The most recent Grass Roots North Carolina alert declares victory because the commissioners pulled out all references to firearms from the noise ordinance. They go on to indicate that DeVan Barbour should be thanked for being the one who proposed pulling Section 6 from the ordinance.
I have nothing but respect for the work GRNC does and Paul Valone, the president, is a tireless worker in the battle for gun rights here in our state but i'm going to have to disagree here.
Why? Because according to several sources the commissioners had all agreed that morning to pull the firearms section from the ordinance and have Barbour be the one to do it. This was a cold, calculated political effort designed to prop up Barbour's record going into the election season. Barbour is the only one of the commissioners that is both up for re-election and has an opponent.
And Barbour voted FOR the ordinance as it existed at the August meeting.
Character is defined by what you do when you think no one is looking. The August vote defines Barbour's character. The actions of September 4th are nothing but political showboating. Putting Barbour forth as a champion for gun owners in Johnston County is a farce.
During Chairman Mim's monologue he indicated that they wanted to move the noise ordinance to the top of the agenda so they could "get this out of the way so they could get on with their rezoning agenda."
Their trampling of gun rights was simply a nuisance to them. A trifle. A few people emailed and called and showed up on this issue so they threw a bone to us. That was fine as long as we got out of their way so they could get on with doing other things to us.
These people have been running Johnston County for decades without any serious challenge. They do what they want, when they want and are entirely unused to having their will thwarted. They never really run for public office, never really have to defend themselves to their constituents for their actions. It is effectively a one-party system.
Ray Woodall is reported to have medical problems. He is not standing for re-election in 2012. So, how does he get replaced? A single person, Ted G. Goodwin, submitted his name for the seat. He ran unopposed in the primary. He is now unopposed in the general election. This man will take his place at the table with the others who have "earned" their right to be there in mostly the same way.
Now I don't know all that much about Mr. Goodwin. He is a manager for KS Bank. He apparently hunts elk. He has a wife and kids. He may very well be a really nice guy. I really don't know.
But I do know that his taking a seat on the Johnston County Commission isn't how a republic is supposed to work.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is a term used for government officials that don't care about what their constituents think and can exercise their will upon their neighbors without repercussion. That term applies also when the public really doesn't get to choose their so-called leaders but instead have to take what is given them. That term is "tyrant."
Most people will associate that term with grandiose and history-making dictators. Stalin, Bonaparte, Mao. But all of those monsters started small at the local level. They moved up because they were able to exercise their will unobstructed at lower levels. There are thousands of petty dictators across the country, most of them not sufficiently effective to be able to move up to the next level. But they are there and they have the same ideas in their putrid minds. They wish to rule without those who are the subjects of their actions having any say in the matter.
So, we can call. We can write. We can email. We can even vote and it makes no difference. That's why I have to reject the GRNC's suggestion that DeVan Barbour is a good guy. He's not.
He's part of the problem and the one part that we can fix. We can toss his butt out.
The actions of the board in allowing Mr. Barbour to be the one to propose pulling the firearms section from the ordinance tells us what they fear. They fear having to actually run for their offices.
So let's drive that fear home. Vote against DeVan Barbour this November. Send him packing.
For the 2014 election we can put forward some candidates to challenge the others in their primaries. But that's two years away. Considering what we've had to go through with the actions of these people over the last two years we can't afford to let them run unchecked any longer.
Vote them out. We need to vote them ALL out but the machinations of the political system don't allow for that. So this time we do what we can.
Vote anti-Barbour. Reclaim our county.
I know, I know. The song is really, "Texas has a whorehouse in it." but I'm not in Texas.
And Johnston County certainly has a whorehouse in it. In the vernacular of course. There aren't actual sex workers that operate out of there.
And it's not really a house. It's actually the Johnston County Courthouse Annex at 207 East Johnston Street in Smithfield, NC.
Truthfully, I'd prefer the actual whores. They only screw one person at a time. Not so our intrepid county commissioners.
You see, we have a republican (that's a small 'r') form of government. It's actually guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution. It's not a direct democracy because when people get riled up sometimes they do rash things. That's why we elect people to do our business, and they are supposed to do what we want only when what we want is legal and constitutional.
But that's not quite all of the story. The reason we have people in that job, and don't just have a judge to cancel the dumb things that people sometimes vote for, is so they can insert their judgement into the process. An involved, moral, honest representative will give the people what they want as long as it's not illegal, unconstitutional or just plain stupid. That's the job of the representative, to filter out the stupid things and not just jump when poked by vox populi.
So when a group of representatives of the people do something that they know won't work, simply because a few people have howled about it; when they Do Something and that something deprives the people of their rights; when they write into an ordinance something that is targeted at a single individual but sharing the misery among us all, then they are whores.
They've whored themselves out for power, or popularity or the adulation of the media.
C.S. Lewis said, "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”
In other words, good intentions don't count. If you can't do something right, do something smart. If you can't do something smart go home and sit on your hands.
When they go ahead and do the stupid thing those of us that see it must direct the attention of all people of good conscience to let them know how poorly they have judged.
As public figures, as elected members of government they have no right to hide. Disreputable actions that they take should be, must be shown to the world. If the world vents its wrath on their stupidity they have no one to blame but themselves, for they sought the office, they made the decisions, they surrendered to the stupid.
Now some of you that live near here already know what's coming. You've read the statements by certain Johnston County commissioners and their minions about what they plan to do. You've seen the meeting agenda. You've read the slobbering approval in the News & Observer and the Smithfield Herald.
But others don't. Others right here in Johnston County and here in the rest of North Carolina don't know. But they will.
Very soon now the righteous fury of people of conscience is going to be released on the misguided, arrogant, deluded commissioners of Johnston County, North Carolina.
May God have mercy on their souls.