Around Town: Gregory, gun rights and ...Gadflys
by Bill Kinney and Joe Kirby
Around Town Columnists
December 22, 2012 01:01 AM | 4405 views | 3 3 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“THE SPIRIT of Bobby Franklin lives on in Cobb County.” That was the reaction of one Republican Cobb politico to Friday’s news that rookie state Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw) has pre-filed a package of gun-rights bills that, among other things, apparently would let virtually anybody carry a concealed weapon in the state.

East Cobb’s Franklin, who died unexpectedly last year, was known as a personally popular and highly principled state legislator, but one whose views were so far to the right even of his fellow Republicans as to make him an ineffective lawmaker.

Many of Cobb’s Republican legislators have been keeping a wary eye on Gregory due to his ardent allegiance to Libertarian Ron Paul, and complain that he downplayed those ties during his election run last spring that ultimately unseated veteran legislator Judy Manning (R-Marietta).

GREGORY PRE-FILED his four gun bills on Wednesday. The first, “The Georgia Constitutional Carry Act,” (HB 26) would eliminate the licensing requirement for carrying concealed weapons in Georgia.

“The state’s licensing requirement to exercise a God-given and constitutionally-guaranteed individual right is repugnant to the Constitution and invalid,” he declared. “The bill seeks to bring the state’s code more in line with our natural rights and constitutional law.”

His second, HB 27, would take away the governor’s right to suspend gun sales after a state of emergency has been declared. Governors around the country have often suspended such sales (and those of alcohol) during riots, for example.

His third bill would let churches decide for themselves whether to allow firearms on their premises, and his fourth would give colleges and other institutions of higher learning the same right.

“GREGORY GIVES NEW MEANING to ‘bad timing’ or ‘gadfly,’” the same politico told Around Town.

Gregory’s filings came on the heels of last week’s school shootings in Newtown, Conn., that claimed the lives of 26 victims, most of them children, and as President Obama, congressional Democrats and their allies in the major media launch a push for a wave of new regulations on firearms ownership.

MDJ readers were split on Gregory’s proposals, based on comments left on the MDJonline.com web site.

“I guess the departure of Cynthia McKinney created a vacuum filled by Chip Rogers, whose departure created another vacuum seemingly filled by Gregory,” wrote “VFP42.”

But many conservatives are already on board with the idea of doing away with “gun-free zones,” which typically are adhered to only by law-abiding citizens — not by those intent on homicide.

Wrote “Southern Patriot,” “Gun Free Zones should change their signs to something more practical and to the point. How about, “I’m Unarmed, Rob Me, Rape Me, Kill Me, Do as You Please, I’m Totally Defenseless”?

“OUR GOOD LUCK CHARM”: That’s what some Atlanta Falcons officials were calling Marietta’s Heather Graham on Sunday. Why? Because after the Kennesaw State University senior sang the National Anthem at the Georgia Dome that afternoon, the Falcons blew out the New York Giants by a score of 34-zip.

Graham, the daughter of Glenn and Roxanne Graham of Marietta and a 2009 graduate of Dominion Christian, also performed at Gov. Nathan Deal’s inaugural ball at his personal invitation.

Up next? Hopefully, a repeat of Ms. Graham’s performance at an upcoming home playoff game — followed by a similar Falcons blowout against whoever their opponent is that day.

THE JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSION has narrowed down the list of candidates for the open seat on the Cobb State Court Division II bench (“Traffic Court”) to three semi-finalists. They are:

 Jane Manning, an assistant solicitor in Cobb State Court;

 Maziar “Mazi” Mazloom, solo practitioner with The Mazloom Law Firm, LLC and an Associate Judge in Marietta Municipal Court;

 and Henry R. Thompson, senior Assistant District Attorney on the Cobb Judicial Circuit.

The three were selected from a field of 16 applicants after being interviewed Tuesday by a panel from the JNC that included Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens of east Cobb. Another applicant, state Sen. Judson Hill (R-east Cobb), voluntarily withdrew his name shortly prior to the interviews. The final selection will be made by Gov. Deal.

Manning was nominated for the judgeship by Cobb Solicitor General Barry Morgan. She has worked an assistant solicitor from 1986-1990 and again from 2005 to the present. The Marietta resident is married to John Francis Hornyak Jr. and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory and a juris doctorate from Emory University School of Law.

Mazloom was nominated by Marietta attorney Michael J. Kramer and opened his firm in 2004, focusing on DUI and criminal defense work, and has been an associate judge since 2008. He previously was an assistant district attorney in Cobb from 2002-04 and was an assistant Cobb solicitor from 2000-02. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University in 1994 and his juris doctorate from John Marshall Law School in 1997. A native of Iran, he became a citizen of this country in 1995 and lives in Kennesaw.

Thompson has been senior assistant D.A. for Cobb since October 2006 and has served as lead counsel on more than 100 jury trials, with no reversals on appeal. He was associate counsel for the state in the death penalty trial of Lawrence Rice in 2008, (with Rice’s penalty recently upheld by the Georgia Supreme Court). Rice was found guilty of killing Connie Mincher and her teenage son, Ethan, in their east Cobb home. Rice had been fired years earlier by Mrs. Mincher’s husband.

Thompson is a Carrollton native, is married to Deana Thompson and lives in Acworth.

U.S. REP. TOM PRICE (R-Roswell) was named this week as vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Price, who represents east Cobb, has yet to tip his hand on a rumored run for House Speaker against incumbent John Boehner (R-Ohio). But with Boehner’s support from conservatives in the House eroding as the fiscal cliff nears, the landscape would seem to be growing more favorable by the day for such a Price run.

A SPECIAL “Merry Christmas!” this week to the Rev. Robert Certain, until recently of the Episcopal Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in east Cobb, who 40 years ago this past Tuesday was a crewman aboard a B-52 bomber shot down over Hanoi during the Vietnam War. Three of his fellow crewmen were killed, but Certain and two others survived the ejection from more than 30,000 feet up. Upon landing they were captured by the North Vietnamese, tortured and held in captivity. But the bombing offensive they had taken part in had helped bring the war to an end, and they and other U.S. POWs were released 100 days later.

“I always wake up on (Dec. 18) to remember those who died and to be grateful for the gift of life,” said Certain, now the executive director of the Military Chaplains Association.

Comments
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Watcher...
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December 22, 2012
It is disappointing to see the MDJ to give so much attention to one "Republican Cobb politico," regarding the good work of Charles Gregory.

That "Politico" does not speak for me. I would guess that he does not speak for a majority of Cobb Taxpayers.

Gregory worked hard during his campaign that resulted in the defeat of Judy Manning.

He did not trick any Voter in his Dstrict! He had a simple message: lower taxes, smaller government and less intrusive government. That message sold well in Manning's District.
Righty-tighty
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December 22, 2012
I see nothing wrong with schools and churches being able to decide if they want firearms on their property. If there had been, for instance, someone armed in that office, those children would not have been slaughtered. And churches have the same right, it is the right to protect oneself. It is not crazy or extreme to want to take care of oneself.
VFP42
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December 25, 2012
"If there had been, for instance, someone armed in that office, those children would not have been slaughtered"

This is the NRA's adolescent fantasy. Can you not even used a conditional adverb? How about "those children MIGHT not have been slaughtered." NO, no, that is not how fantasy goes. The armed person in the office would have been a perfect shot, would not have been shot, would not have accidentally shot anybody except the shooter (the cops DO ask quetions LATER if you are in an elementary school with a gun while children are being shot at), would not have been shot mistakenly by the responding police as being the shooter, never would have become the shooter themselves, the gun never would have been handled by some child in years and years and years of it being in the office.. Nah, "more guns in schools" is a "perfect" solution. Shoot, it's THE ONLY WAY!
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