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JOHN WALLACE: A bad feeling over gun rights expansion

GUEST COMMENTARY: Mixing handguns and alcohol is a lethal combination

John Wallace

John Wallace

This week, Gov. Nathan Deal signed off on a gun rights expansion law, which, among other things, gives you the right to carry guns in bars, schools and churches. That was the original HB (House Bill) 875. Knowing that the Senate would not approve carrying guns on campus, they amended HB 60, which would permit certain judges to carry weapons, and added the HB 875 provisions. They rewrote the “carrying on campus decriminalization” provision and changed it to a penalty of a fine of no more than $100. I’m not superstitious but this smells like bad juju.

Why would you want to carry a gun into a bar, school or church? For protection? Seventy-eight percent of registered voters in Georgia think guns in school are a bad idea. For every 100,000 deaths in the U.S. , nine were from guns. And that includes suicides and crimes of passion. The chances of you being killed in the commission of a crime is about 1 in 500,000. Research reveals that 69.3 percent of murders were by guns. Since the “Stand Your Ground” law was enacted in Georgia in 2006 , homicides by firearms have increased by 83 percent.

So, how many people do you know that have been killed by guns? Divide that by how many people you know. Odds are in your favor that you will not be a victim. I don’t know if you having the right to carry a gun will help if you are being robbed. I assume you will be surprised when someone pulls a gun on you.

I have nothing against guns. Three of my best friends are guns. But I have never left the house thinking, “Hey, let me grab my pistol because I will probably need it where I am going.” I am for the “Castle Doctrine.” If someone breaks into my domicile, I shouldn’t have to defend shooting them. Any rational person would feel in imminent danger.

I am for “Stand your Ground.” In the unlikely event that I was walking down a deserted street and I see two people on the other side of the street walking toward me, and one says something to the other, and they both look at me, pull their hoods up over their heads and cross the street to be on the same side as me, I think we all know what time it is. I cross the street and they cross back over to be on my side. Lock and load, because it’s about to get real up in heah.

I know for a fact that guns and alcohol will be a lethal combination. Well, I don’t know it for a fact, but I have been in enough bars to know it is a bad idea. You might think that if everyone in the bar is packing heat that no one will get out of line. You have apparently never been 10 feet tall and bulletproof. I have seen beatdowns over whose quarter was next on the pool table, someone picking up the wrong change off the bar, or the way someone looked at someone else.

And it will happen so fast that no one will be able to stop it. One second, you are dancing and laughing and talking with your friends and, a split second later, total chaos. People screaming and running and mass confusion, and then it is over. What do you think will happen in a bar full of armed drunks if someone shoots someone?

“Though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” What are the odds that you will be sitting in church and need a gun? What use is a gun if the Lord can’t protect you? Show a little faith. Go to his house, worship him and trust in the Lord. I think we all know how Jesus would have felt about guns in church. Remember his reaction to the money changers in the temple. I’m sure Satan would like to see guns in church, but we are not here to do the work of Satan.

The majority of Georgia mayors and police departments are against guns in bars, schools and churches. Whose agenda do you think they are representing?

I hope I am wrong about what will happen with more guns, especially in schools, bars and churches. I hope it leads to a decrease in crime. But I have a real bad feeling about this.

John Wallace is a resident of Leesburg.