‘Open carry’ to blame for Atlanta’s rise of shooting incidents
Jul 18, 2020 - 02:47 AM
MAYORS AND CITIES – Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms believes that the surge of shooting incidents in her city is partly caused by the “open carry state” status of Georgia.
The Atlanta Police Department has reported a 124 percent rise in the shootings.
Twenty-nine shooting incidences in June 2019 has increased to 65 on the same period last year.
In an interview with MSNBC Live, Bottoms explained that the violence in the city is caused by the current happenings across the country, which include among others, the lack of access to healthcare, unemployment, coronavirus and injustices seen across the country.
“What’s happening in Atlanta is what’s happening across the country. There is a combination of things,” Bottoms replied. “There are … these systemic issues, including lack of access to healthcare, including people being unemployed, people are dying of COVID-19. We witness the injustices that have happened in front of our eyes, and it’s boiling over into our streets. It’s happening in Atlanta. It’s happening across the country.”
She stressed that the “open carry state,” which allows people to “walk down the streets with assault weapons” without being stopped for probable cause also takes part of the blame.
“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,” she said.
Aside from Atlanta, other cities across the country have also been dealing with the same issue and Bottoms said it should be taken “very seriously”.
“You don’t get to pick and choose which demographic you get to stop and question as to why they are 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. But this notion that somehow the governor is helping us with law and order is false. He has military tanks in front of state buildings. … This is a play out of the Nixon playbook: distract, talk about law and order when the reality is that people are dying of COVID-19, and this president and this governor have failed us,” she said.