By: Teresa Mull
According to reports, a group of students got Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to admit his gun control agenda would not have stopped the recent mass shooting in Virginia Beach.
Northam was fielding questions at the annual Virginia Boys State session, held last week. The Roanoke Times reports one student “said he believes the violence stems from mental health issues and said gun control laws don’t address the desire to kill.”
According to the Times:
The next student at the microphone asked how those measures would help, arguing it doesn’t appear they would have prevented the shooting in Virginia Beach.
“The assailant used a silencer, a suppressor. Why do you think he did that?” Northam countered from the stage.
The student, standing away from the microphone, said quietly, “So nobody could hear him.”
“So do you think that we need silencers on the street?” Northam continued. “Do you think that if he hadn’t had a silencer, perhaps not as many people would have been killed because people in the building would have been able to hear the firearm discharge?”
Northam conceded that his proposals wouldn’t have necessarily prevented the Virginia Beach shooting. But he said the legislation his administration has backed would have helped.
Northam has been pushing for increased gun control ever since he took office.
Earlier this month, GPM reported that “in the wake of the ‘gun free zone’ shooting in Virginia Beach last week, anti-gun Democrat Governor Ralph Northam is calling for a special session of the state legislature to pass gun control, and Republican legislative leadership already appears to be caving.”
And in January of this year, GPM reported:
Virginia’s new governor isn’t wasting any time in his quest to disarm his constituents.
“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,” Democrat Ralph Northam said during a press conference in which he promoted just about every firearm restriction measure there is.
Specifically, Northam is calling for the establishment of:
Extreme Risk Protection Orders
- Otherwise known as “red flag laws,” this policy makes it legal for law enforcement to enter your home and seize your guns. Hundreds of Americans in Florida, Maryland, and Oregon have already had their guns taken. Gunpowder Magazine reported earlier this year that police invaded the home of a New Jersey veteran while he was at work and tried to seize his guns based on a conversation a child overheard at school. In Maryland, cops shot a killed a man while trying to serve an Extreme Risk Protection Order at his home.
Background Checks on All Gun Sales
- Background checks are not effective. A recent study found comprehensive background checks have not affected California’s homicide and suicide rates over the past decade. Crime prevention researcher John Lott found, “States with these background checks experienced an increase of 15 percent in per capita rates of mass public shooting fatalities. They also saw a 38 percent increase in the rate of injury. Nor is there evidence that expanded background checks reduce rates of any type of violent crime, including mass public shootings, suicide, murder of police officers and domestic violence against women.”
Also on Northam’s agenda, according to thetruthaboutguns.com, is a law to "require gun owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 24 hours," an "increase in the penalty for leaving firearms unsecured near children," and “a revival of Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month law, which had been in effect for nearly 20 years when it was repealed in 2012.
“Sponsored by Del. Jeion Ward and Sen. Mamie Locke,” the website reports, “the measure would ‘prevent people from stockpiling firearms and transporting them for sale in other states,’ Northam’s office said.”
Two state lawmakers and also sponsoring a ban on so-called “assault weapons.”
This morning I announced a broad package of reasonable legislation to prevent gun violence and improve Virginia's public safety. I look forward to having a dialogue with the General Assembly this session on these important issues. pic.twitter.com/g8qapNqqbe— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) January 4, 2019
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.