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Be sure to check out the newest lead stories on the main NCPW site today:

This morning, N.C. Justice Center Communication Director Jeff Shaw authored a personal and exceedingly rational commentary on the latest outbreak of gun madness in our gun-obsessed culture (which even discusses his own personal experience growing up with firearms).

Meanwhile, in this afternoon’s “lead,” Chris Fitzsimon dissects the misleading claims of a conservative national group with an innocuous-sounding name (i.e. the Tax Foundation) about North Carolina’s “business climate.” As Chris notes:

“It’s not an analysis of how our state is doing at all.

It has little to do with the economy and isn’t even an accurate picture of the taxes businesses and individuals actually pay. And it ignores a long list of factors that business leaders rely on when making their decision about where to locate, from transportation to workforce readiness to quality of life for employees.

The Tax Foundation ranking isn’t any way to evaluate the decisions our leaders have made. It’s a flawed mechanism designed to reinforce an ideological agenda. And it ought to be reported with a little more context.”

Bonus story: Check out yesterday’s “Progressive Voices” entry from NCPW contributor Chavi Koneru about the fast-growing Asian American vote and the perplexing failure of politicians to cultivate it — even in closely-divided states like North Carolina.

Commentary

State Fair cartoonAs has been reported in several places, North Carolina Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens upheld the common sense ban on hidden, loaded handguns at the State Fair yesterday. According to Judge Stephens:

“It would be unwise and imprudent to allow firearms into the State Fair.”

Amen to that. Stephens ruling makes eminent sense for a variety of reasons — the risk of accidents on rides, the enormous, shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on the Midway and the already more-than-adequate presence of law enforcement officials, just to name three.

The decision also figures to be popular with the public. When I went on the conservative Bill LuMaye radio show last Friday to discuss the issue, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that most callers — even self-described concealed carry licensees — thought the Fair an inappropriate venue for firearms.

One thing that the controversy does point out however is this: the law cited by the gun advocates in their lawsuit IS vague. That it even exists in its present form is a testament to the recklessness of the General Assembly and Gov. McCrory in approving it.

Let’s hope that in 2015, legislative leaders and the Guv own up to their mistake in approving the legislation and call for an amendment to specifically ban all hidden weapons at the Fair and other similar venues.

Commentary

State Fair cartoonIt’s beginning to look that way.

WRAL.com reports that:

“A gun rights group on Thursday asked for a temporary restraining order to keep the state agriculture department from banning lawfully concealed weapons at the North Carolina State Fair, which starts next week.”

Doesn’t that make you want to be riding on “The Vortex” or some other wild roller coaster next week knowing that the fool in the next car over is packing a hidden, loaded handgun?

I mean, what could go wrong?

Commentary
NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

If the recent actions of State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler in upholding the ban on hidden, loaded handguns at the North Carolina State Fair has been enough to convince you that there may still be a little bit of hope for the Old North State, check out the “thank you” campaign that’s been organized by the good people at North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.

As the thank you note states:

Dear Commissioner Troxler:

Thank you for keeping the ban on concealed weapons at the NC State Fair.  Everyone should feel safe at our state fairgrounds.  We hope that people will listen to your message to leave their guns in the car or at home so that everyone can have a safe time at the fair.

Thanks again,

Click here to learn more and/or add your name to the list.

Commentary

The website Governing has the basics:

Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills Tuesday written in response to gun tragedies that shook up Northern California: the Isla Vista shooting rampage by a UC Santa Barbara student and the Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy shooting of a boy with a toy gun.

One new law will allow family and friends of a person who is believed to pose a threat or danger to petition a court to remove the person’s guns. The other law will require toy guns sold in the state to have bright-colored markings so that they are not mistaken for real firearms.

For a more in-depth explanation of the new law to allow gun violence protective orders and the senseless mass murder that inspired it, check out the New York Times story by clicking here.

Let’s hope the new laws spur copycat legislatures around the country ASAP.