John Corbin: Gun owners still need proper training

“On the face of it, the bill [HB 69] would make North Carolinians less safe for two reasons.

“First, this bill does away with the eight-hour training class which now sets at least a minimum standard for educated gun ownership.

“Second, problems, potential or otherwise, would only show up only after the fact. In contrast, the current law requires fingerprinting and other identifying information to be taken at the outset, allowing for proactive screening.”

John Corbin
Cary

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Officials: 7-year-old NC girl shot, killed while sleeping suffered 20 gunshot wounds

This is so tragic. “SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) – The newly released autopsy from the North Carolina Medical Examiner shows that a Salisbury girl sustained 20 gunshot wounds when she was shot and killed in her sleep.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and community.

If you or someone you know knows of anything related to this murder, please call the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245. “There is a $20,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest in her murder, as well as the other two Rowan County murders that night.”

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Easing NC Concealed Gun Carry Law Would be a Deadly Mistake

Great editorial by the editorial board in the News & Observer.  We couldn’t agree more!  Email us at ncgv@ncgv.org to get involved in fighting bad bills like this one.

“A proposed bill from 10 Republicans in the General Assembly to remove North Carolina’s concealed-carry permit requirement for handguns has the odor of a gun-lobby sponsored maneuver. There’s no other way to say it: the idea is absurd, and dangerous. One hopes GOP leaders will stop this idea before it goes any further.”

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Bill to end concealed-carry permits gains steam

“Becky Ceartas, Executive Director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence says, ‘It does away with all training. So one could carry a hidden loaded gun in public with absolutely no classroom training and no live fire training. This puts the public in danger, law enforcement officials in danger.’

“And although supporters of HB 69 are calling it the ‘Constitutional Carry’ Bill, Ceartas says the permit process is respectful of the Constitution.

"’We don't feel this harms the second amendment in any way. We've had this permitting system in place. People are still allowed to carry guns both openly and concealed,’ Ceartas told ABC11.

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In Trump’s America, Nothing’s Off the Table for the NRA

“The photograph captured the National Rifle Association at one of the most influential moments in its 145-year history.

“On February 1, a day after Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump convened a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to make an  announcement. He was surrounded by a group of high-profile conservatives, but if proximity to the president indicated importance, then the NRA was at the top of the pecking order.  Sitting next to Trump was the group’s executive vice president and public face, Wayne LaPierre.”

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WORLDPOST Donald Trump’s Silence On The Quebec Mosque Shooting Is Dangerous For American Muslims

“Trudeau called the mass shooting a terrorist attack on Muslims, yet after the details of the shooting had become clear and thousands gathered across Canada at vigils, the silence from the White House was deafening.

“Two days after the shooting and less than a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order targeting Muslims and refugees, the White House offered no public condolences to its Canadian ally or to Muslims in the U.S.”

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Keep our campuses safe

The NC legislature is reportedly considering legislation to allow employees of state colleges with concealed weapons permits to bring handguns to campus and to classes. (N&O, Jan. 15, 2017) Now, more than ever, we must draw the line against creating an atmosphere for gun violence on our campuses.

Here are just some of the facts:

1. A North Carolina study found that workplaces that allow workers to carry firearms and other weapons at work were 5-7 times more likely to be the site of an on-the-job homicide compared to places where firearms were prohibited.  Workers in gun-permissive environments are more likely to be killed at work.

2.  The Virginia Tech Review Panel, headed by Gerald Massengill, who investigated the 9-11 attacks on the Pentagon along with panel member Tom Ridge, the first Homeland Security Secretary, specifically recommended that “guns be banned on campus grounds and in buildings.”

3.  The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Inc. (IACLEA) wrote: “The IACLEA Board of Directors believes ‘conceal carry’ initiatives do not make campuses safer.”

4. Students on college campuses are safer than those off-campus, the US Department of Justice has found.  93% of violent crimes against students take place off campus.

5. On campuses in two states where guns have been allowed, rapes have increased. Colorado’s rate of campus rape increased 25% in 2012 and 36% in 2013, after concealed guns were allowed.  Utah’s campus rape stats increased nearly 50% during those years, after “campus carry” was allowed.

6.  Homicides on US campuses are rare—much rarer than elsewhere in the nation.  The homicide rate at post secondary education campuses was 0.1 per 100,000 of enrollment compared to the US criminal homicide rate of 4.4 per 100,000 in 2013.

7. The presence of weapons does not prevent shootings in public places.  A study by Everytown for Gun Safety found that 16 of the 33 active-shooter incidents occurred in public places where guns could be legally carried. Two more incidents occurred where an armed guard or police were in the immediate vicinity.

8. Students should not have to worry about who is carrying weapons on campus. Their anxiety is great enough.  Depression is a growing and common mental health disorder on college campuses, with campus professionals citing difficult adjustments to life on their own, academic and social pressures. 

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among the college age population nationwide, eclipsed only by vehicular accidents. Of those who commit suicide, two-thirds of the students are depressed at the time of death.

9.  Professional, highly trained law enforcement officials hit their targets 20% of the time.  Untrained personnel, including teachers, are likely to perform much worse and in proximity of students, who become vulnerable to stray shots.

10. Guns do not keep us safe. The US now has more guns than people and has the highest—by far— homicide rates in the developed world. A recent study published in the Journal of American Medicine indicates that Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed with a gun than those in other developed nations. 

The author of the study, Erin Grinshteyn, an assistant professor at the School of Community Health Science at the University of Nevada-Reno, notes "These results are consistent with the hypothesis that our firearms are killing us rather than protecting us."

North Carolinians must stand firm against putting our students at risk due to a gun lobby that continues to fight all efforts to limit gun violence.  Due to a bill passed by the legislature just last year, guns are already allowed in cars on NC public campuses. We must oppose legislation to allow yet more guns on college campuses.

Catherine Alexander

Chapel Hill

 

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10 people shot at National Guard Armory in Tennessee

“BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. Ten people were shot at a party Friday night in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.” 

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Point of View - No Guns on Campus

Please, no guns on NC campuses

The News & Observer noted on January 15 that state legislators plan to revisit the question of allowing holders of concealed weapons permits working at state colleges to bring handguns to their classes.

What a terrible idea!

1.     Most U.S. campuses prohibit guns.  The overwhelming majority of the more than 4,300 colleges and universities in the United States wisely prohibit students, faculty and visitors from carrying concealed handguns on campus.

2.     Mistakes are likely.  The Violence Policy Center reminds us that when police officers fire their weapons, they sometimes make fatal mistakes in deciding when deadly force is justified. Teachers will not likely perform any better.  Moreover, the close quarters of a classroom may make it even more difficult for teachers to effectively use deadly force against an assailant. There is no credible evidence to suggest that the presence of students carrying concealed weapons would reduce violence on our campuses.
 
3.     Administrative costs.  It also would be a huge burden for school districts, individual schools, and teachers to ensure that firearms are not lost or stolen:
 
4.     Faculty and Students don’t want guns on campus.  The Kansas City Star has noted that polling of faculty and students has consistently shown widespread opposition to guns on campuses. Professors worry that a student upset by a grade could become a lethal threat. Resident assistants shudder to consider trying to manage routine disputes between students when someone might be armed.
 
5.     Suicide risk would increase: Student body organizations have wisely raised the prospect of increased suicides as the stresses of the college years mix with alcohol and ready access to a handgun.
 
6.     Workplace homicides are more likely.  A North Carolina study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that workplaces allowing workers to carry firearms and other weapons at work were 5-7 times more likely to be the site of an on-the-job homicide compared to workplaces that prohibited workers from carrying weapons. This study confirms that just as residents of households with guns are more likely to become a victim of a homicide in the home, workers who work in places that allow guns are more likely to be killed while at work.
 

7.     Prevention is key. The focus should remain on preventing guns from getting into schools, rather than relying on teachers or other education professionals to prevail in a shoot-out.
 

These arguments are backed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, who have released a study that argues the campus-carry movement is based on flawed assumptions about the relationship between civilian gun use, violent crime and mass shootings, including several killings on college campuses. The higher likelihood for college-aged people to engage in reckless behavior — binge drinking, drug use, fighting, suicide — heightens the danger, they said.

"Increasing gun availability in campus environments could make far more common acts of aggression, recklessness or self-harm more deadly and, thus, have a deleterious impact on the safety of students, faculty and staff," they wrote in a report published by the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health.

These days, it's hard to get college presidents, students and campus police to agree on much. But on this issue the message is clear: Bullets and backpacks don't mix.  Clearly, a terrible idea!

Jerry VanSant

Chapel Hill, NC

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Citizens misled by N.C. gun permit rules

We must fight mandatory concealed carry legislation in Congress right now.  This bill would allow people from out of state to carry their concealed license in NC. Particularly scary is that people who come in from states from weaker gun laws than we have. Join us in fighting back – ncgv@ncgv.org.

“DOBSON — The Surry County Sheriff’s Office recently alerted local citizens to a potential marketing scheme regarding out-of-state concealed-carry permit training.

“Authorities became aware of the problem when two residents attempted to apply for a North Carolina permit at the sheriff’s office using a Virginia certificate of training.

“‘In both cases the individuals believed that the Virginia certificate qualified them to be eligible to apply for a North Carolina permit,’ Sheriff Graham Atkinson said."

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