We’re less than a week before Election Day, and gun control advocates aren’t letting up at all in their push to flip Virginia’s House of Delegates and state Senate from red to blue and from pro-Second Amendment to a legislature hostile to the right to keep and bear arms. Although they’ve already spent millions backing anti-gun politicians, gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety are making a last minute push with another influx of cash.
In a statement to Newsweek, Everytown President John Feinblatt said that “Republican lawmakers sided with the gun lobby over the safety of the Commonwealth, and over the final days of the election, we’re going to make sure every Virginian knows it.”
The $100,000 contribution from Everytown announced on Wednesday will be divided evenly among the House and Senate Democratic caucuses. The group is also launching a new digital ad targeting Republicans for their inaction during the legislative session. This is part of a larger $700,000 digital advertising campaign that Everytown has embarked upon during this election cycle.
In response to Feinblatt’s comment, the NRA told Newsweek in a written statement that the gun-control organizations “are backed by distant billionaires, not local interests.”
“These elitists funnel money into our communities to prop-up weak candidates defined by one trait: their willingness to bow to the billionaire’s gun control agenda, even if it turns great places—like Virginia—into New York City,” Jason Ouimet, the executive director of the NRA’s political arm, said. “The NRA relies upon its own membership, not Bloomberg’s New York money.”
It’s been twenty years since a major gun control bill passed in the state of Virginia, but gun owners will be inundated with anti-gun bills if Democrats can pick up just two seats in each chamber. And with anti-gun Governor Ralph Northam in office, any bill that gets to his desk is almost certain to be signed.
Gun control groups like Everytown are trying to convince voters that Republicans turned their backs on “commonsense gun laws” after the shooting in Virginia Beach, but even Northam admitted his gun control proposals wouldn’t have stopped that attack, even if they had been law at the time of the shootings. Instead of reacting to the shooting by passing ineffective, unenforceable, and unconstitutional gun laws, Republicans instead referred all bills to the Virginia Crime Commission, which will be making recommendations on November 12th, after this year’s elections have taken place.
Republicans like Todd Gilbert have actually put forward great legislation that addresses violent crime without infringing on the rights of gun owners, but Democrats and the state’s press have largely ignored the measure in favor of the narrative that Republicans aren’t doing anything because they’re in the “pocket of the gun lobby.” As my colleague Tom Knighton pointed out earlier today, however, gun control advocates are actually outspending Second Amendment groups in Virginia this year, but I’ve yet to see any editorial in the Washington Post or Virginian Pilot accusing Democrat candidates of being in the pocket of the gun control lobby. It’s weird how that works, isn’t it?
Gun control advocates have a money advantage, and their volunteers are hard at work in Democrat strongholds and suburban swing districts alike. Gun owners will need to turn out all across the state next Tuesday if they hope to keep the Bloombergian gun-banners at bay for another legislative session.