AP Photo/Vicki Cronis-Nohe
As Virginia Governor Ralph Northam promises swift action on gun control measures now that anti-gun Democrats control the state’s legislature, Second Amendment groups are reacting to the reality that the right to keep and bear arms will soon be repeatedly infringed by the actions of the gun control activists in charge of the state. The NRA, in a statement posted online, warns of the rough road ahead.
“As if Gov. Northam’s legacy of ineptitude wasn’t enough, Virginians are about to experience life under a distant tycoon’s thumb. Candidates who proudly accepted Bloomberg’s cash—and every voter they misled—will soon realize the cost of being beholden to a Manhattan billionaire who despises Virginians’ right to self-defense. Fortunately, many NRA-backed candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, Kentucky and Mississippi prevailed over their Bloomberg-funded opponents. As the battle continues, so does the NRA’s defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.”
There were some election victories Tuesday evening, but the Virginia defeat is going to have a national impact. Already gun control groups are dreaming of flipping Texas in 2020, relying on the same strategy of targeting suburban women with a message of “commonsense gun safety” resolutions that in reality are unconstitutional, ineffective or unenforceable.
The Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb also responded to the losses in Virginia, telling Bearing Arms:
“Gun rights supporters got overwhelmingly outspent in Virginia by anti-rights groups which resulted in gun Prohibitionists gaining control of the legislature. We must make sure that does not happen in 2020.”
It’s an almost certain that gun rights supporters will be outspent in 2020, so our challenge is two-fold. We have to make sure that we do raise as much money as we can to compete with Bloomberg’s billions, but we also have to ensure that those funds are being spent as wisely and effectively as possible, not only in terms of what campaigns are supported, but in what ways they’re supported as well.
I also reached to Gun Owners of America, and received this reply from Senior Vice President Erich Pratt.
“Virginia’s election results, while disappointing, should not be interpreted as a grassroots call for gun control.
Many factors, especially out of state influencers, were at play in this election. For example, anti-gun New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg sent millions of out-of-state money into the Old Dominion to support anti-gun candidates. Out-of-state celebrities like Alec Baldwin went campaigning door-to-door. Another factor was the redistricting measures, which favored anti-gun candidates.
However, Virginia’s gun owners should not be without hope. As an example, pro-gun Delegate Nick Freitas has apparently won the largest write-in campaign in Virginia’s history.
Gun Owners of America will also be in the trenches resisting attacks on the right to keep and bear arms. GOA will be using all available resources to combat these infringements, either in the legislature or the courts.”
The point about Freitas winning is a valid one. Virginia Shooting Sports Association legislative affairs director Dave Adams also noted that Second Amendment stalwarts like state Senator Amanda Chase won her re-election bid. Heck, my pro-Second Amendment state senator and state delegate both won re-election with more than 60% of the vote. A pro-Second Amendment sheriff won election in Prince Edward County, where the beautiful and bucolic town of Farmville, Virginia (and the headquarters of Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co.) is located. I don’t believe Virginia is a lost cause for gun owners, and it sounds like Second Amendment organizations don’t believe it either. We’re still in the fight here in the Old Dominion, and though we suffered a really tough defeat on Election Day, we’re not sounding the retreat.