We are not in the 18th century where we need communities to gather all their weapons and form a militia to fight a global powerhouse. And, this is not the Wild, Wild West.
Republican lawmakers, in less than two weeks (!), passed legislation allowing concealed carry (handguns) without first getting a license from the state: House Bill 1358 & Senate Bill 319.
Since elementary school, I have been told “100% of the rules are made for 10% of people” and I grow confused why when it comes to politicians making new “rules” why that same principle is not applied.
When I first read the passing of Senate Bill 319 I felt kind of numb [my Senator, Brian Strickland (R), voted “Yes” and I called to express my concerns & disproval of his “yes” vote]. On Friday, March 11, when the House was slated to vote on House Bill 1358, I called my Representative to urge him to vote NO [my Rep. Tim Kirby (R) of House District 114, voted “No”].
I am hurt. I am profoundly confused. And I am angry. I simply do not understand how those sworn into office to protect, serve, and create legislature to help communities created and approved this legislature that harms our communities. Another barrier of protection has been stripped away.
The Second Amendment has been transformed into something it is really not. When this Amendment was first created, the US was a baby – barely even a nation, and was limited on all types of resources. So, the 2nd Amendment was passed so that when there was trouble, when there was a war, men could bring their weapons from home and protect the then-vulnerable US.
Again, we are not in the 18th century anymore.
Beside the historical, factual context of the 2nd Amendment that so many politicians wrongly center their bills and arguments, there is a honest, deep hurt Bills like these provoke within me.
A hurt that can take the breath from you and make everything still. It is a hurt that never really goes away, but you learn how to build around it and manage it.
This morning, I found out House Bill 1358 was passed. And, I cried, thinking… 2 weeks? In less than 2 weeks? Georgia politicians pass Bills like this?!
My hurt comes from the honest fact that someone incredibly important to me was murdered by someone with a gun. My boyfriend was here one day and gone the next, and it only took a matter of milliseconds. So, yes, I took the passing of these Bills personally. I take it so personal because I hate to know that there are other families experiencing this, and I am not even the one who lost the most when it comes to my boyfriend.
Yes, there are still background checks, but in a nation with more guns than people, I cannot support legislation that removes barriers. I simply cannot support it.
The Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey (done in 2018) says that the US has just 4% of the world’s population but we own about 40% of civilian owned guns globally. The survey also found that in the US, the firearm to citizen ratio is 120 guns to 100 people. Not to mention, the 2021 National Firearms Survey stated that the average American owns 5 firearms.
I also feel hurt because I don’t feel represented in the Georgia House. I don’t feel represented in the Georgia Senate either. Especially with the new redrawn lines of my district, this new community within these district lines is not representative of me. Regardless of party affiliation, I strongly believe those elected must represent everyone in their district and I feel alienated.
Seeing the passage of these two bills, in less than two weeks made me feel incredibly stuck. Sometimes it seems that I can never do enough to get the change I want so bad for my community.
This toxic love and attachment the state of Georgia has with guns is lethal and has turned into a show. There is always something to prove. And, all I have to ask, is at what costs are these politicians willing to prove their point? Is it really worth it?
And, while we’re at it, I truly despise how gun restriction laws has become a partisan issue. When it comes to people and protecting people, it should be nonpartisan (bipartisan at least!). Although complex, it is simply a public safety issue.
I do believe in the right to carry guns but I also believe in preventative measures in getting those guns and protecting people from those gun. The two can and should co-exist.
Now, I want to empower you with a few ways on how you can be an active participant in the legislative process, hold your elected officials accountable, and (respectfully) remind your elective officials they work for you (not the other way around).
Know Your District & Voter Registration Status
Click here to find your voter registration status (active or inactive) and districts (there are separate numbers for each elected position). It’ll take no more than 2 minutes.
This website (from the GA Secretary of State) will show you your voter registration status and districts for GA state representative & senator, US Senator, US Congress, your polling place, and more.
If you are not registered to vote and are eligible to register, click here and then click “register” on the screen and follow the prompts. Georgia is one of the few states to allow online voter registration (it will walk you through eligibility and steps).
Know Your Senator and Representatives
After finding your district number (two separate numbers for House & Senate), click here to find the contact information for your senator and here for the contact information for your representative.
Senate Bill 319 – Passed 2/28/2022
Click here to see if you Senator voted “yes” or “no” on Senate Bill 319.
House Bill 1358 – Passed 3/11/2022
Click here to see if your State Representative voted “yes” or “no” on House Bill 1358.
Mark Your Calendar with Upcoming Key Election Dates
- April 25 – Voter Registration Deadline
- May 2 – Early Voting Begins for May 24th midterm primary elections & special elections
- May 7 – Saturday Early Voting
- May 14 – Saturday Early Voting
- May 23 – Voter Registration Deadline for June 21 Primary Runoff (federal races only)
- May 24 – Midterm Primary Elections & any Special Elections
Know Who is On the Ballot
After finding your district numbers, click here for the official list of qualified candidates.
Local elections are incredibly important. These elected officials have the most direct and quickest impact on our communities and lives.
Although I am frustrated, I am not discouraged.
Leave a Reply