See below for video from yesterday’s meeting of the Virginia House Militia, Police and Public Safety subcommittee, in which Republican members – on a party line, of course – vote down several commonsense bills aimed at reining in gun violence in this country. The bills “PBI’ed” (“passed by indefinitely,” aka “killed”) included HB 41 — a bill to ban “Mechanical devices designed to increase the rate of fire of firearms; penalty,” aka “bump stocks”, HB721 (universal background checks), HB977 (universal background checks) and HB1373 (universal background checks).
Also, check out Del. Mark Levine’s comments about how in states which require universal background checks, there are far fewer gun murders and suicides, “and that’s why law enforcement strongly supports this.”
Del. Levine added that “if you vote to [kill] this bill, let’s be very clear what you’re voting for; you’re voting for giving guns to bad guys…a vote to pass this by is a vote to say, ‘we want terrorists to have guns, we want MS-13 to have guns…if this bill is passed by, you’re voting to give guns to gang members, you’re voting to give guns to domestic violence abusers, you’re voting to give guns to very dangerous people that none of us would want in this room with a gun right now.” All 100%, demonstrably true. Which might be why Delegates Tommy Wright (R) and Nick Freitas (R) reacted in the ad hominem, “butt hurt” way they did — because they don’t have actual, fact-and-reality-based arguments to make.
Del. Tommy Wright (R): “I disagree with some of your comments very strongly…to accuse someone of taking a certain vote and being in favor of guns going to terrorists and so forth, I resent that; I think you probably owe this committee an apology.”
Del. Nick Freitas (R), who’s also a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate: “As someone who has a little bit more experience combating terrorism than a radio personality, I also don’t appreciate the suggestion that if I disagree with somebody on this particular bill, it somehow insinuates that I want firearms in the hands of terrorists…I move to [kill the bill].” By the way, a person in the room told me that as Freitas delivered his tirade, his face was red and he was clearly super pissed. Very telling.
P.S. See below for a much longer video from the subcommittee hearing yesterday, including emotional testimony by gun violence prevention advocates, including a survivor of the Las Vegas gun massacre.