Thank you NRA! Why do I say this? Because they’ve saved all of us a lot of time and effort. Through their ratings of Virginia candidates, we all now know who we should vote for and who we shouldn’t, really without any further effort on our part. Basically, it’s one-stop shopping: anyone who gets an “A” rating from the NRA shouldn’t even be considered, while anyone who gets a “D” or “F” should jump to the top of your preference list.
To understand what these letter grades mean, and why they’re the exact opposite of how you normall think of grading, check out the NRA candidate questionnaire which has items on it like: repealing Virginia’s one-handgun-per-month law; allowing unfettered “sale, purchase, possession and transfer of semi-automatic firearms;” preventing doctors from “questioning patients about firearm ownership;” opposing “legislation requiring locking devices (safes, trigger locks, cable locks…) or other locking procedures for firearms stored in the home;” etc. That’s some extreme stuff right there, and that’s how you rack up an “A” rating with the NRA, by answering those questions “correctly.” A few interesting races where the NRA rating should make a big difference in how you choose to vote?
*Senate District 1: John Miller (D rating) vs. Mickey Chohany (A rating). Vote Miller!
*Senate District 13: Shawn Mitchell (D rating) vs. Dick Black (A rating). Vote Mitchell!
*Senate District 22: Bert Dodson (C rating) vs. Thomas Garrett (A rating). Vote Dodson!
*Senate District 31: Barbara Favola (F rating) vs. Caren Merrick (A- rating). Do NOT vote Merrick!
*Senate District 32: Janet Howell (F rating) vs. Patrick Forrest (A rating). Vote Howell!
*Senate District 33: Mark Herring (D rating) vs. Patricia Phillips (A rating). Vote Herring!
*Senate District 34: Chap Petersen (C+ rating) vs. Gerarda Culipher (A- rating). Vote Chap! (although Chap’s rating is too high for my liking, he’s still better on this issue, and on every other issue, than Culipher)
*Senate District 36: Toddy Puller (F rating) vs. Jeff Frederick (A rating). Vote Toddy!
*Senate District 37: Dave Marsden (F rating) vs. Jason Flanary (A rating). Do NOT vote for Flanary!
*Senate District 39: George Barker (F rating) vs. Miller Baker (A rating). Vote George Barker!
Also, check out the House ratings and do NOT vote for Mark Dudenhefer (A rating), Bob Marshall (A rating), Ronald Villaneuva (A rating), Scott Lingamfelter (A+ rating), Barbara Comstock (A rating), Brian Schoeneman (A rating), Matthew Fariss (A rating), David Ramadan (A rating), Michael Watson (A rating), etc.
Remember, an “A” from the NRA rating means the person supports the wildly-out-of-the-mainstream items I’ve listed above. A “D” or “F” rating from the NRA is truly a badge of honor, as it means the candidate opposes the NRA’s extreme agenda, in spite of that organization’s huge amount of money and organized supporters. Despite that fact, of course, the NRA and what it stands for remains in the small minority of Americans, the vast majority of whom support reasonable gun safety measures. Hopefully, that quiet majority will show up on November 8 and express their preferences accordingly.