Sensible gun control: How it works in North Carolina
North Carolina is a funny little state in the Union. We have about a 60/40 split as far as conservative/liberals are concerned and just like anyone would expect, most of the 40% live in the urban areas. This is basically true anywhere in the USA. What makes my home state of NC unique is that the large cities don't actually dominate the politics in our state because there are tons of smaller, yet still sizeable, cities here where the residents are primarily conservative. We are also a very pro-gun state and even some of the people that lean liberal tend to agree with the 2nd Amendment and will turn on any politician that attempts to force restrictions on gun ownership. In this very simple way I am actually quite tolerant of the liberals in my state because outside of places like Charlotte, which isn't really even that big in the grand scheme of things, we don't really have a lot of what I would consider liberal nut-job areas here.
Recently, there was a shooting in North Carolina and rather than do what I am sure would happen in blue states our governor and the other elected officials didn't immediately start the battle cry of "gun control." Instead, they took what I consider to be a common sense approach, at least for now, as far as this issue is concerned. I'd like to believe it is because our Democrat leaders actually feel this way, but I know that it is just because of the fact that they hang onto their offices by a thread and taking any hardline approach will mobilize conservatives against them and also flip a few liberals.
We have a Democrat governor here in NC even though most of the time the state votes Republican in national elections. Roy Cooper is very aware of the fact that if he takes any sort of hard stance towards anything that conservatives hold dear that he is going to face massive backlash and possibly, actually almost certainly, lose his job. Therefore, after the recent shooting rather than introduce new legislation against gun owners like myself that would never do a shooting unless I absolutely had to, he took what I consider to be a sensible approach.
Instead of FORCING people to do something, the state is taking a stance to merely suggest that gun owners like myself get gun safes and trigger locks for their firearms. The program is called the "safe firearm storage campaign" and for a start the government is going to hand out free locks to anyone who has a license. Now I am not a fan of the word "free" whenever the government is involved because there is no such thing as "free," especially when the government is involved. The money has to come from somewhere. However, the alternative would be to use tax money to fund some sort of task force that would accomplish nothing other than to harass legal gun owners with regulations that outside of extreme situations, wouldn't ever apply to them anyway.
In addition to the free gun locks, discounts are being offered on safes and the government is also taking initiatives to offer "free" gun storage off premises at police stations and other secure locations for anyone that is going out of town or on vacation of some sort. The idea behind this is to prevent gun theft from legal owners since a great deal of gun crime or "mass shootings" are committed by people who did not obtain their firearms legally anyway.
However, I will agree that a lot of the illegal guns that end up out there end up there because of irresponsible gun owners that leave their guns in unlocked cars or even locked ones. All of my guns and all of the guns of the people that I know are locked up securely, with the exception of one, which I always have on me or within arm's reach. I do not need my entire arsenal at my disposal at all times but I am also an extremely conscientious gun owner who realizes the damage it can cause in the wrong hands (IE, not my own.)
Roy Cooper is doing this for political reasons because anything else he would possibly propose would be shot down by the Republican controlled super-majority in our state Congress. Even a veto on his part would be overruled.
So I guess you could say that I am congratulating Cooper for being sensible while at the same time addressing a problem that probably should be addressed. In blue states, which I would never live in, I feel as though their leadership would have a knee-jerk reaction that would punish law-abiding people like myself and likely have very little effect on the people who would commit crimes anyway.
I know that his actions are self-serving in that he is simply maintaining his own position of power but I do like that he said something while not just towing the party line. Freedom cannot be obtained through threat of force, especially not against legal gun owners. So if you have a firearms and want a "free" lock or even a safe and you live in North Carolina, now might be the time to take advantage of that even though the locks themselves only cost something like $15.