Legalized Crazy

Guns in Bars: What Could Go Wrong?

Georgia’s new law allows them everywhere—in libraries, at school—and permits felons to claim a Stand Your Ground defense. Let’s hope it makes Southern white guys feel manlier, at least.


To paraphrase a former National Rifle Association president, “You finally did it! You maniacs!”

That’s right, on Wednesday, in a fit of perfectly logical preparation for Sherman’s next march to the sea, Peach State Gov. Nathan Deal went ahead and signed a gun bill. Not just any gun bill, mind you, but one with so much stupid in it, it’s a wonder it hasn’t been renamed Bieber or Gohmert.

We discussed this “guns everywhere” and “felons have the right to shoot you” bill in this space only last month, but now that it’s law in the land of cottonold times they are not forgotten—perhaps it’s time for a refresher course.

The legislation will allow guns in places of worship, sporting events, bars, and yes, schools. Clearly they’ve learned nothing since Newtown, or since any of the approximately 50 school shootingsmore than three a month—in the last 17 months. Of course those attacks happened because those schools were “gun-free zones.” We can’t go blaming the easy access to guns for any yahoo with a Ted Cruz tattoo, which is clearly why we’re seeing the same epidemic of school shootings in, say, the Netherlands or Australia.

It’s the logic that gave us such successful past plans as putting more drunk drivers on the highways to cut down on accidents or electing George W. Bush to improve on the Clinton years.

You gotta give Gov. Deal and the state Legislature some credit, though. It was a nice touch, allowing Georgians to bring guns into libraries, too, which is where I think they’re keeping armored cars full of money these days in the Empire State of the South. Also, lord knows when you might not be able to reach that book on Tupperware on the top shelf—but hell, if you can load it full of enough lead, it may well fall down of its own accord.

Problem solved!

As a reminder, the Georgia bill also gives criminals—who are barred by law from possessing guns but still allowed easy access to them on the secondary market by bought-off legislators—to claim a Stand Your Ground defense in court.

Because why shouldn’t a portly, addle-brained white guy wearing an “I’m with stupid” T-shirt who likes to hit his wife not be able to buy a firearm at a gun show with no questions asked? Also, why shouldn’t he or she (but mostly he) be able to shoot you because he was “scared” you looked like you were in the “wrong” neighborhood?

That, of course, is what the new law is really about. It allows Southern white guys to “feel so manly, when armed,”superior to “others” who won’t be able to use Stand Your Ground as a defense and aren’t afraid to crawl out from under their bed without an AR-15 like Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s foaming mouthpiece and executive vice president. (Isn’t he a little too French to be allowed to carry? Just sayin’.)

Based on a bastardized version of the Second Amendment, Georgia’s new law also allows a modern industrialized society to become a shooting gallery—one that only serves to enrich American arms dealers who not only don’t care a whit about American bloodshed but welcome it as part of their business model. There’s a word for that. It rhymes with “hater.”

In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens laid out what the Second Amendment meant to historians and jurists who use common sense and intellect to arrive at their findings.

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Laws like the one in Georgia have zero to do with the Second Amendment, Stevens wrote, unless you think the next Whiskey Rebellion or Battle of Lake Erie is likely to commence at a preschool in Athens or spring forth from a garden party in Savannah.

But the Hollywood Hillbillies sure are gonna be stoked when they return home during the offseason from the Polanski-esque plot twists that must define their reality show.

Otherwise, here’s what we’re talking about in layman’s terms. This bill, passed by greedy, slack-jawed Georgia legislators and signed by the Right as rain Mr. Deal, isn’t just about guns but the same toxic brew of anarchy, resentment, and white privilege that led Justice Antonin Scalia to encourage sedition in between attacks on voting rights and affirmative action. That leads Cliven Bundy, the taker occupying public land in Nevada—and primo space on the wall of Sean Hannitys man-cave—to threaten violence against the federal government unless he gets, as Mitt Romney once put it—totally coincidentally!—to the NAACP, “free stuff.”

It doesn’t matter to extremist officeholders in Georgia that the vast majority of Georgians and every law enforcement organization oppose this crazy bill, much as it doesn’t matter to the rodeo clown, right-wing Republicans trying to burn down Congress what most of us around the country want them to do. It also doesn’t matter that this legislation flies in the face of all public health statistics, common sense, and modernity. Or that more people will now die.

In fact, that’s the point.

They have a war to fight that didn’t end at The Appomattox Courthouse. And it seems to be getting less civil all the time.