NC Rep. Joe John Responds To Constituents

As I wrote yesterday, NC State Rep. Joe John (D-Wake) was one of six state representatives that changed their vote on H652. The result was that Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D-NC) veto was sustained. The other result is that churches with attached schools remain dangerous gun-free zones with congregants put at risk.

Rep. John sent a form email out to people who had written him asking him to over-ride the veto.

Thank you for your email concerning the veto override vote on H 652. As you probably know, I originally voted for the bill. The balance of interests at that time seemed to favor a “Yes” vote. However, I wanted you to hear from me personally that I have subsequently determined otherwise and voted yesterday to sustain the Governor’s veto.

I take seriously my responsibility to represent all House District 40 constituents, including those whose political party affiliation may not match my own. I recognize that, in this instance, you will be disappointed by my override vote. However, I received numerous communications from educators and parents, also constituents, raising valid concerns which were not fully evident earlier. Supporting our school systems is one of my top priorities and, as such, their concerns persuaded me that sustaining the Governor’s veto was the appropriate course of action.

I respect that your views on this issue were important enough to you to express them to me as your elected Representative. I hope you will continue to do so in the future.

Best regards,

Representative Joe John

H652 never applied to “school systems”. It applied only to non-public schools which were co-located with churches.

The only non-public schools in North Carolina that are part of a “school system” are Catholic schools in the Dioceses of Charlotte and Raleigh. The bill contained a provision (Section 1a.(5)) that clarified that carry was forbidden in any church-school that was posted against carry. Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama of Raleigh and Bishop Peter Jugis of Charlotte have long made clear that carry is not welcome in Catholic churches.

Rep. John is engaging in sophistry. He wants you to think his backing of the governor’s veto was about protecting school children. It was nothing of the kind. It was a political favor owed to the governor and his progressive backers. The people of those congregations impacted be damned.

He must think his constituents are too stupid to be able to read the bill’s clear language. It is so clear that even a judge of long-standing like Joe John could not misconstrue it.