After D.C. Riot, Roanoke Will Debate Making City Hall A Gun-Free Zone

The city of Roanoke, Virginia is just the latest community to look at banning guns in their municipal buildings. Granted, such bans don’t actually do anything within the building except make people trying to conduct their business there less safe, but since the state of Virginia says they can ban them, they feel obligated to do just that.

In fact, they were all set to hold the obligatory hearing…then postponed it.

The Roanoke City Council has postponed the Jan. 19 public hearing to seek input on whether guns should be banned from city hall.

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea said Thursday that Wednesday’s violence at the U.S. Capitol prompted the council to hold off on discussing the gun issue until after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20. Lea said the decision to postpone the hearing was made after he consulted with Vice Mayor Trish White-Boyd and City Manager Bob Cowell.

“Given what happened [Wednesday in Washington D.C.], we think it’s a good idea to let people slow down a little bit and give everybody a chance to think things through,” Lea said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon.

He said that the takeover of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, which occurred as the U.S. Congress sought to count Electoral College votes that affirmed Biden’s victory, caused the city to delay consideration of a gun ban until after Jan. 20.

The hearing had been scheduled for what will be the last night of Trump’s term in office. A new date for the public hearing has not been set.

In truth, I think what happened at the Capitol also gave them pause regarding security. After all, if a mob could swarm the Capitol, which is going to be more secure than a municipal building in Roanoke, Virginia, then maybe they might need to consider whether this was really a road worth going down.

Even without that, though, I don’t blame them. While most people can separate local and national politics, tensions are higher now than they have been in a while and a lot of people on the right–the side of politics most likely to be pro-gun–aren’t really keen on infringements to their rights at the moment. They’re good and pissed.

It’s not that I think there would be any violence, mind you, but I don’t think it would be a calm discussion, either.

This is good for gun owners in Roanoke. This gives them more time to ready their defenses, gather evidence, and organize their efforts. This postponement allows them to rally together and make a meaningful stand that might just be enough to defeat this nonsense.

No good comes of denying people the right to keep and bear arms. Sure, gun control advocates claim otherwise, but the shooter in Virginia Beach wasn’t supposed to have his gun inside the municipal building, yet that didn’t stop him. It did stop a coworker who feared a mass shooting that day–though she thought someone else would do the shooting–but opted not to carry her firearm because she didn’t want to lose her job.

Criminals will not follow the law. Someone intent on harming another inside a municipal building isn’t going to stop just because the law says they can’t.