I heart Atlanta
Not only am I a proud "born and raised" New York native living and working in Atlanta, I'm also a writer working in Atlanta (Atlanta Voice). I really enjoyed your article on ex-New Yorkers living here and ex-Atlantans living there, and their varied opinions ("I love New York," cover story, Aug. 6). There are negatives to living anywhere, and when you multiply the number of people living in the Big Apple with the stress of competing for jobs and space, New York can definitely get the best of the meek at heart. But that's what's so good about the city, too – you're tested and the rewards are so great. Though I digress that I moved here too to take advantage of the opportunity to own a home, write for a newspaper without being an intern for four years and the phenomenal weather. I miss the city life but don't plan on moving back. It's good to have read the views of other transplants and reverse transplants. Maybe we're all not so different after all.
– Donnell Suggs, Atlanta
The responsibility of being armed
I really enjoyed [Andisheh Nouraee's] article about carrying in Georgia ("Gun-ho!" cover story, July 30). It was hugely entertaining and it provided insights that many people do not realize because of the polarization in the gun debate (hell, debate in general anymore it seems...).
I've carried for a few years, although I carry underneath clothing most of the time. You know, like a shirt over the weapon or something. I don't want to project that whole "I'm gonna kill you if you look at me wrong" thing. I'm actually a peaceful guy; ask my girlfriend. She calls me a "closet hippie." I don't want the attention and I don't want people to be scared of me. I also want to have the ability to defend myself if the chips are truly down and the cops are minutes away when I only have seconds for me or my loved ones.
But your experience about getting zero attention is a little different than mine. I have gotten attention when my weapon has become visible from me reaching to get something off the shelf. A Tower liquor store security [officer] informed me outside that carrying a weapon inside is prohibited by the owner. In the Publix on Ponce [de Leon Avenue], a nice gentleman asked me if I was a cop and I replied no. He scurried off. I assumed he was telling on me. Thankfully, I was close to checking out. At the Target on Moreland [Avenue] outside in the lot, a gent asked me if I ever get hassled for carrying in Georgia when my weapon was under my shirt but he noticed the bulge. At Zesto in Little Five Points, the cashier tried to give me a free cone because "cops eat for free." I declined, stating I am not a cop. At a gas station, a man [noticed my gun and] stated he had just gotten his permit but now was looking for a pistol to carry with his permit. It freaked out the cashier, who told me I didn't have the right to carry in her store (she cites "law" all the time).
Anyhow, thanks for a great article. I think you put the words what many permit holders feel about the responsibility carrying holds. So many people think gun owners are these harsh assholes, which can be a fair assessment when you meet a harsh asshole gun owner. Hell, there's one in my neighborhood who thinks crime's solution only resides in shooting criminals. It's disgusting and I bristle when some people equate all gun owners with his line of thinking.
Again, thanks for a great article. You put into words a sentiment many people share.
– Jonny Avery, Atlanta
Just because you can carry your gun most anywhere in Georgia doesn't mean you should. Don't get me wrong, I am for concealed carry, but take it a step further and go get some training. No felony conviction, no restraining order and no dishonorable discharge are the minimum requirements of the law; take it to the next level and get some professional training. Are you aware of your liability if you were to wound or kill a bystander while trying to defend yourself? Do you know how to perform a weak-hand reload? If you are looking for a challenge, don't take it up with the employees of Chuck E. Cheese, push yourself to be as well-trained as a professional. Believe me, you are not going to have the liability shield the APD does if you trade bullets in a public setting.
– Josh Lewis, Atlanta