The Stupid Party Strikes Again

The Republican Party is often derisively called the Stupid Party because of the dumb stuff it does. Things like firing my friend Rachel Malone or things like caving to demands from people who will never vote for them. The latter is the case in North Carolina with the Republicans in the North Carolina Senate.

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic), NCGV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors, sent out an email early this morning touting their achievement in stopping HB 746 which would have allowed permitless concealed carry. This bill had passed the North Carolina House but stalled in the Senate.

From NCGV:

As reported in previous updates, NCGV was on the lookout for the Senate to taking up HB746, the gun omnibus bill that included permitless carry. If this bill would have passed it would mean that people as young as 18 years old with no training and no background check could carry a hidden loaded weapon in public. Because of NCGV pressure and support, the Senate did not consider the bill. We are proud to report that your support made sure that this bill did not even receive a committee hearing on the Senate side.

As a secondary matter, NCGV spoke with legislators and allies about ensuring that our teachers would not be allowed to concealed carry in schools.

The aadjournment (sic) resolution was not sine die and legislators have scheduled a session in November, presumably to take up matters relating to the amendments. Although the bill is technically not dead, it is incredibly unlikely to be taken up during that fall session.

During the interim, legislators restated their commitment to expanding school safety, studying what more can be done, and working with community partners. NCGV will be in any relevant meetings as they take place during the interim.

So you have a group opposed to civil rights crowing that their pressure stopped Majority Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and the Republicans in the State Senate from even holding hearings on HB 746 which was an omnibus firearms bill which included permitless concealed carry. Please bear in mind that Republicans hold veto-proof super-majorities in both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly. Please also bear in mind that probably not one person in 100 that supports NCGV will even vote for a Republican for dog catcher. They consider themselves the NC equivalent of “The Resistance”.

Has the Republican Party of North Carolina never heard of the old adage that you reward your friends and punish your enemies?

As that great Southern philosopher Forrest Gump famously said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Smug Mugs In NC Senate Need A Reminder Who Put Them There

Leave it to Alex Trebek and Jeopardy to help me with a headline.

Nonetheless, the Republicans in the North Carolina State Senate need a reminder that it was gun owners and their votes that helped them get a super-majority. They currently are dragging their feet on HB 746 – the Omnibus Gun Bill – which has passed the House and which contains constitutional carry as one of its provisions. With the projected adjournment date of July 1st fast approaching, they need to act soon or all gun rights legislation will be lost for 2017.

Grass Roots North Carolina is calling upon gun owners to contact the Republican leadership, all Republican state senators, and their own state senator to urge them to get a move on regarding HB 746.

ARE SMUG REPUBLICANS

BRUSHING OFF GUN VOTERS?



Does it now appear that NC’s Republican Senators were never serious about Constitutional
Carry…? 

Are Smug Republicans Working to Kill Constitutional Carry?

After pro-gun posturing by
Republicans in the NC Senate, it turns out they may never have had any
intention of
voting with gun owners on HB746. Senate leadership insisted, as long as
gun owners were patient, as long as we were quiet, and we minded our
“Ps&Qs,” we could count on the Senate to uphold their own Party
platform, live up to campaign rhetoric, and push Constitutional Carry to
the governor’s desk. Well, we’ve re-learned the lesson about the value
of a politician’s promises. With the projected date of
adjournment fast approaching, July 1st, Republican senators have yet to
budge on Second Amendment legislation.  If they don’t move
NOW, all gun legislation is likely dead for 2017!

Remind Senators of Approaching
Elections


Thank goodness for the ballot box. Every time
an
election is over, there is always another one just down the road. And
nowadays, voters have electronic reminders on their phones, a
twenty-four hour
news cycle, GRNC’s alerts, and GRNC’s “Remember in November” campaign to
remind them during Primary season, and again in November,
which politicians stood with them, and which did not. Nowadays, finding
new blood to send to Raleigh is almost too easy.

With that in mind, we’re
asking you to once again phone a couple of key Republican senators,
along with your own senator, and to also send an email to the entire
Republican
Senate. It appears that the entire Republican caucus may be giving you
the brush off, and one wonders if they’re having a good laugh over the
little
trick they played: “Be patient with us, and we’ll live up to our Party’s
platform and our campaign promises.”

Wipe That Smug Smile off Their Faces

Well, we’re not laughing, and if these senators do not immediately
redeem themselves in the eyes of gun rights supporters, we the voters
will
have the last laugh—during election season. Below, see how you can
convey this message to the Republicans in the Senate, particularly a
couple
of senators in leadership positions.


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!


  • CALL KEY SENATE REPUBLICANS AND YOUR SENATOR (Do this immediately. Time is running out. Leave a voice-mail if you must):
    Phone numbers for two key Senate leaders are listed below.
    Use the link
    provided find your own senator’s phone number. Use the following text to deliver a phone message:
Hello,
I am calling Senator [name] because I’m incensed
over the treatment gun owners like me are receiving from Senate
leadership, and by extension, from all Senate Republicans. Gun voters
like me have
been politely requesting the advancement of HB746, and we’ve been
patiently waiting amid promises that the bill will be heard in caucus
and sent
to the Senate floor for a vote. None of this is happening and time is
up. You must move HB746 Thursday (June 22).

It’s
beginning to seem as
though gun owners  were duped by the double-talk of establishment
politicians. With this in mind, I demand that HB746 be sent to the floor
for a
vote, and then on to the Governor’s desk immediately. If it is not, you
can be 100% sure that this will not be forgotten, and I will be looking
for a primary candidate in 2018. Reminders on my phone will be set so I
don’t forget how the Senator treated me during a non-election year, and
I will be paying close attention to GRNC alerts and their “Remember in
November” campaign during 2018. Get HB746 to the floor, and to the
Governor’s desk now. Thank you.

  • EMAIL THE ALL SENATE
    REPUBLICANS
    : use the
    copy/paste email address list(s) below, and the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This Message.’
CONTACT INFO
Sen. Phil Berger: (919)
733-5708

Sen. Bill Rabon: (919) 733-5963

Click Here to find your Senator, and call him/her, too

(or go
to:
http://www.ncleg.net/representation/WhoRepresentsMe.aspx).

NC Senate Republicans copy/paste email *list(s):

John.Alexander@ncleg.net;
Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.net; Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net;
Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net; Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net;
Danny.Britt@ncleg.net;
Andrew.Brock@ncleg.net; Harry.Brown@ncleg.net; Bill.Cook@ncleg.net;
David.Curtis@ncleg.net; Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net;

Jim.Davis@ncleg.net;
Cathy.Dunn@ncleg.net; Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.net; Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net;
Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net; Rick.Horner@ncleg.net;
Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.net; Michael.Lee@ncleg.net;
Tom.McInnis@ncleg.net; Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net;

Paul.Newton@ncleg.net;
Louis.Pate@ncleg.net; Ron.Rabin@ncleg.net; Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net;
Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net; Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net;
Jeff.Tarte@ncleg.net;
Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net; Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net; Trudy.Wade@ncleg.net;
Andy.Wells@ncleg.net


*Spam
filters or email program limitations may
cause the need to send more than one email, to cover the entire list of
representatives. If so, the list above is split into three pieces, for
your
convenience.

DELIVER THIS MESSAGE

Suggested Subject:
Move HB746 Now or Face Voters’ Wrath”  
Dear Senator:



I am writing today because it
appears
that the Republican Senate’s interest in passing Constitutional Carry
and other pro-gun legislation, in the form of HB746, may have been
entirely insincere.
To be clear: I am insisting that HB746 be moved through
caucus and to the Senate floor on Thursday, June 22nd; not a day later.
I fear that senators’ talk about gun rights was only
posturing designed to hush gun owners while Republicans quietly brushed
us off. I am insisting you alleviate that fear with action. 

This
non-action on gun rights is unacceptable, and I assure you, if the
Republicans in the Senate do not redeem themselves by sending HB746 to
the floor
for a vote, and ultimately to the Governor’s desk, there will be heavy
political consequences. Keep in mind, after you adjourn this year, there
is yet another legislative session next year, and gun owners like me
will not stop pushing for our civil rights. We will continue to demand
that you
live up to your pro-gun rhetoric.

Thank goodness for the ballot box, and
the times we live in do indeed complement the ballot box quite well.
Never
have voters had so much power at their fingertips. Memories have never
been longer, with electronic reminders on our phones (which can be setup
years
ahead of the next election), a twenty-four hour news cycle, GRNC alerts,
and GRNC’s “Remember in November” campaign to name a few
useful tools. Yes, these simple tools remind gun voters like me, during
Primary season, and again in November, which politicians stood with me,
and
which did not during an odd-numbered year. 

Frankly, I am incensed
over your treatment of gun owners like me. We’ve done our job. We have
consistently renewed your veto-proof majority, and supported you when
you needed us, with our money and our votes. Now, as our
representatives,
it’s time to live up to your end of the bargain. Support the Party
platform you profess to believe in. Follow through on your pro-Second
Amendment campaign rhetoric.

Move HB746 to the Senate floor for a vote
now—on Thursday, June 22nd. Vote “yes,” and send it to the
Governor’s desk. Voters will not forget your actions during this
critical time.

I will be monitoring your actions on Constitutional Carry
through
alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully,

To The NC Republicans Who Voted To Keep The Permit System, This One Is For You

Back on June 16th, 34 Republican members of the NC House joined with all 43 Democrat members on an amendment to HB 562 that not only kept the racist Jim Crow-era pistol purchase permit system but doubled down by adding back the “good moral character” verbiage. This was Amendment Five proposed by Rep. Allen McNeill (R-Randolph). If asked, those 34 Republicans would have said that they were just supporting law enforcement. After all, the amendment was proposed by Rep. McNeill who had been the Chief Deputy in the Randolph County Sheriffs’ Department before being elected to the General Assembly.

It just so happened that keeping the pistol purchase permit system alive was also the primary goal of every gun prohibitionist group out there. Both Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors and Americans for Responsible Solutions (sic) put up big bucks on ad campaigns urging people to contact their legislators to “save background checks”. The Brady Campaign was sending text messages and emails left and right.

Earlier this week, Bloomberg’s group Everytown sent out this press release saying they had beaten the “gun lobby”.

Another NRA Defeat: North Carolina Moms Successfully Defend Handgun Background Check Requirement From Gun Lobby-Backed Repeal Effort

July 27, 2015 By press

NC Legislature Rejects Gun Lobby Attempt to Repeal Background Checks for Handgun Buyers

RALEIGH, NC – The North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements today after successfully removing a gun lobby-backed provision out of HB 562 that would have repealed North Carolina’s requirement that all handgun buyers first pass a criminal background check and obtain a pistol permit—and made it easy for prohibited people to buy a handgun from an unlicensed, private seller with no questions asked.

Statement from Sarah Green, volunteer Chapter Leader of the North Carolina Chapter of Moms Demand Action:

“Moms were loud and clear this year – we won’t allow the NRA to put North Carolinians in danger by gutting our state’s handgun background check requirement. We’re pleased that the legislature stood with the 87 percent of North Carolinians who support background checks instead of the gun lobby. Moms will continue to fight for sensible public safety measures that keep guns out of dangerous hands and save lives.”

Statement from Kim Yaman, a volunteer with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. Yaman, a mother and grandmother who lives in Cary and, along with her two young children, was a witness to the mass shooting at the University of Iowa:

“I am gratified that so many North Carolinians stood up for common sense and convinced legislators to keep our state’s background check requirement in place. Despite the gun lobby’s best efforts, North Carolina will remain one of the 18 states that requires background checks on all handgun sales, and all of us in the Tar Heel State will be safer as a result.”

Earlier today, the Legislature passed a version of HB 562 that did not include that dangerous repeal provision, following a months-long campaign led by a coalition of moms, law enforcement, and the more than 130,000 Everytown supporters in the state who urged lawmakers to keep North Carolina’s background check requirement in place.

Over the course of months, Moms held nine events at the Capitol, made nearly 1,000 phone calls into legislators’ offices, and delivered more than 17,000 petition signatures and emails to legislators demanding they keep North Carolina’s background check requirement in place.

In May, Everytown aired ads statewide highlighting the broad consensus among North Carolinians against HB 562. The ad featured polling paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund showing that 87 percent of North Carolinians support background checks on all handgun sales and a letter from the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association urging the Legislature not to repeal the state’s background check law. The bill would have allowed felons and other people prohibited from having guns to buy handguns from unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows, with no background check and no questions asked. When Missouri made this same mistake in 2007, gun homicides in that state spiked by 25 percent.

North Carolina is one of 18 states (plus the District of Columbia) that requires background checks not just for sales by licensed gun dealers, but also for handgun buyers that buy from unlicensed sellers. An earlier version of HB 562 sought to remove North Carolina from that group, and had it become law, dangerous people would have been able to meet a stranger online and buy a handgun with no questions asked. Just last month, the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action defeated similar gun lobby-backed legislation in Iowa that would have repealed the state’s background check requirement and put Iowans at risk.

Here are the names of the 34 Republican members of the NC House who sided with the gun banners:

Representative(s): Avila; Blackwell; Boles; Brawley; Bryan; Daughtry; Davis; Dobson; Faircloth; Fraley; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Jeter; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Langdon; Malone; McElraft; McGrady; McNeill; Pendleton; R. Turner; Riddell; Robinson; Ross; Stam (CHAIR); Stevens; Tine; Warren; Watford; Zachary

The Gang of 34 would have you believe that they are true blue supporters of the Second Amendment. They would say they were supporting law enforcement and not voting for gun control. They would point to their rankings by the NRA-PVF and the coveted NRA endorsement as evidence of this. Out of the 34, 30 were endorsed and 27 had an A/AQ or better rating.

That’s all well and good but you still sold out gun rights and gun rights supporters. Many of these representatives are in safe seats. 15 out of the 34 had no opposition in the 2014 General Election. They probably think they are invulnerable. I wonder how many of their supporters would be cool with their representative being on the same side as the gun banners. Given the districts that most of the Gang of 34 represent, I’d wager not many. If I were a gun rights supporter who lived in one of their districts and I had a solid resume (and deep pockets), I’d seriously consider running against them in the primary. I would not be surprised to see just that.

A Neutered HB 562 Passes The NC House

After considering 10 amendments and voting on seven of them, the NC House passed HB 562 by a 78 yea to 37 nay vote in its 3rd Reading. The pistol purchase permits system repeal was deleted in its entirety. As things were left yesterday, the pistol purchase permits would have only been required for private sales as an exemption was made for sales through FFLs. Today’s Amendment 10 by Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) stripped that provision out of the bill.

There are some good things left in the bill. The process for obtaining a pistol permit has been standardized, newer shooting ranges will be protected, state preemption is reiterated, and chief law enforcement officers have to sign off on NFA items if the applicant is not precluded by state or Federal law. Oh, and you can also carry an ordinary pocketknife in the State Capitol and on its grounds.

As you can probably imagine, the Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors and their backers in the legislative gallery who wore their Felon-Orange shirts are crowing about the defeat of the pistol purchase permit repeal. In fact, they are proclaiming victory saying that “the Moms fought the law and the Moms won.”

“It was really great that most of the amendments were brought forth by Republicans. This is not a partisan issue: we are talking about common sense safety laws. We’re building strong, bipartisan opposition to the gun lobby,” said Sarah Green, state chapter leader of Moms Demand Action.

Sarah Green is correct that the amendments that neutered the bill were brought by the Republicans. The GOP is not called the stupid party for nothing. If the Republicans who knelt in obeisance before the state’s sheriffs think that avoiding the issue will gain them political points, they are even stupider than I thought. Those in the galleries wearing their Felon-Orange shirts will never support them and those of us in the gun rights community will never forget.

Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, certainly doesn’t intend to forget those Republicans who paid lip service to gun rights in 2014 and then deserted us in 2015. In an email to me, with which I have permission to quote, he said:

“Grass Roots North Carolina would like to thank North Carolina House Republicans for giving us exactly what we asked for: Recorded votes. Lots of recorded votes that tell us exactly who our friends are and are not, and which activate our core supporters going into the 2016 primary elections. Inevitably, the party in power becomes comfortable and unmotivated, in time forgetting who ‘brung ’em to the dance.’ When they achieve supermajorities and draw themselves comfy districts, that time apparently shrinks to four short years. But in their safe Republican seats, they forget something: Other Republicans can occupy those seats. In 2016, we will use those recorded votes to provide them a few little reminders of that fact.”

 Paul is correct. We know who our real friends are when it counts. We also know who is just a fair weather friend making nice noises about the Second Amendment but deserts us when push comes to shove.

Naming Names – NC Republicans Who Deserted Gun Owners

As I said in the prior post, there were three amendments that gutted much of what was good in HB 562. The gutted parts include both the repeal of the pistol purchase permits system and the patient privacy protections. It is obvious that the unholy alliance of the North Carolina Sheriffs Association with the gun prohibitionists triumphed today. The only major things that helped out gun owners that survived are range protection, must-sign requirement for the CLEO on NFA items, and the reiteration of statewide uniformity on firearms law. Any of those three could have been a separate bill that would have passed.

Amendments One, Five, and Seven were the key amendments that gutted the bill. Every Democrat voted for them as expected. It is the Republicans who should be ashamed of their actions.

Amendment One seemed to have the quasi-support of some of the bills sponsors and may have been a previously agreed upon change to the final bill.

Here are the Republicans who voted for Amendment One:

Representative(s): Arp; Avila; B. Brown; Blackwell; Boles; Brawley; Bryan; Burr; Conrad; Daughtry; Davis; Dixon; Dobson; Dollar; Faircloth; Fraley; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Jeter; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Langdon; Lewis; Malone; McElraft; McGrady; McNeill; Pendleton; R. Turner; Robinson; Ross; S. Martin; Schaffer; Shepard; Stam; Stevens; Tine; Warren; Watford; Yarborough

Amendment Five, as I noted, doubled down on keeping the pistol purchase permit system. The Republicans who voted for it were:

Representative(s): Avila; Blackwell; Boles; Brawley; Bryan; Daughtry; Davis; Dobson; Faircloth; Fraley; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Jeter; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Langdon; Malone; McElraft; McGrady; McNeill; Pendleton; R. Turner; Riddell; Robinson; Ross; Stam (CHAIR); Stevens; Tine; Warren; Watford; Zachary

Finally, Amendment Seven removed the patient privacy protections, weak as they were. It had less Republican support but could not have passed without these Republican representatives:

Representative(s): B. Brown; Blackwell; Brawley; Bryan; Davis; Dollar; Faircloth; Fraley; Horn; Jeter; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Lewis; Malone; Pendleton; Ross; Stam; Tine; Watford

If any of these Republicans are your representative, you may want to call them, email, or fax them your displeasure. Frankly, I’m at the point where I don’t give a damn if what is left of HB 562 passes or not. Is a neutered, watered-down bill worth it if it gives our so-called “friends” something with which they can say to voters that they voted for gun rights? I say no.

And They Call Themselves Friends Of Gun Owners…

As Matt Caulder of the NC Capitol Connection reports, HB 562 just barely squeaked through the House Rules Committee.

A vote in the House Rules Committee came down to a tie Wednesday morning after nearly two hours of debate and comment on an omnibus gun rights bill set to advance freedoms for legal firearm owners while cracking down on criminal possession of firearms.

The 13-13 tie was broken by Committee Chairman David Lewis (R-Harnett) in favor of the bill, which will now head to the House floor for debate.

A vote is expected on the bill Thursday on the House floor.

He goes on to report that the testimony was evenly split between those in favor of the bill and those opposed. In an email to me, he said there were representatives from Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors, the Brady affiliate NC Against Gun Violence (sic), the NC Sheriffs Association, and the NC School Boards Association who spoke against the bill In addition, there were some individuals who didn’t represent groups but did claim membership in NCAGV.

Matt was kind enough to send me the breakdown of the vote in the committee by member. What should have been an easy win was made more difficult due to some Republicans. I expected “nay” votes from the Democrats. What I didn’t expect was for Republicans Leo Daughtry, Ted Davis, and John Fraley to spit on gun owners like they did. Gun owners did yeoman’s work in providing the Republicans their super-majority in both houses of the General Assembly. We didn’t vote for them to go all wobbly when the Demanding Mommies and the Sheriffs Association said “boo.”

The vote breakdown is below:

Committee Leadership
Rep. Lewis (R-Harnett) – aye, tie breaker
Rep. Torbett (R-Gaston) – aye
Rep. Stam (R-Wake) – aye

Rep. Davis (R-New Hanover) – nay
Rep. Daughtry (R-Johnston) – nay

Committee Members
Rep. J. Bell (R-Wayne) – aye
Rep. Blust (R-Guilford) – aye
Rep. Boles (R-Moore) – aye
Rep. Bumgardner (R-Gaston) – aye
Rep. Burr (R-Stanly) – aye
Rep. Carney (D-Mecklenburg) – nay
Rep. Cotham (D-Mecklenburg) – nay
Rep. Floyd (D-Cumberland) – nay

Rep. Fraley (R-Iredell) – nay

Rep. Goodman (D-Hoke) – nay
Rep. L. Hall (D-Durham) – nay
Rep. Hanes (D-Forsyth) – nay
Rep. Hastings (R-Gaston) – aye
Rep. Jackson (D-Wake) – nay
Rep. L. Johnson (R-Cabarrus) – aye
Rep. Reives (D-Chatham) – nay
Rep. Robinson (R-Caldwell) – aye
Rep. Saine (R-Saine) – aye
Rep. Schaffer (R-Mecklenburg) – aye
Rep. Szoka (R-Cumberland) – aye
Rep. Tine (U-Beaufort) – nay
Rep. Wray (D-Halifax) – nay

What makes this worse is that all three Republicans serve in some leadership capacity. Davis and Daughtry are vice-chairs of the Rules Committee and Fraley is the Majority Freshman Leader. If I were one of their constituents, I’d be giving them a piece of my mind. Their contact info is below.

Ted Davis (R-New Hanover)
919-733-5786
ted.davis@ncleg.net

N. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston)
919-733-5605
leo.daughtry@ncleg.net

John Fraley (R-Iredell)
919-733-5741
john.fraley@ncleg.net

I wish the House Republicans including those above were less concerned with same-sex marriage and waiting periods for abortions and more with facilitating an enumerated Constitution right.

UPDATE:  Checking the NRA’s Political Victory Fund site for 2014, I find that Davis, Daughtry, and Fraley were all endorsed by the NRA. Davis and Daughtry were rated A and Fraley, as a non-incumbent, was rated AQ.  Davis and Daughtry were also rated as 4-star by GRNC while Fraley got 3 stars.