It appears that some of our Georgia lawmakers are in favor of House Bill 89 on steroids.
“I personally feel there are a lot of restrictions that should not be there,” said Senate Majority Whip Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg), chairman of a Senate committee that began studying the state’s gun laws Tuesday.
“People who get these [carry] permits are extremely law-abiding citizens,” Seabaugh said. “Those who have no regard for the law are carrying guns anyway.”
Of course there’s the opposition:
Alice Johnson of Georgians for Gun Safety said the meeting lacked objectivity.
“We don’t disagree there should be some comprehensive changes,” she said after the meeting, “but what we saw was only one side having the chance to express themselves.
“Firearms on college campuses and schools, those are some very serious issues.”
Guns on Georgia campuses was attempted last session, but failed due to… bingo, a shooting on a college campus:
Bearden sponsored a bill this year, which didn’t gain traction in the House, that would have allowed people to carry guns onto college campuses. Last year, discussion of allowing guns on campuses was stalled by the Virginia Tech shootings, which occurred during the 2007 session.
The issue of guns on college campuses may be especially hard to accomplish in Georgia due to the independence of the Board of Regents:
Georgia’s public universities are independently governed by the Board of Regents. Because that independence is built into the Georgia Constitution, the General Assembly may not be able to easily force a change on campuses.
University System lobbyists attended the committee meeting. University System spokesman John Millsaps later said the Regents support the current ban.
And of course then there’s always the ultimate question that I have:
Johnson, the gun safety advocate, questioned how police officers would know the difference if faced with someone carrying a weapon.
“The idea that somehow law enforcement can make a distinction between someone who is intending to commit harm and someone who is intending to defend other people, that’s a false distinction,” she said. “That’s not something law enforcement can figure out on the front end.”
That last part is always the one I wonder about the most… how is law enforcement supposed to tell the victims from the criminal if both are holding guns? Maybe a special t-shirt?
I think George Carlin said it best:
A lot of the people who keep a gun at home for safety are the same ones who refuse to wear a seat belt.