With friends like these, who needs enemies? - Olde English Proverb
Georgia's Republican Gov. Nathan Deal originally talked a good game not that long ago in support of college campus carry of handguns for self-defense by licensed adults, then shortly afterwards started with all the fake concerns like daycare centers (legal to carry in everywhere else) on college campuses, and high school students in college classrooms, and then finally ended it with a veto of HB 859 on the last possible day, today May 3rd.
Let's look at what he said just over two months ago in support of campus carry:
"We heard all the hype that we’re now hearing about campus carry, all the predictions of tragedies. All the predictions that we were going to open our state up to a Wild West scenario. Those earlier fears don’t appear to have come true. So, therefore, to use those kind of arguments with the campus carry discussion, I think lacks validity." - Governor Nathan Deal, AJC, February 29, 2016 (underline mine)
Georgia Board of Regents Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby must have really gotten to Deal when they had a heart to heart, most likely shortly after Feb. 29th.
Former Georgia Senator and 2nd Amendment Traitor Cecil Pope Staton recently scored a $450,000 per year job as chancellor of East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.
Perhaps Deal was given a wink and a nod for something similar for when he leaves office? The money would come in handy to ease the earlier pain of his known financial troubles, which was to the tune of two million dollars back in 2010. Maybe he's still making payments on that debt?
So, life-long Democrat Nathan Deal switches and runs as a Republican to win the governorship, brags about signing pro gun-rights bill HB 60, and then turns Benedict Arnold and goes back to his Democrat roots.
Actually, it's never been a secret that Deal has always opposed campus carry (Senator Staton was one of his henchmen that helped torpedo HB 875), as well as church carry.
Regarding the mystery of whether Deal would sign or veto campus carry, Representative Mandi Ballinger, who was a co-sponsor of HB 859 said it best, "It's like reading tea leaves."
At first I was sure he'd sign campus carry, for after angering most citizens and citizen lawmakers when he vetoed the religious liberty bill, he had to do something to make nice, right?
Then, I thought he'd veto it from certain subtle remarks - as recently as April 29th.
Finally, I thought since he was dragging it out to the last possible day, believed he'd sign it, and then point to the fact that he used all that time to struggle with the issues and finally make a hard decision. The fact that he vetoed it on the last possible day, is a slap in the face of the bill's supporters. I'm sure they are not impressed the least bit.
The Georgia General Assembly worked hard to pass three good pro-freedom bills: the religious liberty bill, campus carry, and a small omnibus bill, HB 1060, that essentially decriminalized church carry, only to have Deal strike them down with his veto pen.
We'll see if next year any of these vetos are over-ridden.
Folks, the gloves are off now. No more playing nice with Deal. Anything our Legislature passes now will need a veto-proof majority, especially if it is anything resembling a pro-liberty bill. Deal has his eye on his reward from the Georgia Board of Regents.
And don't be fooled by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle's feigned support of campus carry. He once stated he had no appetite for another pro gun-rights bill. And he helped defeat SB 101 and also worked behind the scenes to try and torpedo HB 60. Cagle and Deal are two rotten peas in the same pod.
Cagle knew from the beginning Deal would veto it, which is why he helped smooth its passage to be able to claim that he'd really support our rights when he runs for Governor. Fat chance!
In 2018, Georgians need to elect a governor with an honest and unwavering commitment to freedom. I certainly hope we will.