Few want to talk about gun control | The Johnstonian News
The Johnstonian News

Few want to talk about gun control

Posted on June 6, 2022

Updated on June 11, 2022

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Democrats and Republicans tend to differ on gun control, and that's the case in Johnston.

Stock photo | Pixabay

Democrats and Republicans tend to differ on gun control, and that's the case in Johnston.

sbolejack@johnstoniannews.com | 919-424-1776









Gun control, apparently, is not something Johnston’s sheriff, police chiefs and state lawmakers want to talk about.

After the school massacre in Texas, the Johnstonian News emailed queries to Sheriff Steve Bizzell, the police chiefs in Clayton, Princeton, Selma and Smithfield, and candidates for the N.C. General Assembly, including the incumbents.

Most did not respond.

But state Rep. Larry Strickland did, albeit through his legislative assistant. And so did Democrat Wendy Ella May. Those two will square off in November.

Jack Denton, Strickland’s legislative aide, said his boss was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. “Americans’ right to gun ownership is deeply ingrained in American history and culture,” Denton said. “For this reason, Representative Strickland will continue to fight to protect responsible gun ownership.”

“Representative Strickland is alarmed by President Biden’s recent comment that ‘the Constitution, the Second Amendment was never absolute,’ ” Denton added. “And Representative Strickland stands diametrically opposed to any measure which seeks to repeal the Second Amendment or any other amendment enshrined in the Bill of Rights.”

Strickland thinks North Carolina can protect its schoolchildren without infringing on gun rights, Denton said. “Since Representative Strickland took office in 2017, the General Assembly has appropriated millions of dollars through grant programs for school-safety measures,” he noted.

Denton pointed specifically to getting school resource officers in elementary and middle schools, establishing anonymous tip lines and buying safety equipment.

As a member of the K-12 Education Committee, “Representative Strickland looks forward to ongoing discussions about school safety and ways we can further protect our children from those who seek to harm them,” Denton added.

Not surprisingly, May sees the debate differently.

“No one law can stop all tragedies,” she said. “But there are critical steps we can take now that will make a difference and save lives.”

May pointed specifically to so-called “red flag” laws, which allow police or family members to petition a court to take firearms from people who might hurt themselves or others. “When a loved one is in crisis, red flag ... laws give family members and law enforcement a tool to intervene ... while protecting due process,” she said.

May also supports stepped-up background checks. “Background checks make it harder for people who aren’t allowed to own guns to get them and are the foundation of any effective effort to reduce gun violence,” she said.

“The American people are demanding leaders who will stand up to the gun lobby and fight for common-sense gun-safety measures that will help keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” May added.

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