Constitutional carry in Georgia won't increase Atlanta crime

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has announced his desire to see constitutional carry become law in the state. As a Georgia resident, this is good news for me and a whole lot of other people.

However, not everyone is excited by the prospect.

That’s hardly surprising, of course. There’s always opposition toward any attempt at restoring gun rights anywhere in the country.

The problem is that some in Atlanta think the whole world should revolve around them.

A 6-month-old boy was killed while in the backseat of his mother’s car in a drive-by shooting on Monday. The death of Grayson Matthew Fleming-Gray marks Atlanta’s second deadly shooting involving babies this year and the 12th homicide of 2022, and it’s not even February yet.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp is seeking reelection and promising on the campaign trail to pass what gun rights advocates call a “constitutional carry” bill, which would likely allow eligible Georgians to open or concealed carry a handgun without a permit.

“Gun violence is out of control,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said during a news conference following Monday’s shooting. “These children are bearing the burden and the pain of adults who are choosing to use guns to solve disputes. The children are bearing this burden with their lives, and I’m here to ask, and to demand, that it stop right now.”

The mayor’s plea came just two weeks after Kemp spoke at the self-proclaimed “world’s largest gun store,” Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, Georgia, with support from Republican state lawmakers and members of the National Rifle Association.

It should be noted that the people who are shooting up Atlanta aren’t people who actually care about the current carry laws. Constitutional carry isn’t going to empower these people to do a damn thing, mostly because they’re already doing it.

What it will do, though, is allow good, decent people in Atlanta to decide to carry a gun without having to wait weeks for a carry permit.

The bad guys don’t need permission, obviously, but the good guys do. That’s really all constitutional carry is. It’s permission for the law-abiding to carry the moment they decide to.

You’re not going to hear it framed that way from Atlanta politicians, people who think the issues they’re having in Atlanta mean everyone else in the state should see their rights continue to be curtailed.

Because that’s really what Dickens is saying here.

Which doesn’t mean I need to trip over myself supporting gun control laws that restrict my right to keep and bear arms simply because he and his predecessors can’t deal with the violent crime in their city.

Dickens should remember that violent crime had been on a downward trajectory for years and years without any new gun control laws being passed in the state of Georgia or on the federal level. In fact, over that period, gun rights were restored at a significant pace, all while that crime rate dropped.

If gun control were the answer, it would suggest repealing gun control would create problems. However, the data just doesn’t support that.

Nor will it support it this time, either.