In the aftermath of the Virginia Beach gun massacre, Gov. Ralph Northam called the General Assembly into special session to consider commonsense gun safety initiatives. In addition, the State Crime Commission, which is controlled by Republicans, conducted a hearing regarding possible gun safety legislation.
Although both the House and the Senate are controlled by Republicans, there was some hope that corrective actions would be considered, and some passed into laws.
Among the Northam initiatives were a requirement for universal background checks, reinstatement of Virginia's one-handgun-a-month law, a ban on assault-style firearms and measures aimed at preventing children from accessing firearms.
These are the types of legislation being talked about in Washington since the El Paso and Dayton gun massacres that took 31 lives. The special session was held, the Republican-controlled General Assembly met for 90 minutes and refused to even take a vote. And the State Crime Commission continues to study the matter.
All of the elective offices in the General Assembly will be decided in the upcoming election in November. If the Republicans retain control the General Assembly, the public outcry for gun safety legislation will again likely be ignored. To make matters worse, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate refuses to take a vote on initiatives similar to those that were blocked in Virginia. Polls show the public overwhelmingly wants these initiatives enacted into law. The massacre continued into Odessa, Texas, recently, and Mr. Trump has stuck with the NRA position: no need to do anything.
Unfortunately, the CEO of the National Rifle Association has contacted President Trump and requested these initiatives not be considered. President Trump obeyed, and the voices of millions of Americans were again ignored.
The NRA recently sent another $200,000 to Virginia Republicans as a campaign contribution. Are we going to support Northam's commonsense proposals or again rubber-stamp the NRA??? Please vote accordingly on Nov. 5.
Kevin M. Raymond