Heath Shuler (D, NC11) To Carry a Gun for Protection

January 11th, 2011 by WendyW Categories: Hot Topics, State, 2nd Amendment One Response
Heath Shuler (D, NC11) To Carry a Gun for Protection

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler told WLOS-TV that he’ll be carrying a gun for self-protection after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. I believe that’s awesome! You should be able to carry a weapon to protect yourself.  He said he has carried a concealed weapon periodically since someone made a serious threat on his life in 2009. The person who threatened him was mentally ill, which, shows a pattern here that for one to carry out violence against anyone, much less a politician, they must be out of their mind, period. Shuler says he will make it a practice to carry a handgun when he is away from Capitol Hill. While in Capital Hill, he has the protection of Capitol Police for security. He said his staff members have also gone through the training and background checks needed for the legal permit to carry concealed handguns. It is a sad day that our country has come to this, but at the same time, I am glad to see Democrats embracing what 2nd Amendment advocates have been saying all along: If you feel the need to carry a gun for your own protection and that of your loved ones, you should be able to, and not be hindered by your government!

NC Rally draws conservatives and gun rights backers

August 16th, 2010 by WendyW Categories: Tea Party News, Videos, Hot Topics, 2nd Amendment, Other Videos One Response
NC Rally draws conservatives and gun rights backers

GREENSBORO — In the crowd gathered opposite the monument to Gen. Nathanael Greene, there were a handful of “Don’t Tread on Me” T-shirts and dozens of hip-holstered handguns and rifles slung over shoulders.

On Saturday afternoon, about 175 people gathered at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park to celebrate their right to bear arms — and express a variety of conservative political viewpoints, such as discontent over immigration reform and a desire to give the boot to the Washington elite.

The “Restore the Constitution” rally was in recognition of a law that went into effect this year that allows people to carry guns at federal parks.
In the crowd and among the speakers, there was resounding frustration with the state of the federal government and a concern over a lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution.

read more from the Greensboro News & Record

Bubba, from whatbubbaknows.net, spoke at the event. (Event covered by RedState.com)

Check out Bubba’s blog post with additional pictures and his own commentary about the event.

GRNC vs NRA: The Rating System

August 7th, 2010 by Morphius Categories: State, 2nd Amendment No Responses

(continued from: “GRNC vs NRA: The History”)

Now, let’s take a look at each organizations rating system and compare a couple of current candidates. Understand that each organization takes a different approach to rating candidates. Both organizations issue candidates surveys as well as evaluating voting records and previous positions on gun issues.  The NRA opts for the flexibility of choosing which votes to include in their evaluations, key indicators like “critical’ and “key votes” should be noted. However, GRNC takes a purists approach to voting records by tabulating every vote a candidate has cast dealing with Second Amendment issues.

The NRA scores an incumbent with an A+ who “not only has an excellent voting record on [critical] NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote the Second Amendment.”  An “A” rating is issued to incumbents “who have supported NRA positions on [key votes].”

GRNC is much less subjective, by rating a candidate’s position on gun issues “by comparing their views with those of a control group of gun owners. A 4-star candidate agrees with pro-gun voters on at least 90% of gun issues, a 3-star agrees on at least 80%, a 2-star on at least 70%, a 1-star on at least 60%. A 0 star candidate agrees on less than 60% of gun issues.

To be honest, many candidates legitimately share positive ratings from both organizations, as evident by Democratic Sen. Doug Berger and Republican Phil Berger.  However, there are some stark differences and here is where it becomes evident that the NRA panders to incumbents.  For example, the casual pro-gun voter in Mecklenburg County would believe that Sen. Clodfelter’s “A+” rating from the NRA indicates he is a strong pro-gun candidate.  Clodfelter’s GRNC shows that he votes with gun owners only about 60% of the time.  For me and GRNC 60% is a failing grade.  Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Party District Senator Counties Represented NRA Rating GRNC Rating
Dem 10 Charles Albertston Duplin, Lenoir, Sampson A *
Dem 1 Marc Basnight Beaufort, Camden, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Pasquotank, Tyrrell, Washington A- *
Dem 37 Daniel G. Clodfelter Mecklenburg A+ *
Dem 7 Doug Berger Franklin, Granville, Vance, Warren A+ ****
Rep 26 Phil Berger Guilford, Rockingham A+ ****

It will be interesting to see how the NRA rates Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this fall and who they endorse.  Reid’s challenger is Tea Party-preferred candidate, Sharron Angle who is decisively conservative and pro gun.  On the other hand, Reid’s long record of voting against the Second Amendment was recently chronicled by Gun Owners of America.  GOA lists 44 reasons why Nevada gun owners should vote against Reid and why freedom loving Americans should support Angle. The question remains, will the NRA sell out to incumbency or will America’s largest pro-gun organization support a pro-gun candidate?

Here in North Carolina voters will know exactly where a candidate stands on gun issues.  GRNC’s “Remember in November” is a comprehensive evaluation that scores each candidate by tabulating their survey results, voting record, and other positions the candidate may have.  This guide will be distributed to approximately 120,000 NC gun owners this fall.

See Also: “GRNC vs. NRA: There is a big difference

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David Regnery
Board Member, Grassroots North Carolina

GRNC vs NRA: The History

July 23rd, 2010 by Morphius Categories: Interesting, Hot Topics, State, 2nd Amendment, History One Response
GRNC vs NRA: The History

Several years ago I began to question some of the candidate ratings the NRA was awarding politicians whom I was certain did not share my reverence of the Second Amendment. I thought to myself “how in the hell can that be”. Something was wrong, either the candidate was lying to the NRA or the NRA was lying to me. What I discovered not only surprised but saddened me, it lead me to joining Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) where today I serve as their Director of Volunteer Services and on the Board of Directors.

It was 1994; Republican Ham Horton was challenging incumbent Democrat Ted Kaplan for his senate seat. Mr. Kaplan had a rather extensive record of supporting anti-gun legislation. He favored of the ridiculous assault weapon ban, supported hand gun registration, and a one-gun a-month purchase law. In contrast, Horton recognized that banning semi-automatic sporting rifles because of cosmetic features like thumb-hole stocks was absolutely absurd. Horton held the Second Amendment in high esteem which was diametrically opposite to Kaplan’s indifference to the Founding Father’s intention that, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.

Horton entered the race with several political “positives”; he had previously been elected to public office, was well respected within the community and as such enjoyed established name recognition. You can only imagine our shock as the race tightened up and the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action issued their candidate ratings. Kaplan’s rating had been upgraded from a “C” to an “A”. To add insult to injury, the NRA actively campaigned on behalf of Kaplan by mailing orange alert postcards to every NRA member in the district. I was dumbfounded; the NRA was endorsing Ted Kaplan. In the end, things worked out. Ham Horton and fellow state senate candidate Mark McDaniel were both elected against the wishes of the NRA. Both senators went on to support North Carolinians’ right to carry concealed weapon (CCW), a law that was written by GRNC, and both fought for its passage.

Two years later, in 1996 the NRA and GRNC would again lock horns regarding candidate ratings. During the 1995 legislative session Democrat Senator Fountain Odom was attempting to seriously gut the CCW bill in his subcommittee. He proposed onerous provisions that would require individuals to repeat mandatory training when permits were renewed. He fixed it so that concealed carry would be prohibited in financial institutions and state parks. He attempted to fix it so that only police firearm instructors could teach the mandatory course; in fact he actually proposed prohibiting NRA Instructors, such as myself, from teaching the course. He later reversed direction on the Senate floor by removing his objection thus allowing NRA Instructors to teach the course. It was apparently this single act of compromise that endeared Odom to the NRA.

During the 1996 election cycle the NRA’s lead lobbyist Tanya Metaksa gave Odom an A rating, issued one of their, now suspect, orange “ALERT” postcards endorsing him with a glowing recommendation with the following comments to NRA members, “Senator Odom has demonstrated his commitment to our right to self-defense…Here’s how you can help re-elect Fountain Odom – a dedicated supporter of your Second Amendment rights. Help the campaign…make a contribution…spread the word to family, friends, and fellow gun owners…” Gun owners who knew of Odom’s flagrant opposition to the Second Amendment and his history of supporting ever increasing gun restrictions were shocked.

GRNC countered with their own “Election Alert” postcard mailing besting the NRA by reaching out to nearly twice as many gun owners in Odom’s district. The mailing detailed Odom’s Second Amendment transgressions in order to set the record straight. The mailing was complimented with radio spots targeting gun owners and the tactics successfully neutralized the NRA’s endorsement. Fountain Odom was defeated by Robert Pittenger who acknowledged that GRNC had made the difference in a close and hotly contested race.

(to be continued)

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David Regnery
Board Member, Grassroots North Carolina

Previous Post: “GRNC vs. NRA: There is a big difference


GRNC vs. NRA: There is a big difference

July 6th, 2010 by Morphius Categories: Interesting, State, 2nd Amendment 2 Responses
GRNC vs. NRA: There is a big difference

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to explain the difference between Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC) and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The central theme of both organizations is the defense of the Second Amendment; however, the similarities generally stop there. The NRA is the proverbial 800 pound gorilla and typically concentrates their lobbying efforts at the federal level, whereas GRNC is dedicated to battling for gun rights at the state and local level, often utilizing activist guerilla tactics. On occasion, GRNC will join a coalition of other state-level organizations in support or opposition of federal activity.

GRNC is to the NRA what the Tea Party is to Republicans. This comparison should resonate with most Tea Party members. Just as many Tea Party members are registered Republicans who have become disenchanted with the malaise of party politics, many GRNC members were at one time loyal NRA members. Some, like me, still hold their membership but quit giving money long ago after becoming disenchanted with the perpetual compromise of principle. GRNC believes that there should be no compromise with respect to the Second Amendment. What part of “shall not be infringed” is unclear?

GRNC was started in the early ‘90’s with the help of Gun Owners of America (GOA) to effect positive change within North Carolina and defend the Second Amendment. Since its inception nearly 20 years ago, GRNC has differentiated itself from the NRA principally by following three core beliefs:

  • We will not compromise on principle
  • We will not make “deals” with politicians for candidate evaluations
  • We do not use access-based lobbyists

The NRA is notorious for working backroom deals with politicians. No better example played out recently, when the NRA put its own self interests before gun owners. Essentially, they compromised on principle, selling out the very core constituency they claim to defend. After opposing the Senate’s version of the Disclose Act, the NRA grew mute on the House version. They opted not to oppose HR 5175, which places restrictions on when political organizations can mention candidates during an election cycle, as well as requiring reporting the names of certain members to the Federal Election Committee. The NRA (with the help of NC Democrat Heath Shuler) carved out an exemption for themselves which seriously restricts the ability of all other gun rights organizations to defend the Second Amendment, both at the national and state levels.

To be exempt from these reporting requirements an organization must have been in existence for a minimum of ten years, have 500,000 registered members, and be operating in all 50 states. The only gun rights organization in the country that meets these requirements is the NRA.
So the NRA opposed the Senate version because it was a flagrant violation of free speech and the First Amendment. However, they do not oppose the House version because a backroom deal provides them with an exemption. Conflicting message? I think so. So here we have a prime example of the NRA’s lack of forethought. After the reversal of McCain-Feingold the liberal left again schemes to silence anyone who would oppose their de facto dictatorship. Yet the NRA does not oppose the incremental encroachment of free speech through the limitations imposed by HR 5175 because they get a pass. How long does the NRA think the left will wait until they attempt to impose even greater restrictions on free speech? And what happens then? Who will be left to speak out in defense of the Second Amendment? For me the Pelosi/Shuler objective is clear: silence anyone who disagrees with their perception of fairness.

GRNC’s mascot, “Max,” is a pit bull with the Constitution clenched in his teeth. This accurately represents the organization as whole, tenacious and uncompromising defenders of the Second Amendment. In NC, there is no more aggressive or dedicated group of volunteers watching out for the interests of gun owners. Or, more successful for that matter.

If you have a concealed carry permit in North Carolina, you have GRNC to thank for that privilege. If you have ever used that carry permit to purchase a hand gun in lieu of a pistol purchase permit, you again have GRNC to thank. These are two examples of legislation we have drafted and that have been written into law. This is one reason why I tell people that if you live in North Carolina and own a gun, or want to own a gun, you should be a member of GRNC. More information about GRNC, instructions on how to receive our legislative alerts, and membership opportunities are available at www.grnc.org.

In my next installment I’ll review the difference between the NRA’s candidate ratings and GRNC’s. Learn who is accurately measuring a candidate’s genuine Second Amendment position.

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David Regnery
Board Member, GRNC