North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s December 7 announcement, bragging about the expansion of a firearms facility in Rockingham County stands in stark contrast to his 2019 anti-gun executive directive and continues to show his total lack of concern for the tens of thousands of small businesses devastated by other public directives.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, Sturm, Ruger & Co. will invest $10 million expanding its site in Mayodan with the intention of adding “roughly” 60 new jobs. To assist the gun manufacturer, the state is ponying up $150,000 in a performance grant from the taxpayer supported One North Carolina Fund which is to be matched by a local grant as well.

This announcement seems to conflict directly with Cooper’s Gun Safety Executive Directive which he initiated last year in an effort to dissuade gun ownership in the state. The directive was designed to “strengthen firearm background checks” and tangentially blames firearm owners for increased gun violence.

The governor’s August 2019 press release about the Executive Directive includes remarks from North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, quoting North Carolina Council of Churches Executive Director Jennifer Copeland who said, “The Old Testament prophets and the New Testament Gospels remind us not to put our trust in false idols. In many cases guns have become false idols worshiped in pursuit of safety, while statistics bear out the truth that more guns mean more gun deaths.”

Governor Cooper’s sincerity about the threat to the public that gun ownership represents, is very much in question when compared to his announcement about the expansion of Sturm, Ruger & Co. Not only does this create an obvious conflict in public messaging, it also creates a conflict with his staunch anti-gun supporters.

But the governor’s disconnect with the impacts of his actions does not stop with these apparent conflicts.

This proud announcement about another major, profitable company benefiting from the One North Carolina Fund, along with many others made over the past year, continues to show that the governor’s focus is in big ribbon cutting events underwritten with tax dollars. All the while, the very state taxpayers and businesses that have funded these give-away programs continue to suffer under a variety of Cooper’s executive orders that are curtailing or permanently shuttering businesses and subsequently forcing more taxpayers on to the unemployment line.

The obvious conclusion is that big investors and publicity events are far more important to Governor Cooper than any interest in gun safety or the financial security for the state’s small business community.

(9) comments

dc

You mean he's a hypocritical career politician who talks out of both sides of his mouth for his benefit? Hard to believe.

taxpayer

Cooper is just a typical "progressive" politician. He says what he thinks he audience wants to hear. Different audiences get different messages.

As for big business over small, it is much more difficult to launder campaign contributions from lots of small donors versus a few big ones. These negotiations are sensitive, and too risky to involve a lot a different people. See the gas pipeline scandal for an example of how these things can get sideways. Good thing Cooper has friends over at the AG's office, or that could have been real trouble.

David Collins

Matters not what company wants to enter or expand in NC . The whole idea of paying incentives to do so is irresponsible and even stupid . When money changes hands in one direction a return is expected . Often in campaign donations .

The irony is just that it is a gun manufacture and his political party is solidly anti gun , at least for you and me . The same political party that refuses to enforce laws , encouraging antisocial activities , riots and unrestrained looting with a sprinkling of deaths thrown into the party . No wonder gun sales are at a record high with no let up in sight .

drewski

No the irony is if this was a gop gov, those exact same actions would have been lauded as bold and foreward thinking.

Meanwhile all states are offering incentives, so how is nc to compete if we don't?

mpjeep

Yep Coop panders to big business, we all know it, but he also supports the teacher’s union.

North Carolina has, over the last hundred years, had more Democratic governors than any state in the country. Even more than California and Massachusetts. Wow! We deserve what we get. Coop’s wife, Kristin Cooper, sends her freedom of expression sign to NC conservatives (the middle finger).

Coop has used the pandemic against us. He certainly used it against Dan Forest.

mpjeep

All states offer incentives for businesses to relocate to their state. Makes good economic sense, assuming someone put a pencil to the numbers and feels there’s a good ROI in doing so.

And all politicians, at any level, love ribbon cutting events. It’s what they do. I’m glad to see Coop didn’t let his personal bias toward guns, keep him for doing the right thing for North Carolinians.

Governor Coop, on his own accord, can spend money from the One North Carolina Fund, It was created for that very purpose.

But Coop is not the only politician in NC that doesn’t look out for small businesses or the little people. What about state lawmakers, the General Assembly?

I’ve read where some states are giving their own stimulus checks to help folks in need during the pandemic, rather than waiting on Pelosi to help. And I know Coop gave a stimulus check to parents which was great. But some folks without kids need help as well.

NC has about $5.5 billion in savings and that number grows monthly. Why are we not spending some of it during this time of crisis?

Yes, we should be careful of spending money as a state, because we are unsure of what the future will bring, but there really is no reason why we shouldn't release some funds to help those in desperate need.

About 250,000 residents in our state have lost their jobs and probably health insurance. And in January it is estimated that 100,000 folks may face eviction because they can’t pay rent/mortgage.

Feeding America says that 20% of North Carolinians are experiencing food shortages. And many small businesses have closed for good.

Governor Coop and the Legislature should work together and get some help for folks in pain. Most of us save for a rainy day and by golly I think it’s raining.

noitall

$2000 per job for 60 high paying weapons technicians We will break even in one year on income tax revenue. The Guv has a nose for money - does he not.

mpjeep

Coop continues to be non-transparent on incentives that were offered to Apple Co deal from 2018.

NC was in the running to get Apple in Raleigh, but lost out to Austin, TX.

Coop says he can’t release the details due to an ongoing offer to still get Apple to NC. Makes sense. And someone connected to Apple has purchased 300 acres of land in NC.

So even if there is a new opportunity on the horizon, Coop should release data from the old deal since it is no longer viable, but for some reason Coop wants to hide this information.

Incentives are a necessary evil to attract businesses to NC and an Apple deal, with high paying jobs, would probably be worth a large enticement. We don’t know because Coop won’t tell us.

NY lost Amazon because of the amount of money being offered that turned folks against that opportunity. I feel it was another NY mistake.

Wonder if Coop was in the same boat as NY and wants to avoid bad headlines? And Coop and Dr Mandy still hide the number of deaths in nursing homes.

Secrecy brings about distrust.

mpjeep

Hey Governor Coop just signed an executive order allowing NC bars to sell drinks-to-go.

Excellent and may help bar owners a little. Only one drink per person, but that's all I usually drink while driving anyway.

[smile]

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