Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed SB 319, the “constitutional carry” bill, into law, allowing Georgia residents to carry concealed handguns in public without a permit. Republicans claim the “constitutional carry” legislation will remove burdens and help people exercise their Second Amendment rights.
By signing this bill, Kemp panders to Trump supporters (who live in a fantasyland of lies) to get their vote in the upcoming governor’s race. Like so many other Republicans, Kemp puts his self-interest ahead of the public’s self-interest.
Many Republicans state publicly that more guns make people safer. With that kind of twisted logic, smoking more cigarettes makes you healthier, or eating more deserts makes you lose weight. It is another fantasyland of misinformation passed off as truth.
Let’s see how this plays out in the real world of statistical data.
THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
More Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any other year on record, according to recently published statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 2020, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the United States. 54% of all gun-related death were suicides (24,292) in the U.S, while 43% were murders (19,384). According to the CDC, this represents a 14% increase from the year before, a 25% increase from 5 years earlier, and a 43% increase from a decade prior.
Black and Hispanics are more likely to be killed by a gun than white Americans.
The FBI found an increase in active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2020. There were three such incidents in 2000; by 2020, that figure had increased to 40 active shooter incidents.
“The data released by the CDC is staggering and illustrates a gun violence crisis spiraling out of control. This is heartbreaking and tragic because we know how to reduce gun violence. Yet, our elected leaders lack the courage to act and continue to prioritize guns over lives,” Robyn Thomas, Giffords Law Center Executive Director, said in a press release.
The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence was inspired by former Congresswoman Gabriele (Gabby) Gifford, who a man shot on a shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona. Six people died in the attack, and 13 were wounded in 2011.
EVERYTOWN RESEARCH AND POLICY
The following information, data, and statistics are from Everytown Research and Policy. They are an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to understanding and reducing gun violence.
More than 110 Americans are killed with guns every day, and more than 200 are shot and wounded.
Access to a gun triples the risk of death by suicide. Gun suicides are concentrated in states with high rates of gun ownership. The U.S. gun suicide rate is nearly 12 times that of other high-income countries.
The U.S. gun homicide rate is 26 times that of other high-income countries. Access to a gun doubles the risk of death by homicide.
More than 2,100 children and teens die from gun homicide every year. Firearms are the leading cause of death for American children and teens.
Every month, an average of 70 women in the U.S. are shot and killed by an intimate partner, and many more are shot and wounded.
Do More Guns Make You Safer? The data says NO.
GUN VIOLENCE IN GEORGIA
In an average year in Georgia, 1,693 people die by guns. Georgia has the 17th highest rate of gun death in the U.S.
In Georgia, gun deaths have increased by 41% from 2011 to 2020, compared to a 33% increase nationwide.
In Georgia, the rate of gun homicide increased 92%, compared to a 70% increase nationwide.
Gun violence costs Georgia $12.0 billion each year, of which $581.3 million is paid by taxpayers.
For a deeper dive into gun violence in Georgia, click on the link below:
The IRON PIPELINE
The Iron Pipeline refers to the I-95 corridor connecting New York City, which has strict gun laws, to the Southern states with lax gun laws.
The Office of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) has identified two separate straw purchasing operations in the “Iron Pipeline,” buying guns in bulk and routing them into northern states.
One operation is in Georgia, where gun smugglers purchased nearly 300 firearms from dealers around Atlanta over six months and transported them to Philadelphia for sale on the black market, as reported by Public Broadcasting Service.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the other straw purchasing operation, put over 100 guns into Philadelphia’s illegal market.
In an online Town Hall meeting, Georgia State Senator Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) mentioned the ATF arrests and shared what one of the gun smugglers said, “I just couldn’t believe how easy it was in Georgia to get guns; they don’t ask you for anything.”
Written and photo by Gloria Tatum
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