Loading...
Bless our stormwater system's heart (does it have one?). Seemed to hold up pretty well to me, Calvin. Stormwater is...

House speaker kills proposal to address school safety

Tim Moore

N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, speaks with reporters in his office about ongoing negotiations to repeal House Bill 2 on Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Loading…

Saturday, July 7, 2018

After the Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February but before this year’s legislative session, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore said he wanted to address school safety issues but only those measures that could have bipartisan support.

But Moore killed a proposal similar to one included in a Florida measure that 75 percent of Florida’s GOP legislators supported. That bill was signed in March by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and similar measures have been supported elsewhere by Republicans.

The North Carolina version could have won bipartisan support and could have made our state safer. That it wasn’t passed — or even debated — in the 2018 legislative session that ended June 29 is squarely Moore’s responsibility and burden.

The measure is a red flag law, also known as gun violence restraining orders, extreme risk protection orders or risk warrants. Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham, a former district court judge, introduced a red flag bill in May.

Under her proposal, family members or law enforcement officers who know of someone behaving in a threatening manner with access to a firearm could petition a district court judge for a restraining order. If granted, the judge would order law enforcement to remove any weapons, then schedule a hearing within 10 days to give the person a chance to discuss whether to bar the person from having firearms for a year.

Indiana, with Republicans controlling both chambers, was among the first states to pass a red flag law in 2005. Prior to this year, four other states had passed similar laws.

After the Parkland shooting, lawmakers in at least 25 states proposed red flag bills. Six states, including Florida, have passed a red flag measure this year. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., supports risk warrants, and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who owns an AR-15, has sponsored a federal red flag bill.

David French, writing in the National Review, said conservatives should support red flag laws. They make us all safer, he wrote, while empowering the individual and protecting liberty.

After a mass shooting, Connecticut in 1999 was the first state to pass a red flag law. A research team led by Duke psychiatry professor Jeffrey Swanson found the law also has prevented suicides; the researchers recently estimated that for every 10 to 20 risk warrants issued, one suicide was prevented. Polling shows red flag laws are supported by about two out of three gun owners and three out of four non-gun-owners.

In short, a law providing for risk warrants is the kind of measure that pragmatic, solutions-seeking politicians of both parties ought to support. Instead, Speaker Moore sent a red flag bill — introduced by a Democrat — to committee to die without even a hearing. He did that even as Republicans have said the key to preventing mass gun violence is to focus on the mental health of the shooter.

Especially galling is that while N.C. legislators didn’t debate risk orders, they did find time to debate six constitutional amendments, most of which are far less important.

Is conferring a constitutional right to hunt and fish more important than keeping our children safe in schools? Is lowering the maximum permissible state income tax rate more important than keeping a gun away from an unstable, dangerous person? Is stripping the governor of power more important than taking a constructive, bipartisan step toward preventing a mass shooting in North Carolina?

Only in Tim Moore and Phil Berger’s warped, hyper-partisan, excessively political, power-greedy world of misplaced priorities.

The News & Observer of Raleigh

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

September 18, 2018

"The youth use of e-cigs is rising very sharply," Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Wednesday, as he issued the federal government's most forceful warning yet that these electronic nicotine-delivery devices are hooking a generation of teenagers. He promised that…

Flavored Vaping Sales Ban

September 17, 2018

America shouldn’t be in the coup business. Period.

It’s a relief, then, to learn that the Trump administration chose not to aid rebellious leaders in Venezuela seeking to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro. But it’s worrisome to think that President Trump and his advisers…

Venezuela Nicolas Maduro

September 14, 2018

Over the past few decades, there has been a proliferation of criminal statutes and regulations carrying criminal penalties at the federal level. As Congress debates criminal justice reform, mens rea reform should be on the table.

For years, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has introduced and called for…

Trump Finance-3

September 13, 2018

It is tremendously sad and horrific to think about the forthcoming disaster and what it could bring to our communities and our neighbors to the south. We did nothing, really, other than live like we always have, to bring this on ourselves. Nevertheless, it is here.

Hurricane Florence, a major storm…

091218Sandbagging-4.jpg

September 12, 2018

You can add the name Jordan McNair to the list of college, high school and middle school players who might have needlessly died for the love of football.

A simple, well-known procedure — immersing McNair, 19, in a tub of ice water — when he collapsed at an off-season University of…

082918ECUFootball-5.jpg

September 11, 2018

By now, few might lift an eyebrow at President Trump’s crusade to delegitimize his own Justice Department and, specifically, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions. It long ago became clear that Trump regards federal law enforcement — as he sees all of government — as a political…

Trump Sessions

September 08, 2018

Republican state lawmakers decided last week to investigate the Cooper administration’s slow response to Hurricane Matthew relief in some of the state’s hardest-hit areas. That could be a useful exercise, if our legislators use what they find to fix real problems, and they don’t…

090518Cooper-HilmaGreens-2

September 07, 2018

When all of the state’s living former governors, including Pat McCrory, and all of the state’s former chief justices, including arch-conservative I. Beverly Lake Jr., come out against something unanimously, chances are it’s a bad idea.

Even the General Assembly had to notice…

North Carolina Ballot Battle

September 07, 2018

If President Donald Trump hadn’t bragged at a campaign rally in Alabama that if he were an NFL owner, he would fire any “son of a bitch” who knelt during the national anthem, would Colin Kaepernick be a face of Nike’s Just Do It campaign?

Would a black-and-white image of…

Kaepernick Nike

September 06, 2018

State Treasurer Dale Folwell asked a simple question: How much should North Carolina taxpayers be shelling out for state workers to receive care at UNC Health medical facilities?

The University of North Carolina Health Care System’s answer: That’s a secret.

State employees won’t…

103 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 11
        Next Page»   Last Page»