RALEIGH – As a new wave of gun control calls from Democrats and Republicans washes over the nation, North Carolinians are right to wonder where their representatives stand on the issue. While some in our Republican congressional delegation are chomping at the bit to pass Red Flag laws as soon as September, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest (and 2020 gubernatorial candidate) is taking a stand against what he calls a threat to constitutional rights that could lead to gun confiscations.
From the Office of Lieutenant Governor:
“While solutions to address the problem of mass murders in our country are way past due, I have yet to see a ‘red flag’ bill that adequately protects the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. Instead, what we get are overly broad, undefined plans that could lead to government gun confiscation.
“We’d be better served as a nation by addressing the root causes that are driving people to violence — the breakdown of the family, mental illness, social isolation and the refusal to recognize the dignity of human life. This is hard, much harder than scoring political points. But this kind of approach will be the most effective in solving a defining issue of our generation.”
This is the kind of principled, informed response to the Red Flag push that needs to be the united retort of the Republican caucus at both the state and federal levels. Instead, we have a knee-jerk political reaction in D.C. and the urge to ‘do something’ that seems innocuous, but is ultimately insidious.
From a 2020 perspective, it is now incumbent upon Forest’s 2020 Republican primary opponent State House member Holly Grange
(R-New Hanover) to clearly state where she stands on ‘red flag’ laws and other such encroachments on the Second Amendment for the benefit of 2020 Republican primary voters. Grange, an NRA instructor, would be eligible to vote on any such legislation that is successfully brought to the floor of the North Carolina House. The NRA, for what it’s worth, has warned Republicans and the president against the gun control measures. That organization have been known, however, to support accessory bans like bump stocks in the past.
Forest is leaving no question in voters’ minds about where he stands on the issue at hand, and our constitutional rights generally. He also rightly identified the many of the root causes of these tragedies, and the most effective ways to address them. Those involve cultural changes, not just reflexive legislation, and the values of family and the dignity of human life, as Forest says.
With Democrats and Governor Cooper making noise on the gun control front, capitalizing on a shooting and the GOP’s apparent softness on principle, more state Republican leadership needs to stand up and reassure constituents that their Second Amendment rights are not at risk.
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