It's bad enough that the people we vote for and elect often stop listening to us. This is disappointing if not terribly surprising. Power corrupts after all.
Sometimes threats of action at the ballot box work. Sometimes they don't. And sometimes it goes beyond threat and we toss one of the perfumed princes out on their ear. Sucks to have to pay for your own booze doesn't it Bob Etheridge?
But more dangerous and insidious is when unelected Legislative or Congressional staffers think that rather than being mere servants they somehow get to make policy.
All please note the antics of the staffers of North Carolina State Senator Pete Brunstetter of the 31st district.
NC House Bill 489 was originally titled "Mechanics Lien and Bond Law Changes". It was passed by the NC House and referred to the Judiciary Committee. At some point staffers from Pete Brunstette's office stripped everything out of the bill and replaced it all with new language.
That new language was essentially identical to the language of the now-Unconstitutional State of Emergencies gun ban. In some particulars it was worse.
The plan appears to have been for this bill (which had already been voted on and approved by the NC House) to simply go to the NC Senate and be voted on thus reviving the stupid and illegal gun ban. Once signed by the Governor it would have to be adjudicated all over again.
Twenty years ago this would have passed unnoticed. Congresscriminal Charlie Rangel did something much like this with the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act in 1986. That amendment failed a voice vote, Rangel ignored a call for a recorded vote and the amendment (which bans all new fully automatic weapons in the U.S. except for military and police use) was stuffed into the bill anyway. The bill passed and the number of civilian-available full auto weapons became a fixed quantity. As a result an M-4 grease gun that cost $20 to make in 1944 now costs around $30,000. Fixed supply and unfixed demand cause prices to rise. Simple economics.
Today we have unprecedented access to information and we have watchdogs like Grass Roots North Carolina.
GRNC spied this skullduggery and alerted its members.
The resulting backlash caused the NC Senate to pull the bill from the calendar. Sadly they have not killed it dead.
A note to my State Senator, David Rouzer, was replied to with a form letter saying he would vote against the bill when it comes up.
Well, that's swell. Never mind that this bill is a travesty and should NEVER EVEN COME TO A VOTE.
The staffers responsible for this should be identified and publicly fired. The Legislature's Master-at-Arms should determine if criminal charges can be filed against them.
It's bad enough when duly elected officials pull these stunts. We can at least vote them out. For people that are not held to account by citizens to attempt this kind of seizure of authority is a disgrace.