Friday, April 25, 2014

Welcome to the Wild Wild East

This is a political post.

I went out a few months ago to a friends birthday party at a little spot called the Buckhead Bottle Bar,
which looked a lot more impressive in the photographs. That and the waitress took so long I thought she had to drive to the liquor store to get the alcohol for my drink. Okay, maybe I'm a little old for that spot, but the news today suddenly brought back a memory of that evening. Aside from the look I got from the doorman, I had to submit to a pat down before entering.

Normally I don't do a spot that has to pat you down. It generally means the people running the spot know that their crowd has a tendency to get ornery, which really isn't conducive to a good night out at my age. As such, I paused at the door and asked him if it was "like that" in the establishment. He indicated that no, it wasn't, but due to the liberal gun laws in my state of residency, guns had become more prevalent than ever. He informed me that even the nicer restaurants, the places that look like movie backgrounds, are festooned people packing personal weaponry.

Where have I been?

Now I realize that there is a little town just outside of Atlanta that requires gun ownership (strange how conservatives didn't scream that government mandate violates any rights, now isn't it?) but the city of Atlanta proper and all it's associated city-lites aren't crazy dangerous. Are they? I mean, I live in a theoretically sketchy part of town, and I don't feel the need to be armed. It's not like I'm stumbling across bodies in the street on the way to the grocery store. I can leave the house after dark, just like in most of America, so I'm confused as to why Governor Deal felt the state needed better protection for dealing with roving bands of ...I'm guessing ghosts, here.

I mean, do the people in Buckhead, Brookhaven and Vinings need to walk around ready for a High Noon showdown? Or do teachers need rifles to hold off the natives until the menfolk get back from the fields? Because we live in the 21st century. At least I did.  What I find most disturbing about the bill is the specific inclusion (revisions of section 1-5) that removes the prohibition allowing guns into places that serve alcohol, because I like to think we're all fairly sure that alcohol impairs judgement. Am I to understand that drinking and driving is bad, but drinking and guns are okay? Apparently there is some study somewhere I missed that indicates alcohol does not impair judgment if you have a gun on you. Probably NRA sponsored.

This is really just an expansion of GA's Stand your Ground Law, which rests on the principle of allowing a person (usually not a minority) to shoot someone whom you feels threatens you in any place you're allowed to carry a gun. This expands the area you can legally carry one. Since we're now adding alcohol to the mix, I can uncomfortably predict this will not end well. A few drinks, an argument and suddenly everyone swears they're the hero in a Quentin Tarantino film. As the default threat - i.e., a black male - I find it more than a little worrisome. Here's to hoping I'm Django.

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