Welcome to NC Voices, where leaders, readers and experts from across North Carolina can speak on issues affecting our communities. Send submissions of 300 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s the same old story. The mother of the FedEx shooter in Indianapolis who shot and killed eight people feared that her son’s mental instability could lead him to commit “suicide by cop.” Last year, the FBI searched his bedroom and confiscated a shotgun.
This happened in a state with a red flag law and background checks.
We see this all the time. A 2019 Observer investigation found that from 2014 through 2018, Mecklenburg County dismissed 68% of weapons charges filed by police.
When police make a homicide or aggravated assault arrest that makes it to court, we see time and again this is not the accused’s first encounter with law enforcement.
Most often, record shows a series of increasingly violent incidents at quickening intervals, and little if any time served.
Firearms violations are not prosecuted. Existing laws are not utilized. And every time, the solution trotted out for gun violence is to pass more gun laws that have more effect on law-abiding citizens than on those committing violent crimes.
The reason given for this criminal justice system failure often comes down to “we don’t have the funding” for courts, prosecutors, public defenders, investigators.
Charlotte has no trouble finding millions for Major League Soccer, stadium refurbishment, lightrail, and other “world-class city” amenities. It’s a matter of priorities, and violence is not high on our leaders’ list.
This is becoming ridiculous. When are we going to hold some of these people — courts and prosecutors — accountable for not applying and prosecuting current firearms laws, particularly when that failure leads to carnage?
When will our politicians stop playing the game of demanding yet another “common sense gun safety regulation“ when they don’t seem to give a darn about enforcing laws already on the books that would prevent much of this violence?
It is simple. We have the regulations for “gun control“ in place; we have little societal interest in “criminal control.” The latter is the problem.
Let’s have a “conversation” about “common-sense criminal control.”
Ed Stone, Charlotte
Recently proposed anti-transgender legislation in North Carolina underscores centuries of religious prejudice against different human sexualities.
Even though a person’s body may be telling them one thing about their sexuality, their church may tell them otherwise.
On June 29, 2016, a program entitled “9 Months That Made You” premiered on PBS. The website description says: “Discover the thrilling story of how you were made, from the moment of conception to the moment of birth 280 days later. Follow the gestation process, the most exquisite biological choreography found in nature.”
Scientific evidence is clear that sexual orientation is a result of a complex interplay of genetic, hormonal and environmental influences during gestation.
When you are born, you are what you are.
Human sexuality exists on a broad spectrum that runs between firmly heterosexual and homosexual, and everything in between.
Whether you believe it or not, a human being can be born with the physical attributes of a male or female and be the opposite gender genetically and hormonally.
If you want to sit in your church and hate people, that is your choice. However, don’t act like a modern-day Spanish Inquisitor; leave the final judgment to God.
If you are going to call yourself pro-life, it’s necessary to embrace all life.
All of God’s creation deserves respect and protection; anything less diminishes all of us.
Science simply lays bare the beauty and complexity of God’s creation. When you deny science, you deny God’s creative genius.
LGBTQ folks are a normal part of the world community. They deserve respect.
Their happiness will not diminish anyone’s religious freedom or personal sexual identity.
If your faith gives you strength, that’s good, but it should not be a tool of hate or discrimination.
Robert Mulder, Raleigh