Two worlds

I make a lot of people angry, sometimes with what I write or what I do, or as my Nancy Oatesdaughter told me once, “It’s just who you are.” But I don’t live in a world where the people who get angry at me would shoot me.

But some who live in our community aren’t so lucky, like an 18-year-old boy in Hillsborough who lives in a low-income apartment complex. One Saturday afternoon earlier this month, he walked down the steps of his building, and whoever was mad at him shot him and left, no screeching tires, nothing like what you see in the movies. Just did what he’d come to do and moved on.

The gulf between that 18-year-old’s world and mine is ocean-wide. It’s not so much the lack of money that separates his world from mine; it’s the lack of hope, the lack of a belief that if your life isn’t the way you want it to be, you can change it, without gunfire.

This teenager was not out after decent folk had gone to bed, in a part of town decent folk would steer clear of. He was home, on an Indian summer day in October, in an apartment complex where little kids raced around on their bikes and moms sat on the steps watching out for them. When the moms frantically called 911 after the shooting, a police car arrived with lights swirling but no siren. An officer saw the carnage, spoke into his shoulder mike, and shortly after that, an ambulance arrived. Because the victim didn’t die, the media didn’t deem it newsworthy. If gunfire erupted in my neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon, I bet it would have made the news, even if no one had been hit.

There is nothing I could have done that day to prevent the teenager from getting shot. What I can do, and what everyone reading this can do, is vote for elected officials who do not set policies and budgets that gut education, take away health care from people already on tight budgets, and make it harder for the working class and those without private transportation to vote.

The woman I will vote for to represent me in the U.S. Senate works to raise the minimum wage and to eliminate gender pay inequities; she pushes for women to have access to no-cost contraception; she makes it easier for veterans to get student loans. She believes government exists to serve its people, even people who don’t have a lot of money and often feel powerless to change life for the better.

I’m voting for Sen. Kay Hagan to continue to work in the U.S. Senate to balance the playing field, to move us toward the day we won’t have two so very different worlds. Early voting begins Thursday, Oct. 23. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 4.
– Nancy Oates

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  1. no name this time!

     /  October 20, 2014

    Actually, the gulf is not wide at all. At issue is non-regulation of who can have a gun. As the recent brouhaha over guns at the State Fair showed, there are a great many people who want to carry loaded weapons in crowds. Our governor signed a bill into law requiring all N.C. municipalities to allow gun-carriers to bring guns to public places. The onus now is on private-property owners (private persons, or businesses) to post whether they want people bringing guns on the premises or not.

    Some months ago you wrote an article in the Chapel Hill Weekly that garnered a great many angry comments. The bearing of arms can intimidate, and the angry tone of the comments implies that gun-bearers might not have perfect control of their tempers, or intentions, or actions, which is even more intimidating. There is not a human being who hasn’t felt their blood boil in reaction to something, and it’s best if that happens without a firearm available. Whoever the angry shooter in Hillsborough was, he shouldn’t have had access to a deadly weapon to do what he did, but that access is made easy by our government. So, an angry person could do the same to you, or me. That’s just the country we live in.

  2. Nancy Oates

     /  October 20, 2014

    I am very glad none of the people I was standing near that day decided to pull a gun and play hero. Laying aside the issue of an individual deciding which infractions are capital offenses and executing accordingly, if a “hero” had missed, the original shooter likely would have turned toward us and shot, regardless of whether any of the rest of us were armed.

  3. Steve J

     /  October 22, 2014

    You were doing pretty well until you got to the part where you started to complain about a politician cutting taxes somehow causes this “two worlds” problem you invented to justify your position.

    Sending any government body more money hasn’t solved any problems, ever, and it won’t help fix the problem you cited either. Using the force of government’s power to confiscate additional wealth from some people, to assuage guilt about the amount you have, isn’t going to stop kids from getting shot by other kids.

    I will be standing in line — on Election Day, because that’s the day we have for voting — to help fix the problem of government having too much money … by voting for Thom Tillis for US Senate.

  4. bonnie hauser

     /  October 22, 2014

    Steve- I also didn’t connect the dots – but I’m still voting for Kay.

    Nancy – to me, the moral of the story is that shooting rich kids appears to be newsworthy, shooting poor ones, not so. Where I agree with Steve, is that federal or state policies are not at fault here. We ought to look in the mirror for this one.

    Have you followed up to see how the kid is doing?

  5. many

     /  October 23, 2014

    Nancy you are right. I had not heard of this incident, nor is there media coverage I can find. More evidence of two worlds and a growing gap between them.

    As far as the election goes I envy your confidence and decisiveness. From my perspective, the media is owned lock stock & barrel by corporate interests and the politicians are like action figures ……each one sold separately.


    The race between Hagan and Tillis is pathetic, repulsive and embarrassing . Hagan is running against the NC Leg, and Tillis is running against reality. One could be forgiven for not connecting the dots that they are even competing for the same office.

    I guess I could throw my vote away and vote for Haugh on the basis that his youtube videos are as entertaining as a Lewis Black engagement, but that just does not seem a good reason for a six year term either.

    Despite Hagan not being able to articulate anything she has done to be proud of in the last six years, I will likely hold my nose and vote for her.

    What a choice. Bleeeck

  6. Steve J

     /  October 23, 2014

    Many, I know it is hard to buck the trend locally of no-choice, default-to-‘D’ voting. It happens a lot! That’s why the current mayors of Carrboro and Chapel Hill ran unopposed, as is also the case for tons of other local elected posts.

    To that end, voting in this area is kind of like voting in Cuba or North Korea, isn’t it?

    Nancy seems like a sincere person. I believe she wants to do good. Her words about the young shooting victim not having hope are 100% spot on.

    So, if a sincere person wants to see what real hope looks like for millions of people in our country today, read this article:–finance.html

    Hope in this case is spelled o p p o r t u n i t y.

    Jobs, for people who do not now and likely won’t ever have graduate degrees. Jobs, ones for which nobody has to argue for a minimum wage since they pay much more, to start, because the jobs are worth it. Jobs, ones where men and women get paid equally because employers NEED them BOTH, due to DEMAND, not because some law forces their hand.

    That’s hope.

    And, after you’ve read the article, here’s a sincere message from a successful, local entrepreneur, inventor, and employer of people:

    Kay Hagan isn’t helping to foster this kind of hope.

  7. Don Evans

     /  October 23, 2014


    So Obama’s initiative to get U.S. businesses to come back to the States is paying off, right?

    Voting for Tillis is voting for a poll tax, taking away local business-tax money from municipalities, higher taxes for middle and lower class folk, eliminating environmental regs such as the Duke coal ash fiasco, encouraging the oil industry to poison well water, drug testing for those in need of social services, more guns in public places, cuts to educational funding, my tax dollars supporting some rich guy sending his kids to private school, less access to health care, elimination of family planning funding, refusing to expand Medicaid.

    I could go on but you get the picture — Tillis has a lot of wrong answers. And I’m convinced he won’t represents me and my middle class values in Congress.

  8. Steve J

     /  October 23, 2014


    I appreciate your consolidated paraphrasing of today’s rampant Leftist political hyperbole.

    However, when I dial into the core issues resident beneath the topics you raised (firearms rights, vouchers, fracking, etc.), I’m in favor of the truthful basis for every one of them.

    So, you’ve just helped me be certain of my conviction. Thanks.

    Steve J

    PS Did you read the article? Please cite Mr Obama’s influence into how manufacturing is returning to the US. As a person who’s actively involved in making that happen, I am sincerely interested, since I might have missed something.

  9. Don Evans

     /  October 24, 2014


    Your conviction seems to be impervious to the facts. I guess some folks just don’t want to know what’s going on around them, even when confronted with a laundry list of bad decisions and initiatives by a candidate. That’s all right — I won’t try to take away your right to vote like Tillis and his cohorts have tried to do.

    And when is it “liberal” to want to protect the environment, retain the best teachers and keep local tax dollars in the community? You gotta work on those blanket descriptions, dude, and try to be bit more discerning. It’s in your best interests.

  10. Ph. Sledge

     /  November 2, 2014

    Kay got my vote on Saturday. My job’s hours won’t allow me to get to the polls on election day. I voted selfishly and for seven simple reasons!: I am a minority and I have a wife, a mother, two sisters, a neice and a mother -in – law and an aunt.

  11. many

     /  November 2, 2014

    People should also be aware of the proposed constitutional amendment:

    The amendment has not gotten much press, but it has consequences for defendants in our judicial system either way.