78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment?

January 23, 2014 8:45 am

by Jessica S. · 76 comments

From the blog:
It’s a surprise to absolutely no one by now that campus carry is an issue close to my heart. As a Georgia State University graduate (the school poor Ed deems the best in the nation, Bless him), I believe students deserve better and I feel the state is wrong in hindering their right to protect themselves. Because of this, it irritates me greatly when someone tells me “No one really cares about campus carry” or “It’s just not a hot topic right now”. Oh but it is– in Georgia and across the nation– so you can imagine my confusion upon the release of the AJC poll recently stating 78% of Georgia voters oppose legalizing weapon possession on college campuses. Well, I’ll be darned. I thought this was an interesting tidbit of information so much so that several folks did some investigating and this is what we found.

Let’s discuss by playing the circle game:

  • Jay Bookman is the AJC writer here and polling connoisseur.
  • Bookman’s boss at the AJC is Bert Roughton …the Senior Managing Editor.
  • Mr. Roughton’s wife is a lady named Melinda Ennis Roughton.
  • Mrs. Ennis Roughton holds the ever-so-ironic occupation of Co-Head for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in Atlanta.
  • She is also Executive Director for Georgia’s WIn List, (the Democrat organization looking to elect liberal women to higher offices in Georgia).
  • Georgia WIN will be having their annual Legislative Breakfast on January 30th and the keynote speaker is Jay Bookman.

Now, I am not discrediting the entire poll (which is available here: AJC POLL January 2014) but I do want to consider EXACTLY who was polled.
We’re talking about respondents of which:

  • 41% believe the Georgia economy is not in good shape,
  • 47% believe we should expand Medicare through the ACA,
  • and only 38% of the respondents had children in schools in Georgia.

Nowhere in the poll was the concept of the campus carry act explained: that it would only apply to legal weapons carry permit holders (those over the age of 21 or honorably discharged military)– meaning, people who likely already conceal carry everywhere else in the state.
People uninformed on the issue hear, “Do you want to give college kids guns to take to take to their beer pong matches?” I take great offense to firing off questions (see what I did there) to an uninformed electorate.

I simply can’t help myself in being suspicious of ulterior motives by the AJC here when the reporter et. al is in the sack with the anti-gun lobby and the questions mislead the public. The issue is a Constitutional one….and this poll leads us to believe that 78% of Georgians don’t stand for the Constitution. Again, I am just shocked to my very core that the AJC would seek to mislead.

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

peachpundit (@peachpundit) January 23, 2014 at 8:45 am

New post: 78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment? http://t.co/li1lrtDEsk #gapol

lively64 January 24, 2014 at 6:45 am

Polls can get whatever result you seek.

peachpundit (@peachpundit) January 23, 2014 at 8:45 am

New post: 78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment? http://t.co/li1lrtDEsk #gapol

@DaleRussellFox5 January 23, 2014 at 8:56 am

22% packing heat! @peachpundit New post: 78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment? http://t.co/7pBL5F9UPx … #gapol

@ATLGreg1 January 23, 2014 at 8:57 am

Or they interpret it differently than you. RT @peachpundit: New post: 78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment? http://t.co/CHhRyJ83XY

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 8:58 am

Using Jay Bookman as a source for anything is like citing Wikipedia for a term paper in college. It’s usually full of fluff and BS and always has an agenda. He is also an opinion columnist and not a reporter in any sense of the word. I can make a poll tell me anything I want it to say by the way you phrase the questions. As Jessica has already said, nowhere does the poll explain what campus carry is.

@FlyingGaPeanut January 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

Poll matches my beliefs. RT @peachpundit: New post: 78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment? http://t.co/R7Q1Sm0azz #gapol

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 9:09 am

You can “stand for the Constitution” and be against campus carry.

Michael Silver January 23, 2014 at 9:22 am

I hoping you are jacking us.

The Constitution is pretty clear … “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Its not “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless you are a student at a Government run university”.

Personally, the bigger issue is that AJC is pushing an agenda because they are in bed with the anti-gun organizations (literally). The wife of the Managing Editor of the AJC should not be THE leader of a anti-gun organization. One of them needs to quit so the other can do their job with integrity.

Ed January 23, 2014 at 9:28 am

That’s not exactly what it says and I would be interested to hear grift’s idea.

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 9:35 am

He will cite laws passed and upheld by activist judges as the reasoning behind his statement. “shall not be infringed” is pretty cut and dry in my book.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 9:37 am

So is “well-regulated”

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

Very true, but what you believe a well-regulated militia means and what the founders wrote it to mean are two different things. Well-regulated in the 2nd amendment does not meant that the government has the right to tell you what arms you can have and where. In fact the founders were very specific in this point because the British had outlawed certain “new” rifled barreled muskets because of their deadly accuracy.

Well-regulated in the 2nd amendment means a militia that trains and is like a well oiled machine and can be ready at a moments notice. Washington spoke extensively on the poor fighting of militias that he led during the French and Indian war. They were unprepared and undisciplined. Again, well-regulated in the 2nd amendment means in today’s terms a group of individuals who are prepared and disciplined and ready to fight when they are called. The founders wanted prepared militias throughout the colonies because they feared what a standing army could do for the morale of the people. They believed that a standing army produced tyranny.

So your assessment of what was intended by “well-regulated” is wrong. The very next phrase, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” is very cut and dry. The government can not tell me where I can carry and what I can carry. If people don’t like the Constitution and what is says then try to amendment it. Don’t try to change the meaning of what it says.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 10:06 am

Antonin Scalia and 200 years of juris prudence would disagree. I’m comfortable being on that side of the river.

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 10:52 am

Well I actually read what Scalia wrote in his opinion and it backs up what I posted above. Below is what he wrote with regards to the phrase “well-regulated” and what it applies to.

“The Second Amendment is naturally divided into two parts: its prefatory clause and its operative clause. The former does not limit the latter grammatically, but rather announces a purpose. The Amendment could be rephrased, “Because a well regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” See J. Tiffany, A Treatise on Government and Constitutional Law §585, p. 394 (1867); Brief for Professors of Linguistics and English as Amici Curiae 3 (hereinafter Linguists’ Brief). Although this structure of the Second Amendment is unique in our Constitution, other legal documents of the founding era, particularly individual-rights provisions of state constitutions, commonly included a prefatory statement of purpose. See generally Volokh, The Commonplace Second Amendment , 73 N. Y. U. L. Rev. 793, 814–821 (1998).”

2. Prefatory Clause.
“The prefatory clause reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State … .”
a. “Well-Regulated Militia.” In United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, 179 (1939) , we explained that “the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense.” That definition comports with founding-era sources. See, e.g., Webster (“The militia of a country are the able bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades … and required by law to attend military exercises on certain days only, but at other times left to pursue their usual occupations”); The Federalist No. 46, pp. 329, 334 (B. Wright ed. 1961) (J. Madison) (“near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands”); Letter to Destutt de Tracy (Jan. 26, 1811), in The Portable Thomas Jefferson 520, 524 (M. Peterson ed. 1975) (“[T]he militia of the State, that is to say, of every man in it able to bear arms”).”

“Finally, the adjective “well-regulated” implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training. See Johnson 1619 (“Regulate”: “To adjust by rule or method”); Rawle 121–122; cf. Va. Declaration of Rights §13 (1776), in 7 Thorpe 3812, 3814 (referring to “a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms”).”

Please pay very close attention to the final paragraph that begins with “Finally, the adjective “well-regulated”….

Ball is in your court now griftdrift to explain how I’m reading this wrong. Scalia may believe that laws can be passed that regulate arms and who can own them, but the phrase, “well-regulated” in the second amendment is not his justification as you say it is.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 11:02 am

As much as I’d really like to continue discussing the nuances of the Second Amendment and the cognitive dissonance of the argument that Scalia is for regulation but does not fit it neatly on to the pinhead of the well-regulated clause ( he was using that to correctly justify his position that it is an individual right, not a collective one by the way), here’s the real problem….

I’m on your side, but to you, I’m not on your side ENOUGH.

And much like the good people currently running Georgia Right To Life, it is why you will continue to alienate people who probably want to be on your side, but will never be, because you won’t let them.

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 11:12 am

I understand your point and I hate GRTL more than most because they are pushing people away.

My argument is that if you don’t like what the Constitution says. Then amend it. Most people that hate guns, not including you in this statement, feel they can bend and change the original intent of the founders to say what they will when in reality they have no idea what the original intent was. I understand that we have a court system that in all their wisdom is suppose to tell us how times have changed and what the changing times mean for our rights. I personally feel that the courts have over stepped on many occasions, not just on the second amendment.

Jon Lester January 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

Are you familiar with the Second Militia Act of 1792?

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 11:34 am
DavidTC January 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

You know you’re provably wrong about everything you’re saying, right?

Howso? Because the second amendment didn’t originally restrict the states.

In the original government of the US, the state of Georgia could *indeed* restrict access to guns, because the state of Georgia *was not bound by the second amendment* until the 14th amendment. As these are *state* laws we’re talking about, the constitution, rather obviously, was not any sort of plan of the founders to stop laws like this.

Uh, duh. This is basic US history here, guys. ‘Rights’ under the constitution could be freely infringed by the states until the 14th amendment.

The idea that state and local government would someday not be *allowed* to create laws about gun ownership if they wanted to is something the founders could not have conceived of, and it *certainly* was not true back then. (Of course, plenty of states didn’t want to, and had a right to bear arms in their constitution also.)

In fact, considering the militia were *run by* the states, the second amendment is pretty clearly supposed to be a *state’s right* issue, saying the Federal government couldn’t disarm the state militias. The *state* was obviously presumed to be able to disarm them, or just *not let people into the militia at all*. (Militias, despite nonsense from various people, are not all ‘able bodied men’. Militias are whoever the government says is in the militia. This can be ‘all able bodied men’, thanks to the draft power of governments, or it can be everyone who signs up, or it can be everyone over the age of 72 who owns a Dodge van.)

Under the original intent of the Founders: The US government cannot disarm Georgia’s National Guard, or any other militia Georgia may create. (And *arguably* gun permits are, or at least would have been, the same thing as ‘being in a militia’, so the Federal government can’t disarm anyone the state wishes to own a gun.)

And, uh, that’s pretty much it. Although note the Federal government is in charge of *arming* them in the original constitution, confusingly enough. It can be argued that the second amendment is supposed to override that.

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 3:09 pm

I will concede the fact that it took the fourteenth amendment and 200 years of wonderful wisdom from the folks in black robes to come up with the incorporation doctrine. Basically saying that the majority of the bill of rights are fundamental rights and should be protected as such even at the state level.

I think it is quite amusing that it took over 200 years for the infinite wisdom of the Supreme Court to uphold what the founders’ original intent was. The 2nd amendment does not say the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, unless a state or locality passes a law restricting the purchase and possession of said arms. It clearly says, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

My earlier point about the phrase “well-regulated” applying to the condition and preparedness of a militia and not the ability of the government to regulate arms is true and is supported by Scalia’s opinion in the Heller case.

What is beyond frustrating is when it takes 200 for a group of scholarly opinioned old farts to tell me what I already know to be true. The founding fathers saw the tyranny of a King and parliament that oppressed its people so much that it forced them to revolt. Before the revolution, they had their arms taken from them for no reason other than to make the British troops occupying Boston and New York feel safe from these radicals who only wanted freedom from an oppressive King. The founders felt so strongly about this that they made it the 2nd amendment in the Bill of rights. If they intended to allow the states to infringe upon an individual’s right to bear arms they would have said so. They did not specify this because their intent was exactly what the 2nd amendment states. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” It is clear as day.

On a side note, is their any particular reason you use so many * in your posts? It is quite distracting and something I would assume to see in a teenage girl’s tweet. Just and FYI.

Blake January 23, 2014 at 5:39 pm

If the interpretation of the 2nd amendment is clear as day, then I don’t understand why Scalia limited the definition of “arms” in his Heller opinion. For the 2nd amendment to be an effective vehicle to resist a tyrannical state, the people must be allowed to bear all the arms the government they are resisting exercises. Yet Scalia essentially limited it to handguns and rifles.

DavidTC January 25, 2014 at 8:17 pm

My earlier point about the phrase “well-regulated” applying to the condition and preparedness of a militia and not the ability of the government to regulate arms is true and is supported by Scalia’s opinion in the Heller case.

Yes, that is what ‘well-regulated’ means WRT arms. It does not mean ‘regulated’ in the sense of the law.

However, you are apparently very confused as to what a ‘militia’ is.

Militias (preferable well-regulated, aka, well-maintained) have a right to bear arms, no matter what the Federal government says. That is what the second amendment says.

The problem is that ‘militias’ are things *formed by governments*. It’s not every random guy who wants a gun. It is not every able-bodied citizen, as the right keep claiming. (That is merely a standard phrase used by governments to *create* a militia.) People cannot magically form a group of people and call it a militia. A militia is part of the government…the only difference between it and a ‘military’ is that a militia is made of non-professionals, and that smaller communities tend to have them more than countries. (There’s not any real reason for this besides that fact that towns rarely have armies.)

Local governments can, indeed, decide who is in their militia or not, and thus decide who Federal gun law applies to. They can even cheat and make *everyone* in their militia and make Federal gun laws not apply at all.(1)

They can also pass *whatever the hell* local laws they want about guns. (Both for people in their militia and people not.) I don’t care what the idiotic Supreme Court says, they have literally just *invented* their nonsensical interpretation of the second amendment out of thin air.

I think it is quite amusing that it took over 200 years for the infinite wisdom of the Supreme Court to uphold what the founders’ original intent was.

Erm, are you insane?

The Founders knew, when they passed the second amendment, that it only applied to the Federal government. If they had wanted it to apply to the states, they would have made it apply to the states.

Trying to make something that is a *state right* subject to the incorporation clause of the fourteenth amendment was complete nonsense and the courts never should have done it.

What’s next? States have the right to elect Congressmen, so, under the fourteenth amendment, people can *themselves* Congressmen?

If they intended to allow the states to infringe upon an individual’s right to bear arms they would have said so.

They *did exactly that*, you twit. At the same time they were passing the second amendment, they also passed the tenth amendment, stating that all powers not reserved the Federal government were, tada, *reserved to the states* or the people.

The states, under the original vision of this country as conceived by the Founders, have the right to control guns in themselves. Period. That was how the constitution and bill of rights was designed.

The irony is that all those idjits who run around screaming that the second amendment is a defense against a tyrannic government are right…except they’ve failed to grasp it isn’t to protect the *people* from a tyrannical government, it’s to protect *local communities* from a tyrannical government via the well-defined militia system of the 1800s. Not to be used to *stop* local communities from their own gun control.

1) There’s a reasonable claim to be made that *law enforcement*, as practiced in the US at this time, should be understood to be as part of the remnants of the ‘militia’ system. States very rarely call out the national guard for security, and local communities often don’t even *have* a militia. The functions that a militia would perform are instead done by law enforcement, and thus the second amendment should be interpreted as applying mainly to them. (Not that the Federal government often tries to disarm local law enforcement.)

DavidTC January 26, 2014 at 11:52 am

Or, to put it another way, whenever the constitutional says ‘the people’, it does not mean ‘every individual person’. When it says ‘the people’, it is always talking about local communities. (Or even the community of the entire country, aka, ‘we the people’.) When it wants to talk about individual people, it calls them *persons*.

The tenth amendment is the most obvious example of this. There are plenty of ‘government things’ that are not delegated to the Federal government, and that the state government has not done. For a general example, zoning laws. (And, yes, they had zoning laws in 18th century England and colonies.) But reading the tenth amendment, it says such a power is delegated to ‘the people’. This, obviously, does not mean that individual people somehow have the right to set zoning laws, nor does it mean that zoning laws are unconstitutional. It means ‘the people’, in the collective sense, have the power to set those laws.

And, of course, in the first amendment, there are a lot of individual rights listed (Which the government is simply *barred* from violating, no mention of the owner of the right.), and then a single mention of ‘the people’ in regard to the right of *assembly*, which is, obviously, a collective right.

An interesting example is the fourth amendment, which talks about the rights of ‘the people’ *in abstract*, and then actually sets a rule to keep that right from being infringed. First ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated,’ says what is a collect right of people, and then ‘and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.’ describes how to keep that collect right intact with specific rules about the treatment of individuals.

Where this goes completely screwy is with the poorly phrased second amendment. It’s just a general statement about what rights ‘the people’ have. That’s it. It doesn’t say every individual person has that right, it doesn’t say that the right confers some sort of absolute ability to bear whatever arms in whatever manner they want. (People also have the right to habeus corpus, but that doesn’t mean the government can’t have a reasonable time to respond to the request, or limit the time and manner requests can be made, etc.)

It doesn’t actually even forbid the government from *doing* anything. It simply asserts that something shall not happen…it’s actually possible to read the second amendment as saying “Whatever the government does, that thing will be interpreted as not violating the right to keep and bear arm, because such a thing ‘shall not’ happen. And, thus, whatever did just happen cannot legally be called that.”. This is a stupid interpretation, but it is, in fact, possible to read it that way.

What it almost certainly is intended to be is a general statement that the Federal government cannot generally forcibly disarm local communities, leaving them defenseless against criminals and invaders. Not some sort of absolute power to own any guns anyone wants, and certainly not as any sort of right to own guns *in violation* of a local community’s wishes.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

Antonin Scalia = Activist judge

“Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. [United States v.] Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

That’s from his majority opinion on Heller

Jon Lester January 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

Personally, I want to remain free to buy a semi-automatic AK variant, yet I’m glad we can’t bring guns to bars in Georgia.

Ed January 23, 2014 at 9:29 am

Yes! Let’s damn everybody by association! Mary Matalin can not ethically serve Republican candidates!

Scott65 January 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Not if she has any more botox…have you seen here on TV lately? She can barely move her mouth…but no crows feet!

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 9:35 am

Bad policy does not equal unconstitutional. And you left a clause out of your copy and paste of the Second Amendment. The court has ruled it an individual but right not an absolute right.

I support campus carry for many of the reasons Jessica outlines. However, I understand that people that oppose it are not “against the constitution”. I don’t play drums but I can play music.

I also support the reasonable compromise of opt-in ( local control. property rights. eh? ). And I know already that in some eyes that automatically means I don’t “stand for the Constitution”.

I also think the poll is misleading. I also think Jay’s analysis of it is misleading. I also am troubled by the relationships with WIN and WAND. It’s a raw deal but Caesar’s wife should be above reproach.

But here’s the nut of your problem. I support your position, but the more that you place the entire argument into “us” agin “them” with one “standing for the constitution” and the other not, the more I begin to question my position.

Sometimes you have to look around and see who’s on your side.

Clear enough?

Jackster January 23, 2014 at 9:50 am

The 2nd amendment provisions became moot when civilians could no longer arm themselves with the same weapons the military would use. Also, when militias when out of style, like in the 90s.

So then it boils down to protecting your self and your property really. In that case, I would assume you would do what is necessary to protect them. That’s why it’s a liberty – it’s an option you can exercise at your discretion to make you happy.

To that end, carrying a firearm concealed or not, might be what folks need to feel safe and happy. It also serves as a warning to those of us who do not subscribe to that level of fear that they may be a little odd.

Also, I prefer to carry my hatchet (tomahawk) in a concealed manner – it’s totally what our founding fathers did, effective, and totally bad ass.

Jackster January 23, 2014 at 9:43 am

I’d appreciate it if you would stand for the constitution. It’s pretty clear when it says, “Thou shalt not use my name in vein”. Jacked? C’mon.

Jacked used to be what happened to white people in south central while drinking their juice in the hood.

Ed January 23, 2014 at 9:49 am
Ed January 23, 2014 at 9:11 am

“the school poor Ed deems the best in the nation”

1) I just say what everyone else tells me.
2) They say in the world.

Noway January 23, 2014 at 9:17 am

Like the screeching libs say Obamacare is the law of the land, well, so is the Second Amendment. Carry on campus, law be damned.

Thomas Adams (@GeorgiaCRE) January 23, 2014 at 9:29 am

78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment? – From the blog: It’s a surprise to absolutely no one by now that … http://t.co/lIpqUvnkmW

2g Strategies (@2gstrategies) January 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

From @peachpundit 78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment? http://t.co/j2o5rOvyRi

David C January 23, 2014 at 9:47 am

100% of Georgians oppose falsely shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. 100% of Georgians are “Anti-First Amendment.” Funny how this works?

saltycracker January 23, 2014 at 9:53 am

Makings for an xfinity humor ad of consequences – student can carry, student must be 21, oldest students are athletes, athletes on steroids, steroids cause rage…shoot first…. :)
Mixed emotions on this: as a gun rights advocate, the thought of being a 19 year old in class with a 21 y o packing leaves me wondering why intimidate those not of my ilk….Ok with my professor or campus cop packing just not those of us focusing on the college experience….rather check that gun at the door…..

Jay Bookman January 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

Let me respond to what are at root some pretty serious allegations:

1.) You complain about the wording of the poll question, while offering no evidence that you yourself have read the question even though the AJC made it publicly available.

For your readers, here’s how the question was worded:

“Georgia law currently prohibits guns on school property, in nuclear power plants, at bars with the bar owner’s permission, in government buildings, in state mental hospitals, and in churches, temples and mosques. Some Georgians want to loosen gun restrictions, while others want to maintain or tighten gun restrictions. How about you? Do you favor or oppose allowing students to carry guns on college campuses?”

No, it’s not how a Second Amendment advocate would have worded it. It also makes no mention of beer pong. It reads pretty straight to me, and if you want to argue that the wording is secretly loaded to elicit a certain outcome and is responsible for 78 percent of Georgians saying no, you are seeing things I do not.

2.) The suggestion here is that Bert Roughton committed a major breach of journalistic ethics by somehow manipulating the results of a poll. It’s a very serious charge, yet the sole evidence that you muster to back up the charge is the identity of his spouse. In my moral universe, that does not rise to the level of evidence that would be needed to level such an accusation responsibly.

I’m also not sure what the cure to such a situation should be. Personally, I think that here in the 21st century, professional men and women ought to be treated as individuals and presumed to have minds of their own and opinions of their owns, as couples such as James Carville and Mary Matalin demonstrate. I know that anybody who makes an assumption about my wife’s point of view based on my own is likely to get an earful. Evidently, you have a different view of such matters.

I have known Roughton for more than 20 years, and cannot recall him ever making a remark of a political nature. I have met his wife Melinda maybe two or three times, with the cumulative time of conversation probably short of five minutes.

3.) Finally, let me comment on your use of using what you call the “circle game,” which can be used to suggest almost anything. For example, it pops up quite often in just-for-fun discussions of college football. Vanderbilt beat Georgia, which beat LSU, which beat Auburn, so using the circle game, Vandy was clearly better than Auburn and should have played for the national championship. Right?

Except, no. Everyone recognizes that even in fun, that’s not reality. Neither are the charges that you attempt to level here.

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 11:31 am

Jay, you know that that polling is a science and an art all at the same time. You have the art of getting the result you want by the phrasing of the question. This is what I suggest has been done in this situation. Who knows if this was done intentionally.

You also have the science side of polling where you honestly want to know what people are thinking and try to form a question to get the most unbiased results you can. That was not done with this question. Your use “students” skewed the results. When you say student people think of their child not a 21 year old individual. By leaving out the fact that this would only apply to those individuals who already have a concealed carry licenses also changes the results. A more appropriate phrasing of the question would be “law abiding individuals with concealed carry permits who are 21 or older.”

Again you used the art of polling rather than the science of polling to show the result you wanted to show. Do the poll again with my wording changes and I guarantee you will be a more unbiased response.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 11:31 am

Since I played a little part in this hootenanny, let me clear up some things. I never meant to imply that Roughton was in any way unethical. Maybe Jessica did. Maybe she will clarify. However, my personal opinion is the relationship is troubling. As with your relationship with WAND, Jay. It’s troubling because to me it indicates a blind spot where you might not look at your position critically. But certainly not unethical.

Having said that, I’ve “known” Jay for 20 years and know that he has no problem questioning his position or treating it self critically. That’s a critical point. And it’s one some of the authors of this blog and elsewhere on the right would find value in learning.

Bottom line, fair enough, Jay. If I implied any way you or Bert were unethical, it was not my intent.

jiminga January 23, 2014 at 12:06 pm

The question “Do you favor or oppose allowing students to carry guns on college campuses?” probably should have been phrased as “Do you favor or oppose allowing students who meet existing qualifications under state law to carry guns on college campuses?”. The devil is in the details.

Blake January 23, 2014 at 11:11 am

Even the NRA didn’t interpret the 2nd amendment as granting an unlimited right to carry a gun until the 1960s.


Campus carry is just another chapter in the hideous waste of the continuing culture wars.

DavidTC January 23, 2014 at 12:04 pm

I really wish some acknowledgement would be made over the fact that all the debate over this ‘constitutional right’ is essentially a way for the gun industry (aka, the NRA) to keep selling more and more guns to the same small group of people. (At this point, only one out of five American households own guns…and they own enough guns to arm the entire population.)

It has completely distorted any discussion over this. It has resulted in completely nonsensical laws based on paranoid delusions, or crazy arguments that ignore the fact that violent crime has *drastically* dropped, and complete inability to do things that would not even *slightly* restrict anyone’s ability to do anything that’s legal, like magazine size rules.

But no. The NRA is in charge of one side, so the right must do anything whatsoever to SELL MORE GUNS.

The right has a real problem with special interest groups hijacking issues, and arguing them to places that it isn’t actually smart for the right to go.

seenbetrdayz January 23, 2014 at 4:36 pm

When someone exercises freedom of speech people don’t run around screaming about how it’s just a ploy to encourage microphone sales. Self defense is a natural right. Whether the gun industry thrives or goes bankrupt, self defense is still a natural right, same as the others found in our Bill of Rights.

Blake January 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm

“When someone exercises freedom of speech people don’t run around screaming about how it’s just a ploy to encourage microphone sales.”

No, they don’t. That doesn’t change the reality on the ground that it would be more honest if the NRA renamed itself the National Association of Gun Manufacturers (Lobbying Division).

@jaybookmanajc January 23, 2014 at 11:19 am

I’ve posted a response to: RT @peachpundit: New post: 78% of Georgians are Anti-Second Amendment? http://t.co/1Q57If3zw3 #gapol

Jay Bookman January 23, 2014 at 11:40 am

Grift, what is my “relationship” with WAND? I make a speech with them once a year, and that’s it in its entirety. Yesterday I spoke to Leadership Atlanta. In April I’ll speak to the ACCG.

All of these appearances are unpaid. AJC ethics rules require that we take no compensation for personal appearances, which are considered to be part of our jobs, and that’s how it ought to be.

Ed January 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

Just FWIW, I typed this out earlier and didn’t post it but… there seems to be a lot of fairly serious accusations being thrown around about Jay and the AJC and literally no evidence. I think it might be best for everyone to tread lightly. (No Jay Bookman fan but a big AJC fan.)

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 11:49 am

I have made no accusations.

Ed January 23, 2014 at 11:53 am


I mean, I know Galloway has frequently talked to YRs and YDs or participated in their events as a moderator or whatever. Is he “potentially blind” to the shortcomings of either party? This one doesn’t carry much water, grift.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I said that it troubles me. For reasons that I’ve outlined and more that I’ll be happy to share the next time you pick up my bar tab. That’s a personal opinion, not an accusation. If it’s weak, so be it.

And let me clarify one thing. At no point have I accused anyone of doing anything unethical. But if it is continued to be implied here or elsewhere that I did, then Jay will not be the only one with his hackles up.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I replied, Ed. But apparently my comment is awaiting moderation.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 11:48 am

The speech has always bothered me. Like I said, it could indicate a blind spot where you have trouble approaching their issues self-critically. As I said before I don’t think it has. But you know as well as I do, Jay, that relationships in the press are delicate things because you want to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. It’s why for decades your employer wouldn’t run certain ads in the business section.

And one particular blind spot the press has is the power of the liberal media myth and all it’s conspiratorial nature. Stuff like this just feeds the beast and it is the media’s own lack of awareness of its impact that causes you so much trouble down the road. Then you look around and wonder why not only are you being attacked but why it is being successful.


As far as I’m concerned, you’re response was fair. It clarifies things to my content. And I’m happy to move on.

Or. Do y0u really want to talk about people judging people’s decisions based on what their wives do? Cause I’d be happy to continue that line of thought. Hopefully responsibly.

Jay Bookman January 23, 2014 at 11:52 am

No, Grift. I’ve said my piece as well and won’t comment further.

Jessica S. January 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm

I did not imply any ethical breach….all of that has been done in the comments section.
Having said that, you’re wrong in your assumption that I didn’t read the poll, or encourage the readers to do so as well. I read all 68 pages of it and it’s linked in the article here and on my personal blog. I’m all about full disclosure.
I think you can read the article over and over and see no accusations, only irony. And we all love irony. And connections. And circle games.

John Konop January 24, 2014 at 6:39 am


The diference as I see it is you took a personal shot at Jay. His article was about an issue….I do not agree with Jay on guns…but that said your points should be about the issue, not a personal shot. And if you disagree about the poll than present your facts….in reality you can do what you want…..and making it personal did get you more views…..the real question is do you want to be about issues or spewing at people you disagree with? This is really more about you than Jay…..

Jessica S. January 24, 2014 at 8:35 am

Please point to the section in the article where there was anything about Jay Bookman personally or his personal life.

John Konop January 24, 2014 at 10:02 am


Seriously, you do not read this as a hit essay on Jay? The truth is most issues are more gray than black and white. BTW black and white type writing, TV….. sells via people watching the circus…..and firing up the base…..but it does not solve anything….The real issue as I said before is do you want to part of the solution or a part of the circus….

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I personally have no problem with Jay speaking anywhere he wants. You are assuming that he is suppose to be an unbiased journalist. He isn’t. There is a reason that his columns are in the Opinion section. He is no more an unbiased journalist than Sean Hannity, Glen Beck or Al Sharpton are. He gives a liberal spin on things like others in the paper give a conservative spin. As long as you know that, and take what he says as what it is, his opinion, then there is nothing wrong.

griftdrift January 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm

I assume no such thing. Jay is a liberal. In many ways he is the liberal voice of the AJC ( I could right a dissertation on what that means and why it’s not a simple label but that’s for another time )

Here is my problem. Note I said “my”, not anyone else’s if they choose for it not to be.

I have a rather high expectation that columnists of any stripe have the ability to self-analyze. Challenging one’s self is a critical tool for even those of the narrowest polemical stripe. Otherwise you simply turn into a parrot.

I find polemicists who have the capability to challenge themselves to be the most interesting and frankly, the most useful. Jay certainly does that.

The “speech” bothers me because to me it gives the veneer that his opinions, vis a vis his writings, are conjoined with that particular group (although I believe that’s probably not true either and I bet I can name areas where they disagree).

My experience is getting too close to these types of “advocacy groups” breeds epistemic closure in a columnist.

And so it bothers me. Kind of like a burr in my pants bothers me. There are things in this world that bother me a great deal more.

TheEiger January 23, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Fair enough. I would have to agree with that.

John Konop January 23, 2014 at 3:05 pm


We agree politically a lot….I would put you in the pragmatic fiscally rational side on the spectrum of views. I have debated issues with Jay numerous times through the years….I find him rather open minded about the debates, and it is never personal….just different views at times…Jay has done a good job of opening myself up to different prospective on issues.

Jay knows I am more conservative than him, but he has always been very friendly to me. I actually enjoy and welcome the debate on issues……I have a lot of respect for Jay, even though we debate issues….He is a very bright guy…talking with smart people agree or not generally makes you smarter….I think Jay likes to make ironic points and agree or that was his point he was trying to make I think…….ironically I agree with you on this issue via guns….

jiminga January 23, 2014 at 12:00 pm

I cancelled my subscription to the AJC long ago, and it seems their claims to have become more moderate are untrue.

gcp January 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Campus carry? Make it legal for licensed individuals at all state institutions but let private schools such as Emory and Oglethorpe make their own decision.

Jay Bookman January 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm

So, “I am just shocked to my very core that the AJC would seek to mislead” = “I did not imply any ethical breach”?

At any rate, I’m glad to get that cleared up.

Jessica S. January 23, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Maybe you didn’t necessarily mislead based on the ethical side of things mentioned in this article?

Harry January 23, 2014 at 2:28 pm

It would have been easy to state the question in a correct way.

Michael Silver January 23, 2014 at 2:39 pm

but that wouldn’t get the result desired by the husband of the co-head of Moms Demand Action.

Scott65 January 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm

Jessica…as someone who promotes women in all professions as being worthy of the same respect as men (which I agree with), blaming a poll being flawed on the political leanings of ones wife seems a bit on the sexist side to me…and not keeping in the spirit that you have promoted in the past. This post was a bit over the top…and lacking of evidence. 9 out of 10 people I posed the question to today agreed that there should not be guns on college campuses except in the hands of law enforcement. I agree with that. I am also every bit as American as you as are most of the people here (even Harry…I mean what would America be like without Harry), even if we dont think everyone and their uncle should be packin’. You really ought to apologize to Jay. You are entitled to your opinion…but so is everyone else. You should respect that…and in fact rejoice in the fact that we all are allowed to have our own opinions in this great county we live in. Have a look at video coming out of Ukraine if you dont fully appreciate that fact.

Jessica S. January 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm

With all due respect, I am not going to apologize for voicing an opinion the same way Mr. Bookman does each and every day. I am not responsible for what has transpired in the comments section and I have clearly articulated what I initially meant and what I meant the entire time.

Blake January 23, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Maybe just apologize for your insinuations, then.

Jessica S. January 24, 2014 at 8:43 am

I didn’t insinuate anything.
I made it clear that those “championing” the liberal agenda have very tight-knit, incestuous relationships. This is true.
I also said I felt the poll was misleading because I read the question (And provided it for you all) and it didn’t explain what campus carry is. This is also true.

griftdrift January 24, 2014 at 9:03 am

You have no evidence Bert Roughton “champions” the liberal agenda other than erroneous pre-conceived notions about how the press works. Herein lies the problem.

And you more than insinuated that he not only influenced a poll but also Jay’s analysis of that poll solely based on what his wife does.

As Jay indicated, that would be a serious ethical breach.

And this was not said in the comments,

“I simply can’t help myself in being suspicious of ulterior motives by the AJC here when the reporter et. al is in the sack with the anti-gun lobby and the questions mislead the public.”

You’re wrong here, Jessica.

John Konop January 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm

I agree with Grift…..Jessica you are very bright person, you could do better…..

seenbetrdayz January 23, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Are you talking about the Ukraine where the government has guns and the people don’t?