Commentary

Editorial: “Shame” on House Speaker Moore for ignoring proposed gun safety legislation

Rep. Tim Moore

In case you missed it, the Winston-Salem Journal had a fine editorial yesterday decrying the North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore’s decision to bury proposed gun safety legislation by Rep. Marcia Morey and others that would establish a procedure whereby family members and law enforcement officers could seek a court order to remove firearms from dangerous and unstable individuals like the young shooter in the Parkland, Florida tragedy. This is from “Neglecting ‘red flag law’ is irresponsible”:

“Called a ‘red-flag law’ or ‘risk protection order,’ such legislation has been passed in 10 states, including Florida. Ten additional states are considering similar legislation, including the deep-red stronghold of Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott asked legislators to consider the merits of a red-flag law in light of the school shooting in Sante Fe, Texas, on May 18 that left 10 dead….

In a study of the first state to pass a red-flag law, Connecticut, Duke professor Jeff Swanson concluded that the law prevented an estimated 70 suicides during a 14-month period. But Morey’s legislation promptly was banished by House Speaker Tim Moore to the House Rules Committee — a purgatory for ill-fated bills. There was no discussion. No opportunity to debate the bill’s merits. Moore simply waved his magic gavel and made it disappear. This was irresponsible.

The state budget does include some (if not enough) funding for school security upgrades and mental-health treatment. Yet, the GOP-controlled legislature seems willing to consider anything to address mass shootings as long as it has nothing to do with access to guns. That’s not only unfortunate; it’s tragic.

So, in the wake of more school shootings, lawmakers still choose to hem and haw or, in Moore’s case, not to talk at all. And to slip a sensible bill into a closet where he appears to hope everyone will forget it.

Shame on him.”

Shame, indeed.

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