There’s been a lot of talk recently, by our President and others, about gun violence and race relations. How to simultaneously address both? Have our country live up to its legal obligations under ICERD by putting a National Plan of Action in place.
The mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, SC provides yet another stark example of the death that can result from the racial divide that plagues our country and that the issue of gun violence in America is not a one size fits all matter.
An examination of Supreme Court decisions in both Heller and McDonald reveal that North Carolina lawmakers are looking to undo several prohibitions held to be presumptively lawful under the Second Amendment.
A published Op-Ed from this author positions gun violence in America as an infraction of human rights and a failure of one of our government’s most fundamental duties – to protect the life of its citizens.
This author’s testimony before the NC House Rules Committee in opposition to House Bill 562, that expands public exposure to concealed carry and weakens background checks on gun sales, is reproduced here. This legislation is held to be a dereliction of duty on the part of the NC lawmakers regarding their fundamental duty to protect life.
With the risk of serious injury and death to the public by the concealed carry permit holder population itself having been established, with the many claimed benefits of concealed carry being unsubstantiated (if not supported by deceptive practices), with concealed carry not being a constitutionally-protected right, and with a primary function of government being the protection of its citizenry, it is felt warranted for NC lawmakers to call a moratorium on the further expansion of concealed carry into public venues until they can verify that the benefits of concealed carry outweigh the established risks.
In unapologetic fashion, this paper makes the case that the time has come for activist groups to abandon business-as-usual tactics and go on the offensive to change the political landscape in Washington, D.C.
A letter was sent to US Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) regarding The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. That legislation has little to do with defending or protecting the rights of law abiding citizens. It is about the union of an appalling political strategy, that for decades has successfully exploited racial conflict for votes, and corporate profits. An agenda that will, perhaps sooner than later, exact a price at the polls.
That some lives matter more than others is evidenced when the well-documented shortfall in African-American life expectancy is translated into millions of premature deaths. The loss of life to grossly disproportionate gun violence in the African-American community is but a minor contributor to the broader effects of racial discrimination. With our current knowledge of factors that adversely affect health and thus life, has the plight of our African-American community crossed the threshold of being declared a crime against humanity?
Today’s gun violence prevention movement has developed the organizational structures, political connections and deep financial pockets to impact both Congress and public opinion. The use those resources to inject human rights into our political dialog, along with the voices of Congressional allies, becomes a moral imperative for our leaders.
North Carolina’s House Bill 2 is fundamentally flawed. Quite the opposite of legislators bogus claims that public facility non-discrimination laws create safety concerns from sexual predators, the law actually increases the risk of abuse, both verbal and physical, to the already vulnerable transgender population. Further, in the state of NC that houses the Research Triangle Park and multiple world class medical institutions, legislators have pandered to religious factions and organizations that have stigmatized, ostracized and even demonized transgenders, some of whom suffer from a recognized medical diagnosis. The situation for transgendered youth is particularly grave, a population that already suffers a high rate of both abuse and suicide attempts. The law is cruel and untenable from both business and civil/human rights perspectives, and should be repealed.
In this published Letter to the Editor (Raleigh N&O), powerful members of the North Carolina legislature have demonstrated little understanding of the importance of customer retention in building the business base of the state.
By using sex on a birth certificate to define sexual identity, NC’s legislature and governor have shown much ignorance about the complexities of biologic diversity. But it is the pandering to LGBT hate groups by ranking members of the GOP at both the national and state level that reveals the underlying discrimination that motivated the law.
The GOP’s decision to reinstate tax cut policy in 2001 exposed their hand. It was not about deficit reduction, growing the economy, or job creation. It was about ideology and, no doubt, special interests. It was a backdoor approach where government revenue was cut in an attempt to curtail spending on popular programs they otherwise could not take head-on. This while obstructing the work of Congress, spinning a web of deceit about the benefits of their policy, and weakening our country’s financial standing. It’s time to play hardball during ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations and force them to be specific about what spending cuts they are talking about to offset the tax benefits they wish to preserve for the wealthiest. They wouldn’t have the nerve.