AP Photo/Steve Helber

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam didn’t have a lot going for him last Thursday. He was a disgraced governor who should have stepped down but didn’t. After all, racial insensitivity is not something that gets tolerated much these days by either side.

Then there was the mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building on Friday, which opened up a world of possibilities for Northam.

The Democrat wasted no time in trying to cram gun control down the throat of Virginians, recalling legislators for a special session specifically to pass gun control.

However, all of that is little more than opportunistically seizing on a tragedy to deflect from your moral failings. Northam even all but admits it outright.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said it was time to move on from the blackface/Ku Klux Klan yearbook photo scandal with the conclusion of the Eastern Virginia Medical School’s investigation.

“What has happened in the Commonwealth of Virginia, I regret that, I have addressed that. But today we are talking about gun violence and how to save lives in Virginia,” Northam told a reporter on Tuesday.

Northam said his office conducted their own investigation and turned over what they found to Eastern Virginia Medical School.

People who work for him conducted an investigation of their boss. I’m sure their heart was really in it, right?

Northam’s “turned the page” comment was a signal. Not as part of some organized conspiracy or anything, but a signal nonetheless. It tells anyone who stood against him over the racial stuff to back off, this is now about gun control.

However, none of the things Northam wants the legislature to consider would have saved a single life in Virginia Beach. Not a one.

The one thing even tangentially related to the shooting–a ban on suppressors–is the government’s desire to further restrict a device intended for shooter safety. All because the shooter had a suppressor.

The very fact the shooter use such a device betrays the uselessness of things like background checks, gun registration, and similar measures that are popular with the gun control crowd right now. Little else in this country is so highly regulated as a suppressor. It is registered. The killer did undergo extensive background checks. He had to be licensed prior to purchase. All the things we’re told are necessary to combat these shootings.

Northam, however, doesn’t care about any of that. What he cares about is deflecting the criticism against him, hopefully to such a degree that people forget and forgive entirely.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t pure opportunism. Not with the deflection, anyway. Northam does want the gun control and is more than happen to seize on this chance to try and push it through. He’s just trying to kill two birds with one stone and make people either forget that he was either in blackface or dressed like a Klansman, especially since he won’t say which was him and has alternated between saying it wasn’t him at all and admitting he’s in the photo.

He wants that part forgotten, and he’s going to use this horrible tragedy to advance gun control to make that happen.

Northam’s base is more than willing to forgive a little casual racism so long as they get the totalitarian policies they oh-so-love, and Northam knows it. If he advances enough gun control, they’ll forgive and forget.