My Turn: Gun rights bill moves through the General Assembly - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Gun rights bill moves through the General Assembly

Posted: Updated: June 19, 2013 03:40 PM

A new poll shows only 20% of North Carolinians approve of the work being done by our General Assembly.  It doesn't take long to figure out why.  We've covered story after story where people are raising eyebrows about what's going on in Raleigh.

Here's one that's causing some controversy.  A gun rights bill is making its way through the legislative process.  It would give gun permit holders more places to carry their weapons.  This includes funeral processions, playgrounds and places that serve alcohol.

Guns and alcohol, that's a dangerous mix.  Our attorney general opposes this idea.  So do several sheriffs.  And I wonder what happened to the national discussion about logical rules for gun control in the wake of such violent incidents in Newtown and Aurora?

I also wonder if our lawmakers in Raleigh have forgotten the major issue facing all of us.  Seems like they would just rather shoot themselves in the foot with a gun bill that does nothing to address the state's struggling economy. 

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.


Emailed comments from viewers:

Why don't you report the fact that concealed permit holders are not the problem?  Why don't you report the number of crimes involving guns that are perpetrated by concealed permit holders vs non permit holders?  Why don't you report the fact that the bill does away with the antiquated pistol permit purchase law that allows someone convicted of a felony to still buy a handgun for 5 years after the permit is issued because the sheriffs would rather have the $5.00 fee than revoke a permit of a felon?  Why don't you report the fact that the bill increases penalties for crimes involving firearms?

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Sounds like Mr. McNair took a poll of liberals. Also, if he'd read the law, he'd know one still cannot drink and carry. I don't drink but am tired of not being able to enter a restaurant for a meal if they serve alcohol in the same building. Please Mr. McNair, back up your claims with proof that conceal-carry people commit crimes.

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On tonight's my turn, about the new gun bill you left out the part of the ccw law that states one who is carrying concealed CANNOT have any alcohol in their system. Why was this important part left out of your commentary?

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While you and I probably do not see eye to eye on the gun issue, I do agree with you that guns and alcohol DO NOT mix well. Also I agree with you that the Assembly needs to get serious about our economy as they have failed on all levels. So I have a challenge for you and or an investigative journalist.  Gary I believe the reason our NC economy as well as our Federal economy is in trouble is simply because too many jobs have been exported out of America to other nations. You may not agree with me;  but take this challenge and send out a camera crew with a good reporter to travel around NC and document the empty factories (and other industry) and dying towns that lost their manufacturing base and their tax base as a result. While I do agree that government (Fed's, state, and local) spending has indeed overspent for many years, yet I also believe NC and the USA is short on revenue because we has lost some much industry that generated revenue. 

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Its pretty obvious you haven't read the law as much as you want everyone to think!! the bill allows those who have a CONCEALLED CARRY PERMIT which requires training to carry in more places.  A regular gun permit which is Open carry and also legal in the NC does not allow for the permitted weapon to be concealed anywhere!   there is a difference . A law abiding people with either of these permits  deserve to carry any way they chose!

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I am so tired of hearing about gun debate. Sandy Hook and the latest shooting of a 6 month old  in Chicago is so very tragic. However the gun didn't kill them, it was the person behind the gun! How many times have you seen a gun go to prison for a murder? You haven't its the person who pulled the trigger! If people want to ban gun then think about this. If it wasn't for airplanes, 3000+ people would not of lost their lives on September 11, 2001, where is the push to ban airplanes? People need to get real. GUNS DONT KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE.

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I hope you are well. I enjoy seeing you on TV and most of the time I agree with you., however I have comments on you statement today.

First of all I am a 73 year old male  and I have a concealed weapons permit. That means I have been finger printed , had a criminal and mental background check.  I have had a permit over ten years and have never pointed a gun at anyone.. I have , however saved my life by showing it high in the air to a hooded person following me at midnight  while walking my dog, who just had to get out to the bathroom. It was July in Richmond and I didnt even have a shirt on. He said he wanted to go in my apartment and look around. I pulled my .40 cal pistol and raised it in the air ...He took off

I believe if you were eating in a restaurant and a shooter came in killing people, you would like it , if I were sitting near you

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I just saw your 12 25 news. I disagree with your 80% figure. My wife and i both carry and have our concealed permit. I shoot once a week to make sure that if I every have to use my weapon that I have the confidence to hit my target. I do not drink and I disagree with your assessment of the gun law, but it seems to me that you are using the gun law to make some other point. The two shootings you referred to had nothing to do with concealed carry, or any one that went through the back ground checks and are law abiding citizens. Raleigh is only wasting there time  when you do not agree with the bill that is on the floor at that time. I think your show is a waste of time and will not be watching in the future. Prior to the last election 90% of what Raleigh did was a waste of time. The last governor was a joke and set NC back years, but you are not talking about this. 

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I am also disappointed in the NC legislature's lackluster performance; however, I must disagree with you about the specifics of the pro-gun legislation pending in our legislature that you disagreed with in your discussion. Although, not the most important issue the Legislature needs to deal with, I believe the more places concealed carry permit holders are permitted to carry a firearm, the more places the general public will be safer from criminal activity. All of the locations being considered in the pro-gun bill for allowing concealed carry of firearms require the person carrying the firearm to possess a concealed carry permit – more on this later. In particular, allowing permit holders to carry in places that serve alcohol still prohibits the permit holder from drinking or using any impairing substance while carrying a firearm on his/her person or within the passenger compartment of their vehicle at any time. The law change will only affect where concealed carry permit holders are allowed to possess a firearm and will not affect the unlicensed public. If a permit holder is caught drinking and carrying, he/she will lose their permit to carry for life and in all likelihood the firearm being carried. Criminals do not obey gun laws and already possess and carry firearms illegally in any place they feel like including those that serve alcohol and presently the crooks are free to use a firearm in such locations without opposition should they choose to do so. Historically (please check the statistics) areas that allow licensed concealed carry of a firearm have much lower incidences of crime. Allowing law abiding permit holders to carry a concealed firearm in restaurants or bar may even lower crime rates in those establishments or at least give criminals and hoodlums second thoughts about starting trouble. The criminals do not want any legal concealed carry by licensed gun owners anywhere because it impedes the criminal's ability to commit crimes without armed resistance. The general public will not realize someone with a concealed carry permit is carrying a firearm because by nature of the permit it must be concealed. You may not agree with me on this, but please present all the facts about the bill before down playing it to the public.

To obtain a concealed carry permit, the gun owner must pass a concealed carry class approved by the state that includes proved knowledge of concealed carry laws, minimum marksmanship standards and a written test, then the gun owner must pass local and federal criminal background checks.

Maybe the pro-gun bill will pass & I hope it does, but your point should have been the Legislature's lack of action on issues like taxes, unemployment, entitlements, public education and immigration, to mention a few that they are less than productive on, and one of the few issues they seem to be moving on is a pro-gun bill period without blasting the bill.

As an aside, locations with the strictest gun laws prohibiting concealed carry by permitted owners or even ownership of hand guns, have the highest levels of violent crime and gun related crime, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, etc., versus areas with more legal gun friendly laws. The criminals will get weapons. Disarming the law abiding citizens simply spurs violent crime. Gun related crimes are actually 30% lower than 10 years ago – not higher as thought by the general public – but media coverage of fewer crimes is much higher therefore the public believes there is more gun violence. Why does the media appear to want the public disarmed?

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            I have been watching WECT as my primary local news channel since I moved to NC in the late 90's. So I have much respect for the news reporting as accurate and balanced.  I also generally feel your "My Turn" segments are fair and balanced, but your recent discussion on the gun rights bill lacks balance and is uninformed.  I'm not going to address what's going on with the General Assembly as that is very complex and political.  On the gun bill you missed a number of issues that I suggest you and your team do additional research.  First, gun violence has been decreasing significantly over the past 20 years. This is from FBI statistics. Research shows it is directly related to the states allowing law abiding citizens to legally carry guns to protect themselves from criminals, all of which carry handguns without any permits. They don't follow the laws, that's the point most people miss. In fact the states with the least restrictive conceal carry restrictions but with good  background checks and training requirements have seen the largest and most significant reductions.  It's also a fact that the states and locations with the most restrictive  gun control laws have the highest gun crime rates in the country. For example Chicago and Wash. DC clearly have had the toughest gun laws in this country, in fact neither location allowed citizens to own handguns until recently when the courts determined their laws unconstitutional.  The murder rate with handguns is higher than our troops incurred in Afghanistan in both locations.  When these locations allow law abiding citizens to defend themselves the crime rate will drop quickly as seen in the rest of the country. 

Criminals don't care where they take advantage of you, on the way to a funeral or in a restaurant that serves alcohol.  In fact, they look for locations where they believe you are unarmed.  The Colorado shooting occurred in one the few theaters that didn't allow guns in the building and of course we are all familiar with gun free zones around schools and other locations.  By the way if you legally carry into a restaurant that serves alcohol the CCW holder cannot drink so there is no mixing of alcohol and guns.

So the bottom line is guns in the hands of criminals which we can't control because they don't obey the law and guns in the hand of law abiding citizens that respect the law is the issue. I would request you research the human story about sheep and sheepdogs. It's fine to be either but don't restrict the sheepdog who is here to protect.  Everyday in America a law abiding citizen protects themselves or comes to the aid of a innocence victim with their legal weapon, I'm sure you would approve.  We read about the lives that are lost to guns but rarely about the many lives legally saved by solid law abiding Americans.

I thank you for reading this and look forward to your open thoughts on this subject.  I'm open to your opinion.....

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