By TODD CHESTER
RALEIGH — Following on the heels of HB 476, which removes the state’s requirement for a concealed carry permit, a new bill was introduced late today to allow open or concealed carry in North Carolina daycares.
HB.577, sponsored by Representative Rep. Chris Millis (R-Hampstead), would allow concealed handguns and open-carry long guns in daycare centers, preschools, and nurseries as long as alcohol is not served on the premises as well. It is seen as a compromise bill to the earlier HB.357, which died in committee, which would have mandated – rather than allowed – guns to be carried in all Head Start classrooms.
Advocates for children and gun control lined up in opposition to the measure, saying that the combination of guns and toddlers is a recipe for disaster.
“Youngsters under the age of five are naturally very curious and don’t comprehend the consequences of their actions. Introducing guns into an environment that is supposed to nurture children goes against the recommendations of the AAP [American Academy of Pediatrics],” said local child psychologist Beth Wynn-Reynolds. “The AAP completely opposes introducing anything more powerful than a .22 to a child, and even then, only after the age of six.”
She added, “It is commonplace for children of that age to act out by biting, hitting, or shooting, if guns are made available. They just don’t have the cognitive ability to resolve problems verbally or rationally.”
Representative Millis remains undaunted. “These libtard-ding-dong-huckity-hocks can just get over it.
“If some out-of-control kid is biting you, all the more reason to carry a gun. You don’t know where that kid’s been. He could have Ebola or something.
“Folks that really know me know that NC State is number one in my book, but guns is a close second. Children have rights under the Second Amendment, too. Besides, the only thing that will stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun. That’s just a fact.”
Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) said he would vote against the bill and argued that only terrible people bent on raping and pillaging entire communities have any interest whatsoever in owning firearms. “I don’t know anything about guns, and I plan to keep it that way,” said Jackson. “That is precisely why I keep introducing legislation and amendments about guns. As they say, ignorance is power. Or bliss. Whatever. Guns are dangerous.”
Representative Garland Pierce (D-Sandhills/Pine Barrens) who is a pastor, also questioned the wisdom of having handguns around so many young children and the assertion that Jesus would support the use of firearms. “The gospel of Matthew said that those who ‘live by the sword will die by the sword,'” he said.
“Tell Garland to get down here and show me where my bill says anything about swords. It pertains only to guns,” rebutted Millis.
Grass Roots North Carolina, a gun rights advocacy group, is in full support of the bill. “We believe that every man, woman, and child in North Carolina should own about five guns each,” said Paul Valone, president of the group. “If you’re old enough to hold a bottle, you’re old enough to hold a small gun.”
He continued, “Guns aren’t just for protection. These youngsters could gain some self-esteem and discipline through guns. Suppose a young boy feels like he’s not been adequately endowed. Well, a gun may help with those feelings of inadequacy. At least that’s what I’ve heard from other people.”
Thus far, the bill has not been assigned to a committee, which means its future is uncertain. Leah Burns, Deputy Chief of Staff for Speaker of the House Tim Moore explained that the Speaker cannot prevent a member from filing a bill.
“Any member can file a bill,” she explained, “But it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea or will become law. Hell, look around you. Anyone can get elected to this body, for that matter.”