Perhaps The Locals Do Know Best

We often complain about national groups coming in and telling the locals how they should be doing it. This is usually in the context of a group like Mike Bloomberg’s Everytown, Moms Demand Action, or Giffords. However, sometimes it is our own side in the battle for gun rights that is doing this.

Such is the case in Alabama where the NRA is supporting a move to consolidate the list of pistol permit holders, that state’s nomenclature for a concealed carry permit, into a statewide database. The bills in question are HB39 and SB47. The bills provide for the permits to be standardized and issued statewide. They also provide for a lifetime carry permit.

This move is getting a mixed reaction as reported by CBS 42.

Bama Carry and the Alabama Gun Rights Network don’t always agree on the best strategies for advancing gun rights in the Heart of Dixie.

However, when I reached out to friends who are affiliated with those organizations, the response I got was virtually identical. They are opposed to the bills in their current form as they create a database of gun owners which has the potential to be abused.

My friend Beth Alcazar, the Alabama representative of the DC Project and a board member of Bama Carry, had this to say to me in a Facebook message. I’m quoting her with her permission.

At the heart of this matter (and why we are hesitant to get on board) is the fact that law abiding gun owners will be on a registry, with all information being shared, statewide, and this info. could end up on a driver license. This, of course, could cause problems traveling across state lines. What if someone is stopped or pulled over and now questioned or harassed (or searched) because of this identification? And what happens if a government body must be created to oversee this database? Currently, our permit info. is only in the hands of our sheriffs. A lifetime permit could open that up… from just local to state.

Additionally, the NRA doesn’t appear to be listening to Alabamians or to our state’s largest gun rights group, and they continue to push legislation that has potential problems or unintended consequences.

And therein lies the problem. When it is a matter of state and local politics, local activists should be listened to. That there seems to be a disconnect between local gun right rights groups and the NRA on an issue of local concern is not good. The NRA should either defer to the local groups or work to find a compromise that satisfies all gun rights groups involved.

We in North Carolina had much the same problem in 2011 concerning gun bans outside the home during periods of declared emergencies. Grass Roots North Carolina along with local plaintiffs and the Second Amendment Foundation brought Bateman v. Perdue. The NRA-ILA representative in North Carolina was pushing for a quick legislative fix that would have mooted the case. The problem with a quick legislative fix was that it could have been changed on the whim of the next General Assembly. GRNC, SAF, and local activists had to push legislators to let the court case run its path. In the end the General Assembly did that and we won a decision in Bateman declaring the gun ban unconstitutional.

I wrote back then (June 2011) that “there are some in the NRA’s hierarchy who believe the NRA has to be the be-all and end-all of all things Second Amendment.” I noted that the NRA does some things really well and others not so well. I said the NRA should concentrate on training, the legislative arena, and other areas where a mass organization can do well. I didn’t think they were nearly as good at Second Amendment litigation as SAF.

I would now modify my statement from 2011 to say that the NRA does lobbying at the national level well and should work closer with state and local groups on state level lobbying if they want to be effective. Moreover, by state and local groups I don’t mean it has to be the NRA state affiliate as the experience of non-affiliates VCDL and GRNC has shown. Whether the NRA and their state ILA representatives are wise enough to recognize this is still open to debate.

“We Purchased This (Public) Sidewalk Space For Our Event” – Bloomberg Staffer

Sidewalk Space.

State legislature.

Your votes.

The headline quote came from a Bloomberg staffer to Grass Roots North Carolina volunteers who were protesting Michael Bloomberg’s appearance in Greensboro yesterday. The staffer went on to claim that they were trespassing (!) on a public sidewalk.

Courtesy of Chris Oates

If you work for an egomaniacal billionaire running for President, of course you think all his money makes you entitled to whatever you want.

Courtesy of Andy Stevens

With regard to his appearance in Greensboro, Bloomberg mentioned he had opened a number of offices in North Carolina including one there.

Early in his speech, Bloomberg got the city’s name wrong: “We have eight offices, including one here in Gainsboro,” he said, prompting a murmur among the crowd correcting his gaffe. He later correctly used Greensboro when referring to the city.

That was something worthy of a Joe Biden.

He also stated, “I know how to deal with New York bullies.” He was referring to President Trump but when you consider his actions and those of his staff you would think he was talking about himself.

The Greensboro News Record did make note of the Grass Roots North Carolina volunteers protesting Bloomberg’s appearance. The story also included a short video comment from Andy Stevens.

Andrew J. Stevens, director of legislative affairs for Grass Roots North Carolina and the protesters’ spokesman, said Bloomberg is trying to buy his way into the Democratic presidential primary. Grass Roots North Carolina is a nonprofit that primarily focuses on the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

“He’s trying to spend $60 million of his money to turn state legislatures blue like he turned the state of Virginia blue, taking gun rights and turning them into gun crimes,” said Stevens, who lives in King in Stokes County. “North Carolina will not be allowed to be bought by Michael Bloomberg’s money.”

Courtesy of Andy Stevens

Andy Stevens reports that the Greensboro Police Department was very accommodating to GRNC and the police commended GRNC for their behavior. When asked about why no one just walked around the Bloomberg staffer, he said the picture itself was worth it.

Bloomberg had a one on one interview with the Winston-Salem Journal Sentinel earlier in the day and made this claim:

I think most people want recognition and respect. Even the protesters, I always walk up to the protesters. Excuse me. I heard you. I’m Mike Bloomberg, we don’t necessarily have to agree with each other but I respect you and I respect your right to express yourself.

Umm, really.

From the pictures I saw he avoided all the volunteers from GRNC and slipped in the side door.

A recent poll by High Point University puts Bloomberg in 3rd place in North Carolina. Given he has spent $300 million so far on his campaign and his TV ads are incessant, you’d think he’d be further ahead. It is also reported that Bloomberg is hiring so many staffers and political consultants that state and local candidates nationwide are having a hard time hiring qualified staff.

I think even North Carolina Democrats are smart enough to know that Bloomberg is trying to buy their votes and they, for the most part, aren’t buying it. selling them.

Let’s Give Him A Warm North Carolina Welcome (Updated)

Guess who is coming to town on Thursday?

If you said anyone other than Mike Bloomberg you would be wrong.

Bloomberg is planning campaign stops in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Raleigh in conjunction with the start of early voting in the North Carolina primary.

In Winston-Salem, he will be at Campus Gas, 1231 Polo Rd from 7:00am–8:30am. He continues on to his campaign HQ at 300 S. Elm Street in Greensboro and will be there at 9:30am. Doors open to the public at 9am. Finally, he will be in Raleigh at Union Station ( 510 W Martin St) from 11:45am until 1:15pm.

Volunteers from Grass Roots North Carolina plan to give him a warm North Carolina welcome when he arrives at his Greensboro downtown HQ. This is the main event! Try to be there by 9am.

A good turn out will get good press coverage. Please be there around 9am. Our friends in Virginia welcomed his bus in Arlington and greatly outnumbered Bloomberg’s supporters. It sure would be nice to see that happen here in the Tar Heel State.

If you can’t be in Greensboro or you need to get to work earlier, a few people plan to welcome his arrival in Winston-Salem at 7am. I’d suggest being there around 6:30am at Campus Gas.

Bloomberg’s money has bought him a lot of things. It bought him many houses, a well-armed security team, and most recently a compliant legislature in Virginia. It has also bought him silence when it comes to comments he made in a 2015 appearance at the Aspen Institute. He requested video not be made available and the Aspen Institute complied.

However, things have a way of leaking out.

“Ninety-five percent of your murders, murderers and murder victims, fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops,” Bloomberg said. “They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed.”

“So one of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is,” he continued.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/throw-them-up-against-the-wall-leaked-recording-of-bloomberg-defending-stop-and-frisk-resurfaces

This was a continuation of comments he made in defense of “stop and frisk” back in 2013. You can hear part of his comments to WOR-NY below where he says too many whites are being stopped and not enough minorities.

I am reading an excellent book right now on the rise of white supremacy in North Carolina in the post-Civil War days. The book, Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy, details how disarmament of blacks was one goal of the white supremacists. It started with the Black Codes, began again after Reconstruction ended, and continued on into the 20th Century. Armed freedmen and black Union veterans stood up to the Klan which allowed blacks to vote up through the end of the century. It made Wilmington a successful mixed-race community with many black office holders up until the coup of 1898.

Bloomberg’s comments would have found hearty agreement from former Confederate Colonel Roger Moore who headed the KKK in Wilmington and later from the Democrat architect of white supremacy Sen. Furnifold Simmons. The state’s pistol purchase permit is a remnant of laws put in place by the white supremacists. That we still have it is due in part to ad campaigns funded by Bloomberg and his Everytown organization against discarding the system.

So when Mike comes to town, let’s give him the warm North Carolina welcome he so richly deserves.

When You Have No Grass Roots, This Is How You See It

When your organization has no real grass roots, you tend to see all real grass roots activities as being directed from above. That’s how you do it so you assume that is how the opposition does it.

This is how Brady United (aka the Brady Campaign) is choosing to portray the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement.

Disturbing so-called “Second Amendment sanctuaries” are a coordinated effort supported by politically motivated, national groups. Since 2018, more than 270 counties have passed resolutions declaring themselves as “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” and this number continues to rise. 

Christian Heyne, the Brady VP for Policy, said, ” We are not talking about a grassroots movement. We are talking about a dangerous push from the gun lobby to remain relevant.”

This, of course, is pure, unadulterated bullshit.

What you are seeing in Virginia as in North Carolina is not being directed from Fairfax. If anything, the NRA is late to the game here.

What you are seeing is an organic effort by state and local groups to assert their God-given, Constitutionally-protected rights. This would include state-level groups like the Virginia Citizens Defense League and the Illinois State Rifle Association.

From VCDL in Prince William County, VA

You see Facebook groups springing up like with Rowan County pushing the movement. You see local citizens like in Kenton County, Kentucky recognizing that what is happening in the Virginia General Assembly could happen to them and taking action.

Unlike Brady United who is telling people how to fight Second Amendment Sanctuaries using FOIA requests, no one told my friend and fellow blogger Dave Cole to speak up in Kentucky. And no one has told the thousands and thousands of people who have shown up across Virgina to show up. They were asked and they responded.