Paralyzed shooting victim speaks out on need for gun control

His life was changed forever in the blink of an eye:

I’m one of the 78,000 people a year who are lucky enough to survive a gun injury. Lucky is a relative term. I have a spinal cord injury. I struggle with relentless nerve pain. One gun, one bullet changes everything.

Little did I know that 4:29 pm, April 15, 2005 would be the last pain-free moment I’d ever spend in my lifetime. At 4:30 pm, I entered the outer lobby of a Detroit television station, and was shot at point blank range. There was no confrontation, no attempted robbery, no yelling and screaming. A young man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia quietly pulled a 33-caliber handgun out of his pocket and pulled the trigger. It’s amazing the pain one bullet can cause. It was a living nightmare, a nightmare I share with an estimated 309 people who are shot in America on any given day.

This is almost too horrible to write about. To be wheelchair-bound is bad enough; we take for granted the ability to get up off the couch and walk to the bathroom, or dash back into the house if we forgot our wallet or sunglasses. For somebody in a wheelchair, even the simplest of activities are a challenge. But to also be in constant pain from a spinal injury, a pain that never fades away, nor can it be "managed" with pain meds, is just incomprehensible to most of us. We can't imagine it. But we really need to try, if we are to hold our elected officials accountable and not allow the gun-nuts to dictate policy:

Sunday News: Bad Hombre? Not even close

"THERE IS NO PLACE I COULD GO:" HARNETT COUNTY MOM FACES DEPORTATION TO COUNTRY SHE BARELY REMEMBERS (Fayetteville Observer) -- 20 years ago, Lilian Cardona-Perez left the violence of Guatemala as a teenager. This week she learns if she has to go back, leaving her husband and four children behind. "I left with my sister when I was 13 years old," Cardona-Perez said through an interpreter Saturday at an Angier prayer vigil for her family. "I have no family there. I have no home. There is no place I could go." She pauses as her husband, Juan Perez, squeezes her arm gently. "I will still go to work this week, until the day I must go to Charlotte," she said. "I have faith that God will watch over us." Cardona-Perez has a hearing on Thursday at the Department of Immigration in Charlotte. If her hearing is denied, authorities can order her removed from the country, even though she has a work permit that is valid through October.
http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20170311/there-is-no-place-i-could-go-harnett-county-pregnant-mother...

NC GOP drives its Legislative fiat into downtown Asheville

And Big Brother is barely out of his campaign diapers:

Edwards made it clear that he doesn’t care what the people of Asheville think of this. Of course that isn’t terribly surprising, given that Edwards only represents a sliver of the city he wants to save from itself.

“As a courtesy I am informing you of this intent with the hope that your discussion may revolve more around ‘how’ to district, and forego the discussion of ‘should’ we district,” he told the City Council.

It's a testimony to the arrogance of the GOP that a freshman Senator feels free to dictate terms to a City Council that collectively has a few decades of service under its belt. But that's the difference between most Republicans and Democrats: When an "R" wins a race, no matter what the margin of victory, they consider it a "mandate" to do whatever crosses their mind. When a "D" wins, however, that's when the soul-searching really begins, the desire to make sure they are acting in the best interests of the whole, as opposed to disparate parts. But as far as Edwards is concerned, what the citizens of Asheville want doesn't matter:

Saturday News: Can't believe this is still going on

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KKK ANNOUNCES CROSS BURNING, RALLY IN N.C. TOWN (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Details on a KKK rally in Asheboro, N.C., are scarce, but a website says the event will feature speeches, dinner and a cross burning at dark. The event was scheduled by The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which is based in Pelham – an unincorporated community about 45 minutes north of Burlington, near the Virginia line. Two Klan leaders, who organized a “White Lives Matter” rally that turned violent in Anaheim, Calif., in 2016, were arrested in North Carolina in December in connection with a stabbing before a Klan parade, according to a New York Times story. The Times said the men — William Hagen, grand dragon of the Loyal White Knights, and Chris Baker — were accused of stabbing a third Klan member.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article137706138.html

Filed under "Also not a Transgender offender"

Under the sub-category "The dangers of opposite-sex attraction"

Robert William Woodard III, 28, was charged Thursday with 8 counts of felony indecent liberties with a student, 7 counts of felony first-degree sexual offense of a child 15 years of age or younger and 18 counts of felony sex acts with a student, according to the Chatham County Sheriff's Office.

An investigation by school officials, along with a tip from a parent, revealed potential violations of law, which the school district reported to the Sheriff’s Office. Members of the Sheriff’s Office are investigating allegations that Woodard was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a female student at Chatham Central High School.

Bolding mine, because a) Damn, and b) The girl doesn't have a driver's license, so she couldn't have become involved with this guy off school grounds unless somebody shuttled her around. I suppose she could have walked, but the school is kind of out in the boonies. It's like 4 miles from Goldston, which isn't what I would classify as a metropolitan hub, if you catch my drift. Yeah, I know. It happens, and they caught the guy. But when I think of the misplaced fear of LGBT folks, and the discrimination they suffer due to that fear, stuff like this takes on a different meaning, doesn't it? Real predators thrive in an environment where people are afraid of imaginary monsters.

Friday News: Fake news, Berger style

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ALTERED NEWS? SENATE GOP LEADER BERGER CHANGES HEADLINES ABOUT COOPER (AP) -- The news was real, but the headlines weren't. The office of Republican N.C. Senate leader Phil Berger altered headlines from state news outlets on the senator's official Facebook page. On Jan. 30, The Charlotte Observer published a headline on its website reading, "Carolinas political leaders react to Trump's executive order." On Berger's page, the headline was changed to say, "Cooper flip flops on refugees." In addition to changing the headline, the Facebook post also removed an image of Sen. Thom Tillis from the Observer story and replaced it with a photo of Cooper laughing.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article137556263.html

The benefits and dangers of revamping NC's renewable energy policies

Big changes could be on the horizon:

Word that the work of a large stakeholder group of industry and environmental advocates convened in early 2015 to tackle a number of energy issues would likely yield new legislation this session came in a keynote speech Friday by Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, at the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment’s Clean Tech Summit in Chapel Hill.

“When that draft bill was shown to the groups who had been part of the collaborative process, everyone got their shorts in a wad,” McGrady said in his remarks. “Surprisingly though, in a very short period of time, the outline of an energy bill is emerging.”

Instead of taking up space on the front page with my usual long-winded rant, follow me below the fold if you're interested:

Thursday News: Blowing the dust off the Veto stamp

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TRIAL COURT ELECTIONS PARTISAN AGAIN LOOKS RIPE FOR VETO (AP) -- The Republican-controlled General Assembly gave final approval Wednesday to legislation officially making all local trial court elections in North Carolina partisan affairs again, a decision that appears ripe for Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to issue his first veto. "I have real concerns about throwing judicial elections back to the partisan arena," Cooper said Tuesday. "I think it's important that they stay out of that as much as possible. I don't like it." But the bill cleared both the House and Senate in final votes by veto-proof margins, meaning the chance a veto would be overridden is high. Wednesday's 74-43 vote was largely along party lines.
http://www.wral.com/panel-considering-shifting-n-carolina-judicial-appointments/16572429/

Diagnosing Trump: Mental health professionals are speaking out

And it's not looking good for the Liar in Chief:

These behaviors include but are not limited to: condescension, gross exaggeration (lying), bullying, jealousy, fragile self-esteem, lack of compassion, and viewing the world as Us versus Them. Having observed the school-yard bully tactics Trump employed during a series of public debates as well as his boasting presentation during interviews, we felt it would be important to raise awareness about some of his behaviors.

So in January 2016, we published Bullies: An Exploration Into Different Types of Bullies. Note: Our intention was to use a picture of Trump to make our point but were dissuaded due to the possibility of offending some of our Psychology Today readers, who are also his supporters, and so opted for a generic-looking meanie as our bully poster boy.

If you could have offended enough of those readers back in early 2016 with the truth of his personality disorder, we might not be in the situation we're in. But better late than never:

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