Summary of recent Georgia newspaper editorials


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Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

March 11

The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, Georgia, on carrying concealed weapons across Georgia borders:

Under current laws, a South Carolinian legally carrying a concealed weapon becomes a criminal the moment he or she crosses the border into Georgia. The same goes for a properly permitted Peach State resident who goes packing in the Palmetto State.

That's because the next-door neighbors don't recognize each other's concealed-weapon permits. They do, however, honor permits issued by far-away states such as Alaska, Michigan and North Dakota.

Imagine if states treated driver's licenses as oddly - a cross-country trip might require circuitous route-planning to avoid running afoul of the law.

It shouldn't be this way, and it won't for much longer if legislation pending in Congress becomes law.

The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, introduced by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would extend the rights that concealed-carry permit holders enjoy in their home states to all others that permit concealed carry. A companion bill in the House has been introduced by U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind.

The legislation is long past due. Law-abiding citizens shouldn't have to check their Second Amendment rights at state borders any more than their other constitutional rights.


March 9

The Daily Citizen, Dalton, Georgia, on legislation to permit medical use of cannabis oil in Georgia:

Last year, the Georgia Senate dashed the hopes of those suffering from seizure disorders. We hope our senators do not act as cruelly this year.

Last year, the state House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill to allow the state's medical colleges to dispense a type of cannabis oil low in THC, a compound that gets people high, to people suffering from seizures and some other disorders.

But when the bill arrived in the state Senate, senators attached a completely unrelated bill before passing it. House members refused to approve the amended bill and the measure failed.

"The problem last year was not so much with the bill itself, though I guess some senators may have had some problems with the bill," said state Rep. Tom Dickson, R-Cohutta. "The real problem is that it got caught up in politics. There was a Senate bill dealing with insurance coverage for autism that was being held up in the House. And the situation was basically, 'We aren't going to move your bill if you don't move ours.'"

Last month, the House again approved the medical marijuana bill by a large margin. But so far, the Senate hasn't taken up the measure. In fact, state Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta, has introduced a competing bill that would create a four-year medical marijuana trial at Georgia Regents University for people 18 and under who suffer from "medication resistant" seizures.

Supporters of the House bill, including parents of children with severe seizure disorders, say the Senate bill is too narrow, that it would serve much fewer patients and force those it would benefit to jump through many hurdles. In fact, that seems to be the purpose of the bill, to give lawmakers the chance to vote for medical marijuana while actually doing little to help anyone.

But while senators continue to play politics with this issue, children across the state continue to suffer, and some Georgia families continue to look for ways to move to Colorado and other states that allow medical marijuana.

Georgia voters have a right to be represented by people who demonstrate wisdom and compassion. Too many of our state senators have demonstrated neither.


March 9

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, Georgia, on business ethics:

Two Columbus-based companies have demonstrated once again that successful business practices and a culture of ethical conduct are not mutually exclusive. To the contrary, the latter substantially complements the former.

As reported Tuesday by the online business newsletter Columbus CEO, Aflac and TSYS have again been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute ( as being among the 2015 World's Most Ethical Companies.

The Most Ethical designation is conferred on a pretty small and exclusive club: Only 132 businesses worldwide were so recognized. Nevertheless, neither Columbus corporation is a newcomer. TSYS was awarded the distinction for the third time in four years, and Aflac has received the Most Ethical Companies designation in each of the nine years the list has been compiled, the only insurance company in the world to do so.

Ethisphere CEO Timothy Erblich made it clear that this elite list isn't just a matter of image polishing. The recognition, he wrote in a prepared statement about TSYS, "involves more than just an outward facing message or a handful of senior executives saying the right thing." Rather, the Most Ethical Companies list is about businesses that "use ethics as a means to further define their industry leadership," and it involves "the collective action of a global workforce from the top down."

Congratulations to Aflac and TSYS for their latest recognition as companies whose practices others would do well to emulate.


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