Georgia mayors press governor for gun control

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

There’s long been an understanding about how states are with regard to gun control. For the most part, the urban areas are going to favor restrictions and more rural areas are going to oppose them.


The suburbs can go either way, depending on the state and the city themselves.

Now, this is like any other generalization; it’s not a universal fact. This is what you see most of the time.

But it’s true enough that when you see something that goes in the opposite direction, it’s startling, which is relevant because of this:

Nearly four dozen mayors — from Adel in South Georgia to Dalton in North Georgia and cities in between — want stricter gun laws.

They sent a letter urging Gov. Brian Kemp and state lawmakers to help curb gun violence in their communities.

“We currently live with the reality that gun violence has become the No. 1 killer of children,” they wrote. “Georgia has become a top exporter of illegal weapons. We come to you with this request because our residents rely upon us to be the front line of efforts to enhance their quality of life.”

In the letter, the mayors — mostly Democrats — requested movement on several specific mental health and gun control policy measures.

Girtz said the checks should include “places like gun shows and online sales that are often escape routes for people who want to purchase weapons illegally.”

So-called “red flag” laws seen in other states that aim to prevent people deemed dangerous to themselves or others from buying firearms have proved a hard sell in Georgia.

The mayors also want to stop sales of “high-capacity clips [with which] you can kill a lot of people quickly,” Girtz said.


What was shocking was the mention of Adel in the first paragraph.

See, I know Adel. I was just there less than two weeks ago, though briefly. It’s a small town in a rural part of the state. It’s closest urban area is Albany, where I live, more than 50 miles away–and we’re not an area that usually has commutes that long.

For the mayor of Adel to sign on with something like this is troubling to me.

As for some of what’s being asked for, I can’t help but just shake my head at the ignorance on display by these elected officials.

Red flag laws have failed to stop numerous shootings and there’s little evidence they’ve ever stopped any act of violence. Magazine capacity limits also don’t stop violent attacks and really don’t reduce the body count when there is a mass shooting–after all, the Parkland killer carried out one of the worst school shootings in American history with 10-round magazines.

And contrary to the scary media stories, gun shows aren’t some outlet for skirting gun laws on purchases. The vast majority of people who sell at gun shows are FFL holders and are required to conduct a background check. Those who don’t are private individuals who are just selling their personal weapons.


Yet a letter like this popping up in pro-gun Georgia is more than a little troubling to me. Is Georgia starting to turn blue, as many have alleged? If so, even more rural parts of the state pushing for gun control could be a troubling harbinger of things to come.

Or it could just be that mayors of towns like Adel figure that due to the demographics of the city, he can get away with taking the anti-gun side.

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