The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Guns and Coweta County-A Middle Ground


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Feb. 11, 2020 - 1:48 PM

Guns and Coweta County-A Middle Ground

Jack Bernard of Fayette County, a retired corporate executive, was a two-term county commissioner and former county Republican Party chairman in Jasper County.

“The bottom line is that the Left already knows their gun control schemes do not work; criminals and terrorists have proven it. Yet they keep demanding that Americans submit to more and more restrictive gun laws. Perhaps it is not gun control they are seeking. Maybe they are just seeking control.” - The NRA Institute for Legislative Action states (7-21-17)

From what recently occurred at the Coweta County Commission, apparently these Commissioners are of the same ill-informed mind set as the NRA.

Commissioner Bob Blackburn apparently doesn’t know that the Second Amendment is not absolute. It does not say that every American can have a gun: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In fact, until Justice Scalia managed to talk 4 other justices into an activist reinterpretation in 2008, the Second Amendment was correctly defined by SCOTUS as only pertaining to State Militias.

I own a rifle. And, I love to go target shooting. But that doesn't mean I believe everyone should have a gun… or that no one should.

After every massacre by a man with a gun, we hear from the NRA that then is not the time for action to prevent gun violence. It’s a time for contemplation and prayer.

Then, we have yet another shooting somewhere else. And the politicians like Blackburn repeat that same old stuff about our prayers go out to you. Haven’t our politicians done enough contemplating and praying?

I am tired of politicians saying after each firearm’s massacre that we should just pray for an end to gun violence, like that is the answer. Our brothers and sisters in Texas and South Carolina were praying. They were shot in churches.

I am tired of hearing politicians say that these shooters are mentally ill…and then doing absolutely nothing to prevent crazy people from getting firearms.

I am tired of hearing the gun lobby say that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with a gun.

We have many times the guns per capita of other developed nations. We have much more gun violence, not less, due to the number of guns. A fact, not a theory. And, that’s true on the state level. States with weak gun laws have more firearm murders per capita.

Furthermore, I am tired of hearing from people like Blackburn that there is absolutely nothing that anyone can do to prevent gun violence short of confiscating all guns. That is an oft repeated lie.

Is there a middle ground between the far right and the far left on guns? Of course, there is… and that is where most Americans are in regard to this issue, although there definitely are different views depending on if you own a gun.

According to a Pew survey (4-17-17), 42% of Americans live in a household with guns and 72% have shot a gun at some point. These Americans will never accept confiscation of their guns; nor should they have to do so.

Almost half of that 42% indicate that all or most of their friends have guns. Plus, 74% of these gun owners say a gun “is essential to their own sense of freedom”. (For non-gun owners, the figure is only 35%.)

However, the same survey found that there were some areas of gun control agreement between owners and non-owners. All of these proposals had over 50% approval from both owners and non-owners:

a. stopping the mentally ill from owning guns;

b. having extensive background checks, including at gun shows;

c. stopping people on watch lists from having guns; and

d. maintaining an accurate firearms federal database.

Proposals to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines were also supported by most Americans (68% and 65% respectively). However, less than a majority of gun owners agreed (48% and 44% respectively).

There are those spokesmen on the extreme right, like Blackburn, who say that the American public is too divided on gun control and that coming up with a legislative solution is folly.

Analyzing the results of this survey conclusively proves that they are absolutely incorrect in their biased assumptions.

What is lacking is the political will by Congress and our state legislature to move forward. Progress will only be made if enough of us contact our state and Federal elected officials and let them know that we are tired of the procrastination. If they want to keep their jobs, we demand action now at long last.

*****

Jack Bernard of Fayette County, a retired corporate executive, was a two-term county commissioner and former county Republican Party chairman in Jasper County.