Fayette County News

Fayette County


Georgia Politicians: Bought off on guns

Jack Bernard, a retired SVP with a large national healthcare firm, has worked extensively with hospitals across the nation regarding cost containment and insurance. He was also the first Director of Health Planning for Georgia.
Jack Bernard, a retired SVP with a large national healthcare firm, has worked extensively with hospitals across the nation regarding cost containment and insurance. He was also the first Director of Health Planning for the state of Georgia.

“Hand guns are made for killin’, ain’t no good for nothin’ else” – “Saturday Night Special” by Lynyrd Skynyrd

This rocker was recorded decades ago. Since then, nothing has been done to control the violence caused by handguns. They are even easier easy to purchase and carry.
Now, due to purposefully lax laws promulgated by politicians bought off by lobbyists, you can also easily obtain semi-automatic military style assault rifles. Wow, that’s progress, no one said!
For example, Trump received $30 million from the NRA during his campaign. No wonder he buys into the NRA’s stale line of baloney about every American needing a gun and speaks at their convention.
Not long ago, after meeting with the children who survived mass shootings, even this obnoxious, self-centered man seemed to be having second thoughts. Then someone on Trump’s staff must have suddenly hit him with the facts: you are beholden to the NRA, so act that way.
Rather than continue to talk about minor gun control changes like bumper stock bans and raising the age for arms purchases, he quickly switched gears. He decided to move rightward to the NRA’s latest wacko mantra – secure the schools like army fortresses and arm the teachers. What a great idea, no one said!
The armed guard at Parkland was trained but ran off when he figured out that military style weaponry was being used. Then, are we going to start arming our teachers with AR 15s so they won’t run away? And have electric fences around the buildings like a prison? And have armed guards at every school entrance, as GA Senator Mike Williams suggested on a recent CNN show?
My family is full of teachers. None of them, male or female, have any interest whatsoever in owning a gun, much less being trained to intervene in a school attack by a mentally ill man with a military type assault weapon.
How many educators have been Army Rangers and Navy Seals? The answer, almost none, is obvious to everyone except the President and the NRA. Trump knows porn stars, reality show starlets, Russian oligarchs, and lots of people who can help make him richer, but has he ever truly known any teachers?
I read both right wing and left wing online newsletters. Not surprisingly, the views expressed are radically different.
The right-wing newsletters are consistent about their approach to the gun issue: The socialists are coming to confiscate our guns and we must stop them. The left-wing newsletters generally say that it is impossible to take away Americans guns (although a few on the left would like to do so). However, they believe it is feasible to control who owns them so that they are not in the hands of irresponsible individuals.
If the NRA and even more radical gun rights groups were not in the equation, I am certain that the two sides could come to an accommodation. Gun owners, I am one, are like other Americans in one respect: They do not want guns misused by unstable people and criminals.
If gun owners were not worried about confiscation, an emotional flash-point constantly pushed by the NRA, I believe that they would be much more flexible in reaching a compromise. A middle ground could be reached to restrict guns to those able to responsibly handle them for protection or sport.
Therefore, the key obstacle must be removed before progress is made, and that obstacle clearly is the NRA.
In that the NRA can’t just be shut down, its power to do harm must be diminished. The only way to do that is to vote against those legislators of either party who receive an “A” rating from the NRA. Once pro-NRA legislators begin to lose elections, the NRA’s influence will suddenly wane.
Georgia politicians receiving an A include: Senators Perdue and Isakson, plus Representatives Buddy Carter, Sanford Bishop, Austin Scott, Doug Collins, Jody Hice, Doug Loudermilk, Rick Allen, and Tom Graves. Karen Handel and Drew Ferguson (our Rep) are too new to be rated but will get an “A” based on their receipt of NRA funding and total support for the NRA’s positions.
Praying after each massacre is not enough. Every year we see more and more mass shootings. This week it is a school in Texas or Florida, but our town may be next.
Will each of you reading this column join with me in reducing mass shootings by voting against any elected official endorsed by the NRA? If not, look in the mirror and you will see that you are part of the problem.