Home David Toscano Video: Virginia House Republicans Lash Out Angrily, Incoherently, Fact-Free on Guns; Dem...

Video: Virginia House Republicans Lash Out Angrily, Incoherently, Fact-Free on Guns; Dem Leader Toscano Calls for Censuring One of Them for Smearing Dems


Check out the videos below (from a little while ago in the Virginia House of Delegates) and see what happens when Republicans are presented with facts, evidence, logic, reason, etc. on the issue of gun violence, and have absolutely no counterarguments, other than “nyah nyah,” “you guys are doody heads,” “guns are great, we love ’em and want more of ’em,” “Democrats don’t want to [fill in the blank lunatic lie, such as that Democrats supposedly don’t want to hold criminals responsible, when of course ~100% of Democrats DO want to hold criminals responsible].

First, check out Del. Nick Freitas (R)’s craaaaaaaazy comments (see video below)- and keep in mind that this dude is running for the VA GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, so some of this is clearly speechifying and pandering to the far-right fringe/”base.” According to Freitas, the problems are not guns but (pick one or more): “gun-free zones,” “broken homes” and the government policies that supposedly contribute to “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. Freitas went on and on about how the prevalence of guns is a great thing, has nothing to do with America’s far higher gun violence than other countries (even though the only significant difference is the prevalence of guns), and how “the vast majority of horrible atrocities we’ve seen have happened in those post-enlightenment societies…as a result of government systematically disarming citizens.” Yes, this is all completely wrong and completely bonkers, but again, that’s Nick Freitas for ya — what else is new?

Oh yeah, Freitas also says he wants to arm teachers (gack), and how the real reason we “can’t have an honest debate” on the issue of guns is that…yep, the “slippery slope” argument, in which Democrats will never stop until all guns are taken away (e.g., “assault weaspons,” which Freitas defines as “something that looks scary”). And Freitas is SUPER insulted about, supposedly, being compared to Nazis and “segregationists” (which he claims was all about the “Democrat Party,” not HIS party). Freitas talked about “mutual respect,” after HIS PARTY killed every single gun bill offered this session, even ones supported by upwards of 80%-90% of Virginians.

After enthusiastic applause and cheers by Virginia House Republicans for Del. Freitas’ cuckoo-for-Cocoa-Puffs speech, a possibly even more extreme Republican, Del. Thomas Wright of Lunenberg, stood up and blathered about what we really have in America is a “violence-control problem…it’s not just gun control, it’s human control.” Wright then rattled off some horrendous crimes, not coincidentally by gang members who just HAPPENED to be Latino. According to Wright, what we need is not gun control but prayer, that “prayers ARE enough,” that “when we turned god out of the school systems…you needn’t wonder why our society is headed in the wrong direction.” Wright then tells a horror story (no idea if it’s true) about how a woman with her two young daughters defended herself with the family’s guns. Of course, Wright ignores the voluminous statistics showing that “Living in a house with a gun increases your odds of death.” By a lot. In sum, according to Wright, “guns are not the problem, it’s…a problem with the heart…it comes from evil that’s in the hearts of men and until that is replaced with love, it will not solve the problem.”

More applause by Republicans. Very telling. Then House Democratic Leader David Toscano called for the House to stand in recess. After the recess, things got even more intense, if that’s possible. Check out the video below.

First, Del. Joe Lindsey (D-Norfolk) talked about how he has “been offended as I can never recall since being a part of this body, and I have seen many of my colleagues emotionally shaken and bothered by either a lack of concern for facts or just simply playing to the media, playing to the cameras, I don’t know which.”

Next, our old pal Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah), one of the most extreme and gun-nutty members of the Virginia House of Delegates (also one of the thinnest skinned members – not sure if that’s ironic or not), gets up to speak, and just KNOW it’s going to be a doozy. In this case, Gilbert does not disappoint. Among other things, Gilbert whined about how he and his fellow Republicans have been “attacked” for their 100% support for the NRA’s agenda — even with some people accusing them of having “blood on their hands.” According to Gilbert, “it’s too much for many of us to stomach” and “sometimes we can only take about so much of that.” Gilbert then rants about the “failings of government” – again, not about guns – and throws out the red herring of “the other side” wanting to “take away everybody’s guns” (which basically nobody is suggesting). Gilbert charges that Democrats don’t actually want to stop “acts of violence like this” or “hold criminals accountable for their criminal acts.”

Shortly after that, House Democratic Leader Toscano cited Rules 58, 59 and 60 for Del. Gilbert being out of order for making a comment which “he knows is not true, that this notion that criminals should be held responsible for their criminal acts is not a position that people on this side of the aisle agree with – he knows this is not true, that is violating the rules of the House, I would ask the Speaker to sanction him for those inappropriate comments.”

House Speaker Cox then demonstrated a profile in courage (NOT!) by declining to sanction Gilbert and instead allowing Gilbert to keep blathering, slandering, lying, etc. Leader Toscano then inquired whether Gilbert’s time was up, and Cox again let him go on for two more minutes, during which Gilbert said he’d been sent some “Wet Wipes” by a constituent to wipe the “blood of America’s children off my hands,” and how he’s “tired of it.”

In sum, wild times in the Virginia House of Delegates today, with Democrats apparently REALLY getting under Republicans’ thin skins about their complete failure to take action against gun violence in America. And yeah, sorry-not-sorry, but Democrats are going to keep calling out Republicans for their inaction of gun violence and their craven cowardice re: standing up to the gun lobby…unless and until that changes. No matter how much these oh-so-sensitive “special snowflakes” bitch, moan and whine about it.

  • Cindy

    Running out to the store to buy more Wet Wipes to send to that snowflake. Seems to me what they’re saying is that they’re hearing from so many of their constituents calling for them to DO SOMETHING that it’s offending them. I see a couple of real easy solutions here—start listening to your constituents, or step down and let someone else take your seat who will.

  • Laura Lee

    Gilbert said he’d been sent some “Wet Wipes” by a constituent to wipe the “blood of America’s children off my hands,”
    What’s the problem with that? Sounds well deserved.

  • HaroldCh8

    Don’t see how abortion fits, but the “broken home” thing is applicable. I think almost all school shooters have come from fatherless homes.

  • ameri…canwork

    On the first paragraph;
    “Democrats don’t want to hold criminals responsible”
    Dear Honorable Toscano,
    Would you please write a piece on how 5 Va Republican Delegates do not want to hold criminals responsible. These Republicans voted NO on hb1106.
    Why are these Republicans remaining complicit to payroll, tax and workers compensation insurance fraud?
    The NRA or any other political donor should not be contributing to the RPV or any other candidates who use the people’s seat to allow fraud.
    Do you hire weak lawyers? Why should Corporate America?

  • RobertColgan

    As rhetoricians, these Republican speakers seem devoid of thought.
    That’s about as complimentary as I can be.

    No, seriously, they DON’T think—–they emote, and they confuse it for thinking.
    That’s how facts don’t really matter to them……emotions don’t require facts.
    Global warming, gun laws, Medicaid expansion——–doesn’t matter the topic: they operate on emotion largely, not thought.

    Gilbert even openly discloses how EMOTIONAL this is for him, to have someone give him wet wipes to get rid of the imaginary blood on his hands …..not a thinking person. An emoter. Fear underpins most of what they say: fear of losing patriarchal white status, fear of financial loss, fear of losing government seat, fear, fear, fear, fear.
    Not thought.

  • Video: Far-right Virginia Del. Brenda Pogge claims that “it’s not guns that kill people” – “the question I have for mommy and daddy, are you ready to take those video games away from your kids?”


    • True Blue

      Yes, those video games were used to hunt down students in cold blood. WTF?

  • From the VA House Dems:

    House Republicans Continue to Avoid Discussions on Gun Safety
    Blame Mass Shootings and Gun Violence on Video Games and Welfare State

    RICHMOND, Va. – House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano today issued the following statement expressing disappointment with remarks made by House Republican leadership on the gun violence crisis:

    “The remarks made today by House Republicans, who continue to be unwilling to discuss reasonable gun safety initiatives, were deeply disappointing. Delegate Freitas continued the House Republican series of statements that seek to deflect a true debate on gun safety measures. Yesterday, video games were deemed the source of the problem; today, it was abortion, broken families, and the welfare state. Delegate Freitas cited cherry-picked statistics to paint a picture suggesting that nothing can or should be done, with the possible exception of arming teachers in schools. Using straw man arguments about total gun confiscation and gutting the Second Amendment, Delegate Freitas used the House floor to discuss who was responsible for the Civil War and Massive Resistance instead of proposing anything to end gun violence. Democrats respect Second Amendment rights, but we also know that many Republicans in this country want reasonable gun safety reforms.

    “The Republican Majority Leader today even suggested the Democratic Caucus does not want to hold criminals accountable for the crimes they commit, an unfortunate statement made in the heat of debate and another vehicle that stops the conversation on ending gun violence. I hope we can recommit ourselves to the principles of civil discourse and make meaningful strides to attack one of most critical problems facing our society today.

    “For the past week, we’ve been calling on House Republicans to revive key pieces of gun safety legislation that they killed this session, including bills to ensure universal background checks, ban bump stocks, and keep guns out of the hands of those who present a threat to themselves or others. We again renew that call today and hope House Republicans come to the table to finally take on meaningful gun reforms.”

  • VaLiberal

    Freitas is one slick fast talking dude. What a bamboozler Culpeper got suckered into voting for. And Looneyburg’s Wright is no better. I can hear the double-teaming of these guys. One sells BS on family dysfunction, abortion, self-defense. The other sells fear of brown people.

  • Quizzical

    The NRA, and their allies in the Virginia General Assembly, don’t want to pass ANY gun control measures. They talk about wanting to debate, but that’s not in good faith because at the end of the day they don’t intend to do anything. Failure to ban bump stocks after Las Vegas is proof enough of that.

  • old_redneck

    Freitas is trying to out-Stewart Corey Stewart. Freitas and Stewart are facing off for the opportunity to be buried by Tim Kaine in November.

    Freitas knows the people who at one time were Republicans are now gunnut goobers, pro-birth, anti-women, Nazis, Klansmen, and assorted dingbats and halfwits. He knows he needs to appeal to them to beat Stewart who, right now, has the dingbat vote sewed up.

  • Quizzical

    A South Carolina company has invented a bullet proof door for school classrooms.

  • Quizzical
  • Video: Del. Mark Levine on the absurd/false notion that video games – as opposed to, uh, GUNS – cause gun violence