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Should Guns Be Allowed in Churches, on College Campuses?

Three bills in the Georgia House of Representatives—including two introduced by a Cobb legislator—take aim at restrictions on where gun owners can take their firearms in public. Tell us which of them, if any, you would like to see passed.

Gun owners in Georgia could soon be allowed to have their firearms on them in more public areas if lawmakers pass one of several bills currently within the state House of Representatives.

House Bill 28, dubbed the “Restoring Private Property Rights for Places of Worship Act of 2013,” would take out the state’s restriction against carrying a weapon into a church or place of worship.

House Bill 29, known as the “Georgia Campus Carry Act of 2013,” would lift the restriction against carrying a firearm onto a “campus of any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university, or institution of postsecondary education.”

Charles Gregory, R-Kennesaw, is the primary sponsor of both bills. Gregory went on the record to say that while both were filed days after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, he began work on them before the mass shooting occurred.

Legislators who have signed on as co-sponsors of Gregory's two bills include Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, and Paulette Braddock, R-Powder Springs.

Another bill that has been dubbed the “Restoring Private Property Rights for Places of Worship Act of 2013,” House Bill 335, contains language similar to HB 29.

Copies of all three bills are attached to this article in PDF form.

Should guns be allowed in churches? What about college campuses? Should they be banned from both?

Share what’s on your mind with us, and then return here to see what your neighbors in Paulding, Douglas and Cobb have said.

Melinda Paris February 22, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Hamanityfirst: I don't know if you are a man/woman since you have a nickname, but if you have a family, you are trying to convince all of us that you would just sit there, stand there and let your family be threatened, harmed, killed, and your property be dis-respected and damaged and just watched? You would give them the okay, cause the world needs love, so you just gonna do nothing? You would NOT protect your family or yourself?? Seriously? HHMM, I really don't believe you, but I guess you could grab some green bean/corn cans in the cabinet and throw them, or maybe get that old mop and start trying to beat them off, I'm sure this might make the perp really mad and could escalate them into doing something really bad. You know its really easy to say what we should do, if you haven't walked in our shoes, I thought I knew exactly what I'd do,until it happened, I didn't know, but NOW YOU or 1000 more can NEVER tell me what I should be doing. In general, I love people, I help and volunteer wherever I can, you are preaching to the choir really, and again people like me are NOT the problem. I would be the one to help you if a perp shoplifted from you at Walmart, I would be the one that would go after them, when they grab a purse off a ladies shoulder at Publix, I would have helped that lady on the Silver Comet Trail that was attacked a few years ago, talking about a hero, she died at the hands of a freak, unnecessary, doesn't mean I would use my gun either, just the way I roll.
Melinda Paris February 22, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Amen Greg, Amen. Things will get worse, people will steal and kill for food, one day a loaf of bread will be one day of a man's wages, people don't seem to get how bad it will be, I get it. I wasn't raised to hurt, harm or take away other's properties, but the time will come when people will do whatever to get a morsel of food. Satan is winning the battle but people will not stop and see what the "new" enforced laws are going to hurt, mentally ill folks that plan killings for self sick gain will still kill,,the thugs will still be the thugs-the robbers will still be the robbers, it doesn't matter what laws, rules, regulations officials put on the books. Talking about a fake security from officials and other's by saying, we'll we need to make it harder to get guns and etc, Are people so shallow that you really believe the person that wants to shoot someone else will NOT get a gun? Its' illegal for people to sell prescription drugs, well Georgia has epidemic problems with this, its illegal to grow, sell, smoke pot in this state, hhmm, I guess no one does that, the point is: Making more laws means nothing to the crime breaker. If you are a person afraid of guns, then you should not own one, but you shouldn't be against those of us that are not afraid, if you are afraid to drive, you shouldn't drive, but don't be against us that like to drive. I'm done, and of course you ALL know how I feel. ~Blessings to all. Pray for this nation.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino February 22, 2013 at 04:58 AM
It is obvious from all the heated commentary here that there are extreme opinions on all sides of the debate, and everyone can quote this or that study or historical precedent to bolster his or her viewpoint (including me), but that will get us nowhere. At some point we have to come together, and compromise---as the "truth" often lies somewhere in the middle. Yes, I stated my positions, which are extreme to those on the other side of the issue, however I do not believe in imposing my beliefs on others, and am always willing to compromise. (I invite you to read my blog piece on that theme at http://southcobb.patch.com/blog_posts/cooperation-leads-to-progress-a-guidepost-for-2013-resolutions .) “When we can come together, when we cooperate, when we put aside petty differences, the results are astounding.” (a quote from that piece)
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino February 22, 2013 at 05:13 AM
To continue with this theme from my blog: "learning how to compromise... is a challenge but it is the only way that we can ever move ahead and get anything accomplished, and is really a centerpiece of democracy. Refusing to cooperate and compromise leads to extremism, and while it may be ok to hold extreme or passionate beliefs (as I do), one cannot impose those beliefs on others. That is dictatorship or theocracy, which means that one considers himself above others, when clearly everyone’s point of view and contribution has some value and is part of the overall “truth” and solution. Those who refuse to cooperate and compromise together exclude themselves from the process of growth, as described in the old activist adage: “If you don’t come to the table then you will end up on the menu”. I invite you to come to the table....we have many gun owners who are joining the movement for greater gun controls...we have been to Glock HQ here in Smyrna and the CEO has invited us to meet with him to discuss how they can support our efforts....yesterday we met with all Cobb Police chiefs to discuss the same....most of the activists in our coalition are gun owners. Not one feels the status quo is acceptable and all want to see some gun control measures adopted. I invite you to come to the table...write me to get on the email list to be invited to the forums and meetings...pilgrim1@mindspring.com
Greg T February 22, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Richard, You really like to besmirch America! If you honestly believe America is the most violent society in the developed world, then you've never been anywhere. Take one trip down to our southern boarder to find the first example of where you are absolutely besmirching the wrong people. Mexico isn't the only developed country with violence or high rates of crime but it is the one that has that violence spilling over into our country. There are many good Mexicans who are standing up to the drug cartels, but they need guns to protect themselves not your head buried into some unknown talking points memo. Please stop the lies and unjust character assassinations of one of the freest countries for rich and poor alike.
Greg T February 22, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Richard, "Extreme opinions on all sides...quote this or that study or historical precedent...will get us nowhere." If you think the debate here is extreme, then what would a normal discussion look like? Your views are not extreme to many Europeans who believe in less guns and more government, however those are Europeans and not Americans. We charted a different course from England a long time ago and have grown into a great nation with great liberties for all citizens which made Europeans rather jealous of us throughout the years. Since you lump historical precedent and educational studies as examples of getting us nowhere, I don't see how you could possibly moderate an honest debate or discussion. What could you possible build on but more lies about the Constitution that are not backed by any evidence of historical documentation and easily refuted with a plethora of resources. It is a dangerous game for someone to play with someone like yourself who corrupts the facts and outright obfuscates historical precedent.
Paulding County resident and parent February 22, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Compromise to the Liberal Left always means for the Right to cave in and give away some of our freedom. Take a little now, a little more later and they ultimately get what they want. Liberals don't want to talk, they take.
Jan February 22, 2013 at 07:33 PM
The last thing I want to see at the mall is one crazy person pulling a gun out, and 10 more people all pulling theirs out to shoot him! I can only imagine how many would be killed then! And guns with college students and drinking is just plain STUPID! Also, I don't think that when these people are looking for a place for mass murder, they are asking themselves if this is a gun free zone, since they plan to die anyway... more likely, where can I hit the most people??? Thank you, but I am keeping my gun at home where I can use it if needed, and let the police do their job elsewhere.
Jan February 22, 2013 at 07:46 PM
I understand and agree with your thoughts... but could you absolutely guarantee that you would not accidently hit another innocent child or teacher in that moment?
Jan February 22, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Wanda Saxton, My heart breaks for your loss. You are the voice of true reasoning. Thank you for the input!
Jan February 22, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Amen! I sure don't want my daughter on her campus with a bunch of drunk college students!
Jan February 22, 2013 at 08:14 PM
No one has said we can't have guns in our own homes!
Greg M February 22, 2013 at 09:01 PM
The "compomise" has already begun. I choke everyday I see the Republicans caving into the Democrats in DC. The 2nd amendment was adopted long ago, any compromises were done then. Now you call it compromise instead of reform. We didn't ask for any changes, we aren't asking for reform that's coming from your side. So now you are asking us to "compromise on "YOUR" requests to change? How does that work fairly? I won't be the one coming to the table where I don't wish to eat. I wasn't the one who is trying to reset the table. I'm happy with the way our founding fathers created it. The Constitution is not a living breathing (and changing) document. It was never meant to be. The liberals need to keep their hands off of it!
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino February 22, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Greg...surely you don't mean that the Constitution and everything about America is perfect, static, fixed, never- changing and adapting to the exigencies of the age. Even the 2nd amendment has undergone many different interpretations in our lifetime. .Everything about it is organic and open to change and interpretation---otherwise we would not have judicial review and so many layers. Name calling and labeling gets us nowhere. No one knows all the truth about this issue or any issue---democracy entails people coming together to try to arrive at workable solutions to all problems. You make a lot of good points which I have already learned from and you seem to be very reasonable in your use and care of guns. That gives me hope that there are others like you. But if you are not willing to come to the table and contribute your wisdom and experience, and also allow that others whose opinions and experiences vary widely from yours also have credibility then we all fall short--and so does America.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino February 22, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Paulding County Resident: Compromise always means that all sides give in and admit that no one has or knows all the truth---so we meet somewhere in the middle of the left or right extremes (which admittedly shift , as does the middle). That is what makes democracy work. When people are not willing to compromise they are asking for big brother or big government to impose its will ---just as when children fight and parents have to impose their will. If we really want less government then we had better learn, at the local and community level, to work out solutions. That is what I am trying to do and I always welcome everyone: Tea Party, Socialists, Libs, Conservs,, etc, etc.
Fred February 22, 2013 at 10:21 PM
I wonder if you would be so receptive to changes to the Constitution if the democratic process were manipulated by the media to change some of the other rights that the document gives to us. The document is not static nor perfect. The 3/5th Compromise, Prohibition and other items are proof of that. However, changing an enumerated right is something that should not be undertaken lightly. When our elected officials can prove to us that they can act responsibly enough to create a federal budget that actually works and does not have to be revisited every few months, then we can start looking at having those same officials be able to change the Constitution. Until that happens the elected officials need to keep to what they do best; providing the bread and circuses that the US electorate seems to enjoy while the country burns. Because that is exactly what is going on right now.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino February 22, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Fred, we the people have the power and if we don't exercise our power, not only by voting but by keeping our elected officials accountable and letting them know, not only by our words but by our collective actions, especially at the local level--we have nothing to complain about. I know that we have the power as I have exercised that power all of my adult life, and have accomplished most of my objectives (not 100% or as fast as I would have liked, but that is democracy) and those we elect we give the authority to channel that power. If we want the elected officials to act they will have to compromise---if we cannot do that in our own communities then why we would expect them too.
Pam J February 23, 2013 at 12:05 AM
I am saying that if they had checked everybody that lived with Nancy Lanza (that being Adam), then they would have known that Adam had issues. Everything we've heard tells us that it was very obvious he was mentally disturbed. Do not let anybody with mentally disturbed people living with them have firearms. I'm sorry if I am stepping on someone's 2nd Amendment rights, but if Nancy Lanza had not been allowed to buy all those guns, 26 people, plus Nancy, would still be with us. It's the simplest fix they could come up with.
Pam J February 23, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Melinda, I am not advocating taking guns away from people. I do believe in the 2nd Amendment. What I don't believe in letting EVERYBODY buy a gun. If you have people living in your house that are mentally unstable, you should not be allowed to buy a gun. Yes, we need to have more emphasis on mental health and it looks like Nancy Lanza tried to get help, but obviously it failed. There are some people that cannot be helped. Back in the early 1970's, my uncle, who we finally figured out was mentally ill, tried to set his mother on fire. She was laying in bed sick, he poured gasoline on her, and was about to set her on fire when one of his other brothers went to the house to check on my grandmother. That night, my uncle went into a mental institution and never came out. We tried, but there are some people whose brains are just so screwed up that you can't help them. And 20 dead children will make people want to go to extremes initially. Get all guns off the street. Not going to happen, but you've got to vent somehow when something like that happens. We expect our elected officials to work miracles, even though we know they can't. And New York City is not a state, so therefore they can't have a Governor.
Pam J February 23, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Melinda, I am so sorry that happened to you and your family. And I am glad you had the gun to point at him. Like I said, I believe that all responsible citizens should be able to own a gun. And the fact that you did not shoot the intruder shows that you are responsible, although I believe you probably would have blown him away if he had come at you. At least, I hope you would have.
Melinda Paris February 23, 2013 at 01:16 AM
PAM J- Thanks for pointing out my typo--YES NYC is a CITY, so KOMO is the GOVENOR OF THE STATE OF NY!! It seems that folks could figure it out, I saw other typo mistakes that I made, but I thought to myself, well surely, People can figure out what word should go where, I guess I need to start re-reading what I type. Thanks for pointing out that I type faster than I think! I had a Great Uncle that was mentally unstable and He too was put away for years until his death, BUT NOW, there is not places for these people to go too-I don't know the answers, and those precious children should have not died..we don't hear about the other types of death of children very much, more children die at the hands of abuse and other horrible things every year, but when there is several killed at once, of course it makes more news. No child should be brutally tortured, hurt, killed by anyone in this country, so I'll never make little of what happen, but people go biserk of what should be done, and it doesn't match up with WHO is doing the crimes. I know YOU are not advocating taking away guns, but there is officials that have talked about it, hinted about it, and would like to see it happen, and that's what bother's me, its not just citizens saying it, its the officials that talk about it that I worry about, there the ones that make the laws to suit themselves, and yes it bother's me.
Pam J February 23, 2013 at 05:27 AM
We all make mistakes. I guess I just want people to prove that they learned something in school and use those skills. Like basic spelling and grammar. I'm not criticizing because I am 100% certain that I have made a mistake or two (or three), but sometimes when you get all wired up like you seem to be, your fingers will work faster than your brain. So slow down and take a deep breath. If the 2nd Amendment is repealed, it will not be until we are all gone. I didn't see the whole story tonight, but apparently someone stole an AK47 and an assault weapon from a gun collector in Douglasville (I think that's where it was). I think they found two of the guns, but just think of the damage that could have been done if the bad guys had used the AK47 or assault weapon in a public place. I honestly think that kind of puts things in perspective. Ban the guns that can kill many people at one time and don't let people with mentally unstable people in their houses have guns. One more thing, if you had shot (and killed) the intruder that broke into your house, how would you have dealt with that? How would your children? We all say we want to protect our homes, and even though you may be right in shooting an intruder, most of us are not wired to be happy about that. I think back to the young girl recently who shot an intruder. I'm happy that she is alive, but how does it affect you when you shoot someone?
Pam J February 23, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Whoops. Before anyone points it out to me, it was an AR-15 that was stolen, not an AK47. I just read the story. Still looks scary, though.
Fred February 23, 2013 at 04:37 PM
I guess that you did not read my post. Our elected officials - from either party - cannot do anything well other than instill distrust of each other. The federal debt in this country is out of control and the politicians keep acting like it does not matter. Republicans play to their extremists as do the Democrats. Compromise on anything meaningful is non-existent. People get worked up about what the First Lady is wearing, how tan the Speaker is and where the President goes on vacation and who he play golf with. It is in this environment that you want to start to change the Constitution? Because you think that the people have the power? Everyday people have no real power over the 1%ers (in and out of the government) that run this country. Our opinions are served to us via Fox News and MSNBC. Critical thinking is something that nearly no American practices. Entertainment is the only thing that matters to most Americans. Generally it takes a truly stupid politician to lose a re-election campaign. We rarely "throw the rascals out". We are getting the government we deserve - because we the people keep putting these incompetent people in office. Changing one of our founding documents in our current political environment is beyond ridiculous. The next time the right that is on the chopping block might be one that is near and dear to the progressives in this country. Look out.
Melinda Paris February 23, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Pam J- I didn't realize we had to PROVE anything here, but I try to give facts, but I've been out of school longer than most of you have been on earth. However, you ask some interesting questions about my home invasion. How would it affected me if I had shot (and killed) the intruder? I wish that I had wounded him so He would have got caught? But, as the officer informed me, He said, when you shoot, aim high to kill cause if you don't do a good job, it will make them mad, and more than likely you will die at their hands. Now, just repeating- It has never been in my mind to take another life, I believe in the 10 commandments, but that day has affect my life, my kids, my family. For days, I wouldn't stay at home for a minute til hubby got home, I would go stay in a store, I still look out back in our "woods" to see if someone is possibly out "there". We have taken many security precautions now, which I won't elaborate here, but trust me, I will NOT hesitate to shoot and let happen, happen next time. Anyone that has the gall to keep breaking glass, tearing doors off the frame and THEY KNOW YOU ARE THERE is a THREAT to ALL. My kids are grown, but it affected us then and NOW. We are all MORE aware of anyone around us in a parking lot, we check our doors, twice and sometimes 3 times, life changed for us, My hero, the mom w/twins a month ago hiding from the perp that hunted them out like a mad animal. more to continue..
Melinda Paris February 23, 2013 at 11:06 PM
**sorry for the word happen twice above- continued from above: The mom/ twins- Wouldn't you like to ask her how it feels since she shot him? When I heard that story, I shouted for JOY! How horrible that she and her kids kept climbing and locking doors in their home, and the evil one kept coming for them, He could have left, He kept coming, can you imagine, hiding trying to keep those little boys quiet?? Can you imagine how scared she was? She emptied her gun, and statistic's are that 99.9% of the time, the creep has another creep with them, Thank GOD this wasn't the case, if it had been, she would have been out of bullets, wow.SO, in this case, this is when a automatic weapon with more bullets would have come in more handy, don't you think? Another reason, citizens should be able to choose and make that decision, I bet her husband on the other end of that phone call was praying it was ONE GUY, I can shoot really good, but those times happens, you gonna be nervous, and I would unload everything I have "if" it ever happens again No hesitation to pull that trigger, The POLICE said, we were very lucky, because its one thing we they think "no one is home", but when they are bold enough to come in when people are there, YOU GOTTA PROTECT YOUR FAMILY-There is no room for conversation or debating it, you gotta be ready right then and there~ Its not time to ask them if they are hungry and would like dinner? You must make split decision choices and I salute that mom in Winder!
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino February 24, 2013 at 05:54 AM
Hi Fred: while I agree that we Americans are preoccupied with many of the frivolous pursuits you listed, to our detriment, I also see a lot of progress. To me, our real strength as a nation is not our material, political or military might but our unity in diversity--we are the most diverse nation of any size and we are learning to get along, work cooperatively, and progress, regardless of those differences and actually because of the differences and the democratic system. No one that I know is seeking or suggesting to change any founding documents at this time--we simply get newer or deeper interpretations and applications of them as we progress and realize that our past interpretations and applications were not adequate. Yes, sometimes holding on the past and having to change is painful, and sometimes we make mistakes and have to go back to the old way, which we can always do, but it is a sign of intelligence, creativity and critical thinking to try new things to solve our new or growing problems.
electric123 February 24, 2013 at 08:28 AM
As to a majority of people's opinion and comments on this gun issue, I find it most disturbing, as I look forward to the coming passing of everything on earth to the coming of the lord to be with him were there are no politics, guns, violence, or material issues.
Paulding County resident and parent February 24, 2013 at 11:31 AM
I look forward to that too, but in the mean time - we have to live here on this planet, growing His Kingdom by spreading His Word. We can't do that unless we stay alive and owning a gun, protecting oneself and one's family, will help bring our service to Him to fruition.
Jon Gargis (Editor) February 25, 2013 at 04:45 AM
Thanks to all who have commented. Since we've given folks four days to comment, we're going to close this article to new comments.

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