Georgia, please stop embarrassing yourself

AP Photo/Seth Perlman
AP Photo/Seth Perlman

I know I live in the South, and sometimes, Southerners do dumb things (humans in all regions of the world do, too). But maybe it’s time Georgians stopped shooting themselves in the foot.

According to a WSB-TV report, a girls softball team in Loganville – a town 35 miles east of Atlanta – is planning to raffle off a Taurus Judge revolver to help raise funds for future trips. Of course, by “girls softball team,” I mean “parents of the girls on the softball team.”

This team consists of 8- and 9-year-old girls. Be better, Georgia.

I have no doubt the raffle will draw plenty of bidders, and the parents said they’ll only give the weapon to the winner if they pass a background check or already have a concealed weapon permit. But they’re allowing little girls to get caught up in a gun raffle, which is completely inappropriate. There are other items that could be given away that would draw a large crowd, and the adults should have worked a little harder to figure out what those items are.

Now, because this is happening in the conservative South, it will eventually become national news. It will shock lots of people and offend plenty more, no doubt. And if Georgians don’t stop doing things like this, we risk becoming a “Florida” – a state where wacky stories happen so often inside the its borders that people cease to be shocked.

Meanwhile, Georgia lawmakers have introduced religious freedom bills, and if you’ve been keeping up with the news in Arizona, that sounds like a bill aimed at denying homosexuals service in any place of business that chooses to do so. Naturally, some national media outlets jumped on it as just that.

But these bills, which have been passed in 29 other states in the South, Midwest and even New England, have no discriminatory language in them whatsoever, according to an report.

Let me repeat that. There is no wording in these bills about refusing service to gays, or anything about gays at all. They simply are an attempt to guarantee all Georgians have the same religious protections that prisoners already enjoy.

So it could be worse. At least Georgia isn’t Arizona or Florida yet. But we could be if we keep raffling weapons to fund softball trips for little girls.