On Monday Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, the leading republican contender to be Georgia’s next governor, blasted Delta for its decision to end a partnership with the National Rifle Association that gave its members discounted pricing. 

In a tweet, Cagle suggested that in retaliation for its decision, he would, as governor, veto any bill that gave the company preferred tax treatment. 

Let’s set aside for a second the idea that Georgia Republicans think it is good policy to put their thumb on the scale of free markets and give certain businesses preferred tax treatment over others.  

The idea that a private company’s First Amendment rights can be so publicly, easily and blatantly trampled on is truly Orwellian stuff.  

Then, not to be outdone in the Land of Oz, another candidate in the governors race, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, suggested that in response to a deadly shooting that killed 17 teachers and teenagers, the 4th of July should be a tax free holiday for guns and ammunition in the state. 

This, after yet another candidate, State Sen. Michael Williams, gave away a bump stock in response to the Las Vegas shooting that killed 59 people last October. 

I support the Second Amendment and recognize its importance to our democracy, but the actions of these men do nothing but harden the beliefs of protectionists and give responsible gun owners a bad name. 

After the Sandy Hook shooting I had a knot in my stomach for weeks. We sent our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the shootings in Columbine, Aurora, Charleston, Virginia Tech and many others. But I thought that after the massacre of 20 first graders at Sandy Hook, things would be different. They had to be. If that didn’t move the needle towards policies that make our children safer, what would?

The answer, it seems, may be in the voices of the teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting that has the NRA shaking in its boots and rock-solid gun protectionists admitting it might be time to take a serious look at common sense reform. 

But not in Georgia. No, in my home state the want-to-be leaders of our government turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to children screaming for change. 

One company paying close attention is the great white whale of any state economic developer’s dream - Amazon.  

By most accounts, Atlanta is at least a top 5 contender, if not the favorite, to land the company’s second headquarters and the 50,000 shiny new jobs that come with it. 

Or perhaps, it was. After Georgia legislators pushed through a controversial bill to allow private adoption agencies to ban gay couples from adopting children, this move by Cagle may be the nail in the coffin of any aspirations we had to once and for all put Atlanta on the map as a leading mega city for international trade. 

Amazon owes Atlanta nothing. So in one inexplicable tweet, Cagle reminded Amazon that for everything Atlanta has to offer, we’ve still got a long way to go.  

Jeff Bezos is somewhere in Seattle shaking his head and taking a look at plan B. 

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(1) comment

kennethmark

You know, I think it’s a bit naïve, this notion that “Republicans think it is good policy to put their thumb on the scale of free markets and give certain businesses preferred tax treatment over others.” Such “preference” has been going on since the beginning of political time, and will continue until the end of political time.

And while you claim to be “setting it aside”, what you’ve really done by leading with it is attempt to SET UP a Republican strawman for easy knock-down later.

Fact is, Delta Airlines has been getting preferred tax treatment over other Georgia businesses, for a variety of reasons, and from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents FOR DECADES. All parties have found it to be “good policy” to offer such preferential treatment to Delta since they moved their HQ from Louisiana to Georgia in 1941, and similar considerations have been, or will be floated to Amazon to help entice it to make Georgia one of its homes. It’s just the way these things roll. It’s not a “Republican” thing… just the way things have always rolled, and likely always will.

As for the rest of your piece, I’m not sure where I see Delta’s First Amendment rights being “trampled.” To me, this falls more under Newton’s Third Law… “for every action, there is an equal, and opposite reaction.” Delta has every right to do what it did, but Delta would also be naïve to ignore the possibility that some of the reactions to its action might be negative (Second Amendment rights defenders flying Southwest instead, politicians threatening to remove certain preferential treatment that has always been enjoyed, etc., etc.).

Que sera.

Where you go off the rails is your claim that Georgia government “turns a deaf ear, and a blind eye to children screaming for change.”

The children are “screaming” only to be kept safe in schools. Everybody wants that. In America, it is becoming more and more clear that prohibitions, bans, “controls” on products for which there exists heavy demand by American consumers ONLY RESULT in increased supply, and demand for those products. It has never been otherwise in America. In fact, it is IMPOSSIBLE to come up with a single example of a governmental prohibition, or ban, or even “control” on a product resulting in anything other than more of that product, cheaper, and less safe. Paradoxical, but true. It is the way of the criminal black market, and it is incredibly naïve to ignore how the black market will step up, and fill in the “blanks” with guns would these “screams” from the left for something that not only cannot work, but can only make matters worse should be heeded.

We have long been a nation “screaming” for wrong things so that we can at least say we’re doing something, even if that something is worse than doing nothing.

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