The recent proposal by the county commissioners for a possible moratorium on new construction in Catawba Springs township is disturbing. We are just recovering from the devastating effects that the bank crash and recession caused our county. A moratorium should be used as a last resort, to prevent a condition that is spiraling out of control. There is no evidence of that, rather, the beginning of strong growth, which we have needed for a long time. Sewer capacity was cited as a reason for a moratorium. Do the commissioners honestly believe all of the homes approved are going to come online next week? They will be years down the road before completion. A moratorium would signal incompetent leadership, inability to plan and a county in trouble. Is that where we are? It also sends a negative signal to out-of-town companies thinking of locating here, families who are thinking of moving here and a slap in the face to county residents who have personal and business investments here. So why the drastic measure? Do the commissioners even have a specific plan for what they are proposing? No. With the county’s resources, there’s no reason to stop while we plan.
As far as lack of a vision statement, that could easily be resolved with the use of the county’s very capable employees, and very qualified residents willing to volunteer to serve. Don’t bail out on the job you were elected to do. You have a responsibility to the voters who put you in office to run this county as the business it is and honor the commitments approved. If we don’t have growth, we can’t move forward.
Mike Baker, director
Marsha Jordan, president
Lincoln County Board of Realtors
I totally disagree with your position on the proposed legislation to do away with concealed carry permits. I am a retired law enforcement captain, and I absolutely believe in upstanding citizens being able to carry a firearm to protect themselves and others, but I want them to do it responsibly. There are laws about certain individuals (i.e., convicted felons) not being allowed to carry weapons for a reason. Do you want a convicted rapist or diagnosed schizophrenic to be able to carry a gun? There are laws requiring the training in a classroom and on the range before obtaining a permit for a reason. A person with no knowledge or experience handling a gun having access to one is extremely dangerous. You even said in your opinion “Everyone who handles or carries a gun should understand how to do so safely.”
Rep. Pittman said, “Concealed or open carry makes no difference, except that if we can carry concealed, criminals and terrorists have no idea which lawful citizens just might fight back.” I would argue that with the permits, they still have no idea who might fight back. I would also argue that without the permits, it is much more likely that the criminals and terrorists and mentally unbalanced individuals will be the ones with the weapons. I am not naive enough to believe that only permit holders carry guns, but at least if they get caught with them, they can be prosecuted. I do believe that the permit process encourages “upstanding” people to go to the class and not only learn how to handle the gun, but when and where they are allowed to carry it. A person with a permit in North Carolina is also required to advise a law enforcement officer of that if they get stopped. I doubt someone carrying a gun with no permit would do that, which means more law enforcement officers would be in danger.
You have to have a permit to drive a car, which involves taking a test and demonstrating proficiency behind the wheel. That’s because it would be very dangerous to drive without that knowledge. The same goes for carrying a weapon.
On Sunday morning, I found on the driveway of my Lincolnton home a plastic baggie containing some birdseed ballast and a white card with a message.
The card showed a sketch of a white hooded person pointing at the reader, accompanied by the words: “Confederate White Knights, Hotline: (260)573-xxxx, The KKK Wants You!”
I soon discovered my neighbors all received the same solicitation on their driveways. I learned online the phone number was that of the KKK in Indiana.
I am submitting this for two reasons, addressed to two different audiences.
First, to the kind, decent and modern members of this county and state, be advised that the struggle to leave the KKK and other such hateful and regressive groups in the past is not over and now is even resurgent. It is embarrassing and frustrating to see this in our community, but it is real. I have no doubt of the ultimate community rejection of this activity among us. But for now we must be vocal, visible, unequivocal and fearless in our advocacy of an integrated, diverse community with friendships and genuine social contacts across all racial/ethnic, religious and political lines. Let us be unified and resolute in this and in rejecting the KKK and its tenets and actions.
Second, to those who participate in or are attracted to the KKK, our national commitment to free speech and peaceful assembly applies to you as much as to any citizen, but I caution you not to confuse free speech with a license to intimidate and threaten others’ safety and well-being by either word or by implication of tone or appearance. Be advised that groups that focus on emotions, symbols and drama often manipulate their attendees to say and do what they might otherwise never have done on their own. The group might come to control you, but you individually will still remain legally responsible for your behavior. Know that your cause has no friend in me and mine. I encourage you to abandon that anachronistic, hateful, anti-patriotic and dead-end pursuit.