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Jim GallowayJim Galloway

A workplace mass shooting in Georgia’s Gun Central

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Law enforcement officers gather at the FedEx facility near Kennesaw after Tuesday morning's shootings. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

Law enforcement officers gather at the FedEx facility near Kennesaw after Tuesday morning’s shootings. John Spink, jspink@ajc.com

There are those who will quickly tie today’s rampage at the FedEx complex on the outskirts of Kennesaw with HB 60, the gun bill signed into law last week by Gov. Nathan Deal, which expands the areas in which concealed weapons can be carried in Georgia.

But strictly speaking, HB 60 isn’t law yet. It doesn’t go into effect until July 1.

Nonetheless, the workplace slaughter by a bandoleered gunman who then committed suicide did indeed occur in what might be called, in philosophic terms,  Georgia’s Gun Central.

The FedEx facility sits on the edge of Kennesaw, which in 1982 passed a now-famous ordinance requiring residents to own a firearm – unless they didn’t want to. Many cities have attempted to copy the ordinance. But here’s the real irony: For Kennesaw, the important result was the link to economic development — a heightened profile that lured major companies. Like FedEx. Catch up on some history by clicking here.

The Fedex workplace is also located in House District 34, represented by Charles Gregory, a Republican with close ties to Georgia Gun Owners, the most conservative firearms organization pushing legislation in the state Capitol.

The group advertises itself as the state’s only “no compromise” gun lobby. From its website:

“We do not believe in, for example, trading one right in exchange for two other rights just to achieve some sort of partial liberty. We believe in 100% firearms liberty for individuals in the state of Georgia.

“For far too long, establishment, statist, access-based gun lobbying organizations here in Georgia and across the country have sold out gun owners and liberty lovers for political expediency and personal gain.”

Georgia Gun Owners’ office is only 1.5 miles away from the FedEx facility.

Updated at 3:12 p.m.: Patrick Parsons, executive director of Georgia Gun Owners just sent this email:

Might be worth mentioning in our story the double gun-free zone sign slapped right in the middle of that picture you posted. We’ve made that a point.

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