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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


NOW IT'S THE VOTERS' TURN ON THE STATUS OF ABORTION: Those in power in North Carolina’s legislature pledge to do the opposite of what the people they represent want. State Senate Leader Phil Berger said the legislature will take “immediate action” to further restrict the state’s current abortion laws. Those current laws include requirements that patients undergo an ultrasound examination and receive information designed to discourage abortions and a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion. House Speaker Tim Moore explicitly promised further abortion restrictions. “Pro-life protections to be a top priority of the legislature when we return to our normal legislative session in January,” Moore said. It is no exaggeration to say that “Roe is on the ballot.” North Carolina voters will elect members of the state legislature, U.S. House of Representatives and a U.S. senator along with key judges on the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. We need to make sure that when January rolls around, BergerMoore simply won't have any viable options to further restrict abortions in North Carolina. That means paying close attention to the 170 General Assembly seats in play, as well as the appellate court seats being fought over. I have not forgotten the Federal races; I just wanted to make sure readers don't forget how critical our state races are. Now more than ever.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


DEAL TO CURB GUN VIOLENCE IS BARELY A TOKEN EFFORT. MUCH MORE NEEDED NOW: It would be generous to describe as even incremental progress, the bipartisan response to the recent spate of mass shootings – including the assault-style rifle enabled slaughter of 21 at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and before that 10 dead at a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store. They don’t even make modest progress toward stopping access to automatic-style weapons. There is some small progress. For that, we should be tepidly thankful? But the problems generated by the easy access to weapons whose only purpose is mass destruction is not going away with this latest action. It will not defuse it as an issue in the fall elections. Banning assault weapons is NOT an attack on the 2nd Amendment. It is about protecting public safety and health. When 57% of American parents and 51% of North Carolinians are worried that there will be a shooting at their child’s school, Congress is doing little to comfort and reassure them. How much power does the NRA have to block any meaningful efforts to control these deadly assault weapons? When North Carolinians cast ballots in the fall, it should be clearly for those who will work to ban assault weapons in Congress or in the state legislature. And they most certainly should not vote for candidates who pose for pictures holding assault rifles, or political parties who make them raffle prizes.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


OIL COMPANIES SHOULD PAY WINDFALL PROFITS TAX: A month ago it was reported that ExxonMobil’s net profit more than doubled to $5.5 billion from a year earlier – and that was after taking a $3.4 billion charge from closing down its operations in Russia. Shell reports its highest profits ever and Chevron’s quarterly profit was the biggest in nearly a decade. What are these companies doing with the windfall of cash – that has come largely as a result of Russia’s unconscionable aggression in Ukraine? Why is there corporate silence instead of loud cheers of “drill baby drill?” Because oil and gas company execs are more interested in pumping up their own wealth – and that of their investors – than making sure American families can afford to get to and from their jobs, drop their kids at school, pick up groceries and take care of the other basic needs of daily life. These companies are buying back their stock and sending cash to shareholders. In other words, they are sending cash to themselves, while artificially inflating the value of their stocks. And they are artificially inflating the price of crude by not increasing production to meet demand. Their behavior needs to be modified.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


BIDEN'S MODEST PROPOSAL PROTECTS LIVES AND GUN RIGHTS: If the members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation want to show they REALLY stand with the American people they have a chance to do it by passing the common-sense agenda President Joe Biden outlined Thursday in his nationally televised speech. Since the start of the year there have been 233 mass shootings nationwide, resulting in 261 deaths and 1,010 injuries – 8 in North Carolina with seven deaths and 28 injured. Isn’t it about time – after Buffalo, Uvalde, and Tulsa for that gratuitous symbolism to be backed up by notions of responsibility. Isn’t it about time our members of congress sided with the overwhelming majority of their constituents? Backing responsible gun purchase and ownership regulation won’t diminish anyone’s 2nd Amendment rights -- though it may cost a politician a few bucks from the NRA. But probably not. What it will do is restore some sanity to the nation’s firearms culture and definitely save some lives. It's long past time. AR-15s are easier to purchase than handguns, and ammunition for them is easier to purchase than cold medicine. Lawmakers have shirked their responsibility for way too long, and that needs to stop.


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