Four more mass shootings over the past week: El Paso, Dayton, Chicago, and Gilroy, California. At least 34 dead and 50 injured. Incomprehensible and heartbreaking! It doesn’t stop! And those in position to do something about it, won’t!
Most North Carolinians – and most Americans – find this tsunami of murder repugnant and senseless. Most want refuge and protection for ourselves and our families. Most want leadership from our lawmaking bodies to curb and stop the violence. And yet, as with so many things that affect our communities each and every day, those same lawmakers come up short. Take a glance at this graphic:
Take note of boxes at five and six o’clock: “Political parties rig elections via Gerrymandering”…followed by “NRA, super wealthy, super-PACs support politicians who don’t care about gun reform.”
When candidates win office via rigged elections, progress toward sensible gun laws grind to an immediate halt. Concerned about the crucial need for gun reform, NC Governor Roy Cooper is trying to pry House Bill 86 out of committee for public hearing and action. Alas, the House majority – elected via gerrymandered election districts – refuses to cooperate. Might the reason be that so many are supported by the NRA?
We the People are caught in a circulating whirlpool where our lawmakers won’t do what we want – heck, they won’t even talk with us – but we’re unable to replace them because our elections are rigged via gerrymandering!
Meanwhile, we continue to hope the court system will come to the rescue. It clearly won’t be by the U.S. Supreme Court, as noted in the last blog. Forty-five days ago, the justices “punted” the gerrymandering nightmare back to the states. There is a ray of hope, however. Last month, a three-judge panel in Wake County Superior Court heard arguments in the state-level challenge to how North Carolina’s legislative districts have been drawn.
“If we’re successful in Common Cause v. Lewis, the remedy could be new, fairly drawn NC House and NC Senate districts for the 2020 election,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC, which is lead plaintiff in the case. “While all of this plays out in the courts, we’ll continue to push the General Assembly to enact real, long-term reform to the redistricting process. We the people deserve districts that put the voters first, not politicians.”
And Tom Ross, former president of the North Carolina university system and co-chair of North Carolinians for Redistricting Reform (NC4RR):
“Now more than ever, we see that it will be up to the states to find a permanent solution to partisan gerrymandering. North Carolina is at a critical point in its democracy, and we believe that the time is now for the North Carolina General Assembly to do just that – fix the redistricting process by enacting clear, transparent, nonpartisan redistricting standards.”
… and that is where you come in. If you care about the survival of our imperiled democracy, please call and email these 4 individuals: Senator Phil Berger (919-733-5708; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net); Senator Ralph Hise (919-733-3460; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net); Representative Tim Moore (919-733-3451; Tim.Moore@ncleg.net); and Representative David Lewis (919-715-3015; David.Lewis@ncleg.net)
Find your courage and voice. Demand sensible gun legislation and an end to election rigging. This is our state and our country! Not the private purview of political parties!