Georgia Rustled a Lot of Jimmies With Its New Gun Rights Bill

Nathan Deal, the governor of Georgia, recently signs a pretty sweeping gun rights bill:

Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation today that would vastly expand where Georgians can legally carry firearms, a proposal that has drawn heaps of praise and scorn from outside groups.

“People who follow the rules can protect themselves and their families from people who don’t follow the rules,” said Deal, adding: “The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should reside at the forefronts of our minds.”

It’s nice to see the people of Georgia have better legal options available for their self-defense. But what’s really entertaining about the signing of this bill are the number of anti-gunner jimmies that it rustled. Let’s start with Warren Summers, the chief of police of Norcross, Georgia:

Picture this: It’s a pleasant summer day. The kids are out of school, and you’ve decided to take them to the local park. You’re sitting on a park bench in the shade, watching them play, when you suddenly notice a man dressed in a heavy winter coat approaching the playground.

As he scurries past you, you notice a handgun strapped around his waistband. Alarmed? You should be. Who is this man, and why is he armed at your children’s playground? Concerned enough to call the local police?

I find it ironic that a police officer is trying to make people who carry handguns near schools sound sinister. That’s exactly what cops do. Most of us who live in larger metropolitan areas don’t know the cops personally so we don’t know if they are level-headed individuals or violent psychopaths. If you’re concerned about a stranger without a badge carrying a gun near a school then you should be equally worried about a stranger with a gun and a badge carrying a gun near a school. Or you could be a sensible human being and realize that a vast majority of us are nonviolent so assuming every stranger you see is maleficent is a pretty paranoid attitude.

Slate, always a great source of hysterics, took it’s usually sarcastic tone when discussing the signing of the bill:

The problem in Georgia isn’t that you can’t own a gun. The problem, you see, is that once you do own a gun you can’t take it absolutely everywhere you want to. But what to do about those pesky restrictions on where you can, and cannot, pack heat? Problem solved. On Wednesday, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed a bill that doesn’t cramp gun owners’ gun-toting style so much by vastly expanding where firearms can be legally carried in the state.

That actually was a problem and will remain a problem as the bill didn’t eliminate all gun-free zones. ThinkProgress (can you tell I was searching through well-known anti-gun websites for blog fodder) almost disappointed me but then redeemed itself in the last paragraph:

The provision authorizing guns in bars is especially likely to result in an uptick of violence. According to Washington State University Sociology Professor Jennifer Schwartz, “40% of male [homicide] offenders were drinking alcohol at the time” of their offense, and about one in three female offenders were also drinking.

Let me first point out that Minnesota allows permit holder to carry firearms into bars. You can even legally have a drink so long as your blood alcohol level stays below .04%. Guess what? Our state’s bars haven’t turned into murder zones. In fact permit holders in this state committing murder or manslaughter is only .542 per 100,000 versus 1.78 per 100,000 of the general population. So the concern that allowing permit holder to carry in bars will cause an increase in violence is nothing more than fear mongering. I also applaud ThinkProgress for including a link to a totally irrelevant study. 40% of male homicide offenders may have been drinking but that doesn’t mean they were permit holders, drinking at a bar, or otherwise fall in the demographics that ThinkProgress is trying to demonize.

My next stop in the search for rustled jimmies was Salon. Unlike ThinkProgress, Salon delivered up front:

This probably won’t come as news to Salon’s readers in the state of Georgia, but it turns out it’s way, way, way too hard in the Peach State for one to procure and go everywhere with a gun. So the state Legislature, keeping its eyes firmly fixed on the real issues that matter, is on the verge of remedying this grave injustice by eliminating seemingly every single law regulating firearms in Georgia (which, considering this is Georgia, might not be quite as much work as it seems).

So much impotent sarcasm. We can see that the mere fact that Georgia tends to lean towards gun rights really upsets the staff at Salon. But the real gold was found towards the end:

As if all of that weren’t enough, MoJo reports that the bill would also so broaden the state’s SYG regulations that even a person using a gun he does not legally hold would be allowed to claim a SYG defense.

Oh. My. God. This bill enables people to use whatever tool they have at hand, regardless of whether or not they legally hold it, to defend their life? What a travesty! How dare somebody be allowed to legally defend themselves with something they don’t legally hold! Seriously, that paragraph was probably the best find in my search for rustled jimmies. It packs so much stupidity into such a small paragraph.

I really enjoy it when pro-gun rights legislation passes because it really, really upsets people who think everybody has a moral duty to die at the hands of a violent criminal instead of defending themselves. When somebody subscribes to such a cockamamie idea I relish seeing them not get what they want.