and go to hit their neighbors instead. Clearly, this provision is designed to prevent something like this from happening here in Georgia.
However, the interesting thing is the proposal that would allow guns on public housing projects. Folks, these are notorious for being dangerous areas. By disarming the law abiding citizens who live in these developments, you are simply making life more difficult for these folks. In case you’ve missed it, the criminals aren’t really sweating the laws already in place. My question is, why do opponents hate poor people so much that they want them to remain victims in their own neighborhoods?
The House committee passed bill that will permit carry in bars, churches, and college campuses is probably the more controversial of these bills, and I can understand why. Opponents are probably already claiming that blood will run in the streets as alcohol fueled shootings from bars and college campuses will claim an entire generation of people.
Unfortunately for them, the facts just don’t support it.
Five states already allow legally carried firearms on college campuses. Utah, Oregon, Mississippi, Colorado, and Wisconsin. In none of these states do we see an upswing in violence on college campuses. None of them. By contrast, Virginia is not one of those states. Why is that relevant? Virginia Tech, that’s why. Laws banning the lawful carry of a firearm did nothing to discourage Seung-Hui Cho from bringing his own guns and killing 32 people, wounding 17 others. Not a thing.
As for bars, I really do understand the apprehension of mixing alcohol and guns. As a general rule, I don’t. Ever. I don’t want to be around folks who do. That said, there are tons of people who go into bars and don’t touch alcohol. They’re not drinking, they’re just hanging out. Why are we hindering these people?
Further, there’s a tidbit that many of you may not know. That tidbit is that guns are already in a lot of our bars. Georgia law permits them in bars with the owner’s permission. That means that there are already guns in the bars, and you know what’s happened? Not a whole heck of a lot.
Every time there is a move to expand our gun rights, opponents claim that the proposal will turn Georgia into the Wild West. Folks, the wild west wasn’t the wild west. In fact, one of the most famous shootouts in history, the Gunfight at the OK Corrall, was about law enforcement trying to enforce gun control measures. Yet, it remains embedded in gun control advocates brains as where we are headed. The fact show us, time and time again, that it’s just not the case.