Historically, Virginia Beach has been a Republican bastion, although during the last few election cycles that distinction is fading as the city becomes more racially and socially diverse. Yesterday, some of the Virginia GOP's anti-gun control agenda came home to roost as 12 innocent city of Virginia Beach employees were murdered at the city municipal center by another city employee armed with a gun with a silencer and multiple extended magazines - things one does not need if one merely has a weapon for self-protection. The event was chilling for me since when I worked in the past with a large Virginia Beach law firm and represented developers, I frequently went to meetings in Building 2 at the municipal center which is now a major crime scene.
As one friend on Facebook asked "How many mass shootings is it going to take before we say NO to the murder merchants at the NRA and YES to gun legislation that actually works?" Any politician who sends "thoughts and prayers" to the victims and their families yet has voted against gun control legislation is nothing short of a lying hypocrite. In their own way, they have blood on their hands just as much as the shooter who from the facts known fits the pattern of the quiet loner filled with hate inside - precisely who should not have a gun with multiple extended magazines. I suspect as more information becomes known, it will be found that the shooter legally purchased the weapon and magazines used to snuff out 12 lives. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring summed it up well:
In recent years there have been mass shootings at American elementary schools, colleges, government buildings, offices, concerts, movie theaters, nightclubs…even churches, mosques, and synagogues. We have to do more to stop this kind of violence. Life doesn’t have to be this way, and it shouldn’t be this way.
New Zealand acted decisively in the wake of its recent mass shooting. The usual suspects will whine that now is not the time to talk gun control, which is patently untrue. The USA could do the same as New Zealand if politicians ceased taking NRA and gun manufacturer gun money and voted for common sense gun control that included strict background checks and rigidly restricted automatic weapons and extended magazines.
Come November, the entire Virginia General Assembly is up for election. Take the time to register to vote and get out and vote for pro-gun control candidates - which will mean voting a straight Democrat ticket. Vote the political whores of the NRA and gun lobby out of office. Regular mass shootings does NOT have to be the norm.