Source: Jose Nino
On July 17, 2020, Atlanta mayor Keisha Bottoms said in an MSNBC interview that Georgia’s open carry laws are part of the reason why there has been an increase in violence in Georgia.
“What’s happening in Atlanta is what’s happening across the country,” Bottoms declared. She alluded to the lack of access to health care and the nation’s high unemployment rate for the unrest.
She added, “People are dying of COVID-19. We have witnessed the injustices that have happened in front of our eyes and its boiling over into our streets.”
The mayor continued going off:
The irony of it is that our overall crime rate is down by 18%, but in Georgia, an open carry state, people are allowed to walk down the streets with assault weapons, and we don’t have probable cause to stop them,” Bottoms added. “You don’t get to pick and choose which demographic you get to stop and question as to why they’re walking in our streets with open weapons. It is an issue in Atlanta. It’s an issue in other cities across this nation, and it is one that we take very seriously.
William Davis of the Daily Caller explained that “Atlanta is one of many major cities that have experienced surges in crime in recent months as protests over the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor continue.” From May 31 to June 27, 93 people were shot in Atlanta. According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, this represented over a two-fold increase from 2019. In that same period last year, 46 people were shot.
One thing that was pointed out was that Georgia has been an open carry state for some time and previously never experienced such a rise in shootings.
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson brought attention to this on Twitter:
Here’s the Mayor of Atlanta blaming open-carry for the increase in in shootings in Atlanta. We’ve had open-carry for at least a decade and the shootings in Atlanta only started after she decided to fire all the police for doing their jobs.
Indeed, Georgia has had open carry on the books for some time, but it is not sufficient of a factor to explain why Atlanta is witnessing this sudden rise in shootings.
The Atlanta mayor should instead rethink her anti-police policies which have made the city less safe and more chaotic.