On the first anniversary of the Parkland shooting, gun controllers in North Carolina have rolled out their anti-gun agenda.
Several anti-gun Democrats filed an omnibus gun control bill, marketed as the Gun Violence Protection Act, which includes universal background checks, high-capacity magazine bans, bump stock bans, and raising the age to buy so-called “assault weapons” from 18 to 21.
Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham, lamented the fact that lawmakers have to something on this tragic anniversary:
“It’s sad we have to be here on Valentine’s Day in remembrance of what happened a year ago in Parkland.
Additionally, Morey sees gun violence as a national problem rather than one confined to Parkland, Florida:
“It’s not just Parkland. It’s not just mass shootings. It happens in our communities every day.”
Previous attempts at gun control have not made progress in North Carolina’s Republican-dominated General Assembly in the past few years.
Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, who has religiously filed gun control bills since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, voiced her frustration with gun control’s lack of progress in North Carolina. Harrison argues that the “state has gone the exact opposite direction” on gun control matters.
And gun control remains dead in the water with Republicans still in control of the North Carolina Assembly.
However, GOP House members went on offense earlier this week when they filed their own gun omnibus bill filled with Constitutional Carry provisions. By introducing Constitutional Carry, they are at least shifting the discussion toward more gun rights.
Nevertheless, gun controllers will press on with their gun-grabbing schemes. They’re playing the long-game, and understand that relentlessly pushing for gun control will pay dividends once another mass shooting breaks out.
This was on display after the Parkland shooting, when a solid GOP state like Florida bowed down to anti-gun pressure when it passed SB 7026 which enacted red flag provisions, raised the age to buy a firearm to 21, and imposed a three-day waiting period for all firearms purchases.
The good news is that North Carolina Republicans understand that the best defense is offense.
To defeat gun control once and for all, bad bills must be killed and good legislation like Constitutional Carry must be passed.
HISTORIC: President Trump Brokers Two-State Solution Between Israel and Palestine
On August 13, 2020, Israel and the United Arb Emirates announced that they will normalize diplomatic relations and establish new broad-based ties.
This represents a pivotal moment in Middle Eastern politics, as the hot-button political issues shift from the issue of Palestine to Iran. The Trump administration helped broker this deal.
Under this new agreement, Israel has nominally agreed to stop its plans to annex the areas of the occupied West Bank. This agreement also solidifies opposition to Iran, which has become stronger ever since the U.S. launched its disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the moment, the U.S. views Iran as the principal threat in the Middle East.
Israel previously signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Up to this moment, the UAE and most other Arab countries did not maintain formal diplomatic or economic relations with the country until now. In normalizing relations with Israel, the UAE became the first Gulf Arab country to reach such an agreement with the Jewish state.
According to White House officials, the agreement was the result of extended discussions between Israel, the UAE, and the U.S.
In a joint statement featuring President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, they declared that they had “agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”
“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement read.
Reuters reported that in another statement, the crown prince highlighted that the agreement would prevent further Israeli annexation of Palestinian land, which Israel claims to have been waiting for U.S. approval.
The agreement is known as the Abraham Accords. It provides Trump a foreign policy accomplishment as he pursues re-election in November.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” Trump Tweeted.
HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020
In a separate tweet, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, announced that the Trump administration was able to get Israel to agree with Palestinian people on a two-state solution.
The White House’s Twitter account announced this development:
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory.
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory. pic.twitter.com/8r3DWmzzOx
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 13, 2020
The Trump administration revealed that deals similar to the UAE and Israeli agreement are being crafted by Israel and other Arab states.
This marks a change in strategy from the nation-building of the Obama and Bush administrations, which largely benefited the defense industry, and relied upon misguided hard power instead of smart diplomacy to settle disputes.
Time will tell if such policies will last.
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