I keep promising myself to limit my submissions relating to guns and attacks on voting rights to an absolute minimum. But I can only bite my lip so long.
Some red state almost always comes along to bring gun-nuttery and voter supression to new highs (or lows) and I once more dive for the keyboard. This time it’s my neighboring state of North Carolina. The Tar Heel state was once a progressive beacon in the Deep South, one of the glowing exceptions to the political Philistines that have blanketed the Deep South far too long. The South, with racism in its DNA, actually saw three of its member states break ranks and vote for an African-American presidential candidate named Obama in 2008.
The three brave states were North Carolina, Florida and Virginia. Obama held on to Florida and Virginia in 2012, but things were collapsing for the Democrats in North Carolina. This time voters opted for Mitt Romney and stuffed state government with the radical fringe of Tea Party types.
The downhill tumble began when the state’s first female governor, Bev Perdue declined to run for a 2nd term. She had committed the unpardonable sin of daring to even suggest a tax increase to finance education. EDUKASHUN??? Then 3 witless former campaign aides and supporters were indicted on felony charges that included paying a staff member $32,000 off the books, plane freebies and obstruction of justice. Governor Perdue was also in her mid-60′s and the stressful workload of leading a state completely redistricted by Republicans, a recalcitrant radical legislature and outsiders making all the decisions, may have taken a toll.
In any event, the same guy she ran against and defeated in 2008, climbed out of his hole again in 2012. He was Pat McCrory, a seven-term mayor of Charlotte. With Perdue leaving office somewhat in disgrace, McCrory was an easy winner the second time around. Extraordinarily anti-democratic, counter-productive and downright deadly model legislation started rolling down the aisles for the governor’s eager signature.
My colleague, Adalia Woodbury has done a wonderful job in chronicling the voter suppression horror story in her July 23rd piece (see archives), “North Carolina Senate Passes the most Draconian Voter Suppression Bill Ever!” It’s a nightmarish read for any decent and thoughtful American.
If you survived Adalia’s epic tale of miscarriage of governance, I have another North Carolina legislative offering of the same day, that, in it’s own way, pretty much mirrors the disgusting spectacle of ripping away voting rights for people likely to vote Democratic.
This legislation is about guns. Again, a PoliticusUSA writer, Keith, Brekhus crafts a wonderfully researched story about guns being welcomed in nightclubs and bars, “Despite Several Fatal Shootings, NC Passes Law Allowing Guns at Bars” published July 24 (see archives). He cited one example after another of slobbering drunks firing away, often with fatal consequences, at fellow drunks and customers, including one dust-up at the “Boom Boom Room.”
I’d like to add a few thoughts on some of the other sections of the law. If you’re a gun nut, you might want to close your eyes. This piece isn’t for you. You don’t care for human life. You pick guns over your own children and family (domestic violence, accidental shootings and endless suicides by gun) and the safety of neighbors and innocent strangers. You’re so paranoid you need to seek professional help and I have no interest in anybody who has nothing constructive to contribute to our society.
The NRA and gun manufacturers of course, write the model-legislation. And all right-wing elected officials and a good many left-wingers are terrified to oppose it. Either because they fear defeat in their next election or they fear they might be “Gabbyfied” in their next public appearance. In addition to Keith’s frightening examples of liquor-fueled, fake-courage drunks with booze-shortened fuses and itchy trigger fingers, here are additional pistol-packin’ venues spelled out in your North Carolina (and virtually every other red state) gun legislation.
Both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly, approved a bill that allowed those with concealed carry permits to conceal carry their pieces into just about every corner of American public and private commerce, where a gun would be the last thing you’d want in most folk’s little Zimmerman holsters.
Restaurants are just fine for instance. “Will you be having 115 gr WWB with dessert sir?” A 24-year-old local hero shot an armed robber to death in a Waffle House down the road the other day. That’s exactly the intent of concealed carry legislation. Judging, jurying and executing the bad guys on the spot. Of course, in a crowded restaurant with children present, there’s always the possibility of snagging an innocent bystander. So the question is, do you let law enforcement do what law enforcement does or do you risk lives with citizen vigilantes at the ready with errant shots or crossfire if another “John Wayne” happens to be dining at the same time and they’re both winging away? It’s an argument that doesn’t register with the instant-gratification crowd of gun packers.
Here’s a jewel I hadn’t heard too much about in previous red state gun legislation. Let’s load up those college campuses with guns. Now, junior’s gun does have to be locked up in mommy’s car, but the unanimous verdict of the police chiefs at all 16 campuses in the state’s university system was that cars (even locked cars) hosting guns would encourage the bad guys to break into student rides and steal those deadly little toys. It is truly ironic that the “Don’t tread on me” fed-ripping crowd will roll over like circus dogs in front of the NRA, Gun Owners of America and other profit-addicted outsiders who drive such legislation. For North Carolina coeds, guns will be a factor in any date requiring transportation. I can only imagine how coeds feel, knowing they dare not piss off the liquored up “Mr. Roaming Hands” romantic advances of goofy gun guy.
Would I send a daughter to college in North Carolina? Hell no!
There’s another section of the bill that I can’t imagine a single-grownup supporting. Concealed carry will be allowed on PLAYGROUNDS!!! If that doesn’t make you throw up in your mouth, nothing will. The accident scenarios are endless; a dropped gun going off, running up to hug a parent, a stumble, sex pervs drawing down on an 8-year-old; and there are enough damn fools in the North Carolina legislature to put virtually everyone in a state in mortal danger anywhere in the state.
So that’s the latest from the Chamber of Legislative Horrors (whores?) and the governor’s office in Raleigh, the state capital of North Carolina.
Let’s put Adalia and Keith on the next presidential ticket and get this nonsense over with.