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Georgia gun bill questions raised by critics silenced by actual events

Dalton shooting suspect Orlando Ramirez allegedly pulls gun on bar security guards, killing 1 and injuring the other.
Dalton Daily Citizen

An opinion editorial in the LA Times on March 27, 2014, takes issue with Georgia state's legislature after they approved a set of gun laws that include allowing people with gun permits to carry their weapon in bars. The editorial writer is insisting that there is "gun madness in Georgia" as a result, and he offers up this possible scenario.

A gun-toting Georgian tries to enter a bar that bans guns and is confronted by a bouncer. Who, incidentally, may also be armed under the new law. You can imagine how that might play out," the writer suggests.

The Daily Citizen newspaper in North Georgia reported on Tuesday that the scenario has sort of already happened, but not like the Times writer thought. Instead, the Daily Citizen reported that it took a 40-hour police manhunt to locate an armed 20-year-old shooting suspect who fatally shot to death an unarmed bar bouncer security guard this past weekend after being refused admittance.

It's another "the criminals have the guns, the law-abiding citizens do not" story, unfortunately. And since criminals don't typically follow gun laws in the first place, carrying them wherever they go, it is up to law-abiding Georgians to have laws that support them carrying their weapons everywhere they go too. So if the governor signs the new legislature bill then it will just allow those who are trying to even their odds against criminals (by taking their gun with them wherever they go) to have a fighting chance to do it.

In the Dalton shooting story, the under-aged Orlando Ramirez tried to gain illegal entrance into the Las Delicias Bar on Morris Street in Dalton in the wee hours on Sunday morning and he used his gun to try and do it, so he should have encountered two armed bouncer security guards to prevent it, for the safety of the people inside the business. Unfortunately, Bruno Rodriquez, the bouncer shooting victim who was killed (aka the imaginary bar bouncer the Times refers to), was not armed, and neither was the other bouncer who was injured twice by the shooter.

But if Bruno had been armed, maybe the other shooting victim, who was injured before him that night, might not have sustained a second injury when the suspect came after him twice. And maybe Bruno the bouncer would have lived instead of dying. And maybe it would not have required the Dalton Police Department and Cobb County law enforcement to use valuable resources trying to apprehend the shooter, who was not qualified to enter the bar in the first place due to being under the legal drinking age.

Gun laws need to help protect the citizens of the state who have been approved for gun permits and legal gun ownership, as well as in jobs where they are hired to protect patrons. And those gun laws need to protect them everywhere they go, not just in their home or vehicle. Unfortunately, criminals are going to carry guns everywhere they go, and that's why the law is needed in the first place. So sign this gun bill Gov. Deal. Don't listen to the folks from LA, as they don't even live here.

The Atlanta Crime Examiner Radell Smith has a degree in criminal justice and behavioral forensics. And she is proud her city and state believe in giving gun owners with permits all the rights they need to defend themselves against criminals.

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