It’s not a carnival game, it’s a real gun


The Appalachian Online

Dewey Mullis

The family-friendly, inviting and exciting atmosphere of the fair is no place for concealed weapons.

Last year, N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law House Bill 937, a comprehensive legislative action that blew the doors off of gun restrictions. Concealed weapons were made legal in establishments that sold alcohol, consisted of large public gatherings and even on school property.

However, McCrory’s own gun legislation record was challenged last week by Grass Roots NC, a gun rights advocacy group. The organization is citing the 2013 law in their argument for allowing concealed weapons at this year’s state fair.

Grass Roots NC is arguing the wording of the law removes concealed weapon restrictions that have been in place at the state fair for years.

The new regulations – or lack thereof – came about while gun control was a hot topic around the nation. While the purpose of increasing accessibility is the idea that self-protection may decrease or deter crime, some theorists and researchers believe it is the incredible accessibility of firearms in the U.S. that inflates gun crimes. There are numbers to support both causes.

Still, something about the possibility of guns being all around us without even knowing it is unsettling. To be in what is supposed to be a family-friendly environment and not be able to see the guns you know are allowed, well, that is a different ballgame.

Rarely, if ever, does McCrory get kudos on this page. But in response to Grass Roots NC’s petitioning, the governor refused to allow concealed weapons at the state fair. That is a response that brings along a breath of fresh air.

The governor joined prominent Republican Steve Troxler, the state’s agriculture commissioner and head of the fair activities, in supporting the ban.

For once, elected officials made the right call.

What does it say about a community when we see or know people who can’t leave their guns in the car for a few hours? It’s not a dog. You can leave a gun and it will take care of itself.

Where do our priorities lie when we are talking about bringing guns around hundreds of other families or thousands of children?

The only guns that should be allowed at the state fair are the ones that shoot sharp jets of water on a target.

Everyone was fine before handguns had the possibility of being allowed at the state fair. My guess is we will continue to be just fine without them.

Mullis, a senior criminal justice major from Wallburg, is an opinion writer.