AP Photo/Yakima Herald-Republic, TJ Mullinax, File
In the wake of the massacre at a Virginia Beach municipal building, the neighboring city of Norfolk is considering taking action. While Virginia Beach was awful, the city is also experiencing plenty of the more everyday sort of violence.
The city council is considering passing a resolution calling for gun control within the state in a misguided effort to curtail that violence.
Norfolk City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on a resolution to support a special session Gov. Ralph Northam is convening to address gun violence.
Police Chief Larry Boone said more than a dozen children have been shot in the city in 2019. Boone said he is cautiously optimistic about the governor’s new laws.
“This has been discussed many times. We have not been able to cross the goal line just yet. I hope this time we’ll get some progress,” Boone said. “If not, we’ll be doing this again whether it’s the shootings that happen across this nation or in Hampton Roads or a mass shooting. They are all equally the same and they have an impact on human life. It impacts us psychologically and we can do better than that.”
Sounds to me like Chief Boone is using gun rights as a scapegoat to protect his job.
Now, I’m not saying he’s doing a bad job. I don’t know one way or the other. I do know that murder can be difficult to police against. It takes just an instant, and if an officer isn’t in eyesight, it’s unlikely they can do anything about it. Even then, they’re often unable to prevent such an act.
Yet if violence is that much of a concern, there’s a great deal that probably can and should be done to mitigate it, but that’s not what’s being considered here.
I’m quite sure what happened in Virginia Beach is playing a role. While people hear “neighboring city” and think of a vast distance, that part of Virginia is nothing of the sort. Unless you’ve been there, it’s difficult to understand how you can miss what city you’re in at any given moment. Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and others are all intertwined. It’s not difficult to imagine that Norfolk feels this almost as deeply as Virginia Beach.
Despite that, pushing for gun control is the wrong way to approach this. It always has been.
What’s happening in Norfolk is a tragedy, to be sure, but additional gun control isn’t going to resolve it. What Boone doesn’t go into is what activity leads to these shootings. That’s important. If these are criminals with criminal records doing the shooting in the first place, what additional laws could be brought to bear? We already know criminals get guns via the black market. By definition, the black market doesn’t comply with gun control laws.
So what do people like Boone think should be done?
I’ll tell you what it’ll be. They want restrictions placed on law-abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong and aren’t planning on doing anything wrong, all in a misguided effort to curtail the actions of people who aren’t going to follow those laws in the first place.