The state of North Carolina may be a southern state with a lot of the culture we would normally associate with the Deep South, but there’s one area where there are substantial differences. In particular, on gun control.
There’s a requirement in the state that one gets a permit prior to purchasing a firearm, a law that’s a holdover from the Jim Crow era.
Luckily, North Carolina lawmakers have a bill introduced that would repeal that.
It seems anti-gunners in the state have their own ideas.
After he found out his fiancée had been shot and killed while walking her dog, a grief-stricken Rob Steele took his gun out of his safe. He unloaded the magazine, put the ammunition back in the metal box, then handed his firearm to a doctor.
“I red-flagged myself because I was smart enough to know I was not going to be OK,” Steele said. “I have not asked for it back, and I have no intention of doing so anytime soon.”
Steele, whose fiancée was among the five people killed in a mass shooting last October in Raleigh’s Hedingham neighborhood, appeared alongside Democratic lawmakers Tuesday to discuss a slate of gun-reform bills in an attempt to prevent mass shootings and suicides. One of those measures would create a red-flag law. Such statutes, used in 19 other states, allow courts to temporarily take guns from people after a hearing to determine whether they are a danger to themselves or others.
“It’s a temporary fix, but it can avoid crisis,” said Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham).
And yet, Steele fully illustrates that responsible people can take responsible actions and do so all the time.
True, not everyone does, but let’s also recognize that different people are, well, different. If I’m suicidally depressed or relatively enraged, taking my guns would be a terrible mistake. I happen to find the action of cleaning and maintaining a firearm to be soothing. Going to the range requires a level of concentration that causes me to let go of my anger.
I’m not alone.
So just because Steele felt he couldn’t be trusted with his guns after what happened to his fiance doesn’t mean we need a law.
Then again, this isn’t really about what happened in Raleigh or what Steele is going through, either.
Another bill would allow people to voluntarily surrender their unwanted guns and to authorize law enforcement agencies to destroy certain firearms. A report in The News & Observer published last week found that police departments in North Carolina’s 10 most populous cities were sitting on more than 74,000 guns they were unable to destroy, mostly because of a state law.
“It’s time to destroy these guns,” Morey said.
Yet another gun bill would require people to obtain a permit before buying a long gun. The proposal appears to contradict the aims of a Republican bill that would repeal the pistol purchase permit that is required to obtain a firearm in North Carolina. Sen. Natasha Marcus (D-Mecklenburg) called that bill “the antithesis of commonsense gun reform.”
“It is the opposite of what North Carolinians want us to be doing. And it’s a relinquishment of our job to protect North Carolinians from gun violence,” Marcus said.
There it is.
First, let’s understand something here and now. The permit-to-purchase requirement has done nothing to keep criminals in North Carolina from getting guns.
Gun control has a nasty habit of not doing that, despite the claims of politicians.
Then we have the fact that this permit requirement existed not to prevent gun violence but to prevent black people from owning guns. It’s a relic of an age best left in the distancing past.
In an era where literally any other vestige of that era is potentially on the chopping block, though, Democrats who would celebrate tearing down a statue not hurting a soul are more than willing to uphold a law far more invasive and that did far more damage to black North Carolinians than any statue ever could.
It just goes to show, as if there was ever a doubt, that it’s not about the history and never was. It was about looking like they cared about the history.