Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Yes, We Can Kill Even More

As Barack Obama periodically declared, "yes, we can!"

After incidents of mass killing at schools, thoughts turn toward curbing the great American killing machine. However, in nearly every case, no gun safety legislation is enacted. Yet, one state has acted promptly following the massacre at the school at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville.  Hannah Schoenbaum of the AP reports

North Carolina residents can now buy a handgun without getting a permit from a local sheriff, after the Republican-controlled state legislature on Wednesday overrode the Democratic governor’s veto — a first since 2018.

The House voted 71-46 to enact the bill, which eliminates the longstanding permit system requiring sheriffs to perform character evaluations and criminal history checks of pistol applicants. The Senate overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto in a party-line vote on Tuesday.

The permit repeal takes effect immediately. Cooper and Democratic lawmakers warned it allows more dangerous people to obtain weapons through private sales, which do not require a background check, and limits law enforcement’s ability to prevent them from committing violent crimes.

But bill supporters say the sheriff screening process is no longer necessary in light of significant updates to the national background check system, and that the permit requirement didn’t serve as a crime deterrent.

If that sounds like a rationalization, well, of course it is. Before Governor Cooper's veto was overwritten, Schoenbaum had noted

Although bill supporters say substantial updates to the national background check system have rendered the requirement duplicative, Democrats warn that its repeal would create a dangerous loophole. Background checks are not mandatory for private gun sales or exchanges between individuals, which require only a sheriff-issued permit.

Gun-control advocates and Democratic lawmakers argue the sheriff’s evaluation is sometimes the only barrier preventing someone with a history of violence or suicidal ideation from obtaining a gun. Its repeal, they said, would enable more people to acquire firearms from unlicensed private sellers — those not obligated to verify that the buyer can legally possess a gun — online and at gun shows.

Asked on Wednesday if the United States Senate will consider gun safety legislation, Senate Minority Whip John Thune said "It's just premature to talk about it." The Republican majority of the North Carolina legislature begs to differ- it's never premature to encourage mass murder.

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