Gun-toting Confederate flag wavers

A group of white people held a demonstration at Stone Mountain yesterday to support continuing the display of the Confederate flag at the state-owned park. Based on the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s photo gallery, people who think being armed to the teeth in public are hate flag wavers too, or they thought this would be a good place for showing off their weapons. Photos tell the story better than words.

photos from the Atlanta Journal Constitution
photos from the Atlanta Journal Constitution

 

 

How we have failed since September 11, 2001

Tonight President Obama will address the nation about ISIS and any actions that we may take in response to the horrific murders of Americans and innocent civilians at the hands of terrorists.

Tomorrow there will be an observance in my community, and many others, to honor the thousands of lives lost to hate and terrorism, and to support the families and friends who knew someone they loved would never return home again.

Since September 11, 2001 we as a country have talked a lot about being kinder to one another and being a better country. Yet 13 years later this is what consumes us as a country:

  • fighting about allowing two consenting adults of the same-sex to legally marry each
  • failing to take care of the thousands of veterans who have defended our country, many of whom returned with horrible wounds from the Middle East since September 2001
  • allowing private corporations to decided which forms of legal birth control they will cover for employees through company based health insurance because some corporations should have the same privileges as churches
  • granting corporations the same rights as citizens so businesses can pour money into elections and our representatives’ pockets
  • making it harder for citizens to exercise their right to vote
  • subsidizing corporations with huge tax breaks while their employees working full-time never earn enough to break the poverty barrier
  • denying the hard facts of science because profits should come before cleaning up the mess we’ve made of the entire planet
  • deporting children
  • complaining about failing schools while slashing teacher pay and testing our children to death
  • sitting by silently while racism and sexism are displayed proudly
  • being sure we can take our assault rifles into the grocery store
  • we pay for and support violence on playing fields, in the movies we watch, video games we buy, music we listen to, and television shows we watch, but we react with horror when students are sprayed with bullets in their classrooms, women are drug from elevators by their hair, students are bullied, children and women are raped as well as being forced into prostitution
  • too many among us are convinced that their brand of faith should be followed above all others, and if necessary the rights of other citizens should be denied because they choose to worship differently, or not at all

We absolutely should remember and honor the victims of September 11th’s violence. I’m just not convinced we are a country that is a better reflection of the democratic values and freedoms which terrorists intended to destroy 13 years ago.

 

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

The Friday Photo
August 29, 2014

Gringos, Milledgeville, GA
Gringos, Milledgeville, GA

To borrow a slogan from an old toothpaste commercial, “Put your money where your mouth is.” I’m making a real effort to find and support businesses who are willing to post a sign saying guns don’t belong in theirs.

 

“Guns Everywhere” results in first reported death

The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Raw Story are reporting that a Texas woman visiting Helen, GA was killed by a stray bullet outside a bar over the weekend. According to Raw Story,  53-year-old Glenn Patrick Lampien, from  Jasper, GA was outside the Old Heidelberg bar and restaurant on Helen’s crowded Main Street when he accidentally shot himself.

Police arrived after a call was placed concerning gunshots to discover that a woman across the street had been struck by Lampien’s bullet. She didn’t respond to first aid and was pronounced dead at the scene. Lampien will be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Georgia’s HB 60, known as Georgia’s “Guns Everywhere” law, went into effect less than two months ago. This bill, which drew strong opposition from law enforcement officials  and ministers, allows guns in public places including bars, government buildings, TSA lines at Atlanta’s Jackson Hartsfield airports, and schools.

Businesses may prohibit guns by posting a sign stating that they do not want guns brought into their establishment. What HB 60 doesn’t do is restrict law enforcement officers from going into an establishment that prohibits guns. HB 60 does stop police officers from asking to see a permit unless a crime is being committed. At that point asking to see a gun license is moot, isn’t it?

I talked with several local businesses I frequent, or used to, about HB 60, and was stunned to find out that they know very little, if anything, about HB 60. Some owner/managers said they thought it fell apart during the session because it was so “crazy.”

“Crazy” is a law now, and a woman from Texas who visited our state is going home in a coffin as a result of Governor Deal and the Georgia General Assembly’s insistence that we need guns everywhere.

 

 

Bring your library card and your gun

Georgia’s Guns Everywhere law went into effect at 12:01 this morning. A few weeks ago I made some calls to businesses I frequent to find out if they would allow guns beginning today. A coffee shop I really like reacted like I was making a prank call. I doubled back today. They were honest and said they just didn’t know much about it, but would hustle now and get an answer back to me. They serve beer and wine, so they can’t stay on the fence on this one.

Alcohol and guns didn’t mix in Georgia, until now. Guns Everywhere means patrons at any guns and alcoholestablishment serving alcohol can bring a gun in, unless the business posts a sign telling patrons they can’t bring a gun in.

As of midnight last night, the Rosa M Tarbutton Memorial Library, a beautiful library in Washington County used by everyone in the community, will have to allow guns in the building. My county, like many others, can’t afford the additional security staff or detectors required to keep guns out of the building. All the county buildings in my community, with the exception of the courthouse, where they are adding additional staff for security, will have to allow citizens to bring guns inside.

The Georgia General Assembly and Governor Deal think we need more guns in public places but less funding for mental health services and public schools. Do legislators expect them to have a bake sale to cover their costs?