NC Governor pushes gun control after Raleigh

NC Governor pushes gun control after Raleigh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The Raleigh shooting was a strange animal in many ways. It wasn’t a traditional mass shooting as we think of the term. Instead, it was more of a rampage shooting but because he was on foot, it was kind of a slow-moving one.

Despite those differences, gun control was going to become an issue in the wake of it.

This is how it always goes.

This is why the North Carolina governor pushing for gun control is unsurprising.

Just weeks after a mass shooter killed five people in North Carolina’s capital city, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will take center stage at a conference for a new political group that aims at finding areas of bipartisan agreement on the national debate over guns and the Second Amendment.

The group is called 97Percent. It’s named after the finding, in a 2018 public opinion poll, that 97% of Americans support universal background checks on gun purchases. The name also nods to the fact that universal background checks have failed to pass into law despite that broad public support.

The group aims specifically to highlight moderate politicians and get more gun owners involved in conversations around gun control and gun safety.

“Reducing gun violence will take all of us coming together to find common ground to save lives,” Cooper said in a written statement. “I’m pleased with our efforts to strengthen background checks, mandate safety plans, and bring together leaders across schools and local law enforcement, but we know there is more work to do.”

Except that Raleigh was carried out by a kid, someone too old to buy a gun from anyone lawfully, and he used a shotgun and a handgun, neither of which are currently being targeted by the anti-gun crowd.

Then there’s the involvement of 97Percent, an anti-gun group trying to dress up as being about gun owners and founded by two supposedly pro-gun, former NRA lobbyists. Something about this group has never smelled right. The fact that they’re funded by a couple of California millionaires is only part of the stink. Especially since those millionaires don’t really seem to be the generally pro-gun kind of people.

The man behind the curtain is Adam Miller, self-described on his LinkedIn profile as a “Tech founder, social entrepreneur and philanthropist.” 97 percent was “launched” via, a “social impact” entity Miller has created “to address some of the most intractable problems facing our one planet.”

Claims of bipartisanship aside, per the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website for tracking money in politics, Miller’s donations to Democrat candidates and groups over the years have enabled the party anti-gun platform and infringement agenda. And per the nonprofit data reporting site Guidestar, the 1P Foundation’s 2018 IRS Form 990-PF reported net assets of just under 18M. They have the money to make a dent.

So yeah, the presence of 97Percent is going to raise some questions.

Yet to be fair, that’s mild.

Cooper would have gone somewhere else to push his gun control views without the 97Percent platform. He’s bound to want to push something, if for no other reason than to be seen doing something in the wake of the shooting.

The fact that the killings were clearly not a failure of policy–no child can lawfully buy a gun, after all–he still has to be perceived as trying to find a solution.

And, since he’s a Democrat, we know what that means.

It shouldn’t. The one thing I agree with 97Percent on is that the Second Amendment shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We come down on different sides of what that means, obviously, but it shouldn’t be Democrat = anti-gun.

And no, that’s not universal. There are pro-gun Democrats out there, just as we’ve seen Republicans who like gun control.

Unfortunately, though, that’s the general trend, and it’s why Cooper almost has to push gun control. What’s more is that North Carolinians can’t make him pay for it, either, since he’s term-limited.

But they can recognize that their gun rights are on the line with whoever his replacement is and make sure to vote for the pro-gun candidate.