The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

June 26, 2013

Legislators consider gun law changes

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 — RALEIGH — Proponents of further loosening gun laws in North Carolina almost always broach the subject with claims that the law needs to concentrate on the criminals, not the law-abiding citizen who dutifully follows gun registration rules.

Inherent in the proposition is that the two groups are always distinct and separate, that criminals obtain their guns illegally and that pistol-permit holders and concealed-carry permit holders never stray into criminality, especially as it relates to gun crimes.

In fact, there have been scores of documented cases of concealed-carry permit holders across the country who have brandished pistols during angry exchanges at youth sporting events, in traffic altercations or as fights broke out at restaurants.

One group that compiles statistics on concealed-carry permit holders, the Violence Policy Center, has cited more than 500 cases in which people have been killed by the permit holders. In one of those cases, a man issued a concealed-carry permit in North Carolina killed a Tampa Bay police officer.

That is not to suggest that the vast majority of lawful gun owners ever use guns unlawfully.

Studies have shown the percentages of gun crimes committed by lawful gun owners to be small. Evidence also suggests that guns are used thousands of times each year by their lawful owners to deter crime.

But there are no absolutes, and people are people.

Some small percentage, no matter their training or past, can be tempted in a heated moment to brandish a firearm.

That is why state leaders had seen fit to put limits on where even lawful gun owners carry their guns.

That has begun to change, and a bill pending before the legislature would make further changes.

The legislation would allow guns to be stored in cars on college campuses, schools, state government complexes and workplaces. It would also permit them in bars.

And it would repeal a requirement that people receive a permit from their local sheriff before buying pistols, a requirement that proponents say is not needed because of federal background checks.

Proponents of the omnibus bill point out that it also toughens criminal penalties for those committing gun crimes.

Nonetheless, outside of some gun groups, no one seems to want the legislation.

Campus police chiefs and universities officials oppose allowing guns on college campuses; business associations have opposed taking away the authority of business owners to limit guns on their premises; sheriffs don’t want to see pistol permitting dropped; Attorney General Roy Cooper has written a memo to legislators with the same concern.

Legislators, meanwhile, fail to make a distinction between the ability of concealed-carry permit holders to deter instances of individual crime, like robbery or assault, and the ability of someone with eight hours of firearms training to stop a heavily-armed, suicidal lunatic carrying out a mass shooting.

Putting more guns in places where those extraordinarily rare mass shootings occur will only mean also putting them in places where people are more prone to pull out a gun in a moment of anger.

Scott Mooneyham is a syndicated columnist for Capitol Press Association and covers activities of the N.C. Legislature.

1
Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Schyler Martin As wonderful as Ireland was, there’s just no place like home

    I expected a lot of things from my six-week study abroad program in Dublin, Ireland.
    I expected to miss family and friends, I expected to see a lot of things that I’d never seen before and I expected, more than anything else, to yearn for sweet tea. For the record, I did miss sweet tea quite terribly.

    August 1, 2014 3 Photos

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Impeachment arms Democrats, doesn't end the Obama disaster

    Republicans may have grounds to impeach President Barack Obama but they would be daft to pursue a case they cannot win in a Senate controlled by Democrats. Impeachment would only drive the Democrats' fundraising and potentially squander the GOP's best opportunity in years to capture both houses of Congress then, in two years, the White House.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Wrangling over pay for teachers

    RALEIGH – When the N.C. General Assembly reconvened in mid-May, there was talk of a short, efficient session.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    August 1, 2014

  • Patrick Gannon Two sides in debate about film incentives

    RALEIGH – It’s looking like the current film incentives program may be scrapped for a much different grant program for TV and movie production companies.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • D.G. Martin Read others’ views to be better informed, decide for yourself

    “I don’t read The Washington Post. That is not where I get my ideas.”

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon This isn’t medical marijuana

    As state legislators debated allowing the use of an extract from marijuana plants to treat seizure disorders over the past couple of weeks, it was evident that social conservatives – there are many of them in the General Assembly – felt a tinge of unease about it, even as almost every one of them voted yes.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Friends and contentment

    Last week I made my annual trip up the mountain to Sparta. My friends have a secluded home near a babbling brook. Their home and property are a haven for peace. It’s a two-plus hour ride to their home that doesn’t feel that long because I look so forward to my time with this great couple. When I arrive, the conversation seems to pick up right where we left it the last time we saw each other.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thanks for the honest deed

    I would like to thank the person that found my wallet in the parking lot of Harris Teeter on July 23 and turned it in to the Albemarle Police.

    July 29, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content