Once, Virginia was considered one of the pro-gun states. While it was still a far cry from many other pro-gun states, they were making moves in the right direction and the future looked bright for gun owners in the Old Dominion State.
Then everything went to crap and the state apparently flipped blue and, by extension, anti-gun. Governor Ralph “Blackface” Northam routinely pontificates on the evils of guns and the legislature has taken a decidedly anti-gun turn after the last election.
Among many of the attempted anti-gun measures was a lift on restrictions placed on local governments, a lift that many local governments seem to be capitalizing on.
Roanoke’s city council may soon ban guns from city hall, thanks to a new law passed last year by the Virginia General Assembly.
The council scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. Jan. 19 as it considers an ordinance to prohibit people from carrying guns inside the Noel C. Taylor Municipal Building, a goal of present and past council members for at least four years. Without discussion, the council set the public hearing as part of its consent agenda during Monday’s regular meeting.
The city gained the authority to restrict firearms when the General Assembly passed a law last year that allows localities to prohibit guns on city property.
A letter from City Attorney Tim Spencer to council members stated that an ordinance could alter city code and “prohibit the possession, carrying or transportation of firearms in certain municipal facilities.” Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea said that no local ordinance has been drafted, yet, but he expects that it most likely will apply only to the banning of guns inside the municipal building.
“The main focus is on the municipal building, and banning bringing firearms into the building,” Lea said in a telephone interview before Monday’s meeting. “We have been talking about that for a few years now.”
Lea supports such a ban, and he said he believes a majority of council will approve an ordinance.
This is a horrible idea, though.
Oh, I’m sure supporters of this measure will tell me that municipal buildings are safe and law-abiding citizens will have no need of their firearms. Well, let’s not forget that the Virginia Beach shooting was in a municipal building. Further, as an employee, the shooter wasn’t permitted to have his gun in the building.
How did that work out again?
Further, even if you could make the building as secure as Fort Knox, what about the exterior? People can be robbed or attacked to and from their vehicles. This is especially true with regard to employees, people who are there every day and have a set schedule, but it’s not exclusive to them.
It’s unlikely the grounds themselves will be anything close to secure, thus making people vulnerable.
Meanwhile, it’s no guarantee that you can secure a building completely. After all, let’s not forget that in 1998, a deranged gunman entered the United States Capitol and killed two Capitol Police officers. Are you seriously going to try and tell me that the Roanoke, Virginia municipal building will be more secure than the United States Capitol Building?
I get the concern, but this is a horrible idea that should be abandoned right away.