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Enough is enough from the GOP

Editorials

7/12/2019, 6 a.m.
Insulting. That’s the treatment Republican lawmakers dished out to all Virginians on Tuesday when they shut down a special General ...

Insulting.

That’s the treatment Republican lawmakers dished out to all Virginians on Tuesday when they shut down a special General Assembly on gun violence and public safety without any discussion, debate or action.

Dozens of bills had been submitted addressing this critical issue in Virginia, where thousands of families have been directly impacted by gun violence in recent years.

Gov. Ralph S. Northam, a Democrat, called the special session just days after 12 people were shot and killed by a Virginia Beach city employee in a May 31 massacre at their municipal center and after 9-year-old Markiya Dickson was killed in crossfire on a Richmond park playground on May 26.

But Republicans who control slim majorities in both the state Senate and the House of Delegates showed their contempt for victims’ families and the welfare of all Virginians by failing to take up even one bill. 

Instead, Republicans pushed everything off to a study by the state Crime Commission and adjourned until Nov. 18 — after the fall general election when all 140 seats in the General Assembly are up for balloting.

Well, we say, “Enough is enough.” This devaluing of human life and lack of concern for the safety and well-being of Virginians and their communities must stop.

Just like we believe the time has come for action on curbing gun violence in our streets and communities, schools, churches, government buildings and playgrounds, the time has come for Virginia voters to bounce out of office the lawmakers who refuse to even consider basic gun safety and gun control measures. When Nov. 5 rolls around, these GOP lawmakers have got to go. 

We urge Virginians to vote for candidates who are un-bought and un-bossed by the National Rifle Association. Vote for candidates who support universal background checks before all gun purchases; a ban on assault weapons and bump stocks, such as the type used in the Las Vegas massacre in October 2017; a ban on silencers and high-capacity magazines, such as those used by the Virginia Beach shooter; a statewide prohibition on carrying guns into government buildings; and new authority to take guns out of the hands of those deemed a risk to the public because of mental illness or past violence.

These are just a few of the common sense measures Gov. Northam and others proposed that were supposed to be considered at Tuesday’s special session, but were squelched by the senseless GOP power play.

Enough is enough.

It’s time now for the safety of all Virginians to be put ahead of partisan interests and the gun lobby.

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