The Biggest Obstacle to Progressive Policy
Deer-dogging can be an unnecessary nuisance. ‘Deer-dogging’ is when deer hunters use dogs to flush deer out of hiding, hopefully toward their masters who are hanging out on their deer stands. Obviously, the dogs often end up on wild goose chases running deer through private property and sometimes getting lost. Then the mighty hunters have to pack up their Cheetos and beer and actually walk in search of their dogs, often trespassing.
It’s banned in 39 states. Makes sense – it protects private property and doesn’t restrict deer hunting. Hell, I live out in the country and I could easily “harvest” a deer daily with just a little more effort than it takes to haul my munchies and my gun up to the deer stand. Sometimes I think I could take out one with my Swiss Army knife or a nail-gun at close range. I sure could do it without a dog.
But I digress. The Orange County Board of Commissioners unanimously decided in 2010 that they wanted to protect the citizenry by banning deer-dogging. Sounds simple, right? Well, not in North Carolina, where local governments are forbidden from making all kinds of policy changes without a special act of the State legislature.
Maybe they wanted to protect the “rural lifestyle” and heritage of North Carolina or they thought PETA must have been involved or they thought it was a communist idea cooked up the radical liberal misfits in Chapel Hill, but the good old State legislators did not see fit to allow us to make our own rules here.
Most states have “home rule” for their municipal governments. It’s clearly democratic and saves loads of time for the local lawmakers and citizens as well as the self-important busy-bodies that make up a majority of our state legislative brain-trust.
I was on the OWASA Board during the drought crisis ten years ago and we were reviewing all sorts of strategies to conserve water. One idea among the many was to require that old water-guzzling toilets be replaced by modern low-flow models when a house was sold. It was a little thing, just another way to improve our drought resilience in a relatively painless manner…
You guessed it. We learned we would need an act of the Legislature.
We need home rule in North Carolina. County commissioners and other municipal officials around the state need to unite around this simple and fair request. We are facing a lot of problems and local governments need to be free of the nanny legislature to creatively deal with our multiple challenges.