Leg­is­la­ture takes aim at ‘Guns for God’

The Covington News - - OPINION - DICK YAR­BOR­OUGH COLUM­NIST You can reach Dick Yar­bor­ough at yarb2400@ bel­lsouth.net or P.O. Box 725373, At­lanta, Ga. 31139.

Amer­i­can hu­morist Will Rogers once said, “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the govern­ment and re­port the facts.” Ol’ Will would have loved the Ge­or­gia Leg­is­la­ture. They are the gift that keeps on giv­ing.

Our in­trepid pub­lic ser­vants be­lieve they have iden­ti­fied the No. 1 is­sue that has vexed “We the Un­washed” for far too long in Ge­or­gia: Be­ing al­lowed to bring guns to church. Guns for God.

The bad news is that most of us don’t be­lieve be­ing al­lowed to bring con­cealed weapons to church is the No. 1 is­sue vex­ing us right now. Given a mo­ment, we could prob­a­bly think of sev­eral things that vex us more — like taxes, health-care costs and the cozy re­la­tion­ship be­tween leg­is­la­tors and lizard-loafered lob­by­ists. That doesn’t seem to mat­ter to the boys and girls un­der the Gold Dome. They are de­ter­mined to make “Guns for God” a re­al­ity to ap­pease the pow­er­ful gun lobby.

No Repub­li­can worth his or her salt wants to be ac­cused of be­ing soft on the Se­cond Amend­ment, and that in­cludes the right to bear arms in God’s House. So they are push­ing a sweeping gun bill that would in­clude guns in church. When we strap on our ban­doliers and head off to Sun­day school, they want us to re­mem­ber who to thank come elec­tion time.

If you lis­ten care­fully, you can al­most hear the Mor­mon Taber­na­cle Choir softly hum­ming “God Bless Amer­ica” in the back­ground as Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston ex­hort their col­leagues to do the pa­tri­otic thing and make Guns for God a re­al­ity so that we will never again have to en­ter a house of wor­ship without be­ing locked-and-loaded. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in Chris­tian churches, where Je­sus teaches us, “Blessed are the peace­mak­ers, es­pe­cially those with a .357 Mag­num.”

I haven’t dis­cussed Guns for God with Dr. Gil Wat­son, the World’s Great­est Preacher, but I as­sume he can’t be too thrilled with the idea. Not only does he face the con­tin­u­ing chal­lenge of try­ing to save my sorry soul; now he’s got to worry about the prospects of a shootout half­way be­tween the “Glo­ria Pa­tri” and the Of­fer­tory.

I hope our leg­is­la­tors have con­sid­ered the fact that Guns for God is go­ing to mean fun­da­men­tal cur­ricu­lum changes in di­vin­ity schools and sem­i­nar­ies across the land. Fu­ture re­li­gious lead­ers will not only be ex­pected to be pro­fi­cient in the Old Tes­ta­ment; they are also go­ing to have to master the dis­as­sem­bly of a Glock 29 SF. (“OK, stu­dents. That’s enough about the Book of Isa­iah for today. Please get your .45s out and let’s talk about the ro­tat­ing take­down lever and the M&P tac­ti­cal sight.”)

A re­cent poll in the At­lanta news­pa­pers said 72 per­cent of us don’t want guns in church. Ac­cord­ing to the pa­per, the re­sponses were gen­er­ally con­sis­tent among ru­ral and ur­ban res­i­dents, as well as those who iden­ti­fied them­selves as con­ser­va­tive, in­de­pen­dent and lib­eral.

Who cares? Rep. Matt Ram­sey (R-Peachtree City) ma­jor­ity whip in the State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, said that he and his col­leagues don’t pay that much at­ten­tion to polls. They are too busy hav­ing their strings pulled by the gun lobby.

Our in­trepid pub­lic ser­vants were set to arm our col­lege kids, too, and to put the bur­den on the in­sti­tu­tions’ pres­i­dents to make the fi­nal de­ci­sion as to whether or not they wanted a bunch of hor­mone-laden kids strolling around cam­pus twirling their six guns. Then, the law­mak­ers dis­cov­ered that foist­ing that de­ci­sion off on the pres­i­dents was un­con­sti­tu­tional. Which begs the ques­tion: If law­mak­ers are so all-fired ea­ger to get guns into our state col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties, why were they try­ing to pass the buck to the col­lege pres­i­dents?

As for bring­ing guns to church, a Fed­eral Ap­peals Court shot down that idea in 2012, and the U.S. Supreme Court re­fused to hear an ap­peal on that de­ci­sion. I guess that means car­ry­ing guns in court prob­a­bly won’t fly, ei­ther. Dang. Gun ad­vo­cates just can’t get a break.

Be­fore you get your camos in a wad, I sup­port the Se­cond Amend­ment, but I would rather see our leg­is­la­tors re­cal­i­brate and take a shot first at telling us how they are go­ing to curb our state’s shame­ful record of child abuse. We have lost a lot more kids to vi­o­lence in Ge­or­gia than we have lost church­go­ers to gun­fights.

To para­phrase Will Rogers, Guns for God is a joke, and a bad one at that.

Fu­ture re­li­gious lead­ers will not only be ex­pected to be pro­fi­cient in the Old Tes­ta­ment; they are also go­ing to have to master the dis­as­sem­bly of a Glock 29 SF.

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