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A bipartisan bill in Georgia has drawn the ire of Republicans and has been dubbed a measure to “take out guns” and the “Pedophilia Protection Act”. The legislation in question is supposed to be about expanding health care coverage for Georgians, but is this the case? Or are some politicians looking for an excuse to vote no on the legislation? 

Georgia House Bill 1013 was approved in the Georgia House with overwhelming support but was quickly labeled as legislation that would allow for pedophiles to skip out on prison sentences and deny many in the state their 2A rights. 

The legislation will enforce a federal “parity” law by requiring that insurance companies have to cover mental health care in the same way that they cover physical health care. This bill would also loosen the guidance on when law enforcement can involuntarily commit someone. 

One group coming out against the legislation, Truth in Education, said that the legislation would take control of children’s mental health away from parents. Other activists pointed out that the loosening of guidelines on involuntary commitment may be used to strip Georgians of their 2A rights. 

The bill’s co-sponsor state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver(D) said that “there’s only recently been this kind of mass attack on the bill that comes from a very small internet activation,” when discussing the new opposition to the legislation. 

Republican House Speaker David Ralston has given the bill the green light and when asked about the growing opposition to the legislation he said “I don’t see a lot of impact that this opposition is having… I think there are some people that have legitimate concerns — well-intentioned, good-faith objections. Then there are the others for whom their concerns are fact-free, they are outrageous, they are ridiculous.”

Many of the comments from political leaders and those politicians supporting the legislation are just efforts to gas light observers into thinking that arguments against the legislation are nothing but nonsense. That being said this bill does have some dark implications and it could ultimately have an effect on the 2nd amendment rights of some in Georgia. 

The loosening of guidelines of involuntary commitment could potentially turn the practice into a “quick fix” for law enforcement officers who are looking to end a case with as little paper work as possible. Involuntary commitment could end up becoming just another tool in the belt of the corrupt as opposed to a process of removing people who are a danger to themselves or others from society for a period of time. Being involuntarily committed would bar you from buying or even owning a firearm in the state of Georgia. 

As for claims that this bill would allow pedophiles to run free, this is only partially true but required some bold leaps in logic. This legislation would invite third parties into the state’s medical infrastructure and there are institutions and groups who consider pedophilia to be a mental disorder. This could hypothetically result in convicted pedophiles being able to seek “treatment” as opposed to going to prison. This is however a stretch and one that is not all that likely. 

Georgia does have a problem when it comes to mental health care, this is why so many politicians are jumping on this legislation. This bill is a quick and sloppy fix to a major issue, hence the amount of controversy surrounding it.  


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