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Archive for the category “Gun Rights”

For Once, Hillary Is Right

In a recent CNN town hall meeting, Hillary Clinton, who looks more and more like the leading Democratic presidential candidate for 2016, said this about gun control:

“We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people.”

When I read (and re-read) that, the image in my mind was the huge crowd outside the NRA convention in Indianapolis.

Courtesy of National Review

Courtesy of National Review

It was estimated at times to be as large as 30 protesters. This compared to the 75,267 NRA members and supporters inside.

Or the 5 people who showed up last August to protest the thousand inside the GeorgiaCarry convention.

Time and again, this numerical disparity is demonstrated. A minority of misinformed people ranting about

  • Background checks – we already must have them
  • Automatic weapons – already heavily regulated, unless you can manage to buy them in Mexico from the BATF.
  • Gun Show loopholes – which don’t exist

Yes, for once, I agree with Her Majesty. It’s time for the minority to shut the hell up.

School Carry Quietly Enacted in Georgia

Of late, the whole world, it seems, has been all aflurry about the “Guns Everywhere” bill in Georgia, HB60, recently signed by Governor Nathan Deal. This bill allows lawful Georgia Weapons Carry License holders to carry guns in bars, churches (with the permission of the church leadership), and in the unsecured parts of government buildings. The anti-gun factions have been most vocal, claiming as usual that this will lead to Blood In The Streets and a Return To The Wild West.

Of course, Georgia is not the first state to allow carry in these locations, and none of the other states have had any increase in gun usage in these locations. In fact, a study by the Richmond Times Dispatch showed a 5.2 percent decrease in crime involving firearms in bars in the state of Virginia in the first year following enactment of that state’s bar carry law. I would encourage a news outlet in Georgia to investigate HB60’s effects and report on it in July 2015. But, in the meantime, I will continue to breathe normally.

One of the places that “Everywhere” does not include in HB60, however, are schools. School carry was eliminated from the bill early on, because it created so much controversy.

So it comes as a surprise (to me at least) that there was another bill, HB826 (coincidentally sponsored by my State Senator, Lindsey Tippins), signed by Governor Deal yesterday. This bill changes how guns are treated in school zones, and it lists the people who are exempt from being considered in violation of the law. Exemption 6 says:

A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10, when he or she is within a school safety zone or on a bus or other transportation furnished by a school or a person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 when he or she has any firearm legally kept within a vehicle when such vehicle is parked within a school safety zone or is in transit through a designated school safety zone;

This changes the old law which only exempted GWCL holders who were in a school parking lot picking someone up. Note that GWCL holders are now exempted everywhere “within a school safety zone.” And, just to make it clear, another part of the law says

‘School safety zone’ means in or on any real property or building owned by or leased to any school or postsecondary institution.

So, this law, which goes into effect July 1, legalizes campus carry in Georgia.

Like most people, I was surprised and caught unaware that this was in the offing. But I am glad to see it.

However, I am cautious of how this will be received. I think my feelings are best echoed by Jerry Henry, the Executive Director of GeogiaCarry.org, who said in an email to members

What this means for you is that, according to GeorgiaCarry.Org, beginning on July 1 it will be legal to carry a weapon on school grounds.  There is, however, some debate about the new law, with some in law enforcement and schools claiming that the new law must mean something else.  As a result, GeorgiaCarry.Org asks its members to exercise common sense when carrying on school grounds so as to avoid bad publicity with respect to the hypersensitivity likely to be displayed towards a weapon in the school environment.  This will have the added benefit of giving the legislature no good or valid reason to re-criminalize weapons in school when the General Assembly meets again.

Lacking any stupid person flaunting a gun needlessly at some school event, we should be on our way to better protecting our children.

Thank you, Governor Deal, Lindsey Tippins, and the Georgia Legislature!

GeorgiaCarry Convention Report

SAMSUNGI had a great time last month at the GeorgiaCarry.org 5th Annual Convention. I got to meet a lot of great supporters of gun rights in Georgia, and hear some great speakers, and share in the successes and challenges of the last year, and the year ahead.

Some highlights from the convention:

  • There was a TV crew from the Netherlands at the convention all weekend, making a documentary about GeorgiaCarry.org. They were quite friendly, and asked a lot of questions.
  • A protest group, Georgia Gun Sense Coalition, held a protest in front of the convention center, and the event drew about a dozen people, and was covered by a local community news website.
  • There were no Atlanta news outlets covering our convention. I thought this was sad, although not surprising.
  • Despite the fact that Georgia law does not require formal training or testing of any kind in order to receive a Georgia Weapons Carry License, GeorgiaCarry.org has developed a Georgia Firearms Carry Course, which covers basic firearms operations and selection, concealed carry basics, and goes over Georgia Law governing concealed carry. It is the first training class of its kind specifically designed to cover Georgia requirements. During the convention, GeorgiaCarry.org offered, free of charge, a training class to certified NRA instructors, which further certified them to teach this class. Over 30 instructors are now ready to begin teaching.
  • Even though ownership of firearms in Georgia is up significantly in the last year, and GeorgiaCarry.org has added over a thousand members, there has been no increase in the number of firearms deaths or accidents in Georgia in that time.
  • It will be of interest to our neighbors in North Carolina that despite claims that HB89, the law passed in 2008 that allowed carry in restaurants and bars, incidents of blood running in the streets outside these establishments has not been observed. In other words, lawful gun owners obey the laws and mind their own business wherever they are, even when armed.
  • Our main speaker at Saturday night’s banquet was former Presidential candidate at conservative talk show host Herman Cain. Mr. Cain has definite opinions about the state of our government, and about the motives and agendas of the left wing. As he puts it, they want nothing less than to do away with the liberties guaranteed by the US Constitution, and they realize that the main stumbling block to their plans is the Second Amendment. If we ever lose the Second Amendment, there is nothing, practically, to prevent the abolition of the rest of the Constitution.
  • Mr. Cain has definite, specific opinions of the Democratic leadership, which, in the absence of FCC regulations restricting his talk show, he was happy to share with us. I agree with him.
  • I was successful bidder on a year’s membership at Hi-Caliber Gun Range in Holly Springs, in the annual Silent Auction. I can’t wait to go take advantage of it!

I look forward to getting more involved with my local and state representatives about upcoming gun legislation. I also plan to volunteer to man the membership table at local gun shows.

Here It Comes

My heart goes out to the victims of the shootings yesterday at the Washington Naval Yard. I watched the news feed from the first Twitter reports, all through the day. My colleagues and I discussed it, and I withheld judgment until I knew what facts I could.

The murderer appears to have been a relatively normal person. Yes, he had some brushes with the law. He was angry about some things. If that ought to have been some kind of warning to us, then there are a million others that need to be rounded up.

So then he violates almost every existing law in the strictest gun control fortress in the nation, and shoots up the place. Predictably, the gun control factions start their calls for stricter laws.

But everything he did was already against existing laws.

Except the existence of the guns themselves.

Bookmark this post. I am not the only one who will point this out.

We on the side of the Constitution have always insisted that the guns are not to blame for violence, that it is the criminals who should be punished. That cannot be disputed. We, who lawfully and Constitutionally own guns for protection, sport, hunting, or any reason, should not be punished for the actions of criminals.

There is one side, however, which insists on previous restraint of every wrong. To them, anything that can go wrong can be prevented by restricting something, ahead of the potential wrong. So, in the case of gun violence, they pass laws to prevent convicted criminals and the mentally ill from buying guns. And they pass laws preventing anyone from bringing guns into areas where they think there should be no guns.

Only, not everyone who is violent has done something in the past that would have prevented them from lawfully buying a gun. And, strange as it seems, someone who is intent on committing a crime already (murder) sees nothing wrong with violating Gun Free Victim Zone laws.

So, in the near future, the overwhelming logic will become clear in the media: since we can’t know who will kill with guns, we must remove all the guns from society. Now.

Here it comes.

Do not be surprised.

Do not be weak. Look to Australia and Britain if you wonder where this leads.

++++++

I was going to end this post here, with a warning. But I cannot, because, to me, the real answer is obvious and must be presented.

The real answer, for us, is to end this unreasonable insistence that every crime can be prevented with some new law. True, the only way to prevent crime – any crime – is to give the potential criminal a reason to decide not to commit the crime. But believing that some law, which results in a sign or a metal detector or a background check or a potential prison term, will somehow always cause a potential criminal to change his decision, is demonstrably absurd. Yesterday’s events prove that.

What, then, would prevent criminals from carrying out something like the Washington Naval Yard tragedy?

Armed victims.

Thanks to a change in the laws in 1993, no one other than guards may carry guns on a military base. So, the murderer yesterday was attacking a Gun Free Victim Zone. The murderer at Fort Hood last year attacked a Gun Free Victim Zone.

The murderer in Newtown attacked children in a Gun Free Victim Zone.

The murderer in the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, picked that theater because it was a Gun Free Victim Zone.

We must end Gun Free Victim Zones.

If  the potential criminal thinks his targets may be armed, he may decide not to attack. In this case, prior restraint turns out to be a real thing, but only if it is a real thing, not a law or a sign.

And, if the threat of potential victims fighting back does not change the criminal’s mind, then the potential victims do fight back, and the incident is resolved. Not completely peacefully, admittedly, but the final results are much less than they would have been otherwise. Ample historical examples exist. And, the more these kinds of results occur, the more that potential criminals are swayed to prior restraint.

But we must be ready to make this argument, and not be swayed by the other side. Be persistent, and be calm, and be polite.

Here it comes.

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