It seems that the National Rifleman’s Association wants to bring back the old days of the wild west. They seem to believe that every citizen should carry weapons wherever they go. States like Georgia agree with them. They passed a sweeping law that allows people with permits to carry guns everywhere they go, even bars, school zones, government buildings and churches. They did provide a provision where churches and bars can refuse to allow guns into their establishment. They even provided a whopping $100 fine if you violate such bans by the churches.
I am a retired serviceman. I believe in the second amendment. I believe that people have the right to own guns. However, I also believe that owning guns carries certain responsibilities as well. Like receiving training in the proper handling and use of a gun, then being required to hold a permit to own such a gun. I also believe that the government has the right to prohibit certain groups of people from owning guns. In order to ensure these people do not purchase guns, universal background checks are necessary. Hell, even the NRA says that criminals and people with mental illness should not be allowed to carry guns. But, they oppose background checks to weed them out.
This ongoing “wild west” mentality has to stop. What the NRA and backers of such bills as Georgia’s Safe Carry Act of 2014 don’t tell you is that even in the “wild west” towns usually prohibited people from carrying guns in town! That’s right. You could own a gun, you could carry a gun, but if you went to town, you were required to check your gun at the Marshall’s office. You were given it back when you left town.
Seems that these town marshals discovered that a lot of drinking coupled with a lot of guns meant a lot of people were killed. That was something they did not want in their town. When you consider the power struggle between the Earps and the Clantons in Tombstone that resulted in the shooting at the OK Coral, the premise for the Earps to take action was the fact that the Clantons were carrying guns in town. A violation of the town’s ordinance against such “carry”.
Taking into consideration our own history of the so-called “wild west”, I find it ever interesting that groups like the NRA think that returning to those times is the right thing to do. But, they don’t want the ordinances about NOT carrying guns in town. I also find it amusing to believe that it is necessary for some people to think they need to carry a gun into church. Maybe they just want to make it easier to shoot abortion doctors like the one shot to death while attending church in Kansas several years ago.
Georgia State Rep. Alan Powell, a co-sponsor of Georgia’s gun bill said “we had numerous churches testify about wanting to protect themselves from criminal elements. At times, when they’re counting tithes, for example, deacons weren’t allowed to carry a weapon.” How about locking the door?
Fortunately, many churches in Georgia are pushing back. The Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches in Georgia have opposed this law and have specifically told their church members to “leave their guns out of the pews”. Robert Wright, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta said “Jesus did not preach a gospel of self-protection, a gospel of live by the sword, die by the sword. Quite the opposite.”
He went on to say “Weapons in a place of sanctuary seem to me to be inconsistent with a God of love.” The prince of peace isn’t spelled P-I-E-C-E. It’s P-E-A-C-E.” How about that, someone with common sense. He has my backing, for what it’s worth.
However, the Georgia Baptist Convention, made up of 3,600 Baptist churches throughout the state, lobbied on behalf of the bill largely because it gives its churches more autonomy, allowing each to determine on their own whether to allow firearms.
“We think it’s important that churches be able to make their own decisions,” says Mike Griffin, a pastor and lobbyist for the Georgia Baptist Convention. Gee, what a surprise!
The whole idea of carrying guns whenever and where ever you want has become an epidemic. You probably haven’t noticed, but those crazy kids who call themselves “patriotic militia” are still hanging around the Bundy Ranch. They have even put up checkpoints on the roads near the ranch. Other people who live in the area are becoming more and more nervous about them. Some report that these Militiamen are actually demanding to see ID when someone tries to cross their checkpoint.
Apparently, they think they are the law in that part of Nevada right now. The neighbors of Bundy want them to leave, but the Governor won’t do anything about it. Why? Is it that he is so terrified of the NRA? Is it because he agrees that these vigilantes should be protected by the state? He claims it is a local matter to be handled by the Sheriff. Even if the Sheriff wanted to move them out, he would be seriously out-gunned if anything happened.
Florida recently passed a law that allows any legal citizen, with or without a permit, to carry a gun after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane. I guess they want to be able to avoid looting. But, they are going to unleash a real problem with this law. Since it will be legal for people without a permit to carry a gun in such cases, how many “accidental” shootings will happen? We should find out soon. Hurricane season is upon us. I wonder how Governor Scott will console someone who lost everything in a hurricane and then loses a family member due to an “accidental shooting”? Bet you won’t see that on FOX News!
Speaking from experience as someone who did relief work after such disasters in the past, I must admit, I would be somewhat hesitant entering a disaster area knowing just about everyone could be carrying a gun. I like helping people in trouble. That is what we are supposed to do. But I am not fond of the idea of being “accidentally” shot by someone who doesn’t know how to use a gun.
Meanwhile, in a little watched or reported on event, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case over whether Americans have the right to bear arms in public. In the case, John Drake, who operates an ATM business, was challenging a strict New Jersey state law that requires people wanting to carry a handgun outside the home to demonstrate a “justifiable need.”
In dismissing the complaint, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court of appeal decision stating that the New Jersey law is consistent with the Second Amendment.
In the end, I cannot help but wonder what makes so many people think that carrying a gun is the answer to all of life’s questions. I especially find it difficult to defend these so-called “defenders of the second amendment” when they believe they should take guns into churches and school zones. Statistics show that people who own guns are twice as likely to be killed by a gun than those who do not own a gun. Furthermore, the vast number of people killed with guns are shot by their own gun! As the Wicked Witch of the West said, “what a world!”
Yes, citizens should be able to own guns. But, society should also pass reasonable laws to limit who can purchase a gun. It should also be allowed to place certain areas off-limits to carrying a gun. As these people like to say, if it was good enough in the good ole days, it is good enough now. The good ole days included bans on carrying guns in town. We should at least be allowed the right to ban guns in public. Even the Supreme Court agrees with that!