A Republican Police Officer’s Perspective on Moral Mondays
Candid Slice has had the privilege of posting the perspectives of Moral Monday participants, unfiltered from the mouths of protesters and arrestees. We strongly believe that the key to lasting social change begins with all sides listening, and open, honest, and respectful dialogue.
Prologue from our Editor-in-Chief – Heather:
Democrats and Republicans may not agree on what’s best for our state, but yelling hateful language and misrepresenting each others ideas won’t get us very far (as exemplified by Senator Goolsby’s disgraceful diatribe). Since I know most of our readers trend towards progressive politics (as does Candid Slice), I just wanted to give this disclaimer to our readers. Read and digest. Regardless of where we stand on these issues, the following perspectives is shared by many of our neighbors and fellow North Carolinians. This is also the personal perspective of a man who risks his life daily to protect our citizens and their rights. Most importantly, this gives us insights into the wide gap we must all work on to close, if we are to overcome our differences and move forward in a meaningful way.
Politics is to important to be left to the politicians, it must be practiced by each of us as individuals first, if we are to truly progress forward as a State and a Country.
Moral Mondays & Witness Wednesdays
Twisting Truths and Wasting Taxpayer Dollars
A Conservative’s View Point.
North Carolina, a location that was considered a “Battleground State” in the 2012 election is back in the national media again due in part to a complete reversal of nearly a hundred years of Democratically controlled legislatures and over 20 years of Democratically controlled Governorships. Due to this shift in control, many things are beginning to change within the state–and whenever you try to institute change you are bound to ruffle some feathers.
Moral Mondays and Witness Wednesdays have become a focal point, as hundreds of people have been arrested at these demonstrations. According to participants, they are here because they believe damaging changes are being passed by the North Carolina General Legislatures and Governor. However, their actions are completely misguided.
The most obvious reason is the wasting of tax-payer dollars (in Wake County/Raleigh primarily) to fund the deployment of additional officers and personnel needed to control these demonstrations. These events also bog down the court system and tie up more resources within the Wake County Court and Detention systems in order to process and handle all these criminal violations.
Secondly, it confuses some of the less informed (or less interested) individuals within the general population while at the same time trying to insert hyper-emotionalism into an issue so as to blind people from what is actually occurring. In other words, they are trying to get people to think, “Those poor demonstrators are being arrested…they must be protesting the right thing because they are willing to be carted away in handcuffs for it.” However, people may have no idea what is actually being protested against or the ramifications of the choices on either side of the aisle.
There are quite a few different bills that certain individuals are rallying against and in order to keep this article as concise as possible I will only touch on a few of the more hotly debated topics:
- Tax Reform
- Racial Justice Act
- Gun Rights
- Voter ID
There are other laws and changes that are being protested and I may get into those in a later article, but for time’s sake I’ll keep it to these four.
The tax reform bills have become some of the most contested issues and have drawn many to the “Moral Monday” demonstrations. The last time North Carolina passed any type of substantial tax reform bill was during the Great Depression (in the 1930’s) and I believe we can all agree that we have come a long way since then and that many things have changed in those 80+ years. Also, let us not forget that these laws were currently in effect while both (scandal entrenched) Governor Purdue and Mike Easley (now a convicted felon) dragged NC into even greater debt.
Tax Reform: How A Sales Tax Boosts Our Economy, and Your Pay Check
The first and most prominent change would be the reducing (or complete end) to income tax (both individual and corporate) and an increase in sales tax. The increase in sales tax would help offset the loss for the state from the reduction of income tax proceeds. The general argument against this idea is that it will somehow increase the burden on the low and middle class. However, this idea is blinded by its own shortsightedness. The arguments seem to stem from people who are merely looking at the increase in sales tax and are not even considering the decrease in income tax and the overall cumulative effect that would have on working individuals. There is a long term goal for the reduction of individual income tax that many who disagree with this idea are not even taking into consideration (not to mention what the reduction in corporate taxes would do to help stimulate the economy). The lowest calculation I have read is that there will be at least a 2% reduction in individual income tax (other law makers propose even further cuts to income tax).
In order to see the long term effects of this plan take that 2% and add it into your paycheck (lets say it is bi-weekly like most people). Now add that together for a monthly amount, then add that for a yearly amount and so on and so forth. The cumulative amount would be less burdensome on a person’s paycheck, than the increase in sales tax since the cost is offset by the gain, of working individuals. If other measures are passed where the personal income tax is reduced even more there is of course an even higher increase to the amount of money received in each paycheck (quite possibly more than offsetting the tax increase that 77% of all American’s saw in January).
Easing the taxes on corporations will allow them to grow more steadily (because they have more money at their disposal) and most importantly will allow them to add more jobs for people who will then begin to benefit from the tax drop at their new job. More jobs means more people begin to spend more money (because they now have money at their disposal) which in turn benefits businesses who add more jobs (and the cycle repeats). This also benefits the government as well because as spending increases it also means increased income on the part of sales tax (further offsetting the needs of income tax and potentially allowing for more tax cuts).
History has proven that a decrease in taxes (such as income tax) benefits everyone because it stimulates the economy (we need only look back at the tax reductions made by a Republican held congress in 1997 for further information on this). Some have tried to twist these tax reforms into the idea that it will hurt the poor. Others have even incorrectly tried to bring the Bible into the mix by saying it says the responsibility of helping the poor falls on the government (might I remind these individuals that the Bible placed the burden of assisting the poor on the church, not the government). However, having a drop in income tax benefits everyone.
Another tax issue is the limiting of funds for entitlement programs (unemployment, state welfare, etc) and is a far less popular issue to discuss with certain people. It’s a sad, but very, very true statement to say that domestic spending on programs such as these are heavily abused at both a state and national level (57% of federal income goes to these domestic entitlement programs vs. the 17%-20% that goes to the military). While amounts change on the state level (when comparing military spending to say State Police and other public safety expenditures) the amount spent on entitlement programs is still egregious. Many of us have heard the accounts or have read/watched the reports of people who freely admit they don’t want to take certain jobs that are available to them simply because they get more money being on unemployment then they would at a perfectly good job. I ask, is it really fair to force other people who are working (especially at the job they just turned down) to pay more in taxes in order to support this person as they continue to do nothing and collect unemployment when there are perfectly good jobs available to them? The idea behind unemployment is to assist people temporarily, not for them to live off of for extended periods of time.
Still there are others that have made the statement that certain jobs are “below them” (I’m not sure how much more “below them” a job can be when they are unemployed); or the very plain black and white issue of others who simply lie in order to receive governmental assistance when they are perfectly capable of working and are simply too lazy to do so.
Now, I would like to point out that there are obviously cases where people need (and deserve) a helping hand, but cutting some of the egregious spending practices of these programs will help to trim the excess spending while at the same time still allowing ample amounts for those who are truly in need.
As I stated earlier forcing the police (both state and local) to make hundreds of arrests is only placing more of a burden on tax payers (Wake County tax payers in particular). It is not illegal to peaceably assemble in order to protest something you disagree with, however it is illegal to cause public disturbances, block sidewalks or entryways into buildings, refuse to leave certain areas when ordered to do so by either the police or people in charge of the property (especially government buildings). Attempting to make a scene in order to try and prove your point accomplishes nothing positive and at times only confuses the issues further; think of the amount of time and money Raleigh Police, State Capitol PD, and the General Legislature Police are spending in order to keep officers on scene in order to control these public exhibits (and think of how many of these officers could better serve the community by being out on patrol rather than forced to stand around and monitor demonstrators). Some individuals have even gone to these events stating that they “plan” to be arrested and it has also been found that other people are coming from out of state in order to attend these events.
When it is all said and done this all amounts to a colossal waste of time and tax payer money.
Next is the repeal of the Racial Justice Act;
Whether or not you believe in the death penalty is irrelevant in this case because the act itself is a bureaucratic and political maneuver designed merely to stop virtually all death penalty cases by further bogging down an already slow system. Personally, I believe this act was passed in the hopes that one day the death penalty would be completely abolished by either the federal government or by the State of NC and thanks to the RJA all death penalty cases for the years leading up to that event would have already been on hold. Therefore the death penalty would have been done away with in NC even before it had “officially” ended. Of the roughly 176 individuals on death row in NC approximately 150 of them appealed their case under the RJA. This included individuals who were white or had killed people of their same race.
One thing many people don’t know is that when a person is sentenced to death, their case is automatically appealed, and not only that the defendant is assigned a new lawyer (and not a public defender). After that appeal is lost the case is usually appealed several more times (this is why you have people sitting on death row for decades before they are executed). Part of the reason all these appeals are done is to ensure that the person who is sentenced to death is truly guilty. However, with the RJA having an 85% or more appeal rate (on top of all the other appeals) it is easy to say that the intent of this act was not to determine anything, but merely to stop the death penalty by bogging down the courts with what amounts to extraneous paperwork.
Now if people want to repeal the death penalty specifically then that should be addressed directly as opposed to merely creating another program that will further congest the court system and cost tax payers even more money (how someone can say that a person such as Mario McNeil who rapes and murders a 5 year old little girl before throwing her body in a trash bag and leaving her on the side of the road deserves to live out the rest of his life is beyond me, but that is a different debate all together).
Straight from a Cop: Expanding Gun Rights Means Protecting Yourself, Not Increasing Murders
Next is the soon to be passed law expanding gun rights. The new law as it sits would allow people holding a conceal carry permit to take their guns into more places such as restaurants that serve alcohol (it would still be illegal to carry your weapon concealed while consuming alcohol), parks, playgrounds, etc. It would also do away with the need for an individual to go to the local sheriff in order to obtain a pistol permit to buy a handgun (but NOT do away with the background check when purchasing from a licensed FFL dealer), and make CCW permit holders information private as apposed to being public record.
There seems to be a great deal of confusion in some circles over the idea that passing more restrictive gun control laws will somehow curb the desire for evil people to do evil things. As if a murderer will say, “I was going to go out and kill half a dozen people, but unfortunately they just passed a law making it illegal, so now I can’t.”.
Others say guns simply make killing easier. I would like to point out that explosives which can be constructed using many normal household items are far more deadly than any gun (see the Okalahoma City or Boston bombing for further on this); however no one is trying to limit grocery stores in the supplying of these items and materials that aid in their construction. If history has taught us anything it is that if a criminal wants to do something illegal they will find a way to do it, whether it is through the use of guns, knives, explosives, or any other means at their disposal, evil always finds a way. Merely taking away law abiding citizens rights does nothing, but increase the number of victims and the ease at which they can be targeted. A perfect example is that it was discovered that the California mass shooter John Zawahri of Santa Monica actually built his own .223 semi-auto rifle, “a.k.a. Assault Rifle”. I’ll remind everyone that California has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, yet still has some of the highest crime rates. These “extra” laws did nothing to stop this mass shooting. Chicago also has very restrictive gun control laws (probably the strictest in the nation), and they nevertheless lead the country in murder rates, even outmatching the death toll of our soldiers during the war in Iraq at times.
The average police response time is 11 minutes (to any call not just to your own house if someone is breaking into it), even if police departments were able to get that time down to 2 minutes there is still a LOT of things that can happen during that time period. This seems to be something that some people are missing. Sit quietly in your chair and count out 120 seconds. I can tell you from personal experience that when you need a gun you want it NOW, not 5 seconds from now, not even 2 seconds from now, and especially not 120 seconds from now. These types of scenarios combine situations both inside and outside a person’s home as an individual can become a victim just as easily out on the street as in their residence.
It is already illegal for certain individuals to purchase or possess firearms (felons, people with domestic violence protective orders against them, etc), and the new proposed laws will only increase the penalties for those individuals. Simply trying to lump everyone into one large group, instead of going after the true criminals, does nothing to help law abiding citizens.
Making concealed weapons permit holder’s information no longer public helps everyone in a twofold manner. This will no longer allow criminals to find out who has a gun if they intent to steal one. It also helps to defend those people who do not have guns as criminals will not be able to identify victims that are unable to defend themselves as easily.
Voter ID: Do You Fall for the Scare Tactics?
While the tax reform laws and Racial Justice Act have encompassed a larger portion of the demonstrations occurring on Capital Hill, voter ID is still a very hotly contested issue. However, it is a lie to say that voter fraud is not occurring within this state and country as a whole. We are seeing everyday how the system is being rigged by dishonest individuals, whether it is the IRS scandal, the Illinois voter registration scandal, the Associated Press scandal, the Benghazi scandal, or the NSA phone tapping scandal.
Proponents attempt to say that this will prevent students, immigrants, minorities, and the poor from voting. My question to that is how? There is nothing that proves this at all and requiring an ID that 99% of law abiding citizens already have is not penalizing anyone (except criminals). The bill allows for several forms of ID to be accepted (including one issued by the NC Board of Elections that is given for the specific purpose of allowing people to vote). To be blunt, saying that this will prohibit law abiding citizens from voting, is merely a scare tactic that is being used by certain party members and followers who know they will benefit from fraudulent voting practices (and do we really want them in office if that is how they intend to be voted in?).
Moral Mondays and Witness Wednesdays have turned into a circus that is only costing tax payers money, confusing people, and attempting to combat many plans that will benefit this state. In today’s society it seems that certain parties and ideals are less about what is morally right and good for society and instead have shifted to who can scream the loudest, create the biggest scene, and cause the most trouble in order to get what they want. However, when people take the time to do true research instead of thinking they know everything about a subject merely by watching a short 2 minute news brief on CNN or WRAL and taking the news broadcasters bias along with it, things can become drastically different. In a world where we have a vast amount of knowledge at our fingertips many have chosen to no longer think for themselves and instead follow blindly along with the masses or vote and demonstrate for what they think looks “cool” or what has the best emotional tagline instead of sitting down and thinking, “What can I do with my vote or decision that will truly help this state and this country.” Knowledge is power and when people refuse to learn and think for themselves it in turn creates fiascos such as Moral Mondays.