Worldwide Discussion:

The State of Georgia in the United States has passed one of the most permissive gun laws in that nation — legislation that its critics are calling the “Guns Everywhere Bill.”

The new law sends America back to its old Wild West Days, when cowboys packed six-shooters, and the measure of one’s personal safety was not whether you carried a gun (everybody did), but who could get it out of the holster faster.

The U.S. is now returning to the days when the personally carried gun is once again The Great Equalizer. It used to be that laws, and the enforcement of them, provided equalizing comfort and safety in public places in America, but ever since Stand Your Ground laws came back into play — allowing people to think they can shoot-to-kill other people in places like movie theatres because someone threw a bag of popcorn in their face — the people of the United States have apparently decided that a loaded revolver, carried everywhere, is the only way to go.

Effective July 1, the new law in Georgia will allow licensed gun owners to carry firearms into more public places than at any time in 100 years.

This would include — as in days of old — bars. It would also allow guns to be carried into government buildings that don’t have security checkpoints.  As well, the law authorizes school districts to appoint staffers to carry firearms. It allows churches to “opt-in” if they want to allow weapons inside their houses of worship.

The law has not been passed without opposition. It has been criticized as being “the most extreme gun bill in America” by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group co-founded by former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has also been highly critical of the legislation.

Law enforcement organizations hate it. “Police officers do not want more people carrying guns on the street, particularly police officers in inner city areas.” Frank Rotondo, the executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, has been widely quoted in the media as saying.

In a new twist on Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, the language of the new law prohibits police officers from even detaining momentarily any person “for the sole purpose of investigating whether such a person has a weapons carry license.” In other words, “I’ve got a gun, and you don’t get to ask me whether I have a permit to carry it. Take that, police people.”

None of the opposition from law enforcement and mayors, etc. has mattered in a country gone wild about its guns since the massacre of 20 school children and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.

Apparently wracked with fear that the escalating gun violence in America would move people in that country to advocate against easy access to guns, a backlash has formed and grown enormously in the past two years, led by the National Rifle Association and buttressed by Second Amendment Rights supporters.

Nine states have now loosened gun regulations in the U.S., and the National Rifle Association called the new law in Georgia “a historic victory for the Second Amendment.”

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens the right to “keep and bear arms.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in the past that this does not stop the government from regulating the sale and use of firearms…but Second Amendment advocates see it another way. Thus, even attempts to limit sales of guns to people without a background check, or place limits on the sale of semi-automatic combat weapons that shoot many rounds per second, have been vociferously opposed by an increasingly loud constituency in the United States.

So powerful has this constituency become that even the grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Democratic state senator Jason Carter, voted for the bill in the Georgia legislature. (Jason Carter, not incidentally, is running for governor in his state.)

Speaking to critics of the new law, Georgia state Rep. Rick Jasperse, the Republican who introduced the bill, said it is simply about restoring Second Amendment rights and allowing licensed gun owners to carry their weapons in more places. He said this was “not extreme.”

So the question now before the American people in an increasing number of places will be not, “Are you packing?” (most people will be), but rather: “How fast on the draw are you?”

And the new American motto?

“Smile when you say that, brother.”

And whatever you do, don’t throw your popcorn at someone if you find yourself in an argument in a movie theatre. You’re liable to get shot and killed.

On the spot. No questions asked.

Self defense, you see…

In America, you get to Stand Your Ground.

With a six-shooter. Like in the Old West, remember?

Have Gun, Will Travel.

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