Virginia Editorial Ignores Gun Control Failures in Effort to Guilt 2A Supporters

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman, File

The Virginia Tech shooting was, at the time, the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. It's still the worst school shooting we've ever had.

At the time, Virginia wasn't exactly a pro-gun bastion. They had a number of gun control laws on the books, including a gun rationing scheme that limited people to one firearm purchase per month.


It didn't stop the killer.

As the anniversary of the massacre approaches, we shouldn't be surprised that it's going to come up in discussions again. In fact, we have an editorial out of the state that tries to ignore the failures of those gun laws, all while trying to guilt people into supporting gun control.

As with those before and those subsequent, the Blacksburg tragedy sparked a national debate about access to firearms and the inadequacy of mental health services for people in crisis. In its aftermath, Virginia officials found motivation to address the commonwealth’s notoriously lax gun laws by closing gaps between federal and state statutes about information that should be collected for background checks.

Yet, like mass shootings both before and after, the urgency was fleeting. The Tech gunman had skirted Virginia’s one-gun-a-month purchase limit by waiting 32 days between buying the two firearms; rather than tighten it, state lawmakers instead repealed that rule in 2013. And promises to improve mental health services were never fully realized, a problem that persists to this day.

The General Assembly has had ample opportunity in the last 17 years to impose stricter rules regarding firearm purchases, to ask more of gun owners to store their weapons safely, and to prevent what happened in Blacksburg as well as the more commonplace gun violence that has cost Virginia too many lives and harmed too many communities.

Sometimes, it has done so. In 2020, following a mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center in May 2019 that killed 12 people, lawmakers approved bills that imposed universal background checks on purchases, strengthen the requirement to report stolen weapons, restored the one-gun-a-month law and allowed for Emergency Substantial Risk Orders, also known as a “red flag” law, for those considered a threat to themselves or others.


And yet, we still had a mass shooting at the University of Virginia that was stopped by none of those laws.

Moreover, the gun rationing scheme did nothing to stop a determined mass murderer carry out the worst school shooting in American history.

They also fail to note that at least one person in that Virginia Beach municipal building suspect there might be a mass shooting that day--she just suspected the wrong person would be responsible--but left her own firearm at home because she didn't want to break the rules. She was later killed in that attack.

In other words, we know definitively that at least one armed citizen was disarmed in a situation where they may have ended the attack far earlier than it was, all because of anti-gun sentiment forcing rules that get ignored by those intent on doing evil.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed those and others, including an assault weapons ban, siding with gun advocates and the firearms lobby instead of Virginians who want safer homes, safer communities and safer campuses. The fact that polling shows the public wants tougher gun control laws apparently carried no weight with the governor.

We can only imagine what those talented, promising young adults killed at Tech 17 years ago would be doing now and the many ways they would be changing the world. As we remember them today, we should honor those who act with courage, rather than cowardice, to protect future generations from a similar fate.


So which is it? Does the public support all of this gun control or is opposition to gun control cowardice?

I ask because it can't really be both.

Courage means doing what you feel needs to be done in spite of the potential dangers, either to your person or your career makes little difference as to whether someone is acting courageously. If the masses support gun control, making a stand in order to preserve your career, even if you don't agree with it, isn't courage. It's cowardice. It's being driven by fear of the repercussions, which is anything but bravery.

But then again, this is the same editorial board that decided that when the Virginia Tech killer waited 32 days to buy a second gun, the answer really was to "tighten" the law further, as they argued in this very piece. Of course, they fail to define that in anyway, which is a cowardly way to make such an argument.

After all, do they think one should be relegated to waiting two months before buying a gun? Three?

At what point is it, in their minds, an infringement on one's right to buy a firearm to delay purchases for months on end?

The truth of the matter is that they are just vehemently anti-gun, as most larger news publications are these days. They'll resort to any kind of manipulation they can come up with to try and pressure the governor to do what they want, regardless of people's Second Amendment rights.


Which is pretty hypocritical from an entity that can only do so because of the First Amendment.

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