Virginia Del. Ibraheem Samirah won his re-election bid in the D.C. suburb of Fairfax County last week, but it’s his response to a Facebook post by a school board member in Virginia that’s drawing headlines this week. Samirah says the post by Virginia Beach school board member Vicky Manning constitutes a threat to his safety, and filed a police report after seeing the post on social media.
Manning voiced her thoughts about topics such as abortion, minimum wage and pre-K programs. She wrote she’s been in Virginia her whole life and it makes her weep.
She went on to say she was planning on purchasing “an arsenal” over the next two months.
Samirah felt the arsenal statement was a threat.
I can assure Ibraheem Samirah that I know plenty of Virginians who are planning on purchasing an “arsenal” over the next couple of months, and it’s not because they’re going to commit acts of violence against lawmakers. It’s because lawmakers are going to commit to law all kinds of new restrictions on their right to keep and bear arms, and so they’re buying now what lawmakers like Del. Samirah will be banning a short time from now. That’s it, nothing more, as Manning told WAVY-TV in Virginia Beach.
Manning refused to do an on-camera interview with 10 On Your Side, but answered questions through email. She said she was simply sharing her thoughts on the election and no reasonable person would consider it a threat, calling it “utterly ridiculous and a waste of police resources.”
When asked about the arsenal reference, Manning, who is a real estate agent, said she is put into situations where she is fearful and needs to protect herself. She pointed to her 2nd Amendment rights.
“She should come out right away and apologize for insinuating the threat, for allowing the thought to be provoked, to continue in the minds of others using her elected position as a school board member,” said Samirah. “That’s not what she swore on the oath to do and she should certainly feel shame for it.”
I’m sorry, but that doesn’t even make any sense. He’s insinuated or presumed a threat. That’s not Manning’s fault. And in a statement provided to WVEC, Manning made it clear she’s not backing down.
“It is clear that our 2nd amendment rights are going to be challenged by socialists who want to make it very difficult or impossible to purchase self-defense weapons when they take control of our legislature in two months. As a woman who works in a job that can sometimes be dangerous (Realtor), it is important for me to be able to defend myself and my family.”
When 13News Now said Delegate Samirah views the post as a threat, Manning replied, “That is utterly ridiculous. I welcome Del. Samirah to call me to chat and learn about what liberty-minded people believe.”
I hope Del. Samirah takes Vicky Manning up on her offer to chat, though I suspect the last thing he wants is an open and honest conversation. It’s too hard to play the victim when you’re having a genuine conversation, even when there’s disagreement.