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Opinion | Another “guns in church” bill is coming. It will be as pointless as the previous versions


You can take your gun to church, unless the church says you can’t. 

There is no law that will change this. And there will never be one. 

That is because in America, a private business or house of worship has the right to prevent anyone from entering their premises for pretty much any reason that falls outside of normal anti-discrimination statutes. 

This will never change. Nor should it. 

I bring this up because a handful of your elected politicians are once again preparing a pandering piece of legislation designed to cash in on the fear and angst associated with recent church shootings. Their bill, which will be as worthless as they are, will supposedly clarify that parishioners have the right to be armed and that churches have the right to employ a security team. 

All of those things are legal today. Anything that is not legal today will not be legal if this dumb bill passes. 

The politicians pushing it know this. 

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They’re hoping that you’re too stupid to know it. 

It’s honestly infuriating to watch these guys play on the fear and good intentions of the voters of this state — people who only want to live their lives and keep their families safe. And instead of doing hard things that might actually keep them safe, these men — and I refuse to name them and give them the satisfaction of seeing their names in print over this nonsense — are instead using that fear to their advantage. 

It’s sickening. 

If they wanted to actually help the people of this state feel safer, they wouldn’t be pushing do-nothing legislation. They would take the hard steps of examining today’s gun laws, which have flooded the streets of this state and so many others with cheap, easily-accessible firearms and kept it legal to skirt background check requirements. 

Instead of cheering the fact that a man was quickly shot dead in a church after he killed only two people (and seriously, read that sentence back to yourself a few times and think about it), they might be questioning the gun laws — or lack thereof — that made it so easy for a man with multiple felony convictions — a transient who had been convicted in multiple other states — to obtain such a weapon. 

That made it so easy for high schoolers to obtain them. That made it so easy for people with mental health issues to obtain them. 

That made it so easy for any person with a pulse and a $20 bill to obtain them. 

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Because let me tell you, what we’re doing and the way we’re living — it’s nuts. And deep down, almost all of us know it, whether you’ll admit it or not. 

Every person who owns a gun and shoots it regularly, or who goes hunting regularly, knows at least one person who definitely should NOT own or be allowed to even look at a firearm. They’re either way unsafe handling a firearm or they’re just too enthusiastic about having a gun — but you’ve told people who you care about to stay the hell away from that guy if there’s a gun around. 

Those are the people who we should be trying to either prevent from obtaining firearms or who we should be properly training to use and store firearms. 

The simple fact is this: Buying a gun does NOT make you safer. 

There is a small chance that owning a gun, being properly trained to use it and storing it safely could make you safer. And that’s fine. If that’s what you’re after, OK. 

The man who stopped the Texas church shooting last week was trained — had trained for years and trained others for years. He knew what he was doing. And he was lucky, because about a thousand things could’ve gone wrong. 

The most common laws being pushed today would not have prevented him from owning a firearm, and wouldn’t have affected him in any way. But expanded background checks, closing the private sale loophole, mandatory training and criminal penalties for failing to store a weapon properly might have prevented the shooter from getting a weapon. They might prevent future shooters, or simply cut down on the number of guns floating around our streets. Or properly train a few people to be ready for a real attack. 

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And all of those things would do far more for the safety and security of the people in this state than another pandering piece of worthless legislation.


Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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