Civitas Review

Civitas Institute Has No Link to Newspapers that Eyed Permit Database


It's very important to understand that the Civitas Institute has no connection whatsoever to a newspaper chain that reportedly was considering a database of people with concealed-carry permits.

The claim has been made by the Buckeye Firearms Association:

According to an internal email provided to Buckeye Firearms Association by a confidential source, Civitas Media, which owns some 88 newspapers across the country, has discussed the use of "public records act requests" to "build state-by-state databases that list those who have the right to carry" firearm licenses.

There is no connection between the nonprofit Civitas Institute and the newspaper chain, a private company which by coincidence is headquartered in North Carolina, but has newspapers across the country.

The Civitas Institute fully supports the Second Amendment, and the right of law-abiding citizens to obtain permits to legally carry concealed firearms.

The gun-registry scheme looks like a tactic to intimidate and harass people who have legal permits to carry firearms to protect themselves. The newspaper company has disavowed any plans to create a gun registry. However, if you agree with us that such a gun registry is a bad idea, and you think the company should know that, please contact Civitas Media:

PRESIDENT & CEO: Michael Bush

130 Harbour Place Drive Suite 300
Davidson, NC 28036
Phone: (704) 897-6020

New Study Shows Positive Impacts From NC's Unemployment Reforms


A study released last week by the University of Pennsylvania economics department examines North Carolina's labor market trends in light of the unemployment benefit changes that went into effect last summer.

The study, based on official labor market data, presents some interesting findings:

  • Contrary to what critics continue to claim, the drop in the unemployment rate in NC after the UI reform is not due to people dropping out of the labor force. Indeed, the data in Table 1 from the study shows that the labor force participation rate increased from  71.0 percent in June 2013 (the last month before the UI benefit changes) to 72.7 percent in November. The study describes this as "a strong increase in the labor force" since the UI changes.
    • A different data set examined in the study does show a decrease in labor force participation rate since the UI reform; however the rate of decline is slower after the UI reforms than in the same time period prior to reform. The study's authors were unable to discern an explanation for the discrepancy in labor force participation data between data sets.
  • Both the household survey and establishment survey (the two primary sources of labor market data) show "A substantial increase in the employment level and in the share of population that is employed" since the UI reform. These figures are seasonally adjusted to accommodate for seasonal fluctuations in the labor market (holiday retail jobs, back to school, etc.)
  • The study also addresses the question of what kind of jobs are being created and accepted since the UI reform: "Are the new jobs created in NC somehow inferior? We see no evidence for that in the data on hours, employment and wages."
  • The study also compares NC's labor market improvements relative to surrounding states and finds: "The evidence in the figures suggests that North Carolina stands out among its neighbors in the improvement in its labor market performance since its unemployment insurance system was reformed."

Monday Protests Exposed as Political Theater


Crowd outside legislative chambers, Moral Monday, June 11, 2013

Crowd outside legislative chambers, June 11

According to news outlets, more "Moral Monday" cases are ending in acquittals or  being tossed out of court — which sheds light on what the disturbances really are.

Prosecutors said they will drop pending cases against those arrested in the May 20 disturbances, after a judge acquitted five accused demonstrators.

Reportedly it was difficult for officers to testify about specific individuals' actions in the chaos outside the legislative chambers. (The News & Observer also reported on the cases.)

The news stories said prosecutors will proceed against other demonstrators. But so far, out of 945 arrests, 26 people have been convicted and 31 acquitted. Others have taken plea deals, which generally means paying a fine and doing some community service.It may be that many of the other demonstrators will cop a plea, win their cases, or see their charges dropped altogether as the justice system gags on this influx of cases.

This ongoing story confirms what we've suspected from the beginning. The protesters like to pose as descendents of the civil rights demonstrators of the 1960s. But those men and women were real heroes. They faced real hardships and danger. They also accepted punishment for breaking the laws.

The Monday protesters like to think of themselves as such brave opponents of bad law. But they were only play-acting the part of civil rights crusaders. The Monday crows got out of custody as soon as they could on the various Mondays (and the occasional Wednesday). They have for the most part fought tooth and nail to escape real punishment — or any punishment at all. They succeed often, for they are far from being weak and oppressed. If anything, our analysis has shown, the demonstrators are middle class people with the resources, savvy and connections to dodge justice. The whole show exposes the Monday protests as mere street theater.

CLC Speaker Sen. Mike Lee to Reply to 'State of the Union'


Lee, Mike cropped

Sen. Mike Lee

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah will be speaking at our Conservative Leadership Conference — and he'll be speaking next Tuesday, Jan. 28,  in response to President Obama's State of the Union Address.

According to Politico: "The Utah Republican will speak immediately after the traditional Republican response to the State of the Union, which begins after President Barack Obama’s address, the Tea Party Express said."

His remarks will be live-streamed at

USA Today reported,

"For the Tea Party movement, 2014 is not just about taking back the Senate, but it is also about putting forward conservative ideas that will allow for America to prosper," said Amy Kremer, chairwoman of the Tea Party Express. "Senator Mike Lee has been both a Tea Party hero for supporters across the nation, and a conservative leader in the upper chamber."

Lee has been a leading voice in for conservative values and policies  in recent Senate debates, including the battles over the budget. He also has been putting forward some of his own ideas about how conservatives can offer solutions to pressing national problems.

Check out his speech Tuesday night …. And think about signing up for CLC to hear him in person. Go to  for more information.

Render Unto Caesar


the Things that are Caesar's

William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, visited South Carolina on Sunday to give a "pre-Martin Luther King Day" speech at Zion Baptist Church in Columbia to Columbia and South Carolina NAACP members and guests.

Being that it was a speech in a church and in memory of the great civil rights leader, one might think the speech would be respectful and reverent and perhaps a bit inspiring. But, if you know William Barber like we know William Barber, you would expect a speech that would center on demonizing conservatives or as Barber would say "right-wing extremists."

Unfortunately, Tim Scott, one of South Carolina's U.S. Senators and one of only three African-American U.S. Senators was the subject of one of  Barber's nasty diatribes. Barber said,

"A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy. The extreme right wing down here (in South Carolina) finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the Tea Party."

Scott was in good company though, according to "The State," Barber also lambasted clergy when he said "pastors who obsess about topics like prayer, homosexuality and abortion while neglecting justice, poverty, fair play and equality issues “are just running their mouths.”

In an email to the Daily Caller Senator Scott commented on Barber's rant.

“To reflect seriously on the comments a person, a pastor, that is filled with baseless and meaningless rhetoric would be to do a disservice to the very people who have sacrificed so much and paved a way,” Scott told The Daily Caller in an emailed statement. “Instead, I will honor the memory of Dr. King by being proactive in holding the door for others and serving my fellow man. And Rev. Barber will remind me and others of what not to do.”