Let me know if you have heard this one. A Governor walks up to the microphone and announces a comprehensive package of anti Second Amendment legislation that he claims will prevent gun violence and improve the safety of the state’s citizens and communities. That’s exactly what happened in Richmond Virginia this week—and it is as absurd in 2019 as it was ever other there the antis proposed going down this path.
Governor Ralph Northam said the package includes:
- Universal background check mandates
- Extreme Risk Protective Order
- Reinstating Virginia’s One Handgun a Month law
- Prohibition of possessing a firearm for individuals subject to final protective orders
- Ban assault firearms
- Prevent children from accessing firearms
- Require individuals to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.
“We lose too many Virginians each year to senseless gun violence, and it is time we take meaningful steps to protect the health and safety of our citizens,” said Governor Northam. “I look forward to opening a dialogue with the General Assembly on this legislative package of reasonable gun violence reforms, which appropriately balances Second Amendment Rights with public safety.”
“Every death by gun violence is a tragedy, and one of the most heartbreaking facts is that many of these are preventable. This bill, which mirrors legislative steps taken in numerous states from Florida to California, would enable family and friends to stop—with plenty of due process and respect for Second Amendment rights—an individual from committing gun violence before a single shot is fired,” said Delegate Rip Sullivan. “Not only would this bill help stop horrific events like school shootings, it will help address one of the less talked-about crises in Virginia—suicide by firearm. Evidence from other states shows that this type of bill saves lives while remaining consistent with the Second Amendment. It is long past time for us in the Commonwealth to pass this critical bill to curb the emergency that is preventable gun violence.”
Perhaps the Governor and his Democrat pals believe that if you just say it will prevent gun violence and not infringe on the Second Amendment enough times people will believe it! I am not one of those people, so let’s look a little deeper.
Universal Background Checks
Oh my, where to start… Oh yes, ye old universal background checks. Just pass a law and all those illegal gun sales and community guns and street sales among gang members, and criminals will cease! Laws, by definition, only apply to the law abiding. Take a look of some of the most horrific crimes of the last decade, Las Vegas Nevada, Parkland Florida, Aurora Colorado, Newtown Connecticut. We do not even have to give more than a city name to know the atrocity. However, each and every firearm used by the mass murderer was legally purchased.
Extreme Risk Protective Order
Without having ever committed a crime or having been represented in court, on the word of a family member or law enforcement, a judge can suspend a person’s Second Amendment right to buy, sell, own, or possess a firearm for up to one year.
One Handgun a Month Law
Because limiting a bad to only one handgun reduces crime? Will suicide rates plummet if it would take someone to two months to own two handguns? How does this reduce crime? It is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to strangle firearm retailers.
Final Protective Orders
In Virginia, a protective order is a legal document issued by a judge to protect the health and safety of a person who is alleged to be a victim of any act involving violence, force, or threat that results in bodily injury or places that person in fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury.
This sounds good on its face, and may have some merit. However, how often has someone been injured or killed after a restraining order was issued? It is a piece of paper that means little to someone bent on doing harm.
Instead, allow someone with a Final Protection Order to bypass the 3-day waiting period and purchase a firearm for self-defense immediately. Now that would be a law that could prevent violence.
Ban Assault Firearms
What exactly is an assault firearm? I Washington State, so-called assault weapons have been redefined as “Any rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.” Under this definition, something as simple as a trusty ol’ Ruger 10/22 is an assault weapon!
Prevent Children From Accessing Firearms
I wonder how many kids are going to read this and understand the law… Several states have laws about proper storage and preventing kids from accessing firearms. The problem with these laws is intent and action. Firearm owners may be careless in some occasions with tragic results. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been out in front of this for years with Project ChildSafe. We do not need another law to punish someone after a tragedy. If the state was serious about preventing another tragedy, it would sponsor Project ChildSafe and actually do something that has a chance of success of preventing a tragedy or crime.
Require Individuals to Report Lost or Stolen Firearms to Law Enforcement
This is a great policy. Personally, I would report a stolen car stereo, lawn mower, just about anything else. I don’t see why I would not report a stolen or lost gun, but what does the law do to prevent gun violence as the Governor claimed? Absolutely nothing. It is feel good politics at its worst.
Looking at Governor Northam’s proposals I am struck by one of my favorite quotes by Benjamin Franklin, “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”
Will Virginia become another victim to the anti-gunners? How would you refute the Governor’s proposals? Share your answers in the comment section.
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