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Another state to avoid


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I am appalled at the actions of legislators in many of our American states. This latest law passed in the State of Georgia should encourage intelligent people to avoid the state completely:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/23/georgia-gun-bill_n_5199630.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

The assumption by lawmakers that carrying a gun in public implies some sort of necessity is absurd. Gun ownerships has never implied a person has the intelligence to keep from hurting others. The NRA would have us believe that all gun owners are responsible people. We don't need background checks because criminals won't have legal guns anyway. God bless our second amendment rights and if you disagree with that they will shoot you.

Of course God wants you to carry in church because the minister might say something that threatens your family and you can shoot him...or her. Schools seems like a logical choice as well because we know those kids might threaten your child with a peanut butter sandwich shaped like a gun.

I look forward to the statistics of how well gun toting drunks in a bar behave towards one another. No matter that man is too drunk to drive, he has a gun so you better not take away his car keys and just let him go kill some innocent folks on the road. The NRA must be so proud of their accomplishments. Guess I won't be driving through Georgia any time soon, at least not until they have all shot one another and it is safe.

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Dear Chris, please calm down.

From what I read, the law actually isn't extreme.

Consider: Maine has allowed guns in bars since 1989 and so have several other states more recently. In addition 20 states have no laws about guns in bars (either pro or con, making it legal by default). There are actually four US states that have NO gun law restrictions whatsoever (called Constitutional carry. i.e. anyone who wants a gun can have one and carry it openly or concealed anywhere they are legally allowed to be.)

So, half of America already allows guns in bars and there seems to be no statistical powderkeg of evidence that violence has skyrocketed with bar carry, or I'm sure we'd have seen it presented during arguments over the Georgia law.

Second, consider that property owners still retain the right to prohibit guns under the Georgia law:

"Bar owners and school boards can prohibit licensed carry inside their facilities with signage."

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/04/robert-farago/sgt-hayes-extreme-ga-safe-carry-protection-act-rocks/

Numerous states already allow guns in church (over 20 of them)

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/04/guns-everywhere.html

The states that allow carry in churches don't seem to be suffering a gun violence spike on Sundays.

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Regarding your sarcastic remark about needing to shoot the minister, you might consider that churches are just as likely a target for attacks of all kinds as any other place, meaning that yes, you still have a need to defend yourself in church.

---Priest beaten to death in his church this year:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/07/22217337-california-priest-murdered-in-church-beaten-to-death-autopsy?lite

---Woman killed by husband in church parking lot this year:

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local/indiana&id=9511510

---Apparent gang members shoot 3 at a funeral service this year:

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=9512259

---Extremist attacks gay-friendly church, 2008, kills one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knoxville_Unitarian_Universalist_church_shooting

---More domestic violence death at church, this year

http://www.wsmv.com/story/24612934/fatal-shooting-inside-cookeville-church

---Attacks at churches are common enough that the Federal Government has issued guidelines for dealing with a church shooter.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/confronting-a-church-shooter-feds-release-first-guidelines_n_3466456.html

---And that's not even mentioning non-christian houses of worship that legal gun carry would apply to. 3 recent attacks include the recent shooting at a Jewish center, a shooting at a Sikh temple 2 years ago and the burning of a mosque.

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Seems to me the Georgia law is not a big deal, whether you're for guns or against them, since it breaks no real new ground. With all the other measures in the law, Georgia is now still no more gun permissive than a third of the USA, so you might want to reconsider your travel criteria since you'll have to avoid more than just Georgia.

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That's good news, Chris. As I believe you live in Florida, it's inconvenient to travel north without entering Georgia. Not impossible, but inconvenient.

OK, maybe I shouldn't be trying to inject humor into this. I too am very gun intolerant and wish we'd take England's approach and ban handguns totally. Two things that would help this country would be outlawing handguns and changing drug laws with the concomitant release of thousands of people doing time for minor drug offenses.

C

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I agree with Cole on drug-legalization having the potential to transform the US for the better since the US has the highest percentage of its people behind bars of any country and most of those are there for drugs and most are minorities, and even the ones who committed violent crimes were often tied to the black market trade in drugs. Plus the drug war justifies all kinds of governmental intrusion into our lives and the perpetuation of poverty in minority neighborhoods through the marginalization of their work force.

However, I have 3 objections to the idea that banning guns will make a huge change in society:

--Banning drugs has been a catastrophic failure since the flow of drugs has never fallen and anyone who wants drugs in America can have them in almost any region for pretty cheap. Why would the trade in guns to criminals be any less easy under a gun ban?

--Second, banning guns doesn't make criminals any less effective. You might argue against my first point by saying that the streets of London are not awash in guns. True, but criminals don't need to seek out guns when the populace is unarmed. Knife and other weapon crime has gone up in the UK. Assault/rape/murder rates for the UK are not magically lower without guns. Any positive difference has been minimal and there are often offsetting negative consequences (like an entire crowd being unable to defend a soldier while two terrorists carve him up with knives over an extended period)

--The total gun deaths in America are about 33000 per year. 2/3 of those are suicides and studies show that suicide rates are mostly immune to gun laws (I.e. most people who want to kill themselves will do so without a gun, using poison/jumping/hanging etc).

11000 of those gun deaths are murder. Let's say we could magically eliminate all guns, many of those murders would still happen via hammers, knives and steel pipes.)

Fewer than 1000 gun deaths per year are accidental.

So, if we were to ban guns, We can estimate stopping at BEST, 5000 suicides, 9000 murders and a 1000 accidents., for a total of 15000 deaths.

Granted, that's a big number, but in my view it's hardly one of the top two things to change the US. 12000 people die annually of drunk driving and even more from regular accidents.

200,000 people die from hospital mistakes every year.

400-600 people die every year from long guns of all kinds, only a tiny percentage of which are 'assault weapons'. Yet more people are killed with blunt objects each year. And 700 CHILDREN die every year from drowning.

My point is that despite the real shock and sorrow of gun deaths, the media has sensationalized the idea that it is a societal problem of calamitous proportions, when it is no more tragic than many other kinds of death Americans face.

----------------------------------------------------

Compared to overall life in America, I don't see banning guns creating much positive change and that's not even taking into account the concomitant negative results, like reduction of self defense.

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I'm particularly disturbed by the randomness of handgun deaths where I live, in LA, and I'll bet it's the same in other towns with rampant gang activities. These animals cruise the streets in cars and shoot at anyone that might be a rival gang member. What seems to happen more times than not is innocent bystanders, often young people with no gang affiliations at all, get killed.

Take the guns out of the hands of these monsters and that kind of death will be greatly reduced. Instead of maybe five people being shot, there might be one getting knifed, but even that is doubtful because if you're shooting into a crowd, that takes nothing more than abject cowardice. It you run into a crowd to stab someone, the chances are you're not going to come out again whole, and so takes the kind of courage that would prevent a shooting in the first place.

One can always use the argument that making something illegal doesn't stop it. Sure, we'll still have guns. But not nearly as many, and not so many in the hands of children. And we have to start somewhere. I don't see much benefit in allowing the general populace to have handguns, and see lots wrong with it.

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I don't know how you'd support the thought that permissive carry laws mean a politer citizenry. I've been in many of those states. I haven't noticed the population there any nicer than anywhere else.

I think the places awash in gun violence are usually the places with heavy populations, insufficient job opportunities, and a culture of gang activities. Having guns available simply facilitates lethal violence.

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Overheard in a packed subway car during rush hour in Atlanta:

"Excuse me, but your gun butt is digging into my left buttock."

"Oh, pardon me, sir. I'll move away."

"Thank you."

"My pleasure, sir. Besides, you would have interfered with my draw-down."

"Oh, heavens, I am sorry."

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There's a real difference in culture.

Australia has cracked down on guns and they are very rare in private hands.

Here in the states, there are literally more guns than people.

There's no way to get rid of guns in private hands short of a bloody civil war.

Those of us that live in rural areas- the cops are an hour or more away.

They can document your murder, maybe even catch the murderer but they can't protect you.

You have to do that yourself or face the consequences.

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Australia has cracked down on guns and they are very rare in private hands.

James, I suspect you're wrong. I read an interesting article once, I forget where, but they compared the estimated Australian gun ownership before the gun ban in the 90s with the actual number of guns handed in and there is a huge discrepancy. The article estimates that about half the privately held guns in Australia remained with their owners who hid them away.

A similar thing has been shown in countries like the UK and Germany where hidden guns are found when people die and their houses are searched/renovated etc. Lots of citizens refused to obey the ban. Estimated illegal gun ownership in places like Germany and the UK is quite high. But it seems most of these guns have been removed from play via being put into deep storage.

I can only image how low the compliance rate would be with any attempted ban in the US. That's one reason gun rights activists fight so hard to stop registration laws, because it becomes a directory for home visits from the authority when a ban happens (As happened recently in NY)

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James is correct on the cultural differences, though. Guns are generally in rural communities in Australia -- there is little in the way of genuine gun ownership in the cities and towns. The vast majority of Australian citizens do not own a gun. That's in contrast to the USA where not only is there a sizeable percentage of people who own guns, but they are across the country -- rural and cities/towns.

What works in Australia will not work in the USA. The culture/mentality is different, and the number of guns in the community already makes it implausible (if not impossible) to bring the percentage of gun ownership down significantly.

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No idea on the exact rules, but I believe you need to show a reason for having a gun. For farmers and hunters, that's easy. I believe most gun ownership would fit into one of those two categories, with the majority of firearms being rifles. Handguns would have their own subset of users, but apart from gun clubs, there aren't a lot of reasons to own a handgun unless you work in the security field.

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