Before I get to Virginia Del. Nick Freitas (R-NRA), let me just say that if you haven’t yet watched the video of Delegates Luke Torian, Delores McQuinn and Lamont Bagby delivering superb, passionate, heartfelt speeches yesterday on the floor of the House of Delegates, you absolutely should do that!
As Del. McQuinn correctly pointed out, the speeches this past Friday by Del. Freitas and other Republicans blaming “broken homes,” “various cultural changes that happened in the 60s [including] the abortion industry,” “the welfare state,” “dismantling families as [they] became more and more dependent on the government,” etc. for gun violence demonstrated “insensitivity and the disrespect shown to…all of us who still live with the pain and suffering as a result of slavery, Jim Crow, discrimination, racism and even today we have to deal with it.” And as Del. Bagby explained, “On Friday we heard some comments on the floor which started out addressing gun violence, but quickly devolved into comments that were considered by members of this body…as hateful and divisive. The speeches used language laced with political rhetoric that many referred to as dog whistling. Citing abortion,, welfare, family structure and a litany of other stereotypes as a place to start to prevent gun violence.”
So how did Del. Nick Freitas, who gave perhaps the most extreme and offensive speech this past Friday, respond to his African-American colleagues? But of course…he went right to Fox “News,” where he demonstrated that he either: a) is completely incapable of “getting it”; b) doesn’t WANT to “get it”; and/or c) is busy trying to out-Corey Corey Stewart for the VA GOP U.S. Senate nomination. Check out, in particular, 2:15 of the following video, as Freitas actually claims that his African-American colleagues’ speeches were evidence of – are you sitting down? – “offense…used as a weapon to turn away debate.” Let’s repeat that: Freitas actually believes that Delegates Torian, McQuinn and Bagby were cynically pretending to be offended as some sort of “weapon to turn away debate.” Appalling and of course completely false. Also note how Freitas doubles down on the very things that were so offensive, false, absurd, etc. in his original speech? Lovely.
And just to show that the “Fox and Friends” appearance wasn’t a fluke, check out the audio, below, of Freitas saying basically the same things — “weaponized offense,” “selective offense,” etc. — on “The Blaze” far-far-right radio this morning. So yeah, this guy Freitas is actually one of the possible 2018 VA GOP candidates for U.S. Senate against Tim Kaine. The others are neo-Confederate Corey Stewart and bat****-crazy bigot and theocrat EW Jackson. Seriously, is there anything other information you need about the Virginia GOP to conclude that they have lurched far, far off the right-wing deep end into John Birch Society territory?
P.S. Of course, the REAL “weapons” are those being used to kill schoolchildren and many other Americans. On that topic, note that Nick Freitas refuses to discuss commonsense gun safety measures, even ones supported by 80%-90%+ of Americans!
UPDATE: Just got the following from Sen. Kaine’s campaign.
Get this: On Friday, one of the top GOP candidates trying to defeat Tim in November stood on the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates and actually said that abortions are to blame for mass shootings.
And that’s not all: He actually suggested that Planned Parenthood – which provides lifesaving health care to more than 4.5 million people worldwide every year – is equivalent to the NRA.
The so-called “moderate” candidate in the Republican primary said that abortion, divorce and welfare are what leads to gun violence and mass shootings.
But you know what’s really scary? The fact that the right-wing echo chamber made sure the video went viral – it has racked up more than 12 million views on Facebook.
This is what we’re up against: an out-of-control far right hellbent on pushing the NRA’s radical agenda and stopping any meaningful action to reduce gun violence.
We’re facing GOP opponents who vote to block universal background checks, who host “shoot and greet” fundraisers, and who respond to national tragedies by dialing up divisive, loud talking points hand-delivered by the gun lobby.
When our opponents have that kind of megaphone, we have to step up to get our message out.
Kaine for Virginia