House Bill 512 broadens Georgians’ rights to carry concealed weapons into churches, bars and even college “safety zones.” It passed the House with flying colors, but now it’s up to the Georgia Senate to take it up, and it may not pass so easily there.
The Senate President Pro-Tem David Shafer’s concern with 512 is that it’s not backed by the NRA. It’s backed by another gun group called Georgia Carry. I guess in his eyes, the Senate’s already done it’s duty by passing NRA-backed legislation, and for the time being, they’re done with the gun bills.
Of course, the bill has a lot of other opponents. Their main concern is “mixing booze with guns.” They compare it to mixing booze with driving. Bars and restaurants would turn into the Wild West. Bar fights would turn into blood baths. They would no longer be safe places to congregate.
We all know this is just fear-mongering. And they’ll invoke 9/11 or the children of Sandy Hook as the reason we shouldn’t allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed into bars, restaurants and other places. But those are reasons we should.
Virginia’s already done it. They passed a bill a few years ago allowing concealed carry in bars and restaurants, and surprisingly, nothing turned into the Wild West, as much as the gun-grabbers wanted that to happen. In fact, in the first year after the bill’s effective date, crimes committed at bars and restaurants went down:
“The number of major crimes involving firearms at bars and restaurants statewide declined 5.2 percent from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, compared with the fiscal year before the law went into effect, according to crime data compiled by Virginia State Police at the newspaper’s request…. A total of 145 reported crimes with guns occurred in Virginia bars and restaurants in fiscal 2010-11, or eight fewer than the 153 incidents in fiscal 2009-10. State police track all murders, non-negligent manslaughters, aggravated assaults, forcible sex crimes and robberies in more than two dozen categories, including ‘bars/nightclubs’ and ‘restaurants.’”
Granted, it didn’t plummet, but it still declined. And the analysis also indicated that the crimes that did occur were relatively minor, and most didn’t even involve gun owners with concealed carry permits.
This would likely happen in Georgia if they passed the law, but people still have an irrational fear of guns. Actually, it’s not even that they’re afraid of guns, because these same people probably don’t think anything about a police officer’s gun. What they’re afraid of is non-law enforcement carrying guns. What they’re afraid of is anything that smacks of independence from government. Freedom scares the living daylights out of them.