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This is from a solid editorial in the Boston Globe that appeared today in the aftermath of last night’s tragedy in Colorado:

“It’s possible to view these episodes as a tragic but unavoidable consequence of Americans’ right to bear arms, just as auto accidents are a price of our freedom of movement. Yet carmakers and regulators work constantly, deploying new technologies and new laws, to limit the latter danger. If tighter gun laws aren’t the answer to mass shootings by deranged individuals, Americans have to take a hard look at the other possibilities. Frisking everyone who enters a movie theater, or an office park, or anywhere else large numbers of people might gather? Deploying, on domestic soil, the kind of ingenious tactics used against Al Qaeda terrorists? Surely the answer isn’t to simply tolerate these shootings.”

In other words, to those who oppose stricter gun laws: Please show us a plan that doesn’t involve arming every American up to their eyeballs. There must be an alternative.  We cannot continue to accept these kinds of disasters as unavoidable or inevitable.

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I’m sure the gun people will say that I want to trample their rights when I complain about this, but:

a) It’s not true — I really don’t want them to have to give up their guns (though I’m not so sure about their bazookas, bombs, machine guns, armor piercing bullets, and other WMD’s) and

b) This really is weird and disturbing — the Speaker of the North Carolina House is having a fundraiser at a gun range.

The range in question features a “simulator” where you too (a video showcasing it appears to feature a teenage boy) can pretend to mow down multiple terrorists.

On the lighter side of the whole depressing thing, the gun range in question touts itself as a “green” and “environmentally responsible” so at least that will probably tick off the Locke Foundation and Civitas people who hate that kind of thing.  

Sigh…

 

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Call me old-fashioned, but I find both of the following stories sobering and depressing.

#1 – Protesters at the national political conventions this summer may well be armed to the teeth with concealed weapons.

#2- A Wake County School Board member running for State Auditor (that appears to be her on the left — the photo is from the Facebook page promoting the event)  thinks it’s a good idea to have a “shooting range fundraiser.”

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Gail Neely, Assistant Director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, weighs in on the horrific Trayvon Martin story and the similarity between Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law and North Caolina’s new and flawed “Castle Doctrine”: 

“By now you probably know about the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin, who was gunned down in Florida by a man who said he was defending himself from a 17 year old boy armed with Skittles and an iced tea.  Part of the reason this man, George Zimmerman, has not yet been arrested is because of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.  This law gives the benefit of the doubt to those who use deadly force when they feel threatened.  Under the Stand Your Ground law, an individual does not have the responsibility to retreat, even when they may do so safely. 

What you may not know is that the Florida law is just one of 21 similar laws passed around the country in recent years. One of those 21 laws was passed in North Carolina last year—the ‘Castle Doctrine’ Law (House Bill 650). Castle Doctrine implies that this legislation applies only to a home or residence.  However, HB 650 extends past the individual’s home to their workplace or vehicle; making them immune to civil or criminal prosecution if they claim they felt threatened or in danger.

Since the Stand Your Ground law went into effect in Florida, the number of justifiable homicides has tripled. And a young life was tragically cut short because of a claim of self-defense. It’s time for Florida, North Carolina, and states across this country to take a hard look at these Stand Your Ground Laws.  Changes need to be made before another tragedy occurs.”