"For years, police officers in North Carolina had a choice when it came to confiscated guns. They could use them for law enforcement purposes—training, testing, examining—or they could destroy them," Daily Beast writer Jamelle Bouie noted in a post to the website on Wednesday.
But now, thanks to "a new law... passed by Republican lawmakers in the state," that's changed. Now, "Police officers can still use confiscated guns, but as of this week, they can’t destroy them," Bouie groused in his September 4 post, going on later in his piece to whine about how the bill is evidence of an almost religious devotion to guns by conservatives. Left completely out of his story, however, was any note that nearly all the state senate's Democrats and a majority of Democratic state representatives backed the so-called Save the Gun law, Senate Bill 443.
According to the North Carolina General Assembly website, 24 Democrats in the State House of Representatives (out of a 43-member caucus) voted for the bill to 16 opposed. Three Democrats did not cast votes because they were excused absent. That's 55.8 percent of State House Democrats. Over in the State Senate, where there are 17 Democrats, 15 voted for the bill, one against, and one was excused absent. That's 88.2 percent of State Senate Democrats who voted in favor of the bill.
Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) signed the bill into law, but it would have likely gone into effect had he vetoed it anyway, having passed both chambers comfortably above a three-fifths majority of legislators present and voting.
Concluding his mini-screed against the latest imagined evil to issue forth from Raleigh, Bouie (pictured above at right via his Twitter profile picture) projected onto conservatives a fetishizing of the gun that borders on the religious:
It’s a fanaticism that hints at something elemental. It’s one thing to support and defend gun rights, which through the years have become an integral part of American identity. It’s something else entirely to oppose the destruction of guns used to commit violence and harm innocent people. For these advocates, are guns still tools—objects that have a purpose? Or are they relics, totems of a strange faith that demands our allegiance? Is the NRA defending rights, or is it imposing a new religion of gun worship? As laws like “Save the Gun” make their way across the country, I’m more and more inclined to say the latter.
But it's liberals like Bouie who in fact treat guns as evil talismans which must be destroyed, as objects of evil which must be ritually destroyed to cleanse evil from the land.
As a matter of public policy, perhaps Bouie is correct that it would be better for North Carolina to have adopted a similar policy as used in Texas: permitting, but not requiring, local law enforcement to sell confiscated firearms. A reasonable debate can be had about that dimension of gun policy without needlessly slandering pro-gun rights North Carolinians in service of left-wing talking points.