Newport News teacher's union president wants gun control

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Virginia has been a bit of a yo-yo when it comes to gun control. Republicans in the legislature made major headway in restoring gun rights, only to lose both chambers and see much of that work undone. Now, they control one chamber of the legislature.


So, the current status quo is likely to remain the status quo for a little while, much to everyone’s chagrin.

The head of the Newport News Education Association is less than pleased with that, though.

First, it was two students shot and injured at Heritage High School.

Then, a high school junior was killed after a basketball game in the parking lot of Menchville High School.

Most recently, a 6-year-old student shot his Richneck Elementary School teacher in the chest. She is at home recovering.

After these three shootings on Newport News school campuses in 16 months, Newport News Education Association President James Graves said something has to change.

“We’re making sure that our teachers are being heard,” he said.

That’s why Graves wants lawmakers in Richmond to pass four laws regarding guns.

While the Democratically-controlled Senate wants to advance these bills, it is unlikely any action on them will come out of the Republican-led House in an election year. House delegates have already set aside several bills: SB1139, SB1067, SB1181, and SB1192.


Wel, he’s not asking much, now is he?

Of course, the media is realistic enough to know most of those bills are going nowhere. It’s interesting how they talk about the one bill that has the best chances.

If there’s any hope for progress, it may be Senate Bill 1139, which would require homes with children to have firearms and ammunition locked in separate containers.

Progress? That’s supposed to be progress?

Yeah, if there was any doubt about whether the media was biased or not, that just destroyed it. SB 1139 isn’t progress. I’d argue it’s not even constitutional.

See, mandatory storage is one thing. I’m against it, of course, especially because it makes it harder to respond to a home invasion.

This measure that’s the best hope for “progress” takes that a step further. It mandates that the gun and ammunition be stored separately, in different locked containers. That means one has, while adrenaline courses through one’s veins, use degrading fine motor control to not just unlock a single safe, but two different safes, then load the weapon and hope your family’s safety is still intact by the time you manage it.


I get that teachers in Newport News might be a bit jittery right about now, especially after what all has happened, but pushing these bills isn’t going to change any of that.

The good news is that with the legislature where it is, there’s no chance of any of these bills passing, especially in their current form. While the teacher’s union may not actually like that, everyone else should breathe a sigh of relief. After all, it’s unlikely they’ll basically be barred from defending themselves while in the comfort of their homes because some lawmakers can’t think clearly.

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