Friday, March 17, 2023

Some Republicans (Not In Georgia) Are Serious About Self-Defense in K-12 Schools © 2023 Phillip Evans

It used to be legal for adults to carry firearms in K-12 schools in Georgia. Then Jim Crow laws targeted at Blacks took root, with the first (among many) of firearms carry prohibitions being passed by White Democrats in 1833. 

And yet, it is only in post-prohibition times that we've had a series of tragic mass murder shootings in schools that were  supposedly "gun-free" zones, where guns were not allowed, at least not for teachers, parents, and other citizen defenders.

In 1870 White Democrats in Georgia passed the infamous "public gathering" law (Blacks were coming to church armed for their protection, and this was an affront to the KKK and their friends in the Georgia General Assembly), making it illegal for even a person with a firearms permit (now called a weapons carry license) to carry in almost any public place.

This law remained on the books in Georgia until 2010! But look: Republicans took the majority in the Georgia House and Senate in 2007. I suppose the desire for a little liberty took them three years to warm up to.

With this background of gun control laws in mind, I emailed all lawmakers under the Gold Dome in Atlanta the following on March 16th, 2023:

Dear Lawmakers,

Arizona Republicans apparently trust (gasp!) licensed parents and guardians to be armed in K-12 schools (SB 1331 passed their Senate and will likely pass the House).

They don't seem to lack an "appetite" for furthering liberty (hearken back to Casey Cagle), nor do they seem to suffer "fatigue" for pro-gun rights bills as Rep. Jay Collins does.

Their Democrat governor will likely veto it, but who needs Democrats when you can count on Republicans to not even give us crumbs this year in Georgia.

Those of you who proclaim that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun fail to see the hypocrisy when you don't let the good guys be armed. Does that make sense?

I know that saying this will hurt feelings, but take solace in the fact that hurt feelings are far less painful than innocent lives lost, because the state mandated that victims remained helpless to immediately fight back with good effect.

I know, I know, school districts can grant permission for teachers and parents to be armed, but just between us, we all know that 98% of districts won't allow it.

Actual leadership on this issue is required. A mass school shooting in Georgia where the only tools to fight back are erasers, books, and chairs is simply not acceptable, not moral, and not Christian in the least.

Either licensed carriers are trusted or we are not. We already carry around children every single day in public parks, libraries, zoos, restaurants, malls, etc., without incident. We've met the burden of proof. What more do you want from us in order to be convinced?

If unlicensed court clerks could carry legally in K-12 schools even when a license was required to carry a handgun in public, why can't licensed carriers enjoy that same degree of self-defense capability?

Is there no one capable of articulating liberty who can introduce such a bill for next year?

Trusting bad guys not to hit a vulnerable target is not a good strategy for safety, not for our children, or for anyone.

End of Email

Perhaps 2024 might find some light shining on some backbone somewhere in the Georgia General Assembly. We can only hope. 

One can only wonder why Republicans continue to hold onto Democrat enacted laws that prohibit good people from being armed in K-12 schools, churches (that are not opted into HB 60), polling places when voting, courthouses (should just be courtrooms), and government buildings with screening but no adequate security either inside or in the parking areas.

In 2022 Republican politicians saved us a little money by removing the paperwork requirement to carry a handgun in public, but left all the other infringements on the books. Yet, they crowed about it like it was the end, the finish line. Don't worry folks, we ALL saw that coming. Getting zero from 2018-2021 didn't make permitless carry the end all be all it was made out to be.

In 2023, we got zero yet again. So here we are still stuck with government-mandated victim kill zones put in place by Democrats, that apparently Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly are all too happy with keeping.

Monday, February 27, 2023

"I'm For The Second Amendment BUT, BUT, BUT ..." © 2023 Phillip Evans

Photo by Michael Tefft, Creative Commons 2.0 License

While I applaud the sheriff for agreeing that law-abiding citizens should be able to carry a concealed pistol in public without a government permission slip, I have to take him to task for his puzzling double-mindedness.

The normal state of everyday carry of arms when the Constitution was signed, was OPENLY, as well as at least 100 years afterward. Even those opposed to armed self-defense know this. 

Don't get me wrong; I am not saying you must openly carry. Concealed carry is fine and most who arm themselves for protection will only conceal carry. What I am saying is no free citizen should be jailed merely for peacefully carrying a pistol or rifle in plain view. 

Sheriff Gualtieri, by his own words on recorded video above clearly would not mind putting you on the ground, handcuffing you in front of your children, separating you from your family and placing you in a cold concrete and steel cell MERELY for visibly exercising your Constitutional Rights. If he denies this, he is a liar, because that is the current law in Florida. The same law he would hate to see repealed.

Astonishingly, he swore an oath to the same U.S. Constitution that should be a bulwark against any use of force aimed at citizens who merely wish to carry a firearm openly.

Here's the salt in the wound - even though the law has an exception for brief exposure, such as your shirt riding up and revealing your pistol, numerous citizens have suffered detainment and arrest subsequent to those brief exposures. So much for that supposed protection.

Sounds to me like legalizing open carry would solve that problem - a good purpose in my eyes at least. Not to mention open carry being a crime deterrent, and at a minimum, letting adults who enjoy liberty have the choice to carry openly or concealed as they wish.

Because Gualtieri sees "no good purpose" for open carry, he feels justified to physically accost and kidnap you to jail if you dare do it. Sounds like a means test to me, and the Bruen decision effectively erased any means test affronting the Second Amendment.

Unfortunately, most Republican politicians in Florida agree with Gualtieri and DON'T CARE if you are robbed of your right to carry openly under penalty of jail, while they smile and lie to your face that they fully support your Second Amendment Rights.

Where do these arrogant suits in Tallahassee come off to insist that a fundamental American right be restricted to only being practiced in secret? Is the First Amendment also so burdened?

Apparently too many Republicans are still in love with deceased Democrat Janet Reno, who orchestrated the open carry ban in 1987.

Call, write, and demand that they amend SB 150 to add open carry, and to abolish at least some of the offensive off-limits places to self-defense carry for We The People. 

* SB 150 is being mismarketed by milquetoast Republicans as "Constitutional Carry" just because it removes the license requirement for concealed carry, while leaving in place the general ban on open carry, as well as numerous self-defense prohibited places even for licensed carriers where they must disarm or be thrown in jail merely for not wanting to be defenseless in the face of a possible deadly threat. When all these things are dealt with, then they can call it "Constitutional Carry". 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Georgia: 18-20 Year Old's Second Amendment Rights © 2023 Phillip Evans

In the state of Georgia (as elsewhere) adults 18 and over are not second class citizens. They have reached the age of majority and are no longer minors. Are they to have all of their constitutional rights except for those enumerated in the Second Amendment?

May of 2021 saw plaintiffs Christopher Baughcum Jr., Zane Meyers, Sophie Long, and Firearms Policy Coalition file a lawsuit* against three Georgia probate judges who are charged with issuing weapons licenses. These judges will not issue a license to anyone under 21 unless they are in active duty military service or honorably discharged from such.

The plaintiffs desire to carry a handgun in public for self-defense purposes, and did not apply for a license, as that would have been a futile exercise. Surely an honest court would not require one to resort to futility in order to have standing to sue for their rights.

Thankfully, it is on appeal. In light of Bruen, it should be decided on the merits in their favor, as I predict it will.

However, the Georgia General Assembly, long held in the majority by Republicans, can fix it this year by repealing the general ban on adults 18-20 carrying handguns in public. 

A few of our lawmakers are stalwart supporters of our Second Amendment Rights. Sadly, too many give not much more than lip service. 

Ironically, it might be better for a higher court to handle this instead of the General Assembly, and over-turn the ban as unconstitutional. That way, anyone convicted under that law while committing no other offense could have their record cleared, and possibly win monetary damages for being incarcerated or fined just for exercising their right to be armed outside their homes while being an adult but not yet old enough to qualify as a "lawful carrier" under the current state of infringement.

* One of plaintiffs' counsel is Atty. John R. Monroe who is a founding member of GA2A and Vice President.