Commentary

Sigh…NC voucher school benefits from assault weapons raffled off in February fundraiser

Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport

Smith & Wesson “M&P15 Sport” assault weapon

Here’s some really encouraging news to wrap up your Tuesday. A self-described North Carolina “Christian school” that receives thousands of dollars in public taxpayer funds supplemented its income last month via a “gun raffle” that gave away two semi-automatic “assault weapons” along with 10 other guns.

According to the Facebook page for the event, the guns were given away as part of a raffle to benefit the Halifax Academy in Roanoke Rapids (which uses the tagline “A Christian School”) on February 2. No word on how much cash the event brought in, but it seems safe to say that it was probably substantial. The school in question looks to be growing and doing pretty well and the gun raffle also appears to be an annual event.

In the New York Times today, a conservative Republican penned an article about the current presidential race entitled “What Wouldn’t Jesus Do?” From the looks of things, he might want to turn his gaze to Halifax, North Carolina as well.

Commentary

The least the NRA could do

Target assault weaponsAs yesterday’s panic at a shopping mall in Fayetteville makes clear, average Americans are rightfully terrified at the idea of people openly walking around carrying guns in public venues of this kind. They do no want it and it clearly needs to be unlawful throughout the United States. Moreover, a completely clear and permanent ban on such behavior would have no effect on “concealed carry” holders or hunters or the right of people generally to own guns.

Given this plain and simple reality, the least the NRA and other Second Amendment enthusiasts could do is to loudly and publicly support efforts to prohibit such behavior and the terror it understandably causes in the general public.

Come on, NRA. what do you say? How about helping to find one small island of common ground?

Uncategorized

New Year’s Eve brings two federal court rulings of note

While many prepared to ring in 2014, judges in two federal districts handed down decisions worth considering given the “hot-button” issues they address.

In Florida, U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven struck down that state’s mandatory drug testing requirement for welfare applicants, finding that it violated the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.

As noted here in the New York Times:

Florida passed the measure in 2011, and the case was being closely watched by several other states, including Georgia, which passed similar legislation in 2013 but found it dogged by legal challenges. State data in Florida also showed that the measure produced few results. Only 108 out of 4,086 people tested — 2.6 percent — were found to have been using narcotics. State records showed that the requirement cost more money to carry out than it saved.

North Carolina’s legislature passed a drug-testing bill last year that required drug testing of applicants who, based upon reasonable suspicion, may be abusing drugs.  Gov. Pat McCrory then vetoed that bill in August, only to be overridden by the General Assembly. The program has not been implemented though because of insufficient funding.

And in New York, U.S. District Judge William Skretny upheld New York’s expansion of bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, finding that most of New York’s recent gun reform law did not impermissibly burden the Second Amendment, particularly in light of evidence that the state introduced linking large-capacity magazines and assault weapons to more deaths.

As Nicole Flatow points out in this Think Progress post: 

The ruling is one of several to uphold new gun law reforms, citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller, which reiterated that that the right to bear arms is far from unlimited. In October, a California appeals court upheld that state’s ban on semi-automatic rifles, citing Heller‘s conclusion that ownership of “[d]angerous and unusual weapons” is not protected by the Constitution. And earlier that month, a federal judge refused to block Maryland’s new gun reform bill.