Georgia’s fierce firefight over assault weapons

Georgia Dems want assault weapons banned and confiscated
By Terry Shropshire
The topic of guns always seems to inspire even the most civilized among us to bare our fangs and show our claws and take up a fighting position
There is probably no issue in contemporary American society, other than race, that gets the emotions ratcheted up to higher levels than the subject of guns and gun control. And nowhere is that argument more fiery, and subject to incite the volleying back and forth of more venomous language, than in the South, where the issue of guns rights go all the way back to the Civil War and beyond.
The issue of gun control continues to visit us with every tragic episode of random mass shootings that snatch innocent lives from the world, often without explanation:

  • The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting on Nov, 27 caused an international media stir, leaving three dead and nine wounded.
  • Two weeks later, a couple opened fire at the Inland Regional Centre in southern California, killing 14 and injuring 21 people, in what became known as the San Bernardino shooting.
  • Here in Atlanta, on Georgia State’s campus, two armed robberies took place during the fall semester’s finals week. Two students were robbed at gunpoint inside their apartment at One12 on Dec. 11. And five days later another student was threatened by a gunman and robbed of his cell-phone and laptop, according to Georgia State police reports. Nearby Clark Atlanta University hosted a forum on campus safety, which included the issue of guns.

Whether literally or figuratively, guns seem to be everywhere.
Many eyes on the both sides of the issue of gun control are focused on the state of Georgia as Democrats in Georgia’s state house introduced a bill that bans assault weapons and opens the door for the “seizure” of such weapons, along with accessories like high capacity magazines.
The bill, HB 731, is sponsored by Mary Margaret Oliver (D-83rd), Stacey Abrams (D-89th), Carolyn Hugley (D-136th), Pat Gardiner (D-57th), Dar’shun Kendrick (D-93rd), Dee Dawkins-Haigler (D-91st).
According to the text of HB 731, the bill focuses on “dangerous instrumentalities and practices” by prohibiting the “possession, sale, transport, distribution, or use of certain assault weapons, large capacity magazines, armor-piercing bullets and incendiary .50 caliber bullets.” Moreover, it details punishment for crimes involving “the possession, sale, transport, distribution, or use of certain assault weapons, large capacity magazines, armor-piercing bullets, and incendiary .50 caliber bullets.”
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver suggests 10 other representatives have joined the six original bill sponsors. An announcement posted to Oliver’s webpage says:
[Oliver] and fifteen Democrat women House members introduced HB 731 on the first day of the 2016 Session. The bill bans assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Georgia needs debate about these weapons which are only used for rapidly killing people. Assault weapons are not necessary for deer hunting.
Anyone who does possess an assault weapon or a large-capacity magazine would have until Oct. 31, 2017 to either modify the weapon to “render it permanently inoperable, or such that it is no longer an assault weapon or large capacity magazine” or give the firearm over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to be destroyed, under the legislation.
Predictably, the issue has already incited intensely inflammatory rhetoric from powerful pro-gun organizations and zealous 2nd Amendment rights advocates, both who went ballistic after getting wind of what’s popping politically in Georgia.
Acording to the  Freedom Post: “Georgia’s Democratic Party has finally come clean about their views on the 2nd Amendment. They don’t think it should exist. On Jan. 11, Democrats in the state of Georgia began an all-out assault on our Constitutional liberty by introducing a new bill that would ban “assault weapons,” and also give state and local authorities the right to seize such firearms from their owners.”
Of course, there had to be some verbal bomb tossing from the National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country who has crushed anti-gun activists and politicians like so many bugs on the sidewalk: “With a complete disregard for the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental rights of Georgia residents, state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-82) introduced House Bill 731 which would ban commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and require their confiscation.”
The most interesting commentary comes from the NRA, seeing how they helped then California Gov. Ronald Reagan draft legislation to take away the right to carry firearms publicly, a measure that was aimed at the Black Panther Party. (But I digress).
In reality, Georgia has stricter gun laws than most Southern states, requiring a background check in order to get a Georgia weapons carry license. Gun carry licenses are not granted to any individual under 18, convicted felons, or people institutionalized for mental problems or addictions within five years of their applications.
However, Georgia law only requires that background check reports stay in National Institute Criminal Background Check System for five years and be taken off afterwards. Essentially people that have been proven mentally-ill in the past, will ultimately be able to legally purchase a gun. Georgia law does not require a background check for private sales between citizens of Georgia and other states, according to the Firearm Permit Reciprocity regulations of Georgia.
Gun control advocates statewide, including the aforementioned legislators, are working to reduce incidents of mass murder that can so easily happen within seconds with automatic assault rifles.
These despicable, horrific acts of violence have taken its toll on society’s psychic. Because of the randomness of the shootings and the proliferation of guns in society, this writer admits being slightly more wary in public places than in previous years. I reflexively and frequently take inventory of individuals while I’m inside, say, a Starbucks or a theater, monitoring facial expressions or eyeing their bulging coat pockets more than I did in the past. I am all too aware now that lunatics loom among the sane, often undetected and undetectable until blood is already splattered on the walls and running out onto the linoleum flooring. I know I am far from alone in these sentiments.
President Obama revealed more than once that his inability to get stricter measures enacted to acquire guns is inarguably one of the most frustrating issues of his two-term administration. He has been reduced to tears on two separate occasions when he mentions the elementary school children in Newtown, Conn., who were massacred by a deranged sociopath with access to an arsenal.
It will soon be seen what — if any changes — will be made to current gun laws, and if the political discourse over the subject will be more tame, civil and humane.


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