If it looks like a peach, taste like a peach and smells like a peach it must be a peach right? Welcome to the great state of Georgia where not everything is as it might first seem. Georgia, a down home kind of place where God and guns are as American as peach cobbler, peanut farmers, Delta Airlines and the Atlanta Braves major league baseball team. What exactly do these thing have in common? Probably not a whole lot other than the notion they all likely feel a keen responsibility to look out for their own communities. No matter whose life it might cost. What are we if not a community?
God bless ‘Merica. An eye for an eye. We are who we associate with, are we not? There are plenty of axioms the good ole boys are quite fond of spouting off in their haste to remind us all they won’t lay down their so-called Second Amendment rights so quickly. In fact, they dead set on making certain Democrats, filthy liberal animals and the Black guy in their White House get a big fat F- you too.
Yet Georgia, the bedrock of the South, a place where great statesman and former president like James Earl Carter Jr. came from, seems to have gone “plum crazy.” When was the last time a president actually fed poor children or helped the less fortunate build a home through Habitat for Humanity? A great man who, unlike the majority of his predecessors and successors alike, puts his money where his mouth is, dedicating his life to the service of others. A man who is deeply committed to social justice and basic human rights. Yet the Grand Ole Party speaks of this great man like he’s an ignorant country bumpkin. There used to be so many great things to say about Georgia.
Yes sir the Great state of Georgia has spoken! They have seen the light! They will lead the way for ‘Merica. Yet eventually reality sets in and you realize a once great state seems to have lost its cotton pickin’ mind. Even their state motto “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation” says everything about how far off the path of sanity they have strayed. Their illustrious politicians spew their pro-American “Johnny git jer” gun rights crap while thumping the Lord’s Bible and spitting out verse and scripture instructing others how to live. They’re also fond of telling us who and who will not get through the Gates of Heaven.
There was a time in America when laws were created to enhance the quality of life and correct inequalities and deficiencies in our society. A time now long gone. Laws these days are fabricated purely to inflate dicks and egos. Those responsible for crafting and creating legislation today are devoid of any desire to effect positive social advancement much less protect the rights of the average American for whom they were elected to work. Any benefit to society is purely accidental, any positive result without merit.
One’s manhood used to be measured by hard work, doing right by loved ones, pushing on in the face of adversity and making a positive contribution to society. For the less civic-minded individual the measuring stick might rest between one’s legs. Sadly, even the latter trumps today’s interpretation of masculinity, which is solely measured by the size of the gun strapped to one’s hip.
The state of Georgia’s recently passed House Bill 60; the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 has made it official, and America has finally lost its goddamn mind. In a world which is, out of necessity to survive, becoming increasingly socially conscious, we as a society have allowed America to be reduced to quite possibly the most socially regressing first world nation on the planet.
Let’s be honest, with politicians the likes of Georgia’s Governor Nathan Deal at the helm, what else helm what else can we expect? America is at a crossroads and make no mistake it’s Governor Deal who wants to put us all in the cross hairs. Georgia’s Safe Carry Protection Act effectively allows everybody and his brother to pack a gun, not only in the street but in bars and restaurants serving alcohol, in the Church pews, school zones and buildings with kids present, government buildings and even airports. You read right, airports!
Just imagine, the next time a TSA agent pisses you off you can just shoot him. A gun owner with a license requiring no more background check than a fishing license is now allowed to conceal carry by law right up to the gates of airport security. Even better, the annoying drunk seated next to you at the bar has one too many and decides well, he wants to shoot you, so you decide in self-defense to shoot him back, then his buddy decides to get in on the action, just like back in the good ole days of the OK Corral. Sound extreme? Think again.
Remember when schools were a place to feel safe? Yep, these days a kid might not be allowed to wear a gay rights t-shirt, profess a religious belief or expect a decent lunch, but be sure adults can strap a gun to their hip and during school hours! After all, what’s more important here, education or raising a generation of gun toting kids?
Where went the good ole days when everyone in town turned out at church because it was the House of God, a place to feel safe and protected from the evils of men? Not anymore folks, those days are long gone too. Thanks to Governor Deal and the Georgia State Legislature the church is no longer designated a feel good, safe zone. Not even the preacher can protect his flock as it will now infringe on your rights to carry a gun wherever you damn well please.
How long do you think it will be before some pissed off citizen strolls into a courthouse or government building to contest a traffic ticket, pay a fine or address some manner of official business and some lowly civil servant gets blasted?
I have to wonder how all those Georgia law enforcement officers feel now knowing every character they pull over from the drunken fool who just got behind the wheel of their car to the pissed off citizen involved in a domestic dispute is now packing a piece. No doubt folks, America as you knew it no longer exists. The move by Georgia and Governor Deal is nothing more than extremism in action. Their idea is not to protect the rights of Americans at all, it is extremist leaders attempting to flex their muscles and send a big fat “F**K YOU” to the moderate, liberal and socially conscious Americans that their paranoia tells them want to take ‘their ‘Merica’ away. Governor Deal and his posse effectively said “we will do what we want and we don’t care what America thinks.”
America is in a seriously bad place when we’ve afforded our elected officials the power to allow guns in schools, churches and airports. The great state of Georgia sacrificed the safety of our children, ignored the true word of God and endangered public safety, all for a few votes from Second Amendment crackpots and NRA extremists. The irony is not lost; passage of a bogus bill pandering to a desperate public as means for citizens to protect themselves will result in no one being safe anymore.
In addition to the potentially deadly consequences and serious social ramifications which will sooner than later effect the good citizens of Georgia, are huge legal and financial liabilities. Liabilities Governor Deals and his gun rights posse has now laid squarely on the taxpayers’ doorstep through his blood legislation. At a news conference he was so busy patting himself on the back while chewing his cud, pumping his fist in the air and inciting the gun toting Christian masses, “we won so screw you liberals”, his ignorance and their own was lost on the state of Georgia itself.
Governor Deal’s gloating and self-adulation in his intentional protection of extremist gun rights activists has put every citizen at risk. Why merely stop at allowing everyone to strap on a holster? Georgia hasn’t gone far enough, let’s go a step further and bring back the age-old sport of dueling to the death. Let the good citizens settle squabbles over good old fashioned state sanctioned shootouts. Everybody from the gun and ammo manufacturer to local undertakers can now turn a profit — we can even have a picnic in the ole’ town square. This is essentially what we have come to: turning a profit for gun rights.
One wonders how the State of Georgia would react if we as responsible citizens were to address the issue in extremist ways of our own? What if we were to turn the tables on Governor Deal and his posse through a series of economic sanctions on the state of Georgia not unlike we’ve done to Russia and other countries when we want something? Hit them right where it matters most to these people: in the pocketbook. Maybe we can begin by a boycott of Georgia peaches? Hell, why stop there let’s boycott peanuts while we’re at it! Surely the good citizens of Georgia will sit up and take note of sane Americans voicing their great displeasure especially in light of economic sanctions.
While we’re at it let’s go even further and refuse to fly Delta Airlines, head quartered in Atlanta, or skip the Atlanta Braves games whenever they come to a city near you. Money it seems is the only motivator in America today, not social consciousness, or moral responsibility, so it’s about time we bring it to them where it hurts the most. It’s about time we get serious and get serious quick to stop Governor Deal and his Georgia pro-gun rights posse and the countless of other extremists in America, or we’re in for big trouble. Trouble we may not be able to so easily turn back.
The truth is, if we don’t do something to stop the madness that is called gun rights soon, we as a nation are surely destined for a great deal more pain and division than we already know. If we allow it to happen, America as we know it will quickly slip out of our hands and into the control of a much uglier, extremist element. Will we as socially responsible Americans take a stand against the madness of Governor Nathan Deal and others like him? Will we take a stand against the insanity of the NRA and those who call themselves Americans? Or will we allow ourselves as a nation to regress and watch America to slip into the social abyss in which we are headed? An eye for an eye right? Isn’t that what they say down home in Georgia?
A Chicago native, author, screenwriter and professional actor, Stephen P. Conrad came by his love for the written word honestly, he swiped a book from the public library. Between the covers lie an escape from his world and a dream of what he wanted to be when he grew up. No stranger to trouble his journey however proved to be fraught with peril and uncertainty. Expelled from school at age fourteen and a second by age sixteen the lure of the streets was too much for him to pass up. He came to love the many characters he encountered on his journey into the bowels of humanity, writing about them from the comforts of his boyhood lair, a train yard boxcar hideout. A survivor of life, his love for writing and storytelling proved to be his savior and he went on to attend DePaul University and eventually work in Chicago’s often unpredictable Democratic political machine. Having held every job from bartender, bookie and campaign coordinator to paralegal, legal process server and security agent to the stars (and a few nefarious positions) he thrives on the unpredictable experiences of life. Outspoken about social injustice and inequality he is an advocate of education, and reform for at-risk kids. His heroes include, Father Edward Flanagan, his sister and any kid who makes it out. Residing in Santa Monica, California for the past twelve years he lives life like there is no tomorrow, because when you get right down to it, there’s not.