February 22, 2013 Radio Commentary

Gun Legislation in Georgia

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, February 22, 2013 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim.  As you know, the General Assembly convened January 14th for this year’s session.  And, as expected, one of the pressing issues is security for one of our most vulnerable populations … students and staff in schools.  No doubt, many more bills will be introduced, but H.B. 35 is already under consideration.

Representative Paul Battles introduced H.B. 35 the second day of the session and stimulated the discussion about arming at least one administrator in each school … after the person has been licensed to carry a weapon and after special training has been successfully completed.  The local board of education would pay for mandatory and recurring training.

Mr. Battles’ bill would authorize local school boards to select which administrators would be armed.  Their required training that could be designed, especially, for school personnel or they could take courses provided by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards Training Council.  When licensed and trained, gun-carrying administrators could be a line of defense in school safety zones, school buildings, at school functions, on school property, on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school.  The Sandy Hook School shooting emphasized that unarmed groups, including children in classrooms, are sitting ducks that need protection.  Arming administrators just might work.  Call the House Public safety and Homeland Security Committee at 404 463-3793* and ask the members to vote H.B. 35 out of committee and onto the House floor.

While H.B. 35 is a good bill based on the constitutional right to bear arms, S.B. 33 introduced by Senator Donzella James would restrict that right by outlawing the possession, carrying or sale of assault weapons and oversize magazines.  If her bill passes, good guys would obey the law, but bad guys would obtain detachable magazines with over ten rounds of ammunition, fully equipped semiautomatic shotguns, semiautomatic rifles and semiautomatic pistols that may be equipped with illegal attachments.  Call 404 463-1314 and ask the Senate Non-Civil Judiciary Committee to vote NO on S.B. 33.

Gun possession is a freedom affirmed in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that protects the people’s right to keep and bear arms.  Although there are many laws to restrict the misuse of guns, those laws did not prevent the massacre at Sandy Hook School.  The law is NOT the problem and guns are NOT the problem.  Evil is the problem.  So, let’s defeat S.B. 33, keep our guns and outlaw evil!  For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.