0

DARRELL HUCKABY: On Georgia lawmakers and unintended consequences

It was a wise man, indeed, who said, “One should never watch laws or sausage being made.” I assure you, you won’t care for either if you do. Speaking of which, I wonder where Georgia laws are really made these days — now that the smoke-filled rooms of the Henry Grady Hotel are long extinct.

Get the women and children off the infield. The General Assembly is in full session. It always amazes me to see the bills our solons spend so much time debating, not to mention the ones that never make it out of committee.

Have you been paying attention to this year’s session? If, not, allow me to enlighten you.

House Bill 875 has passed in the House of Representatives. If it passes the Senate and is signed by the governor you will no longer have to check your firearms at the door when you go to worship. That’s right. It will be OK to carry in a church. I just hope those that do don’t come in with itchy trigger fingers, “pardners.” I’d hate for the spirit to catch hold of a parishioner and someone misunderstand their actions. Knowing that people are packing might make for some shorter sermons, however. The bill also allows local school systems to decide whether to arm teachers and administrators.

I taught school for 39 years. I’m glad I was never armed. My frustration level was very high on some days — particularly around the time of the full moon. I wouldn’t want to think about what might have happened if I had had a gun. The same goes for other teachers I have known.

I am thinking now of all those erasers my colleague Dennis Stewart was known to have tossed at students. I’m glad Dennis didn’t have a Colt 45 strapped to his leg on those occasions. We might have lost a student or two. One of them might have been my son and the world would now be short one very good math teacher. Make that two if Dennis had been convicted.

On second thought, we are supposed to stand trial in front of a jury of our peers. No jury of teachers would ever convict one of their own for such an incident. The general public, however, might not understand.

Oh, yes. The law would set a simple $100 fine for carrying firearm on a college campus. There again, I would hate to be in Athens, Ga., on a fine autumn Saturday with 95,000 liquored-up Southeastern Conference football fans with guns. I bet the Auburn player who ran that kick-off back against Alabama last year would never have crossed the goal line if only a $100 fine stood between Nick Saban and a hip holster.

That’s a joke, y’all. No comments, please, from over-sensitive fans of either school who have had their sense of humor removed during their last lobotomy. Leave it to Southern solons to dust off the Second Amendment during an election year.

Meanwhile, in other legislative news, a bill has been proposed to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and other stalwarts of the Civil Rights movement with a museum on statehouse grounds. That bill has passed in the House and is scheduled for a Senate vote on March 7.

Another bill would make it illegal to watch chickens fight. The bill says that is an offense against public health and morals. I don’t disagree, and am not in favor of cockfights — unless Georgia is playing South Carolina — but if we ban everything that is against public morals the General Assembly better watch their collective backs.

Another bill would block illegal immigrants from obtaining valid Georgia drivers licenses. Opponents of that bill fear that it would make illegals feel unwelcome in Georgia and cause them to move elsewhere. I wonder what part of the term “illegal” those people do not understand.

Here’s one for you.

There is a bill in the House hopper — that’s a real term — to create the city of Stonecrest. Yes, that Stonecrest. The area around the mall that none of my friends will go to after dark because they aren’t real confident in the security offered in and around the mall and surrounding businesses.

Now, I am speaking of my friends, understand. I am not afraid to go to Stonecrest. I just don’t go to malls period. If the state Legislature did create a city around the mall we would have a whole ‘nother set of elected officials in DeKalb County making decisions and establishing laws and fighting over tax monies. Yeah, nothing could ever go wrong there.

We are also arguing over whether or not businesses can refuse to offer services for events that are contrary to an individual’s religious beliefs. They are using a lot of fancy legal talk but it boils down to whether a gay couple can legally insist that a caterer bake them a cake.

That’s about it for this week’s activities under the Gold Dome, but stay tuned. With two weeks left in the session, we ain’t seen nothing yet.