One by one, business owners said in court this week they felt intimidated by DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis when he asked for campaign contributions, and they feared losing work from the county if they didn’t pay up.
The Episcopal bishops of Atlanta and Georgia, the right Revs. Robert C. Wright of Atlanta and Scott Anson Benhase of Georgia, respectively, have sent out a letter in opposition to HB 875, a measure passed by the House and now in the Senate, which would expand the places where licensed concealed weapons could be carried – including in houses of worship.
The letter terms the bill as a “mistake.” A few paragraphs:
Supporters of this bill claim our current quite expansive gun laws are not expansive enough. They claim that if only the “bad guys” have guns, then the “good guys” cannot stop them. As one State Representative who sponsored the bill said: “Gun free zones that are created by well-meaning laws are gun-free to the good guys only. The bad part of our society does not care.”
Our Christian Faith has a more complex understanding of “good guys” and “bad guys.” Our Biblical understanding of human sin informs us of this universal truth. People who had no criminal record and had a legal right to their weapons have perpetrated almost all of the recent tragic shootings in houses of worship and schools. They were “good guys” until they weren’t.
This bill solves nothing and it only creates the potential for more gun violence, not less, to say nothing of increasing political polarization in Georgia. Our State’s current gun laws are already quite fair to gun owners, adequately protecting their rights. All the citizens of Georgia have rights as well. We have a right to keep guns out of our houses of worship and our schools.