The power of fear

Much was made about the passing and signing into law of Georgia House Bill 60, otherwise known as the “guns everywhere” bill.  I have my reservations about that bill as I have said before.  One area that was fought over and was removed from the bill was the campus carry part.  Now, it seems that campus carry was placed into another bill signed by Gov. Deal this week anyway, Georgia House Bill 826.

WSB-TV ran a story on it, and unsurprisingly, the gun crowd is already gloating about having campus carry signed into law, even though it was done by putting a loophole the size of Stone Mountain in legislation.

“I think it’s wonderful, I’ve been fighting for this for years,” said Luke Crawford, president of KSU’s students for concealed carry.

He and other gun advocates like Georgia Carry say  the loophole in House Bill 826 now allows licensed gun owners to carry weapons on any real property or building owned by or leased to any school or post-secondary institution.

“I’ll no longer have to enter a place where I’m defenseless,” Crawford said.

I guess Mr. Crawford doesn’t feel like a man unless he has his gun.  I don’t understand the logic, but there are some who must think they are constantly a target for some violent episode that they’ll be able to thwart with their “trusty iron”.  College is supposed to be about learning.  If you feel defenseless sitting in a classroom, then get your degree online from the safety of your own home.  I can’t begin to understand how people can function in this society in the face of all this fear wafting through the air.

From the same news piece, it’s also obvious that neither Governor Deal nor his staff actually read what they’re signing.

Huddleston talked to Gov. Nathan Deal’s staff about the law. Their understanding of the law, which Deal signed, allows a parent to have a licensed gun in their car if they are picking up their child at school, but they cannot enter a school building with it.

But gun advocates say, the way the law is written now, gives them the right to carry guns in schools.

However, when you look at the actual legislation, you see this passage here.

GA HB 826a

GA HB 826b

It seems as though Governor Deal and his people need to go back and take a remedial English course.  The idea he had of that law was struck through thereby creating a huge loophole in the legislation.  It doesn’t specifically say inside a school building, but there is nothing in there that says school buildings are off-limits either.  Most high schools already have a resource officer in place, so the thought of John Q. Public becoming “Rambo” and saving the day is highly unlikely.  In most instances, I can see where JQP ends up staring down the barrel of a police rifle if something happens that requires a police response.  There’s no sticker or caption that lets the police know good guy from bad guy when they first arrive at the scene.  If it’s an active shooter situation, anybody that’s NOT the police will be considered dangerous until everything is sorted out.

I’m not anti-gun in the least.  I own several guns, and I’m authorized to carry as required or necessary.  What I am, however, is very pro-safety.  Nowhere in any of this gun hoopla have I seen training, safety, or anything in that area discussed or put into legislation.  There is a chance, however small, that a person will be involved in a school shooting situation.  There is a chance, as well, of an unintentional discharge of that weapon being carried by a student.

Who will be held liable in the event of an accidental death due to an unintentional discharge?  Does the concealed carry permit holder simply get off with an oops, while another family is left to grieve over a senseless death?  Will the school be liable for that death, causing liability insurance to skyrocket in Georgia?

We pay taxes for this group of people called police.  They are trained and equipped to handle violent situations.  If you’re so afraid of life that you must have a gun at school, church, or when you go take a dump, then consider the idea of hiring more police.  I would feel much better knowing the people carrying the guns are trained and there’s a way that I can verify their training is up to date.  There is no such way to do that for concealed carry people.  As long as elected officials are governing in fear, we’re going to see more of these fear based laws taking shape.  I pray that nobody loses their life or a family member over any acts of stupidity coming from this law.  I know most gun owners are quite responsible people, but my worry isn’t directed towards them.  I’m worried about that small percentage that can best be described as nuts.

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11 thoughts on “The power of fear

    • I’d feel much better about this if there was a training component. I know that won’t eliminate all accidents and stuff, but I think training would be better than what’s being done.

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  1. Bro, I don’t think this is as much about fear as it is about power. (Just as I don’t think the anti-abortion stuff is as much about saving babies as it is about punishing women.) A small subset of people really are afraid. A somewhat larger group likes to have their guns with them and doesn’t want the nuisance of having to remember to take the gun out of the glove compartment when they go to some specific place. But the biggest and loudest group are trying to prove they really do run the country. Yeah, we might have a brown Kenyan socialist in the White House, probably through trickery or election fraud, but Real Americans can still stand up for American Values. The things that made this country great.

    It’s not about what’s in the law or what the consequences of the law might turn out to be. It’s that it’s an in-your-face law made by Real Americans.

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    • There may be something to the power angle, especially when putting this into the same context as the abortion debate. I’ll have to ponder on that one, but you may be on to something there.

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  2. Call me cynical but I’d bet the the “surprise” loophole via the language in the bill is no surprise at all.

    This could be an innocent oversight but with this being a huge issue I just don’t buy it but that’s just me.

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    • If anything, I’m betting that I’d have to call you correct. Loopholes, such as one like this, don’t happen by accident. I wouldn’t buy that excuse for anything. With the number of supposed lawyers who are in elected offices, I find it hard to believe they can’t read a friggin’ legal document.

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  3. Brosephus,

    I still feel like a man even when I must go unarmed at times in order to obey the law. I’m just aware that as an unarmed man I have a diminished ability to deal with armed predators. I’ll be hiding or running somewhere first chance I get with you and all the other unarmed men if armed criminals strike, unless I have a good chance to throw a martial arts move on the armed bad guy(s). I assure you, in that situation I will not feel that I’m less of a man than you are. We’ll be in the same boat. Perhaps you are projecting your own fear of being less of a man for not desiring to fight back with a firearm?

    On the contrary, were I to be armed and able to stop such a threat, I would not feel superior as a man to any other man in that situation. I will simply understand that I had a hardware tool that enabled me to have the option of repelling force with force. I do feel that us men should take more responsibilty for our own safety and that of our loved ones rather than appealing to the police, who, more often than not, arrive in time to take surviving victim statements and write a report.

    It seems like you are emotionally attempting to bait men who choose to be armed in public by engaging in the elementary school tactic of belittling without justification. Strange how even adults will often do that when they lack good arguments for their position. I’d wager that Mr. Crawford will not call you less of a man for disagreeing with him, but that’s what gentlemen like him do.

    Regarding accidental or negligent discharges, nothing in the new gun laws change anything with regard to that. A person can still be held criminally negligent if the evidence agrees, and at least civilly liable even when not criminally liable. Involutary manslaughter is still a felony that could get one put away for years in prison.

    Speaking of the police, there is no rash of police shootings of armed good guys during or after the mere citizen uses his firearm to stop a crime. Usually, the police are smart enough to know the difference, or maybe the civilian good guys put away their guns when the police arrive. See how that works? If you are so afraid of the police shooting you, then you are certainly free to not use a firearm to try and help anyone being victimized by a criminal. Leave it those of us who have no such fear.

    Regarding the fear of lack of government mandated training, most of us who carry actually do have training, both formal and informal, because we are sensible and that’s the sensible thing to do. Many of us shoot more often and hit the bullseye more often than many police do. So your fear regarding that is lacking foundation. Civilian shootings against criminals have a higher hit rate and a smaller bystander hit rate than that of police. This is supported by actual statistics.

    Licensed carriers already lawfully carry at public park playgrounds, stores, malls, restaurants, and movie theaters that are filled with children, and there has been no blood in the streets at the hands of “untrained” licensed carriers going nuts in those places. I’ve open carried my pistol at least a dozen playgrounds dozens of times, and have not witnessed one parent grab their child and leave or call 911 on me. I guess the parents just saw me as the lawful citizen that I am, behaving myself while armed. Apparently, they did not fear me, and that’s a good thing. Maybe you can take a lesson from them.

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    • Your first mistake is to assume that I am unarmed. I don’t feel the need to carry, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t. I won’t put all my personal business online, but I’ve likely dealt with more dangerous people at work than you will encounter in your lifetime.

      I am well trained and qualified to respond to dangerous situations. That training also includes threat assessment. Only a fool goes running into a shootout without knowing what and who he’s up against. Sometimes, it’s better to pull back but the adrenaline junkies will never admit that.

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  4. Laws tell you what you can not do, not what you can do. The “you can do it” is always in the exceptions/exemptions. If the law tells you that you can not carry in a building, then you can not. If it does not tell you that you can not carry into a building, then you can. HOWEVER, the “in a building” language is inserted in the new HB60 Law in the new definition of a “school safety zone”. http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20132014/144825.pdf Line 231 states: “231 (1)(3) ‘School safety zone’ means in or on any real property or building owned by or”. This Bill adds the language “or building” and the word “in” is already there. This language will be merged with HB826.

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  5. Hopefully when all said and done after July 1st, 2014, it should look “something” like this:
    OCGA 16-11-127.1
    (b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (c)…
    (c)The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to:
    (7) A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129…..
    …when he or she is within a” school safety zone”.
    Now lets define “School Safety Zone” per this code.
    (9) ‘School safety zone’ means in or on any real property or building owned by or
    leased to any public school or postsecondary institution.
    Lets define “post secondary school” per this code.
    (7) ‘Postsecondary institution’ means a school which is a unit of the University System
    of Georgia or branch of the Technical College System of Georgia.
    Oh, and don’t forget that most important last line of HB826, line 426;
    “426 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.”

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    • If there’s a training requirement included in the permit issuance process, then I would feel better about such laws. Simply allowing someone to carry a gun on school property because they think they will be John Wayne and save the day is not wise at all.

      Friendly fire kills just as enemy fire does. If there’s an active shooter situation, how will the responding police determine who the shooter is when there are students running all around with guns out and ablaze? When the wrong person gets dropped by the police, people are going to blame the police for shooting an innocent student without ever having to consider the split second decisions the police have to make.

      This is a solution in search of a problem in my view. If you don’t feel safe, change schools or hire more police. There’s a reason why they have to continuously train for emergency situations.

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