I got a shock when I came home from UGA for Christmas Holidays my freshman year. I was 18 years old and looking forward to quail and squirrel hunting and had brought my 22 Remington Semiautomatic rifle with me. I had it with me, in my dorm room, all fall quarter in Athens.
When I walked into Mr. John Harry’s store to get a box of 22 long rifle bullets he told me he could not sell them to me. The recently passed federal Gun Control Act of 1968 made it illegal for anyone younger than 21 to purchase or possess any ammunition that a pistol could fire, so that included 22 bullets.
Mr. John Harry’s store was one of five in Dearing, and he, like the others, sold everything from hoop cheese and saltines to overalls and boots. He had a selection of hunting and fishing supplies, and I had been buying 22 bullets from him since I was eight years old and got my semiautomatic rifle with an 18-cartridge magazine capacity for Christmas.
The Gun Control Act that cause me silly problems and made me start paying attention to the news about guns, was passed mainly in response to the assignation of John Kennedy. It also outlawed mail order gun purchases. Until that time anyone could go to the Sears catalog and order a gun.
Over the past 50 years since then thousands of gun control laws have been passed at the local, state and federal level. Most are a response to the actions of a madman like Lee Harvey Oswald, and all are equally useless and ineffective, affecting only law-abiding gun owners.
Currently there is a push to do something, anything, even if nothing suggested would have had any effect on the school shooting in Florida. These laws pit law-abiding gun owners like me against those wanting to control me and you and create dissent and bad feelings. And according to the New York Times, of all places, Russians use social media to promote these new laws to disrupt our country.
I was a school teacher and administrator in this area for 29 years, the last seven as principal of the Alternative School in Griffin, so I have some person experience. One year while the whole middle school was out on campus I got a call on my radio from a teacher that a student I had suspended was on the elevated railroad tracks across Experiment Street, waving a rifle.
There was an armed resource officer in my building and he went out the back door as I went to the front door. I got my deer rifle out of my truck. Only the resource officer, i and my secretary that had notarized my permission to have a gun on campus knew I had one.
I was ready to shoot the student, trying to decide to wait until he pointed the rifle at the students trying to get inside the building or wait until he fired. I knew I would be criticized no matter what I did, and probably face legal action.
Fortunately, when the student saw the resource officer, he ran. I don’t think he ever saw me aiming at him. I was spared a terrible decision, but I was not going to let anyone open fire on my students.
I see no way to stop school shootings other than having personnel in the building ready to stop them. Doing “something“ about guns in response to the latest tragedy does nothing to solve the problem.