Kemp's constitutional carry support not an election strategy

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Governor Brian Kemp has come out very publicly in support of constitutional carry in the state of Georgia. While I felt he was vague about his Second Amendment support in general, he was very clear about constitutional carry.

However, 2022 is an election year, so it shouldn’t be surprising that some are going to question his support and ascribe motives to his every move.

Such as this opinion piece that suggests his support for constitutional carry is an election year strategy.

On Jan. 5, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced his intent to push for revisions in our state’s gun control measures that would allo Georgians to carry handguns in public without a carry permit. During his announcement, Kemp said, “I believe the United States Cosntitution grans the citizens of our state teh right to carry a firearm without state government approval.”

As many may recall, during the 2018 campaign season leading up to Kemp’s election as governor, his advertising and marketing messages often featured him holding firearms. His trategy apparently worked well to mobilize a voter base of those who value their right to bear arms.

Now, four years later, and at the beginning of another campaign season, we are seeing a similar message and proposed constitutional changes that if passed and made into law could make our cities, towns, and communities less safe.

Now, the suggestion itself might have some merit were it not for one simple fact. Namely that Kemp supported constitutional carry last year.

Granted, that support didn’t result in a whole lot of anything in the grand scheme of things, but he made it very clear that he would sign constitutional carry into law if it made it to his desk. Unfortunately, that didn’t do a lot for Georgians.

Yet it wasn’t his fault it didn’t pass, either. He can’t make the speaker of the House bring bills up for a vote, after all, and that’s who made the determination.

To even suggest this is an election year strategy is to ignore the previous year.

Of course, the writer here isn’t a fan of the Second Amendment, as he goes on to note without actually admitting as much.

Even though I have never owned any type of firearm other than a BB gun when I was very young, I do believe those who want to have guns for whatever reasons should be allowed to have them if they pass a required background check and register the weapons with a state authority. I do not support an effort to allow anyone who wants to carry a gun in public to do so without a permit and appropriate registration.

Frankly, I don’t really care all that much what someone who thinks our guns should be registered thinks about Brian Kemp. (For the record, there is no registration for guns in Georgia, which either this writer doesn’t know–in which case, he’s too ignorant to opine on the subject–or he’s lamenting, which is a different problem.)

However, I do want to acknowledge something really quickly. Namely, if Stacey Abrams doesn’t support constitutional carry–and she doesn’t–and somehow the majority of Georgians side with her, as one must assume by her vehemence on the topic, then if this is an election year strategy, it would be the dumbest one possible.

It might benefit him in the primary, but it would kill him in the general election.

So either Kemp actually supports the Second Amendment or maybe, just maybe, Abrams supporters know damn good and well just how unpopular their opposition actually is.

Say what you want about Kemp, but I don’t think for one minute his appeal to Second Amendment supporters is based on messaging or anything other than his belief in our gun rights.