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Do Webb and Warner Favor Closing Gun Show Loophole?

According to the Washington Post, "A group that includes victims of the Virginia Tech massacre and their families said Monday that Sen. Jim Webb (D-Virginia) met privately with them and gave his commitment to support a federal law requiring that buyers at gun shows undergo background checks before purchasing firearms." Yesterday, however, Webb's office issued a statement that "was noncommital about Webb's support for the so-called gun show loophole."  

As far as Sen. Warner is concerned, "family members met with Warner on June 9 and he was noncommittal on the issue."  His office also issued a statement yesterday:

Senator Warner has a record of supporting Second Amendment rights and he will weigh any future proposals that come before the full Senate. He also will continue to work for full funding to make sure the National Instant Criminal Background Check System is complete and up-to-date - improvements that were mandated by Congress following the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy.
Can anyone translate that from "politician" into "English?" Heh.

Mark Warner: Reform tough on Wall Street

UPDATE: Mark Halperin weighs in, says (correctly) that the Republicans are "willfully misreading" (aka, "lying about") this bill. What else is new, unfortunately.

Video: “Tax Day Tea Party 2010”

For your viewing pleasure (well, maybe not "pleasure" exactly - lol), here's the latest "Tea Party" video from New Left Media.
On Thursday, April 15, Tea Partiers from around the country gathered in the nation's capital to protest what they percieved to be egregious increases in taxation under the Obama administration, despite taxes having actually been lowered for 98% of working Americans.

The usual nativist rhetoric and and praise of Fox News personalities ensued.

This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviewer) and Erick Stoll (camera operator) with additional camera work from Kasey Hosp.

President Obama Cut Taxes for 98 Percent of Working Americans in 2009, from the non-partisan Citizens for Tax Justice

P.S. In related news, it looks like the Tea Party movement constitutes "a Greater Threat to Republicans Than to Democrats." What a shame.

McDonnell Bullies State Police?

Is the McDonnell administration bullying and muzzling the Virginia State Police?  Based on this article, it sure looks like it.
Some tenured legislators raised their eyebrows during this year's General Assembly session when a State Police official spoke in favor of raising speed limits to 70 mph on certain state highways. The agency had opposed it.

The shift in position followed instructions from Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration to the law enforcement agency that a public endorsement was expected, according to a government source with knowledge of the conversations who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Administration officials made it clear to the State Police that it was expected to back the speed limit change, which McDonnell supported, and remain silent on some gun measures, the source said. The State Police offered testimony on at least one gun proposal this year - defeated legislation to require criminal background checks on certain private gun sales - before being hushed on others, the source added.

Obviously, this is not good if true. I can just imagine the howls of outrage if a Democratic governor had done this. For its part, the State Police "declined to comment." Hmmmm.

P.S. In other news, Bill Bolling seems to think that the Virginia National Guard are supposed to act as his travel agents, and possibly as his transportation back from Italy.  I dunno, but doesn't it seem like the Virginia National Guard might have more important things to do than figuring out how Bill Bolling can fly through a volcanic ash cloud?

Video From “Open Carry”/Anti-Government Protest at Fort Hunt

Thanks to Cliff Schecter and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence for this video from the "open carry"/anti-government event at Fort Hunt earlier today. Note the interview at the end where "featured speaker" Mike "Break their windows" Vanderboegh says there could be "more Ruby Ridges" and "more Wacos."  What I really want to know is, in what conceivable way have people like Mr. Vanderboegh been "pushed farther back" by the government? Was it the increased gun rights or the lower taxes that were the final straw for these guys? Hmmmm.

UPDATE: Also, check this ad, an "open letter to Senators Webb & Warner from families of Virginia Tech victims & survivors."

UPDATE #2: The Washington Post reports, Mark Warner is "noncommittal" on closing the "gun show loophole," while Jim Webb "came out firmly behind requiring background checks of all purchases at gun shows" (according to Lori Haas, whose daughter was wounded in the Virginia Tech shootings).

Joe Biden on “Devastating Blows to Al Qaeda-Iraq”

Meanwhile, in other excellent news, a new BBC survey finds, "For the first time since the annual poll began in 2005, America's influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative."  The BBC attributes this to "Barack Obama becoming president."  As always, I wouldn't expect all the "nattering nabobs of negativity" out there (e.g., Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck) to give Barack Obama credit for this. But I will, and I hope you will too, because he definitely deserves it. Nice work, keep it up!

Video: Terry McAuliffe and Jon Bowerbank Promote Virginia Wine in Cuba

For more on Terry McAuliffe and Jon Bowerbank's recent trade mission - promoting Virginia wine, among other things - to Cuba, see here. Or, just watch the video. It's fascinating how much Jon Bowerbank looks like Burl Ives, and how much Terry McAuliffe looks like Alec Guiness, but I'm sure that's just a strange coincidence for "our men in Havana." :) Also, is that Virginia wine they're drinking or something more tropical? Heh.

Scott Surovell: “The Gun Movement Comes to Fort Hunt”

Over at his blog, The Dixie Pig, Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) shares his thoughts on the "open carry", "Restore the Constitution" rally scheduled for today at Fort Hunt Park in his district. According to Surovell, his constituents are reacting with "concern, fear, and outright anger with some." The bottom line, from Surovell's perspective, is that "writing a letter to the editor, starting a blog, or running a TV ad are much more effective methods of communication than staging a rally with a loaded and/or unloaded weapons in what is really a suburban neighborhood park just because you can do it."

For all of Del. Surovell's thoughts on today's anti-government, "open carry" rally in Fort Hunt Park, click here. What do you think?

P.S. As the Washington Post story points out, "Those coming to the "Restore the Constitution" rally give Obama no quarter for signing the law that permits them to bring their guns to Fort Hunt, run by the National Park Service, and to Gravelly Point on the banks of the Potomac River. Nor are they comforted by a broad expansion of gun rights in several states since his election." That's right, Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress have expanded gun rights since they took office in January 2009. Why don't they get any "credit" for this from pro-gun folks?

UPDATE: Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th, VA) weighs in.

The free association and gathering of individuals is a constitutionally protected right that all Americans should support, regardless of whether one agrees with the substance of the protest. Holding an armed rally at a public park however, raises major public safety concerns.

These anti-government demonstrations are fueled by the belief that our constitutional rights under the Second Amendment are somehow under attack and urgent action is needed. While this may be a powerful rallying point for special interest groups, the claim could not be further from the truth. In fact, much to my dismay, virtually every action the federal government has taken in the past decade has weakened commonsense gun laws already on the books.

I understand that the Park Service is well aware of the situation and is working to ensure the public's safety is protected. I urge anyone attending the event to protest in a peaceful manner, respectful of the park and its visitors. I maintain my belief that firearms do not belong in national parks but unfortunately, that's now the law of the land.


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