Really? We’re doing this again?
Republican lawmakers kept talking about jobs and the economy all through their legislative campaigns and said their policies of less regulation and lower taxes would draw businesses by the dozen to North Carolina and put everybody to work.
At least, that was the core of their sales job, a successful one, on the voters of the state.
So why don’t they focus on those economic issues instead of being distracted, again and again, by the two mainstay issues of the far right: guns and abortion?
They just can’t help it, we suppose.
The latest gun news is utterly preposterous.
Sen. Jeff Tarte, Republican of Cornelius, has filed three gun bills. One would create an entirely new and secret class of concealed weapons permit-holders. Those who qualified would be able to carry handguns anywhere that law officers can carry them. That would include places that have signs prohibiting firearms.
In other words, the signs would mean nothing, and the right to have them would in effect be taken away by the General Assembly.
The permits would be called “homeland security permits,” and those holding them would get badges. Yes, the holders would have to have extra training. But, no, their identities would not be available to the public.
Tarte has a couple of other beauties as well, including a bill that would permit substantial lawsuits against cities and counties that imposed taxes or other restrictions on the making or transportation of firearms. And then there is Tarte’s bill to make requirements for conceal-carry permits more uniform across the state. Those who had been treated for a temporary mental disorder also would not be automatically disqualified from having a permit.
One gun-rights group said more legislation was coming. And it was true. Now a proposal is out to allow concealed-carry holders to take their guns to the State Fair, something that rightly failed last year. Amazing.
Tarte’s proposals are downright dangerous, and he’d seem to create an entirely new militia with some permit-holders carrying badges. Just what would their jurisdictions be? And what about the confusion that might arise between the concealed carry-holders and real officers? This is some zany stuff here. It isn’t even close to being rational law-making.
Then there’s the latest on abortions. A bill in the state House would ban public health care facilities at UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University from performing abortions. The same bill would impose a 72-hour waiting period before an abortion could be performed as opposed to the 24-hour period now required. It also would tighten requirements for doctors allowed to perform abortions.
Proponents of this type of legislation have traditionally labeled opponents as pro-abortion, which is insulting to reasonable people who disagree. It is possible to believe that the state should not interfere with a woman’s decision to have an abortion and with her relationship with her doctor without being pro-abortion. This proposal represents interference on the part of the state between a doctor and a patient, and it puts the state in a position of making a moral judgment on all women facing this choice. Its proponents demonstrate a complete lack of respect for privacy and individual rights.
House Speaker Tim Moore has stated more than once that his body’s task – and the task of this General Assembly, for that matter – is to encourage job creation and bolster North Carolina’s economy. Every moment that lawmakers spend dealing with distractions such as Wild West gun laws and more abortion restrictions is a moment that could have been spent talking about and maybe even accomplishing a little job creation. If his fellow legislators have nothing better to do, Moore and Phil Berger, Senate president pro tem, need to come up with something.