Check out the press release below from Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws. Frankly, at this point, it isn’t even about the issue – guns – anymore. Instead, with just 18 hours until polls open, it’s about Caren Merrick having promised PUBLICLY, on multiple occasions, to release her NRA questionnaire by election day, and STILL not having done so with polls about to open. If we can’t trust Merrick on keeping a simple promise, made publicly at two debates and in the Washington Post, how can we trust her on anything?!? Answer: we can’t.
General Assembly Candidates Still Continue to Duck Voter Questions on Gun Violence Prevention Issues
RICHMOND, November 7, 2011-Many among the families united by the April 16, 2007 massacre at Va Tech made a recent appeal to General Assembly candidates to provide details on their positions on a range of important gun violence prevention issues. Unfortunately, many of these candidates still have not responded to this request to share information with the voters in their districts. Each of the candidates seeking to represent the residents in these communities (State Senate Districts 13, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36 and 39) received an October 25 letter (a copy of which is provided below) as well as follow-up inquires, including phone calls and e-mail messages, asking for this information.
“These candidates are all interviewing for a job to represent us,” said Omar Samaha, whose sister Reema died in the 2007 Va Tech attack. “We believe the candidates owe it to their future constituents to make a full and complete disclosure of where they stand on these issues that will affect our safety. Importantly, if a candidate has shared detailed information to outside special interest groups, then this same information should be shared with us, the voters. That is why we are calling on those candidates who completed a survey for either the National Rifle Association (NRA) or the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) to make that information public.”
More on the “flip.”
Caren Merrick, a candidate in Senate District 31, is among those who has not yet responded to a request to disclose her NRA survey results to the public. Ms. Merrick pledged during an October 19 candidate forum that she would share her NRA survey responses with voters in the district prior to the election. On the eve of Election Day, voters in the 31st District still are waiting to find out where Ms. Merrick stands on these gun violence prevention issues important to voters and their families.
To date, in response to the October 25 letter below, the signatories have been able to speak with all of the candidates (or their representatives), except for Ms. Merrick and Messrs. Black (District 13), Baker (District 39) and Frederick (District 36). Additionally, the Va Tech family members party to the letter have been able to meet with the following candidates: Ms. Favola (District 31), Ms. Howell (District 32) and Messrs. Mitchell and Barker (Districts 13 and 39, respectively). With less than 48 hours before the polls close on Election Day, now is the time for those candidates who have avoided these questions to be honest with voters about their positions on the gun violence prevention issues that are important to those in the Va Tech community and to so many other families as well.
“It is important that voters have enough information, as well the right information, to be able to make informed decisions in choosing their representatives,” said Lori Haas, whose daughter Emily was wounded in the Va Tech attack. “Politicians are doing a disservice to voters if they choose to disclose their positions to third-party special interest groups but refuse to share that same information with the residents they are seeking to represent. We call on Ms. Merrick, as well as the other candidates who have evaded our requests, including Messrs. Black, Baker and Frederick, to share their NRA and VCDL surveys with the voters. Everybody benefits from this transparency, what are they trying to hide?”
October 25th, 2011
As family members of those killed or injured in the 2007 Massacre at Virginia Tech, we are very concerned about the easy access to firearms by dangerous individuals. Every day in Virginia gun violence tears families apart. We are determined to do what we can to save the heartache & pain of gun violence for other Virginians.
We would like to request a meeting with you to discuss this issue.
Additionally, if you have completed a candidates survey from either the National Rifle Association or the Virginia Citizens Defense League, we would ask that you release your survey. By completing this survey, you have shared critical information about your views with a third party special interest group that should also be made available to the voting public. As a candidate for public office, you have an obligation to share your views with those you wish to represent.
We look forward to meeting with you to discuss these matters and to receiving a copy of any completed surveys.
Thank you for your time and we will be in contact in the next few days to set up a meeting.
Lori Haas; Omar Samaha
Mother of injured student Emily Brother of Reema, deceased
Peter Read Andrew Goddard
Father of Mary, deceased Father of injured student Colin