Com•pla•cent: satisfied with how things are and not wanting to change them: marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.
This is a powerful word and at no greater time than during an election do we realize how dangerous it is for people to become complacent. I hear it all day long, “I wish things could be different, but I’m just one person.” My response? Good grief! Wake up! Sometimes it works; sometimes they stare at me like I have four heads. Either way I got their attention. I hope I can get yours now.
For those of you that don’t know what’s going on in Holly Ridge, let me enlighten you. At the last town council meeting I brought a few people along that wanted to know why the Town of Holly Ridge has chosen to strip me of my state, county and constitutional rights to shoot firearms on private property. The land is not located within city limits, but in the ETJ. What is an ETJ you ask? Extra Territorial Jurisdiction which means it is land that surrounds a municipality but gains nothing from the municipality. No taxes are paid into the municipality and no services are provided. Once upon a time they were created so that towns could force annex land into their cities, but that has been deemed illegal. Why do ETJ’s still exist? No one knows, but Jacksonville just released a significant amount of their ETJ area back to the county where it belonged.
Back to my tale, shall we? The Town of Holly Ridge hasn’t sued anyone else. They didn’t complain about my neighbors who shoot their guns. This lawsuit feels a bit too personal and an overstepping of taxpayer funds. The powers of government are showing us in overwhelming hi-def that they are so disconnected from the people that they represent that surely they are operating from another planet. It’s time to stop being complacent. It’s time for action.
What action, you ask? I ask you to get to the polls on Nov. 5 and to cast your vote for people who care about your safety and your rights. People who have not been seated in the council for so long that their names have become interchangeable with mayor and councilperson like it was a game show.
Don’t be confused though. Just because you have a Holly Ridge zip code does not make you a resident of Holly Ridge. Very few folks actually are residents who are eligible to vote for council or mayor. You must live in the city limits and remember, those limits are only 1.47-miles long. This is a tiny town by all statistics. A tiny town that is about to lose its fire department. A tiny town that has already lost its EMT station. A tiny town with a giant police force with suped-up cop cars and no speed limit over 45 mph. If you live in this tiny town and you are registered to vote, be assured your vote is very important.
There are currently five seats in council to be filled. There are currently only five candidates on the ballot. How convenient. But alas, there may be a bright light on the horizon! I have learned this week that three good, hardworking, law-abiding Holly Ridge residents may be throwing their hats in as write-in candidates. Folks, we have a race here! Remember your knowledge and your actions are more important than ever. Ask questions and don’t forget to vote!
Dorothy Royal is owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.
Ask Gun Gal
Email queries and comments regarding this column to Gun Gal at email@example.com.