Posted: 9:00 am Saturday, March 8th, 2014

It’s deja vu all over again on campus carry 

By Jim Galloway

020312Legphoto05

State Sens. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, left, Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, and Jason Carter, D-Decatur, right, in a 2013 photo. AJC/Jason Getz

As the last few minutes allotted to the 2013 Legislature drained away, a compromise on a gun bill was reached among five of six Republican lawmakers.

Over the objections of the Board of Regents, the measure would have allowed the carrying of concealed weapons on public university campuses — as long as younger permit holders obtained extra training in the use of firearms.

The fact that one lawmaker, state Sen. Cecil Staton of Macon, a former associate provost at Mercer University, refused to sign onto the deal reached by the House-Senate conference committee made no difference.

But Staton’s withdrawal a few minutes later mattered very much.

The compromise came so close to a midnight deadline that the Senate was required to waive its own rules in order to take it up. That required a two-thirds vote, and Republicans number exactly 38 in a 56-member Senate.

Without Staton’s support, the gun bill could go nowhere. And Staton had disappeared from the chamber. “I was busy,” a bespectacled Staton said this week. “So, yeah, I played a major role in stopping that bill last year.”

Bill Murray has nothing on the Georgia General Assembly. We are in high “Groundhog Day” mode, approaching the end of the 2014 session with another new House gun bill resting in the bosom of the Senate.

House Bill 875 would expand concealed weaponry to every city and county building in the state that is unprotected by armed security guards.

Concealed carry would be allowed in bars and churches. And it would be decriminalized on public university campuses. Violators would be subject to a fine no greater than $100 — less than a speeding ticket.

But 2014 isn’t a precise photocopy of 2013. For one thing, 2014 is an election year. With a Republican governor facing not just a primary, but a well-financed Democratic challenger.

Perhaps more important, four Senate Republicans have announced they will not be running for re-election: Majority Leader Ronnie Chance of Tyrone, Tim Golden of Valdosta, John Crosby of Tifton – and Cecil Staton.

Three of the departing senators haven’t publicly indicated where they are on HB 875. But Staton has no qualms.

He collects guns. He considers himself a Second Amendment enthusiast. “But I also have a son in college. And the campus-carry thing, frankly, just made no sense to me,” Staton said. “And I don’t think it makes much sense to most Georgians — Republicans or Democrats. Especially mothers. They don’t want to think of their kids walking across the campus in Athens and seeing students with guns on their hips.”

HB 875 is another example, Staton said, of Republicans being pushed ever further to the right. “The difficulty for my party going forward is the influence of some of these groups. It doesn’t matter what your lifetime commitment may have been — it’s what you did on this amendment,” he said. “You make enemies out of 80 percent, 90 percent friends. We’re so good at doing that as Republicans.”

In addition to his background as a Mercer official, there are two more things you need to know about Staton. One is that he is the Senate majority whip, in charge of counting votes for his ruling GOP caucus.

Secondly, Staton is a graduate of the Southern Baptist seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

During a House committee hearing, a representative of the Georgia Baptist Convention said his denomination, with 3,600 churches and 1.3 million members, endorsed HB 875 and its language to allow concealed weapons in houses of worship — unless the local congregation or other administrative unit should declare otherwise.

But Staton spoke of quiet disagreement from many congregations that he’s heard from.

“I’m very concerned personally about any provision that requires houses of worship to opt out. I think that is bad public policy,” Staton said. “I can’t imagine why Republicans would want to require every house of worship to hold some kind of meeting — to essentially have a church conference where people have to vote.”

In other words, HB 875 would force a summer of debate among thousands of congregations in Georgia — with exceptions for other forms of denominational governance — over whether to allow firearms in their midst.

So where are we headed? Let us make two assumptions. First, that Gov. Nathan Deal would rather not shoulder the blame for a primary-season eruption of arguments in Georgia pews — regardless of an official green light from the state’s largest and most influential denomination.

Then put yourself in the shoes of a Democratic producer of TV spots, with access to millions of dollars pouring into Georgia to spur supporters of U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn or Jason Carter, now certain to be Deal’s November opponent.

Should campus carry be decriminalized in Georgia, on Deal’s signature, your job would to be to make the University of Georgia campus the most frightening place a registered female voter — preferably a mother with high school-age kids — could imagine.

HB 875 is certain to undergo a hefty rewrite. Keep an eye on state Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton. He’s the governor’s floor leader. If Bethel assumes Senate sponsorship of the bill, you can assume that the governor has entered the negotiations.

Senators will try to find a path that avoids a repeat of last year’s tense House-Senate negotiations. But if there is another conference committee, Staton says he stands ready.

“I’ve certainly made it known that I’m willing to serve in that role,” he said. “I’m not running for re-election.”

126 comments
MortLeith
MortLeith

"The Gun Is Civilization"


Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.

If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.


Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that's it. In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.
When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.


The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we'd be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger's potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat--it has no validity when most of a mugger's potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.


Then there's the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don't constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.The gun is the only weapon that's as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn't work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn't both lethal and easily employable.


When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation... and that's why carrying a gun is a civilized act. So the greatest civilization is one where all citizens are equally armed and can only be persuaded, never forced.
By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)


MortLeith
MortLeith

This m0r0n Cecil Staton from Macon should be ashamed of himself for pretending to not only be a GOPer,, but pretending to understand what our Constitution 2nd Amendment means.


And THEN goes and says something even DUM*BER by stating he would rather see his son on a college campus DEFENSELESS when a criminal comes to that school knowing full well that students are unarmed and can not defend themselves ! ! 

Vanbren5
Vanbren5

Republican clown car only drives in reverse!

Kamchak
Kamchak

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/09/george-zimmerman-appearance-at-florida-gun-show-draws-blanks/


George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watchman who was acquitted of the shooting and killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, failed to draw many fans at an Orlando gun show on Saturday, according to the NY Daily News.

Zimmerman, whose appearance was advertised on the New Orlando Gun Show Facebook page with, “Come on out and meet George Z! He’s here a few more hours. And no matter what you read, there are no protesters, lunatics or other varieties of a– clowns,” failed to draw many curiosity seekers.

Over the course of six hours, fewer than 20 people at the gun show asked for a free autographed photo of Zimmerman, who was situated in a rear office of The Arms Room gun store in Orlando.

The gun show, originally booked at Orlando’s Majestic Events Center, had been cancelled after word that Zimmerman would appear, however the promoters were able to secure another venue.

ParadiseLost86
ParadiseLost86

There is nothing in HB 875 that would require churches to hold meetings on whether to allow guns on their property or not. It is PRIVATE PROPERTY and once the state gets its fingers out of churches, those private property owners can do what they want. Hold a meeting, don't hold a meeting, whatever.

I hate misinformation. Especially coming from a legislator who is supposed to read the bill thoroughly and make an informed decision.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Let's just arm everybody and have a huge kegger in front of a church on campus. What fun. And maybe require an assault weapon with college registration. Extreme gun lovers really live in an alternative world populated with their movie heroes where bullets only kill bad guys and no one misses.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

Did everyone know that Staton’s company owed the Regents (school system) a disputed $53,000 when Casey Cagle released him (not common) allowing the pro-gun bill to stall and run out of time, not passing last year?

He denied sabotaging the bill when grilled right after but now admits to it out of his good conscience, you know with family in school..…. Good riddance liar.


http://macon.13wmaz.com/news/news/79080-gs-close-settlement-company-co-owned-sen-staton



Did everyone know that Staton’s company owed the Regents (school system) a disputed $53,000 when Casey Cagle released him (not common) allowing the pro-gun bill to stall and run out of time, not passing last year?


He denied sabotaging the bill when grilled right after but now admits to it out of his good conscience, you know with family in school..…. Good riddance liar.


A bit more for the unaware


Senator Ginn after an agreement, added training for students, then at the last minute added yet another restriction that he knew would potentially kill the bill. Staton’s vote would be required to keep the bill alive, but he ran-Cagle released him early, Staton denied he did it intentionally to kill the bill then posted this on his face book page in support of the bill (he removed it but not before it was copied):


“Friends of Cecil Staton


Yesterday.On the final day of the session, all three senate conferees signed off on one of the most significant 2nd amendment rights bill in Georgia history. Our house colleagues played games with us and refused to sign our bill, backed by NRA, until the clock ran out last night. Work on this bill and our protection of the 2nd amendment is never over.”



Not just a liar but the word traitor slips off the tongue.


HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

On the night of Nov. 30, the 45-year-old Williams called police when she heard someone breaking into her home in the 3000 block of Amhurst Parkway.

Police arrived minutes later to find Williams unresponsive with gunshot wounds, authorities said.

She died days later, police said.


http://www.ajc.com/news/news/arrest-made-in-s-fulton-shooting-death/ncNSc/



And


Georgia Mom Shoots Home Invader 5 Times

Intruder hospitalized after mother, who'd been hiding in crawl space with her kids, shot him in the neck and face.


A Georgia mother hid her two 9-year-old twins and shot an intruder, Paul Ali Slater, several times during a home invasion on Friday, according to multiple media reports.

The Loganville mother said she didn’t initially answer when someone knocked on her door around 1 p.m. Friday. When the visitor began repeatedly ringing the doorbell, she called her husband at work, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.


http://myfox8.com/2013/01/06/ga-mom-shoots-intruder-5-times-saves-children/


I prefer the second story



Just saying.....

Kamchak
Kamchak

http://www.pressherald.com/news/nationworld/Womans_account_raises_questions_in_shooting_of_Alzheimers_patient_.html

Woman’s account raises questions in shooting of Alzheimer’s patient

 ATLANTA — The girlfriend of the man who mistakenly shot and killed a disoriented Alzheimer’s patient in North Georgia warned her boyfriend that the stranger appeared to be an old man, she told investigators.

[...]

 She gave mixed signals about whether she felt threatened by the man. During an interview just hours after the shooting, she acknowledged that she was scared by the unknown intruder. However, the woman also considered other possibilities.

“I thought he was just confused where he was,” she said.

“He was going to get his gun and I said Joe he’s like ... a 70-year-old man, you know I didn’t think it was a big, that big of a deal ...”

Investigators asked whether the woman communicated her thought to Hendrix. She said she did.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey


The firearms industry ironically is benefiting from corrupt politician who forgot their oath of office and freedom loving Americans who not only respect their rights but have exercised it within the 2nd amendment. The silver lining to all this infringement and banning discussion is folks who didn’t really pay attention are. The fastest growing of new gun owners in “America” is women. This is a good thing and reduces the risk of injury or death in this group.


http://www.ajc.com/news/news/homeowner-attacked-while-evicting-4-tenants/nd5pc/


P-Evans
P-Evans

Cecil Staton is a traitor to those that love freedom. He's beholding to the Board of Regents if not directly in their pocket, and marches to their drum. Those elites are opposed to 21 year old licensed adults protecting themselves on Georgia college campuses against rapists, robbers, and murderers. Very glad to see he will not be in the legislature next session. Good riddance!

td1234
td1234

Who caused Bookman's blog to be shut down?

notagain
notagain

Faces in the trough will remain the same as long as we elect/reelect lawyers.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

Not a word on the transportation issues facing Georgia.

Education? Virtually nothing.

Child Protective Services - still underfunded

No efforts to support Zones of economic opportunity - jobs - help with solutions to rural medical delivery system failures.

These are the issues leaders would put first if they cared about anything but their own faces in the trough.


Instead, the noise about statues, religious freedom, guns, gays and pot is shrill and steady. Party affiliation is blinder behind which unqualified people hide from you.

Voters, please.

Study before you vote and don't be swayed by empty and largely symbolic drivel designed to distract you from the real problems going unaddressed in this state.


Ralph-43
Ralph-43

According to a recent Gallup report, Americans age 18 to 29 are the least likely to own guns, with just 20 percent claiming that they do.With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, U.S. citizens now own 40 percent of all firearms in civilian hands. On average guns killed 88 Americans and injured 202 each day during 2011 (N Engl J Med 2013:368:397-399).U.S. firearm homicides are 20 times higher and firearm suicides are 6 times higher than in other developed countries. Gun owners are statistically, significantly, more likely to commit murder and to eventually commit suicide (Univ Penn LDI Issue Brief 2003;8(8), 1-4).These college level young adults know that trying to pull a gun on an armed robber is the best way to get killed.They also know that depression and various forms of rejection can lead this age group to suicidal ideation.Conclusion:only a really stupid person would even suggest that arming college students will improve their safety or well being.Most likely, the students will be smarter than those elected Republican representatives attempting to promote the South’s gun culture.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@Vanbren5


Lately I can't argue with that there. Appears infringing and failing to restore individual rights has no party affiliation recently.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@ParadiseLost86


Yep, but that's not what a few certain few want the public to perceive.... Hard to compromise your integrity when you have none to begin with....

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@NWGAL


The choice to arm oneself is an individual choice not to be dictated or mandated just as to choose to be disarmed. Your types could not prevent legal carry in public so you folks target the public locations creating "gun free zones". When a mass shooting occurs in one you ignorantly demand to disarm and double down on "gun free zones". If you folks could be held accountable, this crap would diminish greatly.


Once the public gets fed up with lunatics seeking out gun free zones, perhaps we can even the odds a tad.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@Kamchak




It is quite concerning to see someone who; doesn’t comprehend just what “Stand Your Ground” laws are, why they were created, just who they protect and why, make such a fury over them because what they read in a blog somewhere or some biased “news” article. They often are all too eager to boisterously share that ignorance and misconception that serves just who?


Castle laws or doctrine and “duty to retreat” should be clearly understood as well. Stand your ground laws protect victims not criminals and were not used in trial of two of the court cases that sparked the loud ignorance of what the law honestly is.


The hilarious spin that the anti-gun lobby/liberal media is currently pushing, since most states have stand your ground laws enacted and in place, protecting the citizens, is that “JUSTIFIABLE” homicides are up. Well first off I’m not too broken up when someone worthy of being killed is. Play stupid games, win a stupid prize. Other than that they seem to forget the huge numbers of “new” gun owners with women being the fastest growing segment that are not just purchasing but jumping through the hoops and paying their tax to exercise their right to carry a firearm. More guns in citizens hands equates to less crime, really.


Yep, I’m just all broken up violent criminals are dying and increasingly so at the hands of legally armed citizens. Did you know the crime rates have been dropping the past decade but we have more guns that ever before. Thank you Obama and your party's anti-gun plank.


It appears some would want to change that in their ignorance and deception.



NWGAL
NWGAL

Fixing a non existing problem is your idea of good leadership? I think working on creating jobs for those graduating would be a higher need.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Who caused Bookman's blog to be shut down?


Must be the same one that shut down Kyle's

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

You might get away with the YouTubes on the weekend, but, if recall the last statement of Jim's rules, it's a violation.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

@notagain  Statistically, the Georgia legislature has the lowest percentage of lawyers in 100 years.

td1234
td1234

@Ralph-43  My 17 year old already has two guns and most of his friends have their hunting rifles as well. Must be the city youth not owning guns. 

MortLeith
MortLeith

@HypnotistMonkey @NWGAL  Gun Free Zones should be renamed "Criminal NO-WORRY Zones" or "Turkey shooting INNOCENT and UNARMED citizen zones:"

Kamchak
Kamchak

...make such a fury...

Where, exactly have I ,"ma[d]e such a fury"?

Please, be specific and show your work.

Thanks in advance, sport.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@NWGAL


The root of the issue is the criminalization/restriction of typically honest law abiding citizens who are an asset to a free society. One step on the wrong direction and felon, one step back not a felon, get caught go to jail. In general laws that impact criminals are good laws, laws created to criminalize honest citizens should not be tolerated.

Kamchak
Kamchak

And Maureen Downey's.


Looks like it's an oliveware software thingie.

Kamchak
Kamchak

...but, if recall the last statement of Jim's rules, it's a violation.


Thank you, as I did not know that and I am guilty of posting youtube links as well.

td1234
td1234

@hamiltonAZ Well that is good news. To bad the lawyers are leading the legislature or it would be a much better place. 

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

… well, to be fair, "100 years" is a way of saying in a long, long time.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Great! He can shoot with both hands!

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

@td1234 Hope they are not the ones who end committing murder (20 times more likely than in other developed countries) or suicide (6 time more likely than in other developed countries).  You will have yourself to blame for your irresponsible parenting.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@NWGAL


Yep,


I mean with all the firefights and blood baths in our parks, on our public transportation system/Marta, in the school parking lots, in the non-sterile areas of our airports, in restaurants that serve alcohol thank God we ban legal carry there…. Oh my, wait a minute, it’s legal to carry there now for years now.


How can this be?


What was the argument to prohibit lawful carry of firearms in these areas? Was in not the same howls to prevent lawful carry of a firearm in public. Seems the argument never tires despite the contradictory history and benefit. But let’s ignore that and continue promoting fear and ignorance since it is so much more beneficial.


NWGAL
NWGAL

People with guns. Hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys when the bullets are flying.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

@Kamchak  I'm going on memory there. Seems like he let the links go, but wasn't keen on the embedded vids.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

The problem is more closely related to the election of too many proxies for special interests.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Shooting with one firearm in each hand, like a cartoon character.

HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@NWGAL



As they should, best accuracy is when a firm two handed grip is attained with a comfortable stable stance. I’d recommend an NRA approved, sponsored, accredited beginners firearms course. You might become educated.


HypnotistMonkey
HypnotistMonkey

@Ralph-43 @td1234



The reality is they will grow into fine young men (99.999999%) who understand firearms, their purpose and aware of how to use them. Not some phobic screech with an innate fear of an inanimate object that post on blogs professing their unfounded, speculative fears in public.


Just saying….