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As the major parties convene and the presidential race becomes more formidable, so do issues of national importance and relevance. One of such issues that I think will take a prominent place in conversation is that of gun control and gun safety. With the recent increase of shootings in public places with increasing violence, I am interested in seeing in what direction this conversation will proceed. I am certain that the same usual suspects will continue the same rhetoric of the constitutional right to bear arms, inclusive of assault weapons, while other more sensible people argue the contrary. The question remains, however, at what point in interpretation does the sensible develop into the ludicrous?

In many states across the country, and Georgia in particular, there is an ongoing debate about where to allow permit holders to carry their weapons. At what point does it become a threat to public safety? Not only a threat to public safety, but when does it compromise the ability of law enforcement officers to protect and defend? I, for one, would not want to be delivering a sermon knowing that an angry deacon was sitting on the front pew packing a midnight special!

Such logic is based upon the theory that gun owners, and permit carriers in particular, pose no threat to anyone except criminals. That is preposterous. With increased public shootings, including the halls of academia, courts of justice and places of worship, I am afraid that if tougher gun controls are not insisted upon, we are on a high speed train headed for the wild, wild west. In this election season the sensible people of America cannot allow second amendment enthusiasts to railroad our elected official into subscribing to antiquated public policy. If it is not enough to worry about criminals carrying weapons then one need not have worry if the person sitting next to you at a theater is packing a pistol.

A committee of the Georgia State Senate is having conversation about a bill in draft that would allow guns to be carried anywhere in the state, except jails and courthouses. All one has to do is pass an easy background check that does not include a history of mental illness nor erratic actions. Such conversations are, in my opinion, really conversations about weapons of mass destruction and compromise the integrity of our national security. Guest Commentator, The Reverend D. D. Prather, is a noted Civil/Social Justice Activist, and a native of Atlanta, GA. Click here  to contact the Reverend Prather.

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August 28, 2008
Issue 288

is published every Thursday

Executive Editor:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield
Peter Gamble
Est. April 5, 2002
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