Virginia measure finds rare common ground on guns

Dave Martin

As a general rule, I don’t think there’s a lot of common ground to be had on guns. I know what the polling data says, but as someone who reads the questions asked, I know that such polling isn’t as cut and dried as some would like you to believe.

The issues surrounding guns aren’t things that will just go away, either. There will always be a certain amount of debate on the topic.

Yet in Virginia, a new bill is a rare example of common ground being found.

A rare piece of gun legislation with backing by the NRA and gun control groups is advancing through the General Assembly.

HB2387 would allow people to write off up to $300 in their state taxes for the purchase of gun safes or gun storage locks.

The bill has passed in both the House of Delegates and the Senate.

“This bill is not about requiring people to do anything. It’s not about banning anything. It’s not taking away anything. It simply tries to give a tax credit to incentivize something that many law-abiding citizens already do,” said Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington), the bill’s patron, during a sub-committee hearing in January.

During a hearing on the bill, both the NRA and gun control groups came out in support of the bill.

And, honestly, this is a prime example of how we can solve at least some of the issues without infringing on people’s rights.

Look, where do most guns in crime come from? Theft. That’s where the lion’s share of such firearms originate.

How can you best prevent theft? By locking your guns up.

The thing is, gun safes aren’t particularly inexpensive. Even small ones are several hundred dollars. What bills like this do is encourage people to get them, knowing they’ll get their money back.

As more people lock their firearms up, fewer guns will be stolen easily by bad guys.

And, for once, both sides recognized that. Sure, they might be coming from different places–gun control activists likely see it as an effort to prevent things like the shooting in Newport News, for example–but they’re all ending up at the same destination for once.

With both sides agreeing on this, the bill can only mean one of two things: It’s either a horrible idea or a terrific one.

I’m going with the latter.

Frankly, I’d like to see every state in the nation have a similar law on the books. That way, good guys have yet another reason to get a safe. If someone has a gun safe, they’re more likely to use said gun safe. There’s absolutely no reason not to use it at that point.

So good on both sides in Virginia, for once. While partisanship tends to divide us extensively, it’s nice to see common sense actually prevail for once. Both sides should be happy about this, and it seems they are. That’s fantastic to see.

The gun control side gets more safes in people’s homes and the pro-gun side gets law-abiding citizens some help with securing their guns without mandates in place.

Frankly, this is one of those things that needs to happen universally, even at the federal level. Encourage people to get safes, even offering credits in excess of the safe’s cost if need be. Anything to put safes in people’s homes so they’ll have them and possibly use them.

I suspect that if we do that, we may start to see all the benefits gun control advocates say their policies provide, all without a single person’s rights being infringed upon.

You know, just to shake things up a bit.