The Georgia Generaly Assembly approved an executive order for a public health state of emergency on March 16th. This was done to give Governor Kemp some power to overide Georgia state laws, if needed, to lessen the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
One Republican representative in Georgia, Matt Gurtler, is calling for the Governor to use his powers to stop the enforcement of concealed carry laws.
Gurtler believes that families have a right to defend themselves, particularly with police departments very possibly being overwhelmed with problems associated with the coronavirus pandemic. The state representative says,
We need to suspend enforcement especially during the state of emergency, when so many individuals need to be able to defend themselves and their families and their loved ones and their property.
This is being suggested by Gurtler on the brink of surging gun sales, not just in Georgia, but across the entire country.
Some lawmakers take Gurtler’s approach, seeing more guns in the hands of law abiding citizens, as a net positive. They are happy that the second amendment is allowing citizens the option to be able to defend themselves, especially since police departments are being stretched thin.
On the other hand, there are politicians who are worried about spiking gun sales.
One of Gurtler’s Democrat collegues, Senator Jen Jordan, insists that Gurtler is pushing a dangerous policy.
Jordan believes, “the fact that we’ve seen a spike in sales of guns and ammunition underscores just how wrong Gurtler is.” She also says that the gun sales spike is a result of fear mongering by the NRA, a relatively common Leftist talking point throughout this pandemic.
This particular battle between pro-second amendment politicians and pro-gun control politicians in the Georgia Senate and House is not entirely new, though.
Gurter has advocated for ending the concealed carry permit system in Georgia for some time. He was one the main sponsors of a piece of legislation to allow constitutional carry in Georgia in 2018.
Gurtler would like to see the law changed so that Georgia citizens wouldn’t have to get approval to carry a concealed handgun, and he sees such laws as even more neccessary in times of crisis.
Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?
America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad
Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?
Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.
Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy.
In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”
Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.
That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.
Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:
“Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”
Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 24, 2020
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”
All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting:https://t.co/0g3jpVPsDm
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 24, 2020
The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change.
Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.
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