“Let’s have an honest conversation based on fact,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam chided in his annual State of the Commonwealth speech before assembled legislators last week.
Last year, fear was more popular. In the frightful aftermath of a Virginia Beach city employee shooting and killing 12 co-workers, Northam was quick to call a special session of the legislature to pass gun control legislation.
Republicans said no, however, and adjourned.
With Democrats newly in control of both chambers of the state legislature, the governor now runs interference for “a package of eight gun-restricting measures, including universal background checks; banning assault-style weapons; requiring owners to report lost or stolen guns; and a ‘red flag law’” — along with raising the legal age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21.
“When the General Assembly passes new guns safety laws,” proclaims Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, “they will be enforced, and they will be followed.”
In response, Virginia’s many Second Amendment defenders are stepping up. Already, more than 110 cities and counties have declared their status as Second Amendment sanctuaries.
“These resolutions have no legal force,” informs the AG, adding, “and they’re just part of an effort by the gun lobby to stoke fear.”
Oh, yes, unmistakable stoking has occurred. On January 20, the Virginia Citizens Defense League is organizing a massive lobby day at the capital, where the stoked will politically poke their delegates.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* You may recall Northam as that fellow whose personal medical school yearbook page contained a photo of a man in black-face next to someone donning a KKK robe. First, the governor apologized, then reversed course, claiming he had no idea how the picture mysteriously materialized into the yearbook — though he acknowledged other instances of wearing black-face in the past. A limited investigation by a law firm hired by the medical school came to no conclusion and the media seemed to move on.
** Herring apologized for his own blackface past.