When Democrat Robert C. Soles, Jr. announced at the end of 2009 that he would not be seeking
The 75-year-old claim[ed] he shot Blackburn in self defense after Blackburn and
23-year-oldBillie Wright kicked at his door. Soles faced charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Blackburn has since recovered from the shooting.
During the trial, the state used a 40-minute surveillance tape taken at Soles' home during the time of the shooting as evidence. The state said Blackburn, Wright, and a woman spent more than an hour trespassing on the senator's property, drinking alcohol before kicking the door.
Soles' attorney, Joe Chesire, said the state gave a fair account of what happened the night of the shooting, and that the senator wanted to take responsibility for his actions. He will pay more than $1,000 in court costs.
However, commentaries on the shooting (like the one reproduced above) which portrayed Senator Soles as a hypocritical, virulently anti-gun legislator "who has made a career of being against gun ownership for the general public" are not supported by the evidence. According to Project VoteSmart, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund
o 1998 — B
o 2000 — B+
o 2002 — B+
o 2004 — A
o 2006 — A
o 2008 — A
As well, Grass Roots North Carolina (GRNC), an "organization dedicated to preserving individual rights, particularly your right to keep and bear arms" said of the criticisms of Senator Soles:
An alert from a national organization not up to speed on local North Carolina political issues condemning Senator R.C. SOLES over the recent shooting at his home has been circulating recently. Part of a fund raising alert from the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) calls Soles "the most virulent anti-Second Amendment activist in the state" and the "most vociferous
anti-gunzealot in North Carolina."
As much fun as it is to catch anti-gun politicians in their own hypocrisy, this is not such a case. In the interest of fair play and truth, GRNC is compelled to point out that while not excellent,
R.C. Solesis not a "virulent anti-Second Amendment activist" nor a "vociferous anti-gunzealot." [T]he charges are simply not true — heis mediocre at worst and has voted with us on most major issues.