AP Photo/Steve Helber
Gun control advocates in Virginia are ramping up their efforts to make gun control a key issue in this year’s legislative elections. At a forum in Petersburg, Virginia this week, anti-gun lawmakers like Rep. Donald McEachin were joined by gun control activists from Moms Demand Action, as well as public officials like Virginia’s Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran in pushing more than a half dozen proposed gun laws, ranging from bans on semi-automatic long guns to civil liability for gun owners whose guns are stolen and used in a crime if they were “negligently” stored. And of course, each and every proposal was deemed by gun control advocates to be nothing more than “common sense”.
The common-sense gun law was a running theme of the town-hall meeting, which drew about 50 people to the Pathways center on West Washington Street. McEachin was joined at the dais by Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian J. Moran as they and gun control advocates fielded written questions from the audience, that ranged from community outreach efforts to proposed laws to protecting the rights of reasonable gun owners.
Moran used the forum as an opportunity to softly hit Republicans for their unwillingness to pass Northam’s gun control package during a special session in early July, called by the Democrat governor after a shooting in Virginia Beach that left 12 people dead.
While he did not offer specific partisan criticism of the reason for the lack of action, Moran said he disagreed with the Republican-led efforts to herd proposed Democratic legislation over to the state Crime Commission for study.
“They don’t need any more study,” Moran said of the proposals, which include universal background checks, a one-handgun-per-month limit on purchases and so-called “red flag” laws that would give local authorities the right to take guns from people deemed a threat to themselves or their communities. “They are common-sense laws.”
Moran can say call these bills “common sense” a dozen times, or a hundred, but it still doesn’t make it true. How is it common sense to make it a crime for a legal gun owner to transfer a firearm to someone else without going through a background check, when there’s no way to enforce the law? How is it common sense to deprive someone of their constitutionally protect right to own a firearm at a hearing that they’re not a part of? In fact, how is it common sense to deem someone a danger to themselves or others, take any legally owned firearms they might have, and then leave them to their own devices without any mental health intervention whatsoever? How is it common sense to ban commonly owned firearms that are used in an incredibly small percentage of violent crimes? How is it common sense to try and ration the ability to purchase a firearm?
Meanwhile, Del. Todd Gilbert has introduced true common sense legislation that utilizes existing resources, proven strategies, and no new gun laws to target the state’s most violent offenders and drivers of crime in some of our hardest hit neighborhoods. Sadly, I’ve yet to see a single Democrat even acknowledge Gilbert’s legislation. They’re far too busy targeting the legal gun owners of Virginia.
As a Virginia gun owner, I hope every one of my fellow 2nd Amendment supporters is taking this election seriously. I promise the gun control activists are. They only need to replace a couple of pro-gun lawmakers in November and the path for their radical anti-gun agenda will be cleared. Election Day may not come until November, but now is the time to get involved.