#NCSEN: 2nd amendment in the crosshairs

download (81)One of the few flashpoints in last night’s GOP candidate’s forum came when the discussion turned to gun rights.  The drive-by questioners, of course, took the lefty route by alluding to recent high-profile mass shootings when asking about barring felons and mentally ill people from purchasing guns.

 Never mind that none of the perpetrators in those crimes had prior criminal records.  Never mind that all of the shootings were perpetrated in gun-free zones.  Never mind that beefed-up federal privacy standards on health records make it nearly impossible to publicly disseminate info on someone’s medical treatment.

Three of the four candidates — Greg Brannon, Mark Harris, and Heather Grant — cited those concerns.  The fourth, noted paintballer Thom Tillis, seized the low-hanging fruit and patronized the audience by declaring he was not going to give loonies guns (as though that’s what the other three wanted to do).   Tillis tried to refute claims he was soft on guns by highlighting his endorsement by The National Rifle Association.

Well, well, well.  That opens the door for a whole new angle of discussion.  There are actually three major gun owner advocacy groups in the United States — The NRA, The National Association for Gun Rights, and Gun Owners of America.   Tillis got the NRA’s nod, but the other two groups have given their blessing to Dr. Greg Brannon. download (80)

Why are there three groups?  Many people who HAD been NRA members got angry about the organization’s efforts to moderate, be bipartisan and become part of the in-crowd in DC.  The NRA’s endorsements of lefties like Harry Reid and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland got to be too much for some longtime NRAers, who divorced themself from the organization and went off on their own.

Everyone knows the economy and ObamaCare are the top issues on the minds of the voters.  But the media won’t allow either of those to dominate their televised dog-and-pony shows.  Their gal Kay is weak in both areas.  And her drive-by media fan club wants to help her by changing the subject.

Tillis’ on-air shuck-and-jive comments about limiting gun purchases may have scored some points for him with the drive-bys, but they have also ignited a firestorm among politically-active gun owners.  The National Association for Gun Rights has already broadcast a blistering attack on Tillis

9 thoughts on “#NCSEN: 2nd amendment in the crosshairs

  1. It’s also worth noting that Grass Roots North Carolina (NC’s non-profit, all volunteer organization that advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment) didn’t endorse Tillis. You can see their reasons for this here: http://www.ammoland.com/2014/04/faqs-about-grass-roots-north-carolina-candidate-evaluations/#.U1CRzZf9epM.twitter (I believe it’s the 4th question answered there.)
    Tillis mentioned the NC Sheriff’s Association when answering Nathan West’s question. This was a reminder to those of us who watched the progress of House Bill 937 last summer that Tillis values that organization’s opinion more than that of NC citizens. Some people may remember that Tillis gutted the Pistol Purchase Permit repeal from HB 937 at the Sheriff’s Association’s request. Anyone who wants to refresh their memory about how that bill almost died can find a brief synopsis here: http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/tell-governor-mccrory-actons-speak-louder-than-words/
    I laughed out loud when I received the NRA mailer endorsing Tillis. It says “Tillis voted to make improvements in North Carolina’s Concealed Handgun Permit (CHP) law including: expanding where CHP holders may carry firearms.” Maybe the NRA isn’t aware that Tillis removed restaurant carry from House Bill 17. Only after Rep. Pittman led a charge from the floor to return restaurant carry to HB 17 was it displaced from the calendar and HB 937 written to address restaurant carry & CHP holders ability to transport & store firearms in vehicles on school grounds.
    The NRA says “Thom has made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment and is committed to protecting your gun rights!” Unfortunately some North Carolinians know he’s only willing to do those things when under extreme pressure from voters and his own caucus.

  2. Very good point about the NRA and its long history of wacky endorsements. Only low information gunowners pay attention to their endorsements, as many have figured out that they frequently play games with their endorsements. The one thing that the NRA still does in a straightforward manner, most of the time, is their letter grades for candidates. Of course, if it is a squishy candidate on 2nd amendment issues that they want to endorse, then they sometimes put their thumb on the scales. Brannon and Harris both got A ratings from NRA but apparently Rove or someone pulled some strings to get the endorsement for Tillis.

    I quit the NRA over its crazy and counterproductive endorsements years ago. Gunowners of America plays straight so that’s who I go with.

  3. It should be noted that the guy (Nathan West) who asked that 2nd amendment question and teed it up for Tillis is a huge Tillis supporter.

    And feel free to make connections between Tillis helping Time Warner, campaign contributions from Time Warner, and that “debate” format that prevented his opponents from refuting his lies

  4. At this point the NRA is all about political power, like the AARP. I wouldn’t be associated with either one.

    1. I agree about the NRA. I believe that they vet these candidates in a shoddy fashion and do not hold their feet to the fire after they have been vetted, like Independence Caucus does.

      In our Asheville Tea Party we strongly encourage any candidate running on a conservative ticket to register with IC (Independent Caucus). They really probe deeply into a candidates past, present and maintain his future as well. How else can one be sure of candidates?

    1. NRA doesn’t give a damn about anything but whether a candidate SAYS he’s for the 2nd Amendment AND that they haven’t actually voted against a 2nd Amendment precept.

      1. Actually, to NRA, the most important question is whether you are an incumbent or challenger, and after that whether you are for or against the establishment. Being an incumbent and being for the establishment seem to rank higher than any issue related to guns.

        Harry Reid, for example, had some significant bad votes on guns, but still stayed buddy/buddy with the NRA.

  5. Mayor Bloomberg is getting ready to take out the NRA anyway. From what I read Mayor Bloomberg is spending $50 million to shut down the NRA so their days are probably numbered as well as the candidates they endorsed.

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