RALEIGH, N.C. — Riding a wave of growing tolerance in the state, Governor Pat McCrory signed into law a bill that encourages firearms to come out of the gun closet and into the mainstream.
Calling it a matter of protecting citizens’ God-given rights, state Senator Buck Newton (R-Wilson) lauded the law, which comes into full force in October. “No longer will those with a concealed handgun permit need to hide in the shadows, unable to walk—armed with pride—through public parks, playgrounds, bars, and restaurants that serve alcohol.”
Guns will also be permitted on the grounds of public schools and universities, provided they are kept within a locked vehicle, prompting concern from administrators and police chiefs across the University of North Carolina system.
But Chip Pemberton, president of Appalachian State University’s Gun-Student Alliance, praised the move while giving out bumper stickers emblazoned with the slogan, “Fire ‘em loud and proud!”
“Sure, some will continue to attack the law as dangerous and misguided, but we’ll be right here with our handguns, prepared to fight back. We were born ready to defend our Second Amendment rights. This is North Carolina—no one’s gonna stop us from having a deep and loving relationship with a pistol.”
Micah Beasley, press secretary for the North Carolina Democratic Party and one of the law’s detractors, highlighted the inherent risks of welcoming concealed firearms into bars. “Guns and alcohol don’t mix,” explained Beasley.
“As much as this measure may prove a shot in the arm to local watering holes that don’t explicitly forbid patrons from packing heat, we simply cannot rely on the gun owners to follow the letter of the law and refrain from drinking so much as a drop of alcohol in these establishments. It’s a slippery slope.”
“Besides,” noted Beasley, “this law opens up a host of thorny social issues. Who is supposed to get the first round, for instance? And will the bond between a man and his glock be recognized if he moves to another state?”
In other state news, State Attorney General Roy Cooper continues to defend North Carolina’s bans on gay marriage and second-parent adoptions from an ongoing challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union,
Cooper dismissed suggestions that the state’s laws were inconsistent, saying that “the Bible don’t say nothin’ about banning guns, mostly cus they hadn’t been invented yet. But still.”