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.