The next time you walk into a restaurant to enjoy a good sit down meal, the guy sitting next to you might be carrying a gun... And in Georgia, it's legal.
Beginning July 1, any Georgia resident with a certified concealed weapons license can carry a gun into public. Places like buses for public transportation, state parks and even restaurants.
What was Gov. Sonny Perdue thinking when he signed this law?
Even though we are the 38th state to pass this law allowing residents to carry guns into restaurants, we are the only state that doesn't allow you to drink while doing so.
What a relief. I don't want to be sitting next to the drunk that gets upset with the bartender because he gets cut off due to the fact he can barely stand. On the other side, I don't want to be sitting next to the guy that gets told he can't drink because he is carrying a gun. Besides, how are they going to know anyway?
Are restaurants going to place metal detectors at the door before you walk in? Are they going to frisk everyone who wants a drink? How are restaurant owners going to assure me that I am not going to get caught up in the crossfire as I try to enjoy my meal?
Anywhere a gun is present only means an increased risk of danger. The only people that should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public are law enforcement officials.
If there happens to be an argument over someone's steak being under-cooked, I would feel much safer if the police were called, instead of someone with a gun taking matters into their own hands.
As for being able to carry a gun on public transportation or in state parks, it makes a little more sense.
Self-protection is needed much more on a bus or in a state park than in a restaurant.
Police officials are unable to respond readily to public transportation calls, and being lost in a national forest has danger written all over it.
But with the law passed and set in stone, there isn't much we can say or do.
It is sad to say, but we are just going to have to sit back and wait to see if the law works.
I mean, it's not like this is the first time a gun has ever been in any of these places. Unfortunately, it has been happening for years.
Only 300,000 Georgians hold certified carrying permits, and I doubt they are responsible for all the murders taking place in public.
Becoming a certified licensed gun carrier is no walk in the park though. A person must go through an extensive background check and then be approved by a judge in order for them to carry concealed weapons.
Don't we feel safer now? If they are declared safe by the government, shouldn't we think they're safe?
I understand Georgia legislators are trying too cut down on crime, but allowing guns into restaurants seems to far-fetched for me.
If the good guys are the ones carrying the guns, then maybe a life can be saved.
Sure, it sounds all well and good - and strait out of a John Wayne movie - but I would rather take my chances with the police arriving and doing their job.
Brian Harper is the summer intern for The Covington News. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.