The “Guns Everywhere Law” Keeps Us Safe Nowhere

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It was a long week in Atlanta, so I headed to a dirty unkempt bar to start “taking a bit of the edge off.” Now, I’m getting ready to have my first of many drinks when my periphery catches a scene so confusing, it makes me think I should just drive home and lay off the bourbon for a while. Playing on the TV is an overview of a bill recently passed by Georgia’s legislature that will take effect starting in July.

The law, labeled by liberals as the “Guns Everywhere Law” and by conservatives as the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” allows licensed gun owners to take their weapons into bars and churches. It also even lets people pack heat inside government buildings, schools, and some areas of airports.

I have to admit that I panicked a little bit: how was no one else finding the scene of a fellow dipsomaniac packing a Smith & Wesson at a bar– AT A BAR – strange?!

After signing the bill into law, Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal (R), stated that, “Our state has some of the best protections for gun owners in the United States. And today we strengthen those rights protected by our nation’s most revered founding document.” The NRA called it, “the most comprehensive pro-gun reform legislation introduced in recent history.”

But there have been a plethora of critics of the bill, such as the chief of police in one county in Georgia who argued that, “Although changes in the state’s gun law were meant to strike a balance between the rights of gun owners… unintended consequences may follow that don’t make anybody safe.”

Part of the law prohibits police from detaining someone for the purpose of checking for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. And if they do detain them to ask for their permit, the police department could be sued. So, if the police must tread so lightly while trying to determine who isn’t supposed to be carrying a gun, how are they supposed to curb gun violence and keep people safe?

After all of the mass shootings in America, such as the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre and the mass murder at the Washington Naval Shipyard, one would think that our governments would do the reasonable thing and limit access to weapons at both federal and local levels: not pass extreme gun laws that make it easier for people to get and flaunt weapons.

But within 12 months of the Newtown massacre, almost every state enacted at least one new gun law. About 1,500 state gun bills were introduced; 178 passed at least one chamber of a state legislature in 2013 and 109 became law. Out of those 109 laws, 70 loosened restrictions

Legislatures in states such as New York, Colorado, Connecticut, and Maryland have enacted sweeping reforms that have been the biggest victories for gun control advocates to date. But other states have done just the opposite.

For example: Arkansas passed a bill that mirrors Georgia’s new law. In Idaho, concealed gun permits are no longer public record. Virginia’s House of Delegates voted to repeal a 17-year old ban on buying more than one handgun a month. In Oklahoma, people who seek certain renewals of gun permits won’t be fingerprinted anymore and West Virginia will recognize conceal permits from other states.

Gun enthusiasts and libertarians who laud these measures typically claim that gun violence is highest in states that have stricter gun laws and argue that more guns will create a safer environment (i.e. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”).

But many groups, including the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC), have proven this theory false.

Their findings indicate that where there are more guns, there is more homicide (surprise), regardless of whether you’re looking at different states or countries. Their research also found no association between gun prevalence and a safer environment. But there is strong evidence that shows firearm deaths are significantly lower in states with stricter gun control laws.

It is mostly liberals who want stricter gun control legislation, the most notable goal of which is to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. However, the problem is that assault rifles aren’t used in the majority of mass shootings.

Guns have killed about 24,580 people since Newton, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and there were at least 67 mass shootings since 1982 (the FBI’s definition of mass murder is the slaying of four or more people). But out of the 143 guns used by the killers, only 28 were rifles.

If we want to stop gun violence, the 2nd Amendment has to be reworked and we must pass bills that restrict access to all types of weapons. The rest of the civilized world has figured this out already – but Americans are always late to the party when it comes to doing smart and sensible things.

The big problem is that the 2nd amendment won’t be reworked. The majority of Americans – even liberals – don’t want that to happen. Gun control has never been politically popular and shootings don’t even sustainably affect views on gun control.

These laws that are supposed to foster a safe environment for the good of the public aren’t safe at all, and as long as Americans keep ignoring the detrimental consequences the loosening of gun laws creates, nothing will ever change. I’ll be ranting and swirling my bourbon in the meantime.

About Eric Bates

Eric received his B.S. in political science with an emphasis in international relations from Santa Clara University in 2012. Upon graduating, he traveled and worked for a non-profit in Central America. He is a religious viewer of Conan O’Brien and also loves traveling. Eric is attending San Jose State University's graduate school program to receive a M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications. He can be reached at ebates0@gmail.com.
Posted in: Civil Rights, Culture, GOP, Law, Politics, Society
  • Kimber_TLE

    Their research also found no association between gun prevalence and a safer environment.

    Seriously? From your selected source, let’s read:

    3. Across states, more guns = more homicide
    Using a validated proxy for firearm ownership, we analyzed the relationship between firearm availability and homicide across 50 states over a ten year period (1988-1997).

    I have so many sources from which to choose, but let’s stick with the FBI for now (I’d be glad to supply data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics and others upon request). From the FBI’s “Table 1 Crime in the United States by Volume and Rate per 100,000 Inhabitants, 1992–2011” we see that:


    ► The number of homicides fell from 23,760 in 1992 (and 24,526 in 1993) down to 14,612 in 2011. Restated as a rate/100K: homicides fell from 9.3 (9.5 in 1993) down to 4.7 in 2011.
    ► All violent crime fell from 1,932,274 in 1992 down to 1,203,564. Restated as a rate/100K: 757.7 in 1992 down to 386.3 in 2011.

    But wait, there’s more…

    In the news (April 23, 2014) we read that in Florida:
    * The crime rate dropped 4.7 percent in 2013.
    * Violent crime is down 2.4 percent.
    * Nonviolent crime decreased by 4 percent.
    * There was a 2.8 percent drop in all sex offenses.
    * “We’re at a 43 year low in our crime rate, and that’s impressive,” said Gov. Rick Scott.

    Per the Florida Department of Agriculture (which handles the Conceal Carry permitting process and keeps the statistics):
    * On June 30, 1999 there were 26,807 Conceal Carry permits.
    * On March 31, 2014 there were 1,429,505 Conceal Carry permits.

    That’s a 53-fold rise in Conceal Carry permits in 5,389 days; that’s over 100 added permits per day. And crime in Florida has gone down. Down is not up.

    i.e. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”). [...] But many groups, including the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (HICRC), have proven this theory false.

    Want proof? President Obama, VP Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts all have one thing in common: they all have “good guys with guns” following them everywhere to protect them from “bad guys with guns.”

    I can’t afford an armed guard to follow me. I’ll keep my Kimber TLE if it’s all the same to you, thanks!

    • KoreaWatch

      Armed guard follow to you? I think you better get a good doctor and check yourself into an psychiatric institution.

      • Kimber_TLE

        As soon as President Obama, VP Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts all check in, I will.

        • UFCwhore

          it seems you really have to go to a doctor. Comparing yourself to those.

          • Kimber_TLE

            Thank you for confirming liberals who say they believe in equal rights for all, don’t really believe it.

          • UFCwhore

            Name calling is for people who have no point.

        • frankgrimes78

          Thankfully people like you are becoming fewer and far between. Kids are growing up and realizing it’s not the way to be. I wonder why….. Oh ya, THEY’VE BEEN SHOT AT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
          It boggles the mind when you realize you actually believe this crap, you are a living breathing, brainwashed human being! You are the very product of the NRA, they should be very proud.
          You are the only Country that has your type of lax gun laws and only your country kills over 10,000(We all know the number is higher)of it’s own people by gun related deaths.

          • Kimber_TLE

            Oh ya, THEY’VE BEEN SHOT AT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

            I go to great lengths to research and present accurate statistics and research. I would appreciate the same effort from my opposition.

            Please provide at least one date and place where each of the following have been shot-at, in the United States:

            ♦ President Obama

            ♦ VP Joe Biden

            ♦ Hillary Clinton

            ♦ Bill Clinton

            ♦ Michael Bloomberg

            ♦ Shannon Watts

            An incomplete list is unacceptable. The validity of your position depends on it!

          • frankgrimes78

            I was referring to children moron, not those under secret security protection. You have no leg to stand on. Australia’s own CONSERVATIVE government actually did something after a string of mass shootings, in fact coming in and removing guns from people’s homes. Zero mass shootings since, and very little in general. So come on, try and NRA your way out of that one

          • Kimber_TLE

            From News dot com dot au on August 02, 2013, we read were in Australia:
            » Gun ownership is back at pre-Port Arthur massacre levels.
            » There has been a steady increase in gun-related crimes over the past seven years.
            » Gun murders across Australia almost doubled between 2005 to 2012.
            » The incidence of guns used in kidnappings have trebled.
            » The total number of crimes in which a firearm was used rose 47 per cent between 2005 to 2012.

            Estimates released in April 2013 by the Australian Crime Commission suggested there are enough illegal guns in Australia to arm every member of the military with eight weapons each! And that’s just the illegal weapons!

            On January 23, 2013 Mike Gallacher, the New South Wales Police Minister, told ABC News Australia “New South Wales police identify that a syndicate had gone and purchased, for want of a better term, a post office franchise and were bringing hand guns in directly from the manufacturer and the records police have show that hundreds of guns have come in through our borders into New South Wales alone, it really is a significant problem that the Federal Government is now recognizing.

            According to research by the University of Sydney, “1,055,082 firearms had been legally brought into the country since then [...] That brought the domestic legal arsenal back to the pre-1996 level of about 3.2 million.” says an article by Nick Ralston in the Sydney Morning Herald on January 14, 2013.

            Last year [2012], there was a public shooting in Sydney, on average, every three days. The pace has not slackened. In the past month there has been a shooting, on average, every two days.” reads an editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald, on July 31, 2013.

            It seems the real difference between the United States and Australia is Australians are bad shots!

      • http://the--realist.blogspot.com Phil Gwinn

        Reading is fundamental. What he said was:

        I can’t afford an armed guard to follow me. I’ll keep my Kimber TLE if it’s all the same to you, thanks!

        He’s not looking to get an armed guard. HE intends to protect himself.

        Sorry to interject into an otherwise unintelligible discussion. Now that you’ve been educated on simple reading the discussion can continue.

  • CR Williams

    Keep drinking your bourbon, it is clearly helping you think. (Sarcasm)

  • tonyspdx

    Eric Bates, when you grow up and get a little experience under the life belt, lets talk. When I was young, I was just like you, wide eyed and no cares, stupid to the world. Political Science? Are you gearing up to be a politician that has never worked a real job in their life. Your sole goal is probably being a staffer on some State congressman election campaign.

  • KoreaWatch

    Wow national Rifle Asociation is already here defending its business. Just read all those ridiculous crap on why someone should have a GUN IN A SCHOOL OR HOSPITAL! A lot of pathetic folks in Georgia indeed.

  • Mgh999

    More guns = more homicide?

    Explain Vermont 42% ownership and a murder rate 1.3 vs. NYC 0.6% gun ownership and 5.0 rate (per 100,000)
    Explain WY 62% ownership and a murder rate 2.6 vs. Chicago 1.0% and 513 murders in 2013
    (17.1 murder rate)….

    $1 says the answer includes “there are other factors”……

  • pfair143

    After signing the “Guns Everywhere” law, Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal (R), banned them from HIS work place. (Not sarcasm)

  • Western Gunowner

    In 2012 Phx, AZ had a murder rate of 8.8 vs Chicago’s 18.3.
    Phx, that is the whole state of AZ actually, enjoys the distinction of being voted the best place to own a firearm in the country.
    I need no license, no permit – not even a permit to carry concealed. It is as close to a gun-owners nirvana as you are going to find in the US.
    But Chicago? Despite the 2008 (Heller) and 2010 (MacDonald) SC decisions owning a handgun legally in Chicago is nearly impossible. The 7th District court has just recently forced Illinois to start issuing concealed carry permits but Chicago is fighting tool and nail to keep its citizens (and btw, “citizens” are by definition non-felons) disarmed.
    So now in Chicago we have about 2 Sandy Hooks EVERY month.
    You heard that right. About every month in Chicago 40 people die from gun-violence. And most of them are black. And most of the killers are black.
    I don’t think its “guns everywhere” laws in GA or Arizona that are the problem.
    And for everyone that wants to scream I’m a racist i would point out that blacks outside of the inner cities don’t kill each other at a higher rate than any other race.
    The problem is the inner cities and the failed social policies that have created them including the 60 year old failed “war on (some) drugs”.
    I bring up the race angle to this because the author is black yet he is obviously clue-less as to what the “no guns anywhere” policies of Chicago have wrought for people of his own color in Chicago.
    The first gun-control law in the US were aimed at keeping guns out the of hands of blacks in the South (and elswhere).
    Today, black and white “liberal” politicians work to perpetuate the same disarmement of law-abiding citizens – like those in the inner cities.

    Despite the fact that he is flat wrong about “more guns” equals “more crime”.
    If that were true Phx would have the 18.8 murder rate while Chicago would be 8.3.
    But then “political science” doesn’t require a course in logic in order to graduate.

  • al hunt

    “I have to admit that I panicked a little bit: how was no one else
    finding the scene of a fellow dipsomaniac packing a Smith & Wesson
    at a bar– AT A BAR – strange?!”
    hate to break it to you, you were already sitting next to a guy with a gun, or you are actually not in georgia.

  • http://the--realist.blogspot.com Phil Gwinn

    There are so many ways to debunk this article that I am almost annoyed that @Kimber_TLE:disqus beat me to it. He gets a h/t for solid reporting. I’m sure that @disqus_UC8fxjq201:disqus , @facebook-100001641364365:disqus, @The_Right_Fight:disqus or @lakeside227:disqus could contribute additional factual anecdotes to this important discussion.

    If we want to stop gun violence, the 2nd Amendment has to be reworked and we must pass bills that restrict access to all types of weapons.

    If you want to stop biased journalism the 1st Amendment has to be reworked and we must pass bills that restrict reporting to only those vetted by the state.

    The rest of the civilized world has figured this out already – but Americans are always late to the party when it comes to doing smart and sensible things.

    Always late to the party? Better late than allowing your liberty to be thrown on the trash heap. It’s telling that those who hail Snowden et al as heroes will lobby like the dickens to strip the people of rights.

    Based on your article we also need to outlaw cars.