Earlier today we reported that Virginia Democrats are backing away from their plans to pass a gun, magazine, and suppressor ban in the 2021 legislative session, and on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co Delegate Kirk Cox joins the show with his reaction to the news, as well as a conversation about why Cox is running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination and why he believes that he’s the best candidate to unify the state’s somewhat fractured party.
Cox says that he’s pleased that Democrats are apparently getting gun-shy about pushing gun control in 2021, but he’s also right when he notes that the lawmakers who voted in favor of Northam’s ban when it came up for vote in the legislature earlier this year haven’t changed their mind on the issue.
Instead, they’re trying to avoid gun control as a campaign issue in 2021, but Cox says if Democrats are successful in keeping control of the state House and the governor’s mansion they’ll be back with their ban in 2022, and I have no doubt that he’s correct about that.
As for his gubernatorial agenda, Cox tells me that he wants to repeal the gun control laws that were enacted by Democrats in 2020, but cautions that until Republicans are able to take control of the state Senate (which won’t happen until at least 2023) it’s unlikely that there’ll be enough votes in legislature to roll back the laws already in place. If Republicans win the governorship in 2021 and manage to capture the House, the governor is still going have to contend with a divided legislature, which would be good in terms of preventing more bad gun control laws from going on the books but would also make it difficult to pass pro-Second Amendment legislation as well.
This was a wide ranging interview and conversation, so I encourage you to check out the whole thing in the video window above, even if you’re not a Virginian. The political fights in the commonwealth next year are going to be a preview of what we can expect in the 2022 federal midterm elections, and the divisions in both the Republican and Democrat parties at the national level are mirrored in the fractures on the Right and the Left in Virginia politics as well.
To that end, I asked Cox, who’s entering his 32nd year in the legislature, why Virginia gun owners should go with an “establishment” pick as opposed to someone running as an outsider. The former state House Speaker responded by asserting that Republicans should want someone who knows how the system works and can actually get things done, noting that if you had to have surgery you’d want someone with experience performing the operation, not just someone whose diagnosis you agree with.
From gun control and marijuana legalization to Medicaid expansion the role of a citizen legislature, we covered a lot of ground in a half hour, and I appreciate Cox for spending the time with me.
As an FYI, I’ve also extended an invitation to state Senator Amanda Chase, who’s Cox’s primary rival for the GOP nomination, at least at the moment. Chase had declared that she would run as independent after the state’s Republican Party announced that the gubernatorial candidate would be chosen at a convention comprised of delegates instead of a primary open to all voters, but walked back her decision a few days later, saying she realizes that an independent campaign would assure a split among Republican voters and guarantee a Democratic retention of the governor’s mansion.
I’ve also asked Gov. Ralph Northam’s press office for an interview with the governor regarding his about-face on his gun ban, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for a response. I’d love to have him as a guest on Cam & Co in the future, but something tells me that his schedule is just going to be so busy over the next few months that he won’t be able to make it work. Ah, who am I kidding? I won’t even get a response from his press office. The only time anti-gun politicians like Northam pay attention to gun owners is when he’s trying to restrict their right to keep and bear arms.