Being brought up as a Democrat in Eastern North Carolina I was surprised after I returned here after my turn in the US Air Force to find that the political scene was beginning to take a decided turn to the right. Because my personal feelings about politics seemed to be more in line with the newly invigorated Republican Party, I was considering changing my party registration.
When I expressed these feelings to a close friend who was the epitome of a “Yellow Dog Democrat,” he quickly told me that “Don’t for God’s sake do that! Register as a Communist or something like that. Just don’t register as a Republican.”
The State of North Carolina seems to be changing its political affiliations in these modern times, as was well indicated in this past November’s elections. Maybe the time has come for me to reconsider. Maybe being a conservative isn’t so bad in these times. I wonder if being called a “Red Neck Democrat” would be more acceptable to all my old Democratic friends?
If there has ever been one subject that has a lot of us old timers seriously reconsidering changing parties, the issue of gun control is at the forefront. It may surprise a lot of our new, somewhat liberal, residents here in North Carolina but we hold the Second Amendment to be a very important right that’s guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of our U.S. Constitution and we’re willing to go to extreme measures to see that this right is not infringed upon.
When a die hard gun owner-hunter and former resident of the State of Vermont recently complained to me about the numbers of Tar Heels he was observing owning and hunting with some of these military-like “black guns” he stated that “Those guns need to be outlawed, there’s no need at all for guns like that for hunting.”
He was unhappy when I replied that if he wanted to get along with us down here he’d better get used to seeing those guns in the hands of some very dedicated North Carolina deer hunters who use such guns for not only hunting, but for self defense as well.
Moreover, how on earth did he get the idea that our Second Amendment even referred to our right to keep and bear guns just to use just for hunting? He promptly shut up and crawled off into a corner.
Few doubt that the recent shootings in Connecticut and Denver are terrible. We wonder just what could be the best way to keep guns away from the perpetrators of these massacres without stepping on the toes of our Second Amendment rights. The question(s) of gun control is dividing our country along paths that border onto the dangerous side.
On one side we have the extreme liberal faction that seemingly would ban all guns not only in America but also internationally under the umbrella of the United Nations. On the other extreme side you have the underground para-military organizations that are willing to literally fight to the death to keep their guns as they feel that our Second Amendment guarantees.
A groundswell of opposition to the Obama Administration’s proposed very stringent restrictions on guns in America was epitomized when North Carolina’s Beaufort County Commissioners recently unanimously adopted a resolution calling upon the N. C. General Assembly to take necessary measures to nullify any federal action within the state that infringes on the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms.
The resolution further directed the county manager to insure that no county employees or resources were used in federal actions that infringe on Second Amendment rights. It also called upon the legislature to adopt necessary measures to call for, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the other states, the convening of a constitutional convention for the “specific purpose of amending the United States Constitution to strengthen the Second and Tenth Amendments.”
This is a surprise to many but many conservative gun rights organizations, such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC), are making more sense with their approach to the gun control issues than the liberal “left wingers.” Both of these organizations agree that we need to take a long, careful look at how we go about screening gun owners and keeping guns out of the hands of people who are having mental problems. On the other hand, the blanket banning of guns from all but our active military and law enforcement agencies would be a good case of “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”
Grass Roots North Carolina is a non-profit, all volunteer organization that advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights. Grass Roots North Carolina also advocates the education of the public about trends, which are believed to abridge those freedoms, in addition to participation in grassroots activism to preserve the rights themselves.
The National Rifle Association is an American nonprofit organization founded in 1871 that promotes the right of citizens to bear arms, as well as police training, firearm safety, marksmanship, hunting and self-defense training in the United States. The NRA is also one of the United States’ largest certifying bodies for firearm safety training and proficiency training courses for police departments, recreational hunting and child firearm safety. The organization publishes several magazines and sponsors marksmanship events featuring shooting skill and sports.
The NRA’s political involvement is based on the idea that gun ownership is a civil right protected by the Second Amendment. The group has a nearly century long record of influencing, as well as lobbying for or against, proposed firearm legislation on behalf of its members. Some observers and lawmakers see the NRA as one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in the nation’s capital. NRA membership reached 4.5 million in 2013.
This last November’s national elections seem to indicate that there are a number of sweeping changes to our American way of life being proposed. Some of the more radical proposals have to do with our Second Amendment rights. On the less drastic side of these proposals are the ones that could stop people with mental problems from obtaining guns. On the opposite side of that are the ones that might follow the ones found in Australia, Canada or England that would remove virtually all guns from the hands of their ordinary citizens.
If the best of all choices were to result in the tightening of gun sales to Americans who the government deems to be unfit to own guns (mentally or otherwise—But then who’d trust the government to make that decision?), that could be good, however, if the proposed changes result in the total confiscation of all guns from the average citizen then America could be looking at the beginning of a Second Civil War.