Once upon a time, the city of Alexandria, Virginia, wanted to ban guns on city property. This was in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting in a municipal building in Virginia Beach. Somehow, someone figured the problem was simply not enough laws banning where people could have a gun, even when all those laws against shooting people didn’t work.
However, the city couldn’t make it happen. State law barred them from passing their own gun control laws.
That was before Democrats grabbed control of the legislature and allowed Gov. Ralph Northam to run roughshod over Virginians’ civil rights. Now, there’s nothing to stop Alexandria.
On Tuesday, Alexandria City Council voted to schedule a public hearing and final vote to ban guns on certain city property.
The measure would prohibit possession, carrying or transportation of guns on city property, including buildings, parks, recreation centers and community centers. It also applies to public places such as streets or sidewalks when used for a permitted event. The proposal calls for the offense to be a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail or $2,500 fine.
After 12 people were killed in the May 31, 2019 Virginia Beach mass shooting, Alexandria City Council passed a gun ban for city-owned property contingent on action from the Virginia General Assembly. Because Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, localities are prohibited from enacting local gun control measures unless specifically authorized. Without General Assembly authorization, Alexandria’s July 2019 measure did not become law.
Honestly, this is just stupid.
How does anyone figure that banning the carrying of a firearm in certain places will prevent a mass shooting? These are rarely spontaneous events, so it’s not like someone would follow the law up until they snapped, but couldn’t do anything because they were unarmed. No, these are generally planned out well in advance, which means if someone wants to kill a bunch of people, they’re not going to be stopped by some stupid “gun free zone” sign.
Do you know who will be stopped, though? The law-abiding citizen who might have been able to stop such an attack.
We already know that one employee killed in Virginia Beach considered taking her gun to work because she feared a mass shooting that very day, but didn’t because she was worried about losing her job. How many lives might have been spared had she not had to fear job loss?
Look, I’m not going to tell you that gun owners are everywhere at all times and can stop any mass shooting. We’re not. There just aren’t nearly enough of us.
What I will tell you, though, is that if you make it so law-abiding citizens can’t carry in these places, we can never step in and help. Again, it’s not like mass killers are going to be stopped by a simple rule like this. After all, the rules against murder aren’t really much of a deterrent, so why would a misdemeanor charge be what scares them?
Even the more routine criminals will ignore these rules, just like they do everywhere else.
Frankly, no one in Alexandria will be safer after this. The city council just wasted time and money and will accomplish nothing else.