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Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

Posted by Knitebane

Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.   -- Paul Simon, The Boxer

I'm sorry that I didn't get this out yesterday but just as I was about to start on it, my Intarwebs went down.  That's probably a good thing because all I could think of yesterday was that I was completely blindsided, had no idea how it happened and now we're completely doomed.

In the time since I think I discovered how I managed to be so completely wrong.

A few very wise pundits often say that the only real poll that matters is the one held on election day.  All of the other ones are various different forms of guessing, some of them better than others.

What threw me (and a few people much better at prognosticating than your humble blogger) was a seeming disparity in the numbers coming out of the polls.  The major polling organizations were asking the right questions but the cumulative answers didn't make sense, so we picked the answers we liked.

And that's where I screwed up.

All the way up until election day the polls were telling us that in the swing states, Obama had a slight lead.  The national polls showed Romney up slightly and the national Demonrat/Republican split was about R+2 where in 2010 it was R+1 and in 2008 it was D+6.

The swing state polls were showing Obama and Romney neck and neck.  We looked at that, looked at the changing split and decided that one of them had to be wrong.  Given the huge amount of people turning out to see Romney and Ryan, it had to be the swing state polls that were wrong and on election day, Obama was going down by 5 or 6 points.

But the swing state polls weren't wrong.

In other states, like NC and TX and UT, Romney won those states by bigger margins than even Bush in 2004.  In the swing states, Romney didn't turn out the numbers McCain did.  Obama didn't turn out the voters he turned out in 2004 either but he eked out a slight lead, just like the polls said he would.

What the hell happened?

Well, a couple of things.  None of them (save one) was a deal breaker. It took a combination of factors to get us to where we ended up.

1) Sandy.  Even the national polls showed Romney by 5 or so before Sandy.  After Sandy he started to slide a bit.  It wasn't much but the pictures of Obama and NJ Governor Chris Christie and the gushing by Christie that made the SCOAMF look all presidential hurt.   When the guy that's been one of your harshest critics says you're doing a good job it helps you. It was not enough to change the election all by itself, but it had an effect.

2) Sandy again.  Not as a political event but as a Black Swan news event.  Romney's strategy in the closing days of the election was about getting his message out, clear and strong and consistent.   The storm pushed politics off of the front page and stopped people talking about the election.  The steady surge hit a bump and instead of recovering and continuing up it just kind of sat there. Not for long. Again, not enough to change the election, but a bit.

3) Romney's strategy.  In the final weeks running up to the election, Romney avoided any conversation that could be bad for him.  He did almost no interviews and stuck to his stump speeches.  Generally, this is wise.  Many of us said that the election was Romney's to lose and doing something stupid would certainly do that.  But the Obama campaign and the media were throwing bombs about Romney's fund raising after the storm, women in binders, 47%, rape, and a host of other attacks.  Romney stuck to his message which is generally good, but didn't respond to any of the attacks, which is generally bad but better than responding badly, which would be worse.  He played it safe right into the loser's column.

4)  Romney himself.  This is where we have hard numbers. Compared to 2008, Romney gained some ground and lost some ground.  With evangelicals, Romney gained ground.  Not a lot, but some.  So the new meme that evangelicals didn't turn out for Romney is wrong.  He gained ground with Catholics.  Not as much as with evangelicals, but still a gain.  Romney lost ground with women, hispanics and the 18-24 crowd (demographics that matter) and gays ( a demographic that isn't statistically significant) but none of them in number significantly large to make a difference in the election.  Demographics for Obama were also down, mostly where we said they would be but not as large as we thought and not nearly as much in swing states as nation-wide.  But the one demographic that was enough by itself to sink Romney was the generic Republican voter.  Down by a significant percentage.

But wait!  Turnout was up! Long lines at the polls!

Yep.  The numbers for Johnston County tell an interesting tale.   In Johnston County, NC the winner of the race for the NC Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Troxler, received  50,615 votes.  The three Republican county commissioners that were running un-opposed netted  50,417, 50,409, and 50,813.

Romney received  48,202.

Somewhere around 2000 Johnston County Republicans voted for local or state-level candidates and then did not vote for Romney.

That's 4% of your base, those R's that the polls indicated were there but weren't showing up in the Obama/Romney split.  And it's not like they lied to the pollsters.  These were certainly likely voters.  They turned out, they waited in line.  And they voted.  But not for Mitt Romney.  In a normal election cycle that's enough to beat you right there.

Why?  That's a subject for another post.  For now let's suffice to say that Romney was a better candidate than everyone hoped but not quite good enough.

-- But the final thing is something that was much more effective than the pundits thought it would be. --

5) The Obama campaign had a new tool they've been putting together since 2007 called Operation Narwhal. Here's how it worked.

Back in 2008, the 13 million people that signed up for Obama campaign alerts got generic, milquetoast, hopey-changey messages about The Lightbringer.  Signing up asked for an email address and your zip code.  Nothing odd about that, right?  But since then, the Obama campaign has been cross-referencing "other databases" to tease out more specific information about what might motivate a voter or the opposite.  And I don't know which databases. I suspect that I don't want to know.

This election the messages sent out to targeted swing states were targeted more specifically than ever before.  A young, white, female  college student would get a message saying how Mitt Romeny was going to take away her contraception.  All young college students would be told how Romney was going to reverse the part of Obamacare that guaranteed their student loans. Gays would be told about how JugEars now supported gay marriage.  African Americans would *not* see the messages about gay marriage but one more crafted to their interests.  The same for the other demographic targets.  If you were poor you were told how rich Romney is.  If you were a professional you'd be told about how Obama saved Wall Street and the banks.  If you were a auto industry worker you'd hear about how Obama saved the car industry and Romney would have let it go bankrupt.  Those kind of voters don't go to rallies.  They don't stand in the cold and the rain to see their candidate because they don't really have a candidate.  They have an enemy.

Does that "revenge" comment Obama dropped in that speech six days before the election make more sense now?  It was the signal for his army of mindless zombies to rise up and strike.

In effect, the Obama campaign turned out an army of single-issue voters in the swing states.  All of them knowing almost nothing about any issues other than the one they were programmed to be concerned about.  The Great Uniter divided his voters like they've never been divided before while at the same time giving them all the same target.  The only thing they had in common was anger about part of Romney's ideas.

Of course, once they start to realize that Obama really doesn't care about their issues it should be entertaining.  But then he won't be up for re-election again will he?  Obama kamikazed his supporters into Romney.  That's the kind of dick move that you can't use more than once but once was enough.

It was just enough to push him over the top.

So, where do we go from here?  I've got a few ideas.  I'll put together another post in a few days about that.



So about Johnston County Commissioner Tony Braswell

Posted by Knitebane

Tony Braswell is a Johnston County NC Commissioner.  His day job is with Triangle East Realty.  His Facebook profile lists him as Owner/Partner at Triangle East Realty, LLC. In fact, he gets his email at as I noted in this post.

Triangle East Realty, LLC in Smithfield, NC is a real estate development firm that buys, sells, rents and builds houses.  Part of Triangle East Realty is a building contractor called Summerlin Builders, Inc.  The contact listed for Summerlin Builders is Randy Summerlin.

With me so far?

Tony Braswell is a Johnston County Commissioner.  The Johnston County Commissioners appoint a number of county boards.  One of them is the planning board.  (Select Planning Board and hit "View Detailed Information About Board")

What does the Planning Board do?

 The function of the Board is to consider plans for subdivisions, mobile home park developments and zoning issues according to regulations adopted by the County and carry out advisory responsibility to the Board of Commissioners.

And who was appointed to the planning board by the Johnston County Board of Commissioners?

Randy Summerlin 
Smithfield, NC
Term Expires: February 28, 2013

There is more to the relationship than a working relationship but I've hit a brick wall and can't connect the rest of the dots I have collected.  All I can say for sure is that Randy Summerlin's late wife's name was Marlene Braswell Summerlin. But that's probably just a coincidence, right?

And Crystal Summerlin Johnson, Randy Summerlin's daughter, is listed as the primary realtor at Triangle East Realty.

So what we have here are a house buyer/seller, and house builder and the guy that zones those houses all working for the same company. And at least two of them are related, possibly all three. And two of them are in county government positions that make the rules for building houses.



And apparently Tony Braswell is rather sensitive about cronyism.  When confronted on Facebook about his August vote on the noise ordinance and about the relationship between Cookie Pope (Johnston County Commissioner and partner at Mast Law Firm) and the current Johnston County attorney, Braswell had Denise Rentz (the Johnston County GOP chair and JoCo GOP Facebook page moderator) pull the post.

But that's okay.  I got screen shots of it.  A separate post about Pope and Mills will be coming up.


Sorry GRNC. DeVan Barbour isn’t pro-gun. He’s just pro-getting-re-elected.

Posted by Knitebane

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.




How bad does it have to be before the NRA gets involved?

Posted by Knitebane

Well the Johnston County Commissioners are about to find out, because now the NRA is involved:

North Carolina: Johnston County Board of Commissioners Want to Shut Down Target Shooting on Private Property!

Posted on August 30, 2012

Thanks to the vocal and supportive NRA members in North Carolina, attention has been brought to a looming threat regarding target shooting on private property in Johnston County.

On August 6, the Johnston County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a new noise ordinance that is clearly designed to put an end to the practice of recreational shooting on private property.  A second required vote will take place next Tuesday, September 4, in the Commissioner’s Room at the Johnston County Courthouse Annex at 6:00 p.m.

Please make plans to attend this scheduled meeting to encourage the County Board of Commissioners to reject this ordinance!  The address is 207 East Johnston Street, Smithfield, NC 27577. 

Leg-Ribbon-Contact If you cannot attend this meeting in person, please contact members on the County Board of Commissioners and urge them to vote NO on this ordinance.  Contact information to members can be found here. Ribbon-Line

The issue of recreational shooting on private property has been an ongoing discussion in Johnston County.   In November 2010, there was a draft ordinance introduced that addressed recreational shooting.  Rather than pass what was a flawed proposal, however, the Board of Commissioners agreed to establish the Good Neighbors Firearms Ordinance Work Group.  This was made up of several Johnston County residents who were interested in the issue.  After several meetings in 2011, a compromise was reached, and the commissioners adopted the new ordinance on March 7, 2011.

While the issue appeared to be resolved, in March 2012, a group of residents from the Oak Ridge Subdivision appeared before the commissioners to raise a complaint about a single neighbor who was discharging firearms on his property.  The group again appeared before the commissioners in May 2012 with the same complaint.  According to the published minutes of these meetings, the commissioners stated they would investigate the situation.  At the May meeting, the minutes indicate no legal violation had been uncovered in the investigation, but the County Attorney was instructed to draft a letter to the individual against whom the complaints were made “informing him of the concerns by the Oak Ridge Subdivision residents.”  The County Attorney was also instructed “to research the matter and determine if the situation could be declared a nuisance.”

Nothing more was discussed by the Commission in subsequent meetings that related to recreational shooting on private property.  In July, the commissioners took up a proposed amendment to the local ordinance regulating commercial shooting ranges.  The approved minutes for the July meeting indicate this hearing was advertised to the public in The Smithfield Herald on two dates prior to the meeting.  The Commission adopted the new ordinance, and the minutes reflect that it was “pointed out that the proposed amendment would not affect or change the existing Firearms Ordinance which allows for personal shooting on private property with established restrictions.”

Unfortunately, it appears something led the commissioners to decide that “personal shooting on private property” was something the county no longer desired.  At the August meeting, with apparently no notification to the public, the commissioners voted to approve sweeping changes to the Noise Ordinance that will shut down recreational shooting on private property in Johnston County.  The ordinance declares the “discharge of a firearm or firearms in such a manner as to create an unreasonably loud or disturbing noise” to be prohibited.  The only exceptions would be for lawful hunting, protection of person or property, “or when used pursuant to lawful directions of law-enforcement officers.”   Fortunately, this secretive action is not the last word, as one member of the Board was not present.  Due to Commissioner W. Ray Woodall’s absence, the Board will have to vote a second time on the ordinance.

This outrageous overreaction to, apparently, a single incident of a dispute among neighbors in one community, must be reversed.  Again, please contact members of the Johnston County Board of Commissioners and urge them to reject this new ordinance, and stick to the agreed regulations worked out by the Good Neighbors Firearms Ordinance Work Group in 2011.  Contact information can be found by clicking here.


Johnston County has a whorehouse in it.

Posted by Knitebane

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.


Stuck on stupid

Posted by Knitebane

A little over a year ago a number of local gun owners objected to the Johnston County commissioners' blatant anti-gun attitude by calling, emailing and showing up at events where a number of them were attempting to regulate how and when a person may shoot on his own land. The county commissioners put together a "working group" to draft an anti-gun ordinance.

The working group, hand picked by the county commissioners and chaired by Johnston County Commission then-Chairman Allen Mims, put together a document that gave the commissioners just what they wanted. Based on the Progressive concept of "The Big Lie" they called it the "Good Neighbor" ordinance. Apparently they think that having someone arrested and jailed is what a good neighbor does.

The working group started out with an ordinance that was heinous in the extreme. It banned discharging a firearm within 600 feet of any occupied building and discharge of a firearm within 600 feet of ANY building for ANY reason without the written permission of the owner.

The ordinance, far from being a "good neighbor" policy, was actually a targeted ex-post-facto instrument aimed squarely at Reverend John Edgar “Eddie” Jordan for failing to kowtow to the county. After attempting to zone his shooting range out of existence and failing, the county commissioners decided to use their power to make him do what they want.

The machinations of the county government even got the attention of a state-wide gun rights group, Grass Roots North Carolina. GRNC has since redesigned their website and the links to the GRNC newsletters addressing the issue are no longer working but the article details much of the content.

Due to legal fees to defend himself from the county and due to some spurious assault charges filed by the chief complainer, Christopher Scott Andrews, Ed Jordan is out of business. Jordan was later acquitted of the assault charges.

Andrews himself showed up at several of the working group meetings but failed to ever provide any evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Reverend Jordan despite the fact that Andrews claimed that bullets had penetrated his house. No evidence was produced or even noted by the law enforcement personnel that had investigated the case. No bullets, no bullet fragments, no pictures of holes in his house. Nothing.

Note that none of this was ever brought up at any of the meetings. Rather, the stated reason for the ordinance - that the Johnston County Sheriff's Office received 527 calls about stray gunfire in 2010, up from 476 calls in 2009 - itself is suspect. When asked how many of these calls were from the same person or phone number the representative of the Johnston County Sheriff to the working group could not or would not provide that information. Using their numbers, the number of calls increased by 10.714% from 2009 to 2010 while the population of Johnston County increased by 8.453% from 156888 in 2009 to 170151 in 2010. The increase of calls was statistically insignificant when viewed against the population increase of the county yet the commissioners somehow felt the need to "do something," however inane or useless.

But we're told by Da Mayor Rahm Emanuel hisself that you never let a serious crisis go to waste. So despite that the calls demanding action were probably all from a few people, and that the number of calls increased right along with the population and that the primary object of their attack was run out of business the county commissioners still saw an open door to act.

Several local gun rights people complained to the commissioners about the high-handed universal ban that left no exceptions for hunting, indoor ranges or ranges with proper berms. Some of these problems were addressed in the final bill, albeit badly.

The working group promptly started adding other outrageous provisions. The worst of them requires anyone on any number of legal, over-the-counter or prescription drugs to effectively give up their guns because shooting them is now illegal. The ordinance gives unprecedented power to the sheriff to cite or arrest a person simply because the deputy believed the person might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, no proof or warrant needed. The prohibitionism is so extreme that a person using Sudafed is prohibited from shooting since the active ingredient in Sudafed is pseudoephedrine, a controlled substance per North Carolina law.

Other items were also added, exempting agents of the government and those that provide services to the same. So as long as your "shooting range" lets Deputy Fife shoot there you're exempt. Want to do a little low-light shooting on your own? Nyet!

The entire sad story can be seen here.

We told them that most of this was unenforceable at best and likely actionable under a second amendment lawsuit. We told them that current North Carolina law *already* provided for this by making it illegal to shoot into an occupied dwelling in § 14-34.1 to wit:

(a) Any person who willfully or wantonly discharges or attempts to discharge any firearm or barreled weapon capable of discharging shot, bullets, pellets, or other missiles at a muzzle velocity of at least 600 feet per second into any building, structure, vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other conveyance, device, equipment, erection, or enclosure while it is occupied is guilty of a Class E felony.

(b) A person who willfully or wantonly discharges a weapon described in subsection (a) of this section into an occupied dwelling or into any occupied vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other conveyance that is in operation is guilty of a Class D felony.

(c) If a person violates this section and the violation results in serious bodily injury to any person, the person is guilty of a Class C felony.

None of that mattered. They wanted what they wanted and laws and the public be damned. Those of us that objected were abused and insulted by several of the county commissioners. We were told that our statements were misleading, but were not told how. We were accused of being outside agitators, despite a show of hands at the final meeting that indicated that almost all of us objecting to the ordinance were Johnston County residents. That didn't matter either.

Any attempt at compromise was shot down. We suggested that a public shooting range like Wake County has would remove some of the need for people to shoot on their own property. They said that was something for another time. To date, zero action has been taken to even discuss a county operated range.

Since then any attempt at opening a private shooting range in Johnston County has been shot down too.

So they got what they wanted. We told them that gun control is what you do instead of something effective.

And SURPRISE!!! it doesn't work.

Now those of us that told them that this would do *nothing* to solve the problem have been vindicated. The local fishwrap has just published a new article about another group of people all butthurt that someone is shooting on his own property. Allegedly the shooters are doing the shooting after the government approved hours. The shooter, when questioned by the sheriff's deputies, just refuses to comment. He sounds like a smart fella, and is probably being well advised by his wife who is a lawyer.

This situation is starting to smell like the same old crap. A few loud complaints, a claim of a projectile being found (but no evidence), no charges filed and Allen Mims right in the spotlight of the article.

The sheriff's department, after having seemingly failed to arrest anyone in the Jordan/Andrews case over the actual shooting problem, has now stated that they are powerless in this case as well. Apparently they need actual evidence to arrest someone and because of the transitory and show-over-substance foundation of the "Good Neighbor" ordinance it's not likely they're going to find any if any even exists. The target of this anti-gun assault is smart enough to keep his mouth shut and without someone to confess to the crimes outlined in the "Good Neighbor" ordinance any arrest made would never get past a jury. Apparently they aren't entirely stupid down at the Sheriff's office as they don't want to be on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

That just leaves the nest of stupid in the county commissioner's office. The money quote from the article is from Lord High Executioner Mims himself, stating that he "hopes" to be able to resolve the issue within the existing ordinance. He doesn't say what he'll do if the issue isn't resolved in the existing ordinance. Gosh, I wonder what a statist, busy-body, nanny-state thug will want to do if that situation arises?

Something even more stupid I bet.


Our last sheriff was a good organizer. Yellow clear through, but a good organizer.

Posted by Knitebane

So this evening I open my snail mail and one of the pieces lovingly addressed to me (or current resident) is a fundraising letter of some sort from the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association, Sheriff Richard H. Webster - President:

* * * URGENT * * * URGENT * * * URGENT * * * URGENT * * *

Dear Knitebane (well, close enough),

As a Johnston County resident, I need your immediate support to provide desperately needed resources for all our sheriffs and deputies to continue education and training programs, as well as fighting for strong laws in the General Assembly to keep you and your family safe.


At this point I started to get pissed off. LAWS DON'T KEEP ANYONE SAFE YOU IDIOT! LAWS PROVIDE PUNISHMENT FOR PEOPLE WHO BREAK THEM. THEY ARE ENTIRELY REACTIVE. My locks, alarm, dogs and firearms keep my family safe. Hmmm, maybe they need that education and training if they don't know this already. I recall my one brush with our local deputies after our (thankfully mostly empty) house got burgled. Sez he, "Looks like you got robbed! You should git a gun."

And for this I pay taxes?


It continues:

For just 7¢ a day for the next year ($25) you can confirm your commitment as an Honorary Citizen Member of the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association help feed a hungry deputy.


Ok, I made that last part up because that's when I started hearing Sarah Mclachlan singing and visualized weepy puppies.

So they want money from me, do they? The very same North Carolina Sheriffs' Association that wanted access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances?

You know, hardcore dangerous drugs like Ambien? That group?

The same North Carolina Sheriffs' Association that in 2009, pressured the North Carolina State Legislature to pull S782, the bill to kill of the Jim Crow era pistol purchase permit?

THAT group?

ANYONE affiliated with that bunch of gun grabbing racists can stuff it. Sadly, my county sheriff, Steve Bizzell, seems to be okay being associated with this bunch of statists. His is the signature at the bottom of the insipid thing.


Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel

Posted by Knitebane

And I responded thusly:

Chairman Mims,

I don't have a problem with what you suggesting that I read the whole thing but rather with the way you suggested it along with the remarks you made earlier at the working group.  I guess an apology is not forthcoming.

Very well.

G.S. 14-409.40 puts limits on the power of local authorities to put restrictions on firearms.  This is not in dispute.

The rest of the section includes certain exceptions.  It appears in the referral to G.S. 153A-129 that you do have the authority to regulate some restrictions.  I think there's plenty of room to argue that constitutionally, you don't.  Those exceptions were put in quite a while ago.  The national trend is against allowing local authorities to trump civil rights.

The real question is this:  Why are you so determined to find out?

Wouldn't it be better for everyone if you just fixed the problem at hand, namely negligent gunfire, rather than trying to turn all of Johnston County into Cary?



CC: The Usual Suspects


It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.

Posted by Knitebane

Chairman Mims responded thusly:

As with all citizens of this county you are welcome to your own opinions. The State Statue 14-409.40 that you said had bearing on this ordinance stated in item ( f ) Nothing contained in this section prohibits municipalities or counties from application of their authority under G.S. 153A-129, 160A-198, etc.. 153A-129 Firearms states: a county may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the discharge of firearms at any time or place except when used to take birds or animals pursuant to Chapter 113, Subchapter III, when  used in defense of person or property, or when used pursuant to lawful directions of law-enforcement officers. A county may also regulate the display of firearms on the public roads, sidewalks, alleys, or other public property. This section does not limit a county's authority to take action under Chapter14, Article 36A.

This is why I said to read the whole thing.

Have a nice day.

Allen Mims



Is it just me or does he seem a lot more interested in whether he CAN do this thing than whether he SHOULD?






A government is a body of people, usually notably ungoverned.

Posted by Knitebane

My emailed response to Chairman Mims:

Mr. Mims,

In light of your disparaging public comments concerning bloggers during the working group such a dismissive response is not entirely unexpected but still one generally sees more civil behavior in a public servant. I find it regrettable that you should take such a tone with a constituent. As a veteran I find such behavior distasteful. As a tax payer I find it offensive.

What I'm seeing here is that you intend to pass something that restricts shooting no matter what. The presence of the chairman of the county commissioners as chair of the working group and even the name of the ordinance both smack of ideology-driven politics. Perhaps that is not actually the case, but often perception IS reality.

As commissioner from District 7, the vast majority of your direct constituents all live in incorporated areas, yet you are driving the agenda that will mostly effect the residents of the rural areas of the county.

Calling the law on a neighbor and threatening them with jail time is not how I act toward my neighbors when I have a dispute, yet this so-called "Good Neighbor" ordinance will provide for just that.

These acts are unfortunate and I'm disappointed that it appears that agenda is going to trump reason. The tone of your comments towards people that you purport to represent lends itself away from this merely being a perception problem.

I urge you to reconsider both your attitude toward your constituents and your drive to pass an ordinance which reaches beyond the actual protection of the residents of the county and reaches into infringement of the rights of the other residents.

In the final analysis, my opinion and your opinion won't matter. What will matter is the opinion of the judge that hears the arguments against this ordinance.

And I can assure you, Mr. Mims, if you go forward with passing a ban on shooting in Johnston County it will end up in front of a judge.

Please scale this proposal back to only being against negligence and noise and everyone will come out a winner. Go beyond that and many of your constituents will object loudly and they will fight an over-reaching government action in the courts.

In today's difficult financial times, Johnston County does not need to be involved in expensive legal issues. Likewise, my money and the money of those that will likely back a suit against an overly broad ordinance can be better spent elsewhere. I would rather see that money be used in places with much more onerous restrictions, but that's not within my power to decide.

You, Mr. Mims, as chairman of the county commissioners and as chair of the working group, have the authority to make this stop now. I urge you to do so.

Thank you for your time.


CC: my wife, Mr. Carver who graciously took time to meet with me and, of course, all the evil bloggers.