Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Georgia’s Gunning Effect—And, Why I’m Finally Speaking Out

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has blood on his hands.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has blood on his hands.

I’m home! And, after returning from a 10-day vacation seeing friends and visiting national treasures in the D.C. area, I am mostly glad to be home.

A new thing about home, though, that I don’t like and am having to come to terms with: Governor Nathan Deal’s new legislation on guns has taken effect here in Georgia.  Some of you may not know that in April of this year, Deal signed a wide-ranging guns bill, the “Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014,” nicknamed by opponents (probably rightly) as “the guns everywhere bill.”  The bill allows concealed weapons just about anywhere we proud Georgia residents find ourselves, including bars and churches (which makes the next run-in with an angry vestry member or the act of turning down a pick-up line at the bar that much more intimidating, I guess).  In short, just about everywhere we Georgians go, we can, thanks to Deal, carry concealed guns…


Excepting, apparently, the city of Atlanta natatorium where my daughter takes swim lessons and where I often choose to exercise.  Now, every time we non-gun-owning or gun-toting Georgia residents—and, there are a lot of us, the apparently more silent, 95 percent-majority of Georgia’s population—choose to enter a city of Atlanta building, we will be searched, our bags opened and checked, our persons surveyed.

Yesterday I was rudely and unhappily reminded that I live in a state where a bare 5 percent minority rules: when we showed up to exercise, two city of Atlanta employees, their salaries funded by my tax dollars, were not teaching children how to swim, protecting small lives as lifeguards or, at the very least, cleaning public locker rooms; they were instead rifling through my gym bags to look for concealed weapons.  In other words, my tax dollars—and chances are, if you’re in the 95 percent of non-gun-toting Georgia residents, your tax dollars, also—are now paying the salaries of people who will spend most or all of their working time conducting searches for concealed weapons!


I can’t think of something that better encapsulates “big government” than this: government employees looking for concealed weapons in my bags on just another ordinary day of going to the gym—all this thanks to, of all ironies, a Republican governor in a Republican-controlled state.  And here I thought Republicans were the champions of smaller government.  For that matter, wasn’t the original sentiment of the Second Amendment to protect the people from the tyrannies of big government?  (I’m embarrassed to admit that in my senior year of high school I received the Young Republican Women’s scholarship!)

On the same day (among many more to come) that my tax dollars were funding the rifling through of my workout bags, two guns in two separate carry-on bags  showed up at the Atlanta Hartsfield airport—another first for us Georgians.  The owners of the guns were briefly questioned and released.  Apparently, we can also expect to spend more money interrogating gun owners who are enjoying their new-found freedom coming at the expense of the rest of us.  (Did I mention that the new law allows for guns in TSA lines at airports, too?  Yep. That’s right.  Now ordinary citizens, many of whom have met dubious background checks, will be walking on to planes with guns with the blessing of our state government.)


Deal, in signing the bill into law, couched the new act in terms of “reaffirming our liberties.”  If he had any integrity at all, he would have specified that these liberties really only pertain to the Georgia citizens who carry a concealed weapon and to the deep-pocketed National Rifle Association (NRA) that lobbies Deal’s administration with all sorts of cushy enticements.  It is a costly “liberty,” too: while it is a sign of my own self-absorption that only now (after seeing this law’s daily impact on my life) am I speaking out, the cost of that liberty, lest we forget, is not merely one of mere inconvenience on the part of the majority of us who don’t run around with guns on our person; the cost of that liberty is one of life and death of our children, our communities and our culture (in the form of the violence we implicitly promote by sending the message that gun toting is normal and right).


The cruel slogan of one guns rights advocate to victims of the Newtown massacre sums up, with masterful irony, the tragic cost of that liberty: “My constitutional rights trump your dead children,” he said.  In other words, not even the costliness of the grievous and heinous loss of innocent children’s lives should occasion some introspection around his so-called “rights” and around sensible gun legislation.  Yes, the rights of the 500,000 Georgians—in a state of 9.92 million people—now carrying concealed weapons just about anywhere and everywhere, are expensive indeed.  Not even the largesse of the deep-pocketed NRA lobby can pay the price.

Here is a clip of Deal couching his new bill in lofty terms about American freedom.  It makes me want to take a shower, after which, I’m going to start being unabashedly louder about a growing conviction that the church needs to speak out in all manner of ways on behalf of those whose lives have been lost because of the senseless deregulation of guns.


If you agree with the views expressed in this op-ed piece, please sign your name in the comments section and then forward it on to other like-minded folks.  (It would help, of course, if you’re a Georgia resident; but if you’re not, don’t let that stop you! Sign this anyway and forward it to/share it with your friends.)  I’ll send it on to my representatives if we’re able to get a sizable group of signatures.



  • Pingback: Are You Opposed to People Owning Guns? Via John Piper - Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

  • fsilber

    If there is a threat of criminal gang members bringing guns, then
    searches are the only way to catch them, regardless of the restrictions
    on permit holders. If there is NOT a threat of criminal gang members
    bringing guns, then the Atlanta natatorium is choosing to prohibit concealed handguns and searching your bags for no good reason, and it is to them that you should express your resentment.

  • James in NC`

    Typical liberal hogwash. Trying to point to an event that caused them angst and a law they don’t like and present a fictional cause and effect between the two.


    Personally, I liked it better when you WEREN’T speaking out.

    It’s the law. Get used to it, you bed-wetter.

  • Mark Harper

    Hmmm…Kristina’s embarrassed that she received the Young Republican Women’s scholarship but this cretin has not refunded the money. She thinks people can walk onto planes with loaded weapons. She also thinks if someone abuses their rights, then OUR rights should be removed/restricted. She puts the words rights and liberty inside quotation marks.
    Kristina, if you are so concerned about government employees rummaging through your stuff, complain about the TSA looking for bottles of liquid that are more than three ounces.

  • jack burton

    For a much more mature view of the question, “Is the damage to society from the misuse of guns worth the freedom to have guns?” please read

  • Tec Sg Beatty

    Well, my dear. your problems could be easily solved if ALL GOVERNMENT respected and abided by the Constitutions of the United States and Georgia, which specifically PROTECT the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Law-abiding citizens are NOT to be questioned when exercising our Rights. This applies to your Right to NOT be armed, as well as my RIGHT to Keep and BEAR ARMS. “Government” needs to keep its damned hands off of our RIGHTS, period.

    And no one will be walking onto airplanes with guns. IT IS AGAINST FEDERAL LAW, you ignorant, lying witch!

  • Freeordie

    The people with blood on their hands are those whose policies have turned cities like Chicago, LA, Washington DC, NYC, Baltimore, etc into Slaughterhouses.

  • Wfeather1942

    So the natitorium chooses to force you to give up your rights, that you already have chosen not to exercise, uh so why you complaining woman?

    Oh wait, thats right, your not afraid of the actual crimnals, your only afraid of the law abiding….see only two logical, sane reasons for such fear 1) your criminally insane 2) your a criminal/pedophile afraid of being shot by your intended victims, you choose which!

  • Wfeather1942

    Well the 1 mil police are known to be 11 times more likely to shoot you accidentally in a collateral damage incident than are the 100 mil law abiding gun owners or the 10 mil plus of those who carry concealed.

    Anti gun nuts have squealed BLOOD WILL FLOW every time a law was rescinded and a right restored….

    41 times states, reinstated concealed carry, the blood didn’t flow!

    35 times, states reinstated concealed carry in eateries serving alcohol the blood didn’t flow!

    26 times states reinstated SYG outside ones own home, the blood didn’t flow!

    24 times, states reinstated no duty to retreat within ones own home the blood didn’t flow!

    18 states w 200+ school districts reinstated concealed/open carry over 10 years the blood didn’t flow!

    306 different times anti gun nuts have squealed the blood would flow from law abiding gun owners, yet violent crime has dropped -39%, murders with a gun have dropped -52.21% all while there has been an increase of 42% of guns in law abiding civilians hands!

    So either start posting all those thousands of collateral shootings you are so worried about or be labeled a chicken little squawking the sky is falling the sky is falling as no one believed chicken little, and no one believes you and your 306 failed predictions of violence sunshine!

    Here are the 18 states that allow adults to carry loaded weapons onto school grounds with few or minor conditions:

    Alabama (which bans possessing a weapon on school grounds only if the carrier has “intent to do bodily harm”)
    California (with approval of the superintendent)
    Connecticut (with approval of “school officials”)
    Hawaii (no specific law)
    Idaho (with school trustees’ approval)
    Iowa (with “authorization”)
    Kentucky (with school board approval)
    Massachusetts (with approval of the school board or principal)
    Mississippi (with school board approval)
    Montana (with school trustees’ permission)
    New Hampshire (ban applies only to pupils, not adults)
    New Jersey (with approval from the school’s “governing officer”)
    New York (with the school’s approval)
    Oregon (with school board approval)
    Rhode Island (with a state concealed weapons permit)
    Texas (with the school’s permission)
    Utah (with approval of the “responsible school administrator”)
    Wyoming (as long as it’s not concealed)

  • Wfeather1942

    “Now ordinary citizens, many of whom have met dubious background checks, will be walking on to planes with guns with the blessing of our state government.)”

    Spoken like a true ignorant anti gunterd!

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