What connection – if any – does Georgia’s new gun laws have to the FedEx warehouse shooting Tuesday morning in Kennesaw?
The shooting of six workers by an employee who then killed himself took place a week after new gun legislation was signed into law by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal allowing licensed owners to carry guns in more public locations than ever before. The legislation takes effect July 1.
Patch readers are debating the issue, with some saying that an armed worker in the designated gun-free facility might have stopped the incident, and others decrying the increase of gun ownership and the lack of mental health resources.
Reader Jim Eastwood commented: “Maybe if some one(Authorized or Not) Had been "PACKING" this guy might have been stopped earlier.”
Other readers mocked the push for more gun ownership.
Reader Joe R wrote in comments: “How could this have happened in a red GOP state with gun worship everywhere. Guns, guns, guns, we need more guns at all times everywhere … court rooms, nursery schools, guns, guns, guns, we need more and more and more guns. Why do we need more guns if guns are just inanimate objects and guns don't kill people?“
And reader Rose Rowland said: “No-one could see that this would be an inevitable result of the insane gun law that Deal just approved. Of course not. Just a coincidence. And the fact that my kind, gentle Ga Lawyer brother is considering getting a Taser to defend himself in case an angry ex-husband brings a gun into his office isn't either. Enjoy your spot in hell, Deal.”
Deal signed the “Safe Carry Protection Act,” dubbed the “Guns Everywhere Bill” by critics, into law on April 23. The law allows licensed owners to carry firearms into more public places than anytime since the 1800s, including government buildings, restaurants, bars, and many public places, reports the Memphis Business Journal.
Churches and bars may decide whether to allow licensed gun owners to carry weapons in their facilities, under the new law. School districts may appoint staff carrying firearms, the Journal reports, and gun owners stopped by airport security face no criminal penalty.
The gunman – identified as Geddy Kramer, 19, is reportedly a 2013 graduate of North Cobb High School in Acworth. Authorities say he opened fire early Tuesday at a FedEx shipping facility outside the Cobb County Airport, injuring at least six people before apparently turning the gun and killing himself.
Police said Kramer carried a shotgun along with bullets strapped across his chest "like Rambo."
Proponents of the law say that it will make people safer.
Since the December 2012 massacre of students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, eight states have loosened gun regulations while 10 states have strengthened them, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.