Tag Archives: charles gregory

Constitutional Values? You will rally for these bills…

I’ll keep this short and to the point. The Georgia legislative session has begun and because of the shortened session, the gas pedal is down for legislation. If I were a betting gal, I’d put money on the bad ones getting rammed through while the ones that restore our liberties face a Christie-like traffic jam.

As Constitutional conservatives, bills worth following include the following:

  • HB100 — concerning the Governor’s executive power over firearms and ammunition in a state of emergency. I wrote a full article on this bill, which you can read here. The bill has a substantial number of legislative signers but currently lacks support from the Governor’s office. We’ll keep waiting, but some folks struggle letting go of their own power. If I had to pick *one* piece of legislation to pass this session, it would be this one.
  • HB195 — regarding regionalism. This one is complicated, so if you missed all the articles, catch up here and here.
  • HB25 — a jury nullification bill. If you don’t understand jury nullification, you can read here and see why it’s necessary in a time where our justice system is quite twisted.
  • HB512 — This is a comprehensive gun bill that died on the last day of the 2013 session and included campus carry. In order for this to be considered a “good” bill, two things need to happen: 1) the term “mentally ill” needs to be narrowly defined because as the bill currently stands, those receiving court-mandated counseling and care would not be able to obtain a carry permit (this includes alcohol and drug counseling for people who are convicted of DUI) and 2) the training mandate for students is removed. Don’t mandate me, bro.
    Some are suddenly touting this as a property rights thing. This is only what we’ve been saying for 223 years.
  • HB699 — pertaining to warrantless surveillance by law enforcement and state agencies which also has a complete article detailing the parameters and evils. What I like most about this bill, which I tell you here, is that it actually monetarily charges the people who violate this law.
  • HB 707 — which deals with the Affordable Care Act and essentially nullifies the law in Georgia. There are several arguments that the bill wouldn’t actually do anything other than make a statement to the federal government and could be turned over in court. These are justifiable concerns, but Georgians are waiting for our elected officials to stick up for us and also to show they have courage. This is an opportunity. In addition, it’s an initiative by the People.
  • HB 718 — for raw milk. This is an easy one!! Full article here, but if this doesn’t pass, I will lose all hope for the Georgia legislature. Restoring a simple consumer right should be a quick and painless vote for all Republicans.

Other notable pieces of legislation include:
HB 181 – prohibiting EBT users from using ATMs to obtain cash
HB560 – a drone bill, though I’d rather just see a resolution encouraging dealing with this with other Constitutional rights. Jokes. Sort of.
HB733 – Georgia Religious Liberties Act of 2014 for students in public schools

It’s worth noting that many of these initiatives are not new and are ones many of us have been following for quite some time. If you want to contact your legislators, you can find their contact information here. I also fully support any bill that repeals an existing law. Next week I’ll be posting the bills I would like to see fail…because everyone loves a good hit piece.

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Reflection of the Campus Carry Hearing

So it’s been a couple of days since the hearings and I’ve had some time to ‘reflect’. I was genuinely impressed by how many people turned out for the hearings -in the middle of the day- in support of HB 28 & HB 29. Georgia Gun Owners, Georgia Carry, Students for Concealed Carry, students from various Georgia universities and many private citizens. It’s clear from the people who attended, with the exception of one student who had no argument and the University System of Georgia representative, who is so out-of-touch with what it’s like to be a student and what it means to be an American, there was overwhelming support for both bills.

I’ve also had the opportunity to reflect a bit regarding a conversation I had with a police chief from a private institution after the hearing. (Oh, the irony…me having a conversation with a police officer who would like to see unarmed citizens.)  I told him that I had attended Georgia State University, and he saw my testimony (seen here), as well as other students from the Atlanta area. His response was ‘Well, you don’t HAVE to go to those schools. You can choose to go elsewhere.’. I found this extremely amusing for a couple of reasons: First, this is coming from a liberal gentleman who wants everyone to have access to education but now he’s telling me that students shouldn’t attend Georgia State or Georgia Tech because of the of the “danger”. This is also coming from a public safety officer who is supposed to be protecting students, keeping campus safe. He should know he can’t, and his officers can’t, be everywhere at the same time. I asked him what he would tell his daughter who had to walk across the campus of Georgia State at 8p.m. in the dark after an evening class. He responded that he would ‘never send his daughter there’. Ah.. okay. So 1) you’re on a higher socioeconomic status than many of us (more than 30,000) students who attend GSU and 2) you’re so aware of the violence on campus that you would not send your own daughter there but you still don’t think that students should exercise their second amendment rights on campus.

I’m not following the logic, because there is no logic.
At this point, I extended my hand, thanked him for his service and said ‘have a nice day’. Before I turned my back, he said, “Well, if I went to Tech or State, I guess I would understand why you feel that way”.

But let me go on the record and explain something to you, sir, because you seemed to have missed a giant component of both HB 28 & HB 29. These bills, while they target the second amendment, are more about property rights. They would grant each university, private or public, the ability to regulate campus carry rules. It would be on an individual basis. So, Chief, if you think your campus is so safe so as not to need students to carry, it would be the institution’s right to deny that on campus. It would allow Georgia State support second amendment rights WHILE you folks at unnamed private institution, {cough- Agnes Scott- cough} deny them. The same concept applies to the bill for places of worship. Each individual church, synagogue, etc.  would have the ability to determine whether or not the parishioners could exercise their right in that particular place of worship. It’s a novel concept- actually. It removes the government from the decision. Kind of how Taco Mac won’t let you conceal carry in their bars. It’s an individual organizational choice. I believe you are private university for many reasons, many of which include funding, resources, and meddling from other organizations/government. And surely you understand the concept of ‘property’, as a law enforcement officer.

I’d also like to go on the record and thank Rep. Charles Gregory. As I said in my testimony, I’ve been writing my legislators for some time now regarding students and their right to carry. Rep. Gregory has really stepped up to the plate and gone to bat for all students who walk their campus in the dark or at night or have to go to their car in a bad part of town. But what’s amazing is that he didn’t introduce the bill for any of those reasons. The reason was liberty. The reason was the Constitution.
Thank you for recognizing that I am a citizen first, and a student second.