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January 10, 2013 Issue

Shooting leads to prayer
Sherrill returns to Bartow
Local increase seen in weapon permits

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Shooting leads to prayer

ByCarol McLeod
Carol McLeod

Stunned and shocked, people throughout the United States watched news reports Friday, Dec. 14, of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

That morning, Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six adults, having already shot and killed his mother. As first responders arrived, he committed suicide leaving behind questions to which there will never be answers.


One couple in Glascock County felt compelled to do something; and, so, they organized a meeting at the Glascock County Consolidated School to remember those Lanza had killed and to pray for their own school, the teachers, staff and the students.

Mitch Raley and his wife, Amanda, arranged the event, which was held Wednesday, Jan. 2, in the school’s gym.

Amanda said it took about two weeks to put together. They used Facebook and word-of-mouth to let people in the community know about the night of prayer.

“I believe somebody told the paper,” she said, adding people announced it in church.

Although the gym was not full, when a prayer circle was made at the meeting’s close, people lined the walls, holding hands.

“I was hoping to see more of the school administration and staff and especially students,” Amanda said.

“Praying over our school, teachers and children was something we felt we needed to do,” she said.

“I feel the school is a large part of our community. We have a lot to be thankful for, teachers and all the staff,” Mitch said.

“We are all overwhelmed by the support,” said Mindy Wilcher, the night’s emcee.

Brooke Stephens sang, “Heart of Worship,” and played her guitar while a group of adults and students brought 26 lit candles to the front and set them on tables. One candle represented each of those killed by Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Jamie Daniel, 13, read a poem; and, J.W. “Bill” Seaman preached. Several prayers were said.

“Dec. 14, we didn’t turn the TV on early but whenever we turned the TV on and I heard what happened in Newtown, Conn., I have never felt that way before in my life. Never,” Seaman said.

“I knew how they felt because on a Sunday before Labor Day 1987 I answered the phone and they said our 4-year-old grandson had fallen in the swimming pool,” he said.

Seaman said that God is on His throne.

“There is no way we can comprehend the number of God’s children that pass away every hour of every day,” he said, adding, “Christ Jesus is interceding and saying, ‘That’s one of ours.’

“We are here to remember and we are here to show our love.”

Seaman read from the Bible and said, “And we wish every situation was perfect.”

He said that people will have to answer for what they have done.

“One day, God is going to make everything that is wrong, right,” he said.

Sherrill returns to Bartow

Special Report

Brad Sherrill, the actor who can recite whole books from the Bible, is back. In 2001, he brought his internationally acclaimed production of The Gospel of John to Bartow’s Mancin Auditorium stage.

A few weeks later, he opened the production at New York’s historic Lambs Theater, and then went on to present more than 600 performances at some of the world’s most prestigious venues.


Sherrill is back with his newest scripture-based production, Red Letter Jesus. The production’s entire script consists of red letter text from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Sherrill’s live performance is augmented with footage shot especially for this production.

Locations include Israel, The West Bank and Jordan, including the Sea of Galilee, the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, the Mediterranean coast, the Dead Sea, the Judean and Negrew Deserts, the city of Eilat on the Red Sea and the Wadi Rum Valley in Jordan.

The Schoolhouse Players is honored to bring Red Letter Jesus to its stage Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 3 at 3 p.m.

“We expect a sellout,” said Rosie Burge, spokesperson for The Players, “so, order your tickets now and make certain you get to see this special event before it continues its national tour.”

Tickets are $15 each, and may be reserved by calling (478) 364-3340. The production is co-sponsored by a donor and First State Bank.

Local increase seen in weapon permits

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

“Years ago, it was called a Pistol Toter’s License,” said Jefferson County Probate Judge Asholyn Lampp. “It was a Weapons Permit after that.”

Now, the judge said, the card issued for citizens to legally carry a firearm is a Georgia Weapons Carry License.


“We sold twice as many in December as we did in November because there was a rumor about not being able to get them,” she said, adding January is usually a slow month for anything in the courthouse.

To get a license, a person has to go to the courthouse and complete an application, Lampp said.

“Then you would go to the sheriff’s office and have your fingerprints taken. The probate office receives the report back from the sheriff’s office and the probate judge makes the decision to issue the license or not,” she said.

“If everything goes through like it should, they should have the license within three weeks. They have their picture made when they complete the application. The license is mailed to us and then we mail them to the people. They can come in and pick them up if they choose but the average person asks us to mail them,” she said.

Denise Dallas, Glascock County’s probate judge, said she did see an increase in 2012 over 2011.

“Fifty-nine is all we had for the whole year,” she said of 2012, adding she had already received three applications for 2013 by Thursday, Jan. 3.

“It lasts for five years,” she said. The process in Glascock County is similar to the one in Jefferson County.

Nationally, gun sales and permit applications for weapons saw a sharp increase after the Dec. 14 shootings and deaths of 28 people in Newton, Conn. A 20-year-old, Adam Lanza, shot and killed his mother, then went to a nearby elementary school where he killed 20 children and six adults, then turned the weapon on himself, committing suicide.

After that event, the public outcry for gun control caused many people to believe they would soon be unable to get a weapons license or buy handguns or rifles, creating a reportedly sharp increase in gun sales.

Wrens Chief of Police Garry McCord said Friday, Jan. 4, he has seen an increase in interest in a class he teaches citizens on firearm laws and firearm safety that includes a shooting portion.

“I have seen a tremendous increase,” he said. “Everybody’s ready for the next class and we just had one.” He said this increase occurred after the shooting in Newton, Conn.

He said he is anticipating an increase in the number of participants in the class.

“There’s always an incident that increases an interest; but, then after a few days or weeks, people tend to forget and go back to the way things had been prior to the incident,” he said.

“I know Bonnie (Smith) told me people are registering to tote a weapon,” Jefferson County Sheriff Gary Hutchins said Monday. “That firearms applications have really gone up, especially (from) a lot of women. We have a class three times a year. I encourage every lady to take the class and get their firearms license.”

Smith is a member of the sheriff’s staff.

Hutchins said he has seen 10 applications since Friday, Dec. 4. He said he has heard people are flooding gun shows.

“I had one family, they’re going back to college and the parents want their children to have protection,” the sheriff said.

“Good, honest people need protection,” Hutchins continued. “It’s too dangerous out there. I’d rather have good people have weapons than the bad people.

“Anytime your life is in danger or you feel your life is threatened, you have the right to use your weapon to protect yourself.”

Hutchins said that when the JCSO confiscates weapons, those weapons cannot be sold to individuals.

"We can sell only to dealers or swap old weapons for new weapons with a dealer,” he said.

To become a dealer, a person must possess a Federal Firearms License. Interested parties may find the information about the application process at the website of The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, www.atf.gov. The website states approval or disapproval of an application will be within 60 days after the application is received at the Federal Firearms Licensing Center in West Virginia.

said Atkins had been released on a property bond of $1,000.

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Last modified: January 9, 2013