Some of my favorite people live in Georgia. Old friends, family, two gorgeous pre-teen granddaughters, some greatly beloved others. As far as I know none of them are currently packing heat -- but it does look like everybody else in Georgia will be doing so if they choose, as soon as Gov. Nathan Deal signs the Guns Everywhere law recently passed by the Legislature.
Is this the new reality for American weaponry?
Probably so. Those who hold the Second Amendment holy have a ferocity unmatched by all the peaceable kingdoms of the world combined. This writer, a peaceable Pollyanna if there ever were one, posted an essay suggesting stricter gun control laws might not be all bad several years ago on a news aggregate website. The response was immediate and overwhelming. Threats were made. So taking on the Georgia guns-everywhere legislation has little appeal.
Pieces of it, though, do invite consideration. The following is offered purely as food for thought.
For example, the law will not necessarily mean the worshipers in the pew behind you have brought along their AK-somethings -- unless your church or synagogue "opts in." Having sat on a few governing boards of religious organizations, this writer can only imagine the discussions ahead. They are not likely to focus on What Would Jesus Do. One appropriate comment did come from Episcopal spokesman Dan Plummer, who was quoted in a Los Angeles Times story as saying that allowing guns in churches was "bad theology."
At kids' schools? Why not. Schools will be authorized to arm their staff members. This assumes that staff members will be quicker on the trigger than recent school shooters, and hopefully will shoot the shooters rather than innocent others. Still...
If you want to hang out in a gun-free bar, no problem. Just find one that has opted out and posts a No-Guns-Here sign. Otherwise, the law is fine with your carrying a loaded Glock into a crowded bar, you are just not supposed to drink alcohol. This law, therefore, will be easy for all those teetotalers who like to go to bars.
Best news of all, for the 75.9 million people who go through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport every year, there will probably be a stranger packing a loaded gun nearby in case you need one. He or she is not supposed to go past the security people, but if it happens -- and you know, gun-carriers can be forgetful -- it's only a misdemeanor.
None of this is to imply that the Georgia law is a bad thing! Please, NRA and gun enthusiasts don't come after me again.
The Brady Campaign is still at work in Georgia.