by Bert Berlin
The blood has barely dried in Las Vegas. The National Rifle Association (NRA) assumes we have forgotten the dead and wounded. It is spending large amounts of its member’s money trying to defeat candidates in Virginia who believe that we can, consistent with the Second Amendment, prevent the shocking number of gun deaths that occur in this country every year.
There are many significant issues involved in all the campaigns in Virginia this year, but the NRA has chosen to make this year’s election a plebiscite on guns, at least on its position on guns that no government can interfere with the ability of citizens to buy and take anywhere as many weapons of whatever power they want. The NRA uses scare tactics to claim that any candidate with the temerity to suggest that we need universal background checks; or that nobody has a legitimate need for certain types of rapid-fire firearms; or that nobody needs to buy large numbers of firearms at a time; is really planning to confiscate all the guns of law-abiding citizens.
Let’s be serious, no governor or lieutenant governor or attorney general has the authority or the logistical ability – even if they wanted to do so – to confiscate weapons from the 35% of Virginians who own them. But, that doesn’t matter to the NRA. Over the years, it has achieved its political power by claiming for years that “they” are coming to take away your guns. (And, don’t think that the NRA is really concerned with gun confiscation. What it is concerned with is the continued ability of weapons manufacturers and sellers to maximize their profits by making sure they can sell large amounts of all kinds of firearms without any restrictions.)
There are many reasons why it would be a disaster for Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel and John Adams to be elected. The NRA has, with its scare ads, added another. If any of the three Republicans are elected it will significantly increase the power of the NRA to control the legislative agenda on guns in Richmond. The NRA will be able to threaten any legislator that votes against its positions. We must not allow that to happen.
UPDATE by Lowell: According to VPAP, the NRA poured in $168,939 for anti-Northam TV ads in the week of October 16-22 alone. Overall, so far the NRA has spent a whopping $762,600 trying to push its puppet, Ed Gillespie, to victory on November 7. Also note that Gillespie has refused to release his NRA questionnaire, and that his running mate Jill Vogel, “did not call for restricting bump stocks when asked for their positions.” That’s right, Jill Vogel is for devices like the one used in the Las Vegas gun massacre. Great, huh? Finally, note that in the June Quinnipiac poll, Virginia voters supported mandatory background checks on all gun buyers by a 91%-8% margin (!). Virginia voters also supported by a 55%-41% margin “a nationwide ban on high-capacity magazines for guns” and by a 56%-37% margin “a nationwide ban on assault weapons.” Clearly, the ones out of step with Virginia voters are Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel and John Adams — not the Democrats!