Another Perspective On The H652 Over-Ride Failure

I have known Dean Weingarten for a number of years now. He is one of the good guys and he does good work. However, sometimes an outsider’s perspective is very different from that of someone closer to the action. Such is the case with the failure to over-ride Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of H652 – Second Amendment Protection Act.

In an Ammoland.com article entitled, “Rogue Republicans and Democrats Join Forces to uphold NC Governor Veto of Gun Reform”, Dean asserts that nine Democrats and five Republicans “changed their vote”.

Yes and no.

You had six members of the House who had excused absences on July 8th – one Democrat and five Republicans. Their absences lowered the threshold for a veto over-ride from 72 to 69. It should be remembered that the North Carolina General Assembly is a part-time job for which members are paid less than $15,000 annually plus per diem. There are going to be conflicts especially when the General Assembly is being called back and again as the session drags on much longer than normal thanks to gubernatorial vetoes and court actions involving redistricting.

On the day that the bill originally passed, June 25th, all six of these House members were present. Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg) voted Nay that day. Republicans Ted Davis (New Hanover), Jeff Elmore (Avery & Wilkes), Donny Lambeth (Forsyth), David Rogers (Burke & Rutherford), and Larry Yarborough (Granville & Person) all voted Aye.

Conversely, on June 25th, Democrats Cecil Brockman (Guilford), Carla Cunningham (Mecklenburg), Susan Fisher (Buncombe), Verla Insko (Orange), and Evelyn Terry (Forsyth) were given execused absences. There were no Republicans absent that day.

H652 passed on June 25th with a total of 77 votes – 65 Republicans and 12 Democrats. It was only a veto-proof majority if, and only if, enough Democrats stuck with their original vote to provide the margin. The Republicans lost their super-majority in both houses of the General Assembly in the 2018 election. They must have Democrats cross over to over-ride any veto. That is the bottom line.

Dean noted that nine Democrats changed their votes. This is in error.

You have the five that were originally absent now voting Nay. you have the excused absence of Rep. Kelly Alexander (D-Mecklenburg) who had voted Nay, and you have six – not four- who originally voted in favor of the bill now voting to sustain the governor’s veto. I did a long post on those six. Dean missed that Rep. Brian Turner (D-Buncombe) and Rep. Marvin Lucas (D-Cumberland) switched their original Aye votes to Nay.

Dean mentions a vote that was 67-47. That vote was merely to call the bill to be voted on in the House. That vote only needed a majority to pass and not the super-majority required for a veto over-ride.

I think it is an error to call the Republicans who had an excused absence “rogue”. Gov. Roy Cooper has issued more vetoes than all the other governors combined since that power was granted to them. In this current session, Cooper has issued 25 vetoes. None, I repeat none, have been overturned. The only thing that would have changed if all of those five had been there is that the number of Democrats voting Aye would have been zero. Some of these Republicans are outstanding on gun rights, a couple just so-so, and all are better than their Democrat opponents in November when it comes to gun rights.

Dean is absolutely correct on two things.

Governors frequently offer rewards and twist arms to have legislators change their vote in veto override attempts.

In these votes, the progressive media favors those in favor of infringing on Second Amendment rights, which gives cover for those who change their votes.

The Biden Gun Tax

If you own an AR or AK or anything remotely classified as an “assault weapon” (sic) or own a standard capacity magazine, then a President Biden would allow you to keep them. That is, provided that you registered each and every item with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives as a National Firearms Act item and pay the $200 tax for each and every item.

Used with permission.

Don’t believe me. Here is what it says on his campaign website.

  • Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Federal law prevents hunters from hunting migratory game birds with more than three shells in their shotgun. That means our federal law does more to protect ducks than children. It’s wrong. Joe Biden will enact legislation to once again ban assault weapons. This time, the bans will be designed based on lessons learned from the 1994 bans. For example, the ban on assault weapons will be designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality. While working to pass this legislation, Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons. 
  • Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. Currently, the National Firearms Act requires individuals possessing machine-guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles to undergo a background check and register those weapons with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Due to these requirements, such weapons are rarely used in crimes. As president, Biden will pursue legislation to regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. 
  • Buy back the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines already in our communities. Biden will also institute a program to buy back weapons of war currently on our streets. This will give individuals who now possess assault weapons or high-capacity magazines two options: sell the weapons to the government, or register them under the National Firearms Act.

You need to read the whole thing. It is compendium of every item that you could possibly think of on the gun prohibitionists’ wish list.

And by the way Joe, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with duck hunting.

2020 NRA BOD Election Results

The election results for the NRA Board of Directors has finally been released. All candidates were notified earlier today of their success or lack thereof.

Here are the results in order of votes received:

ELECTED TO THREE-YEAR TERMS ENDING IN 2023

  1. Jay Printz
  2. J. William Carter
  3. Charles L. Cotton
  4. Linda Walker
  5. Judi White
  6. Leroy Sisco
  7. Howard J. Walter
  8. Graham Hill
  9. Mark E. Vaughan
  10. Thomas P. Arvas
  11. Ted W. Carter
  12. Barbara Rumpel
  13. Phillip B. Journey
  14. Steven C. Schreiner
  15. Todd J. Rathner
  16. Richard Figueroa
  17. J. Kenneth Blackwell
  18. Carl Rowan, Jr.
  19. Curtis S. Jenkins
  20. Herbert A. Lanford, Jr.
  21. Allan D. Cors
  22. Clel Baudler
  23. Robert E. Mansell
  24. Patricia A. Clark
  25. Mark Keith Robinson

ELECTED TO TWO-YEAR TERMS ENDING IN 2022

  1. Paul D. Babaz
  2. Todd R. Ellis
  3. Dave Butz
  4. Ronald L. Schmeits

ELECTED FOR ONE-YEAR TERMS ENDING IN 2021:

  1. Niger Innis
  2. Anthony P. Colandro

NOT ELECTED:

  1. R. B. Rocky Marshall, Jr.
  2. Robert J. Wos
  3. John L. Cushman
  4. James L. Wallace
  5. Craig Swartz
  6. Kevin P. Hogan
  7. Frank C. Tait

I had been informed by multiple sources earlier that the delay in reporting results is tied to COVID-19 and the resultant stay-at-home orders. Normally, these results would have been available as the NRA Annual Meeting was to open.

As a reminder, I had endorsed only two people – Graham Hill and Frank Tait – for the board. Graham was elected and Frank was not. Both are good men and I had hopes that Frank’s business background and expertise would have been an asset on the Board.

I am assuming that the vote for the 76th Director will be held in Springfield, MO on Labor Day Weekend at the NRA Meeting. I could be wrong on that and, if so, I’ll immediately issue a correction.

UPDATE: There will be a vote on the 76th Director held in Springfield at the NRA Annual Meeting. Frank Tait has assured me he plans to run for that seat.

He has my vote!

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.

The Black Swan Patch

I love patches. I already have more than I could reasonably stick on hats, display boards, or my messenger bag.

Nonetheless, when I saw this limited edition patch at CountyComm, I had to have it. It appears that they did a second run of these patches with a different background than mine.

I think you can understand why.

This patch epitomizes 2020 so simply.

H652 Veto Over-Ride Fails In NC

The over-ride of anti-gun Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D-NC) veto of H652 – Second Amendment Protection Act failed in the House today. Here are the six Democrats who thought allegiance to the governor and Democrat Party was more important than protecting godly people.

In the original passage of the bill on June 25th, these Democrats voted in favor of passage and gave the bill an ostensible veto-proof majority.

Ayes (Democrat)Beasley; Brewer; Farmer-Butterfield; Floyd; Graham; John; Lucas; Pierce; Queen; Russell; B. Turner; Wray

Fast forward to this afternoon, July 8th, and these are the only Democrats who voted in favor of the veto over-ride.

Ayes (Democrat)Brewer; Floyd; Graham; Queen; Russell; Wray

Where there were 12, there are only six. The over-ride failed by a vote of 66-48. It needed 69 votes to pass and over-ride Gov. Cooper’s veto. It has been suggested that the only reason those six even bothered to vote in the affirmative is that they faced tougher re-elections.

Here are the six along with churches in their district that are co-located with schools. Because the state considers this “educational property”, they remain unprotected from the evil and deranged. I won’t name the churches or schools or locations but rest assured that they are within the counties these six represent.

Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-Mecklenburg) represents the 92nd NC House District. It is located in the southern part of Mecklenburg County and abuts the South Carolina border. Rep. Beasley is an attorney and is in his second term.

Rep. Chaz Beasley (D)

Here is a church in his district that he just put at risk because he rather obey the governor and party than to allow people going to church be protected.

Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D-Wilson) is in her 9th term representing the 24th NC House District. She lists her occupation as Consultant, Health and Human Services Professional. More importantly, her husband is US Representative G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1).

Rep. Jean Farmer-Butterfield (D)

This church and school are located in her district in Wilson County. However, it is not the church she and her husband attend. Then it might have a bit different.

Rep. Joe John (D-Wake) is in his 2nd term of office. He represents the 40th NC House District which is in NW Wake County. Prior to his election to the NC House, he served for many years as a judge on the NC Court of Appeals along with earlier service as a Superior Court judge and an Assistant District Attorney. Sadly, way back in the day, I actually worked the polls for him during one of his judicial elections.

Rep. Joe John (D)

This large church and school are located in Wake County within Rep. John’s district. I guess when you have worked so long in a space where you are always protected by armed guards that you fail to realize that others are not so lucky.

Rep. Marvin Lucas (D-Cumberland) is in his 10th term representing the 42nd NC House District. It adjoins Fort Bragg and includes communities like Spring Lake and the western part of Fayetteville. Lucas is a retired school principal.

Rep. Marvin Lucas (D)

This church and school are located in Cumberland County. It is just one of many that have put at risk by Rep. Lucas’ vote.

Rep. Garland Pierce (D – Hoke & Scotland) is in his 8th term representing the 48th NC House District. Pierce is the House Minority Whip. He is, interestingly enough, a Baptist minister. One would think he, of all people, might realize that churches are at risk.

Rep. Garland Pierce (D)

This church and school are in Rep. Pierce’s district. Obviously, it isn’t Bright Hopewell Baptist Church or he’d be more concerned.

Now we conclude with Rep. Brian Turner (D-Buncombe) who just happens to be my representative. Turner is in his 3rd term representing the 116th NC House District which consists of the southern and western parts of Buncombe County. Turner lists his current job as commercial real estate agent. Prior to that, he was the Executive VP and COO in his family’s military parachute business as well as serving a stint as the Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Corporate and Foundation Relations at UNC-Asheville.

I have had conversations with Turner in the past where he assures me he is pro-gun and has a carry permit. That said, he also believes in universal background checks and voted against doing away with the Jim Crow-era (and racist) pistol purchase permits.

Rep. Brian Turner (D)

Here are a couple of churches that are co-located with schools that his vote has put at risk. The small one is within a mile of my house.

And another larger church with a school here in Buncombe County.

There are many more churches that are now at risk throughout the state of North Carolina thanks to these six and the rest of their Democrat colleagues who voted to uphold the veto. The NC Department of Public Instruction publishes a list of every non-public school in the state by county. That list runs 81 pages. I would say that a majority of these schools are religious and many have attached churches.

Every Democrat – and it was all Democrats – who voted to uphold this veto should be ashamed of him or herself. The bill was explicit that firearms were not allowed on the church-school property during regular and extracurricular school hours. At a time when churches have increasingly become targets for the evil and deranged, they need to be able to protect their congregants and this bill would have allowed them to take that responsibility if they wished.

If I were the pastor of one of the churches impacted by this veto, I’d gather up my congregation and have a prayer vigil in the front of every one of these 48 Democrat state representatives’ homes. I would do it weekly and I would get the media involved. They need to understand that shame is a very powerful weapon.

June 2020 Adjusted NICS Checks

The National Shooting Sports Foundation adjusted NICS figures have been released. June 2020, while having the most raw NICS checks on records, actually is behind March 2020 when adjusted for permit checks and rechecks.

Nonetheless, June was an impressive month and the first half of 2020 was likewise impressive.

From NSSF:

The June 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 2,177,586 is an increase of 135.7 percent compared to the June 2019 NSSF-adjusted NICS figure of 924,054. For comparison, the unadjusted June 2020 FBI NICS figure 3,909,502 reflects a 70.6 percent increase from the unadjusted FBI NICS figure of 2,291,066 in June 2019.

The second quarter 2020 NSSF-adjusted National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) figure of 5,451,599 reflects an increase of 92.8 percent over the 2,827,606 figure for first quarter 2019.

The NSSF-adjusted NICS figure for March 2020 was 2,375,525.

It should be pointed out the states of Alabama and Michigan have had their qualified alternatives under the Brady Law removed in 2019 and 202 respectively. This means in those states, you can no longer use a carry permit as a substitute for a NICS check. That raised the percentage of NICS checks in those states by over 400% compared to last June.

To see how June 2020 compared to the month of June in past years, look at this graphic. You can see that it just skyrockets!

As I remind everyone when I post these numbers, neither the raw nor the adjusted-NICS checks are a one to one correlation with gun sales. They do not capture private sales where legal, they don’t capture sales where an alternative is accepted, and they don’t figure in multiple firearms sold with one NICS check. The Form 4473 has room on it for up to four firearms per transaction. Thus, it is safe to assume the actual number of firearms sold in the month of June is well past 2.1 million.

Now if all those new gun owners will vote the Second Amendment, we should be in good shape. Time will tell.

H652 Over-Ride Vote Wednesday

The vote to over-ride Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D-NC) veto of H652 – Second Amendment Protection Act is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8th.

The bill passed both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly with bi-partisan veto-proof majorities. That is, if the Democrats who voted for the H652 don’t cave to pressure from Gov. Cooper and his anti-gun allies such as the Bloomberg-funded North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic).

Looking over the list of Democrats who voted for the bill, you find a majority of them, whether African-American or white, represent areas that are mostly rural. Those areas have many small churches and they invariably have smaller police or sheriff’s departments. I think they realized that this bill contained nothing to endanger students and teachers but rather would help churches protect their congregations from the deranged.

Grass Roots North Carolina has issued an alert asking that these swing voters be contacted. I have added it below:

CONTACT SWING VOTERS NOW, CHURCH CARRY VETO OVERRIDE VOTE IS ON WEDNESDAY
Cooper has never met a gun that he wouldn’t ban. In vetoing a bill that would protect churches from violent sociopaths, as has so far occurred at least three times in other states, Cooper has yet again demonstrated that he is not fit to hold the office of governor.
 
Both the Senate and the House passed the Second Amendment Protection Act
with a veto-proof majority, but Governor Cooper vetoed it anyway.  In his explanation, he stated “This bill allows guns on school property which threatens the safety of students and teachers. Therefore, I veto the bill.”
 
The Governor’s argument makes little sense.  Remember, this bill would allow concealed handgun permit-holders to carry firearms for self-protection in religious institutions which are co-located with educational facilities, provided that: (1) No curricular or extracurricular educational activities are taking place (meaning that no students or teachers are present); and (2) The person in control of the property has not posted a “no guns allowed” sign.
 
We thank the 33 Senators and 77 Representatives who voted “yes” on this bill the first time around, and now we ask these same Senators and Representatives to HOLD STRONG and reiterate their votes during the veto override vote scheduled for Wednesday, July 8.
 
How can you help?  By calling and emailing your Senator and Representative and reminding them that this bill was a good idea the first time they voted for it, and it is still a good idea and you expect them to support it again! 
 
Although no law prohibits concealed carry in religious institutions, those which operate a school are considered to be “educational property,” even when no school is currently operated. As such, concealed firearms are currently prohibited.
 
Recent years have seen no fewer than three cases in which armed parishioners were able to stop murderous rampages by violent sociopaths: 
Colorado Springs, Colorado (12/9/07): Armed church volunteer security member Jeanne Assam shot and wounded rampage killer John Murray, who then committed suicide.
Sutherland Springs, TX: (11/5/17): Armed citizen Stephen Willeford used an AR-15 to exchange fire with murderer Devin Patrick Kelly, wounding him and stopping the rampage.
White Settlement, TX (12/29/19): At the West Freeway Church of Christ, volunteer church security member Jack Wilson stopped rampage killer Keith Thomas Kinnunen seconds after the killing started with a single shot to the head.
The 2nd Amendment Protection Act would: Specifically tailor existing law to allow all churches and places of religious worship to provide for the safety of their congregants.

Protect their congregants by adding a section into existing gun laws that says if a person is legally permitted to carry a concealed handgun, that person can carry a handgun on the property of a church or other place of religious worship provided: (1) No curricular or extracurricular educational activities are taking place; and (2) The person in control of the property has not posted a “no guns allowed” sign.
  Allow all places of religious worship, whether or not they run a school, to offer the same level of protection to congregants.
  Sheriffs will have to issue CHP renewals without retraining if applied for within 60 days of expiration

A refresher course will be available for those who renew 180 days out

EMS personnel, after training, will be allowed to carry

Additional “special” law enforcement employed personnel will be allowed to carry This is not a new concept. Not only has it been offered in previous sessions of the General Assembly, it mirrors what has been in effect for most churches in the state since concealed carry was passed in 1995.  The 2nd Amendment Protection Act will close the loophole that treats some worshippers differently than others and ensure that all can worship safely and freely.
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
Those of us who live in the real world know that mass murderers bent on evil won’t be stopped by silly rules or signs.
This is why you must urge your Senator and Representative to continue to support this life saving legislation.  EMAIL THE SWING VOTERS: Tell them that we need them to reiterate their support for this important piece of legislation for the Safety and security of all North Carolinians.
 
The shootings at New Life Church, First Baptist Church, and West Freeway Church of Christ prove that only a good guy or gal with a gun can stop those bent on pure evil.  Liberty free [gun free] zones only disarm the innocent when seconds count and law enforcement is minutes away.
CONTACT YOUR STATE HOUSE AND SENATE REPRESENTATIVES: Urge them to reiterate their support for this important piece of legislation that will ensure our safety.
PHONE MESSAGE:

My name is ______ and I’m calling to urge you to reaffirm your support for the 2nd Amendment Protection Act, expanding our common sense human right of self-defense in places of worship co-located with educational facilities.  The recent past has shown that mere signs or rules will not stop evil men bent on mass murder.
Armed citizens are the only way to ensure our safety in these situations.  I expect you to live up to your principles and I urge you to support this critical piece of legislation. CONTACT INFO   Swing Voters:
  Chaz.Beasley@ncleg.net; Scott.Brewer@ncleg.net; Jean.Farmer-Butterfield@ncleg.net; Elmer.Floyd@ncleg.net; Charles.Graham@ncleg.net; Joe.John@ncleg.net; Marvin.Lucas@ncleg.net; Garland.Pierce@ncleg.net; Joe.Queen@ncleg.net; Ray.Russell@ncleg.net; Brian.Turner@ncleg.net; Michael.Wray@ncleg.net; Jay.Chaudhuri@ncleg.net; Don.Davis@ncleg.net; Kirk.deViere@ncleg.net; Harper.Peterson@ncleg.net; EricaD.Smith@ncleg.net  

Phone Your Rep:
  Phone your own Representative: CLICK HERE and use your address to find your representative and his/her contact information. Click on the ‘NC House’ radio button. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO GRNC: Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.  
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject:  Support the 2nd Amendment Protection Act   Dear Senator/Representative,   I’m writing to urge you to reaffirm your support for the 2nd Amendment Protection Act.  This will expand the ability for ordinary citizens to carry firearms for self-protection in places of worship which are co-located with educational facilities.
Recent tragedies have shown that a good guy or gal with a gun can be critical in saving lives.   This is true common-sense safety legislation that will protect the public.
Mere signs or rules never deter those of evil intent and mass murder.  These only serve to stop innocent people from ensuring everyone else’s safety. 
I expect you to stand up for everyone’s common sense human rights and support this important step in safety once again. I will continue to monitor your actions on this important issue through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.    Respectfully,  

“In Congress, July 4, 1776” (Updated)

This is a document that I believe every American should read at least once a year. I think with all the turmoil in the streets, the cancel culture, and the pernicious Maoist attack on history, it becomes an imperative. It sets forth in very elegant language why our founding fathers decided to become citizens rather than to stay subjects of the British Empire.

I think to today’s social justice warriors. They are probably appalled by the language of this wondrous document which speaks of “merciless Indian Savages” and makes an appeal to the “Supreme Judge of world.” I say this knowing that not a one of today’s social justice warriors would have had the spine to do what the men whose signatures were affixed to this document did. That is to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor and to be willing to suffer the consequences of their actions. Thus, they contrive to tear down statutes dedicated to these patriots.

It gets even worse. A Texas newspaper, The Liberty County Vindicator, had been publishing the entire Declaration of Independence a few paragraphs at a time as a way to encourage historical literacy. Last year, they also posted these to their Facebook page. The first nine parts went fine but the tenth did not. Facebook’s algorithm for “hate speech” obviously was designed by the social justice warriors because it flagged it for a violation of the policy. The editor said he thought it was probably paragraph 31 which did speak of the “merciless Indian Savages.” After the news went public is when Facebook realized that they had a problem on their hands and reversed themselves.

And finally, the City of Charlottesville, Virginia is ended it commemoration of Jefferson’s birthday. It will be replaced by the Orwellian sounding Liberation and Freedom Day to be celebrated on March 3rd. That was the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Virginia near the end of the Civil War.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America


When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.


He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.


He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.


He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.


He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.


He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.


He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.


He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.


He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.


He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.


He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.


He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.


He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:


For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:


For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:


For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:


For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:


For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:


For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:


For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies


For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:


For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.


He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.


He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.


He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.


He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.


He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.


In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.


Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.


We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


— John Hancock


New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton


Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry


Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery


Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott


New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris


New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark


Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross


Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean


Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton


Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton


North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn


South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton


Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

The Mecklenburg Declaration and Resolves (Reposted)

I originally posted this on July 4th of 2010 and have reposted every year since then. I am reposting it to recognize these early North Carolina patriots from Mecklenburg County. Despite all the changes in the Queen City since then, there are still many there or from there who continue the fight for liberty and especially our Second Amendment rights.

Before there was a Declaration of Independence of 1776, there were the Mecklenburg Declaration of May 20, 1775 and the Mecklenburg Resolves of May 31, 1775. While there is significant controversy over the authenticity of the former, there is none regarding the latter. There is controversy about the Mecklenburg Declaration because the original copy is reputed to have been destroyed in a fire and mention of it then only comes to light in 1819. Nonetheless, May 20, 1775 is the date enshrined on both the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina and the State Flag.

Both the Declaration and the Resolves were adopted in Charlotte Town in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Charlotte Town is now known as Charlotte. The area had been settled by the heavily Presbyterian immigrants from Northern Ireland and Scotland known as the Scotch-Irish. Upon hearing of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, they had been outraged and the Declaration was the result.

The Mecklenburg Declaration

  1. That whosoever directly or indirectly abetted or in any way, form or manner countenanced to unchartered & dangerous invasion of our rights as claimed by G. Britain is an enemy to this County – to America & to the inherent & inaliable rights of man.
  2. We the Citizens of Mecklenburg County do hereby desolve the political bands which have connected us to the Mother Country & hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British crown & abjure all political connection, contract or association with that nation who have wantonly trampled on our rights & liberties & inhumanely shed the innocent blood of American patriots at Lexington.
  3. We do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people – are & of right ought to be a sovereign & self-governing association, under the controul of no power other than that of our God & the general government of the congress, to the maintainence of which independence civil & religious we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual cooperation, our lives, our fortunes & our most sacred honor.
  4. As we now acknowledge the existence & controul of no law or legal officers, civil or military, within this County, we do hereby ordain & adopt as a rule of life, all, each & every of our former laws – wherein nevertheless the crown of great britain never can be considered as holding rights, privileges, immunities, or authority therein.
  5. It is also further decreed that all, each & every military officer in this County is hereby reinstated in his former command & authority, he acting conformably to these regulations. And that every member present of this delegation shall henceforth be a civil officer, viz. a Justice of the peace in the character of a ‘Committee-man’ to issue process, hear & determine all matters of controversy according to sd. adopted laws – to preserve peace, union & harmony in sd. County & to use every exertion to spread the love of country & fire of freedom throughout America until a more general & organized government be established in this province. A selection from the members present shall constitute a Committee of public safety for sd. County.
  6. That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted by express to the President of the Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia, to be laid before that body.
    Ephraim Brevard
    Hezekiah J. Balch
    John Phifer
    James Harris
    William Kennon
    John Foard
    Richard Barry
    Henry Downs
    Ezra Alexander
    Charles Alexander
    Zaccheus Wilson
    Waightstill Avery
    Benjamin PattonMatthew McClure
    Neil Morrison
    Robert Irwin
    John Flennegin
    David Reese
    William Graham
    John Queary
    Hezekiah Alexander
    Adam Alexander
    John Davidson
    Richard Harris
    Thomas Polk
    Abraham AlexanderJohn McKnitt Alexander

While there still exists much controversy on the authenticity of the Declaration, none exists with regard to the Resolves adopted on May 31, 1775. Captain James Jack of Charlotte was sent with a copy of the resolves and a letter to the North Carolina delegates to the Continental Congress requesting their approval by Congress.

The Mecklenburg Resolves

This day the Committee of this County met, and passed the following Resolves:
WHEREAS by an Address presented to his Majesty by both Houses of Parliament in February last, the American Colonies are declared to be in a state of actual rebellion, we conceive that all Laws and Commissions confirmed by, or derived from the Authority of the king or Parliament, are annulled and vacated, and the former civil Constitution of
these Colonies for the present wholly suspended. To provide in some Degree for the Exigencies of the County in the present alarming Period, we deem it proper and
necessary to pass the following resolves, viz.
1. That all Commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted by the Crown, to be exercised in these Colonies, are null and void, and the Constitution of each particular Colony wholly suspended.
2. That the Provincial Congress of each Province, under the Direction of the Great Continental Congress, is invested with all legislative and executive Powers within their respective Provinces; and that no other Legislative or Executive does or can exist, at this Time, in any of these Colonies.
3. As all former Laws are now suspended in this Province, and the Congress have not yet provided others, we judge it necessary, for the better Preservation of good Order, to form certain Rules and Regulations for the internal Government of this County, until Laws shall be provided for us by the Congress.
4. That the Inhabitants of this Country do meet on a certain Day appointed by this Committee, and having formed themselves into nine Companies, to wit, eight for the County, and one for the Town of Charlotte, do choose a Colonel, and other military Officers, who shall hold and exercise their several Powers by Virtue of this Choice, and independent of Great-Britain, and former Constitution of this Province.
5. That for the better Preservation of the Peace, and Administration of Justice, each of these Companies do choose from their own Body two discreet Freeholders, who shall be impowered each by himself, and singly, to decide and determine all Matters of Controversy arising within the said Company under the Sum of Twenty Shillings, and jointly and together all Controversies under the Sum of Forty Shillings, yet so as their Decisions may admit of Appeals to the Convention of the Select Men of the whole County; and also, that any one of these shall have power to examine, and commit to
Confinement , Persons accused of Petit Larceny.
6. That those two Select Men, thus chosen, do, jointly and together, choose from the
Body of their particular Company two Persons, properly qualified to serve as Constables, who may assist them in the execution of their Office.
7. That upon the Complaint of any Person to either of these Select men, he do issue his Warrant, directed to the Constable, commanding him to bring the Aggressor before him or them to answer the said Complaint.
8. That these Eighteen Select Men, thus appointed, do meet every third Tuesday in January, April, and October, at the Court-House in Charlotte to hear and determine all Matters of Controversy of Sums exceeding Forty Shillings; also Appeals: And in Cases of Felony, to commit the Person or Persons convicted thereof to close Confinement, until the Provincial Congress shall provide and establish Laws and Modes of Proceeding in Such Cases.
9. That these Eighteen Select Men, thus convened, do choose a Clerk to record the Transactions of the said Convention; and that the said Clerk, upon the Application of any Person or Persons aggrieved, do issue his Warrant to one of the Constables, to summons and warn the said Offender to appear before the convention at their next sitting, to answer the aforesaid Complaint.
10. That any Person making Complaint upon Oath to the Clerk, or any Member of the Convention, that he has Reason to suspect that any Person or Persons indebted to him in a Sum above Forty Shillings, do intend clandestinely to withdraw from the County without paying such Debt; the Clerk, or such Member, shall issue his Warrant to the Constable, commanding him to take the said Person or Persons into safe Custody, until the next
sitting of the Convention.
11. That when a Debtor for a Sum below Forty Shillings shall abscond and leave the County, the Warrant granted as aforesaid shall extend to any Goods or Chattels of the said Debtor as may be found, and such Goods or Chattels be seized and held in Custody by the Constable for the space of Thirty Days; in which Term if the Debtor fails to return and discharge the Debt, the Constable shall return the Warranty to one of the Select Men of the Company where the Goods and Chattels were found, who shall issue Orders to the Constable to sell such a part of the said Goods as shall amount to the Sum due; that when
the Debt exceeds Forty Shillings, the Return shall be made to the Convention, who shall issue the Orders for Sale.
12. That Receivers and Collectors for Quitrents, Public and County Taxes, do pay the same into the Hands of the Chairman of this Committee, to be by them disbursed as the public Exigencies may require. And that such Receivers and Collectors proceed no farther in their Office until they be approved of by, and have given to this Committee good and sufficient Security for a faithful return of such Monies when collected.
13. That the Committee be accountable to the County for the Application of all Monies received from such Officers.
14. That all these Officers hold their Commissions during the Pleasure of their
respective Constituents.
15. That this Committee will sustain all Damages that may ever hereafter accrue to all or any of these Officers thus appointed, and thus acting, on Account of their Obedience and Conformity to these Resolves.
16. That whatever Person shall hereafter receive a Commission from the Crown, or
attempt to exercise any such Commission heretofore received, shall be deemed an Enemy to his Country; and upon Information being made to the Captain of the Company where he resides the said Captain shall cause him to be apprehended, and conveyed before the two Select Men of the said Company, who, upon Proof of the Fact, shall commit him the said Offender into safe Custody, until the next sitting of the Convention, who shall deal with him as Prudence may direct.
17. That any Person refusing to yield Obedience to the above Resolves shall be deemed equally criminal, and liable to the same Punishments as the Offenders above last
mentioned.
18. That these Resolves be in full Force and Virtue, until Instructions from the General Congress of this Province, regulating the Jurisprudence of this Province, shall provide otherwise, or the Legislative Body of Great-Britain resign its unjust and arbitrary Pretentions with Respect to America.
19. That the several Militia Companies in this county do provide themselves with proper arms and accoutrements, and hold themselves in constant Readiness to execute the commands and Directions of the Provincial Congress, and of this committee.
20. That this committee do appoint Colonel Thomas Polk, and Doctor Joseph Kennedy, to purchase 300 lb. of Powder, 600 lb. of Lead, and 1000 Flints; and deposit the same in some safe place, hereafter to be appointed by the committee.

Eph. Brevard, Clerk of the Committee.
Singed by Order of the Committee.

This document was printed in the North Carolina Gazette on June 16, 1775,
and the Cape-Fear Mercury on June 23, 1775. There was a slight variation in wording in the two newspapers.

 So on this day as we honor the Nation’s Founders and the Declaration of Independence of 1776, let us also honor these men from a provincial North Carolina backwater who recognized that our future lay in independence from Great Britain.