During the Constitutional Carry legislation debate in the Georgia General Assembly, I wondered if this support to open carry big, scary, and unnecessary guns would be as popular if the majority of the open carriers were big black men from the metro area rather than rural Georgians. The divide in the General Assembly was on party lines, racial lines, and geographic lines. But since we can never get inside a person’s mind I could not say for certain but I had my suspicions.
As a gun owner and believer in the 2nd Amendment I had the urge to ask 100 of my closest black friends to join me at the Capitol carrying their legal firearms – a safe distance from the Capitol of course. I wondered if that would change the debate. It would for me! If my conservative colleagues had the same enthusiasm about the law when they saw my friends holding guns as they did when their friends held guns then the law would have gotten my full fledged support.
Years later, the Georgia Gun Owners Facebook page post, the responses of their loyal followers, and the more than 1,000 shares of the “scary” photo below answered my question.
For some of my colleagues, I truly believe the interest in open carry crossed color lines. I believe they support 2nd Amendment rights for all people no matter location and color. However, I can’t ignore that the post showing law abiding Georgians, open carrying during this very heated election, magically reveals the truth of some constitutional carry supporters. Take a look at the post and the comments and make your own decision.
GGO page typically supports this type of carry. What happened?
The optimist in me wants to try to identify distinctions other than race that make Georgia Gun Owners and all the people who shared the photo see something different than they saw on all the other photos of Georgia gun carriers on their page. If I’m honest I only see a few differences. The race of the gun carriers, the Abrams sign, and the fact they were standing in front of a soul food restaurant.
In the photos below – guns are good. In the photo above – guns are bad. What do you see?
It is amazing to me how we live in the same country yet what we find scary or intimidating is so different.
This post is dedicated to Philando Castile – a law abiding, legal gun owner, who was shot in his car by law enforcement after he properly informed the officer about his legally owned gun. Castile was shot by the officer even though he had not committed a crime, was in a car stopped for a traffic violation, and was with his child and girlfriend. The gun loving community was strangely silent at this violation of Castile’s 2nd Amendment right. RIP Philando!