There have been attempts in Georgia to allow students with gun carry permits to brandish their weapons on college campuses over the objections of college presidents. A few sessions ago, there was a push to allow employees to bring weapons on their jobs against the will of their employers. And there was another push to allow guns in airports. Fortunately, those attempts failed.
Now there is a proposal to allow weapons in churches and bars — something even the gun-toting public sees as problematic — yet it passed the House on Tuesday. And there are lawmakers who want to give those caught in the screening process with a weapon at airports a pass.
This effort, unlike the others, is not a legitimate Second Amendment debate. As the old saw states: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Sure, there are some people who simply forget they are packing a firearm, just as there are those who forget the speed limit is 55 mph. Those offenders are handed a ticket and pay fines.
We won’t talk about irresponsible behavior as state Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) did when asked about the proposal to let those who “innocently” forget they have a weapon to go free. “If we have people who are so indifferent and careless with their weapon that they can stand up with a straight face and say, ‘Oh, I forgot I had a weapon on me,’ that’s not the sort of person who should be carrying a weapon,” Orrock said.
Counsel representing airport screeners also think the proposal is a dangerous idea, and they have good reason to be worried. One of their own was cut down at Los Angeles International Airport last November. Passengers flying into and out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport should be particularly concerned. More weapons were confiscated in Atlanta during screenings than at New York’s Kennedy, Chicago’s O’Hare, Miami International’s and Los Angeles’ airports combined.
Lawmakers may get the thumbs up in certain quarters for their efforts to liberalize penalties in this respect, and it may help prove their firearm bona fides, but it does nothing to improve their standing in the eyes of those who cherish the Second Amendment.