Led by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry, protestors defied calls for efforts to stop gun violence, despite a solid majority of Georgians supporting mandatory background checks and bans on assault weapons.
McBerry, along with his boisterous followers claimed that any federal gun laws are unconstitutional and claimed that the federal government is staging mass shootings to take guns away from citizens.
Yes, just when you thought folks like former State Senator Chip Rogers were leading the Tin Foil Hat Brigade, McBerry publicly opened his mouth. Again.
McBerry and his followers seem to have more bark than bite but it hasn’t stopped Georgia legislators from turning words into action by filing gun bill after gun bill.
Led by newly elected State Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw), guns are a hot topic under the Gold Dome and for good reason. Following the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December, politicians on both sides of the aisles realized that now was the time to act.
Rep. Gregory is one of those politicians, however he is taking a radical approach that is shortsighted and very dangerous.
Just five days after the shootings at Sandy Hook, then Rep.-elect Gregory pre-filed a host of gun-related legislation with only one target in his crosshairs: ensuring nothing will prevent Georgians from accessing more weapons.
If passed into law, the Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2013 would allow Georgians to carry concealed weapons without permits, as long as they’re law abiding citizens, because frankly, who needs a license to handle something that can kill?
What Rep. Gregory and other proponents of his legislation fail to understand, is that a majority of Georgians actually support many of the gun violence measures outlined by President Obama, including a federal ban on assault weapons and a ban on high capacity magazines.
In a recent poll conducted by 11Alive, 56 percent of Georgians believe that the bans should pass and an incredible 75 percent of Georgians believe background checks should be mandatory.
Rep. Gregory is not the only legislator trying to make sure that sensible gun laws are not on the books in Georgia. Just as Congress begins its debate over gun laws, Rep. Tommy Benton is pushing the Georgia Firearms Freedom Act, that if passed, would nullify many federal gun laws.
According to Benton, weapons that are produced in the state of Georgia aren’t subject to the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution and therefore federal law has no jurisdiction on guns made and sold in the state.
Yes, the Wild West is staging a comeback, this time in the Peach State.
When overwhelming numbers of Georgians and Americans are ready to stand up and end gun violence, we cannot sit still while our legislators blatantly ignore the wishes of the citizens they represent.
Contact Rep. Gregory and Rep. Benton today and let them know that Georgia is not going to once again move backward while the country pushes ahead with measures to make sure that guns don’t end up in the hands of criminals or the mentally ill.
We cannot and should not let the lunatic fringe define the issue of guns.
There are pragmatic solutions to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from accessing weapons and subsequently causing the horror inflicted on far too many American communities.
We can protect the Second Amendment and our fellow citizens. The time to seriously act is now.