Following the failure of the Virginia General Assembly to pass even one single meaningful piece of gun violence prevention legislation this year, despite enormous public support for things like bump stock bans, universal background checks, and restrictions on children having access to guns, Delegate Mark Levine (D-45), whose own family are victims of gun violence, sent a letter out to his constituents titled How to Commit Mass Murder. In the letter, he describes how the AR-15, especially when equipped with a bump stock device, is not designed to hunt animals, but to hunt people and “kill as many of them as possible, as quickly as possible, as painfully as possible.” He then calls out the Virginia GOP:
The GOP in Virginia has steadfastly refused to enact (or lately even consider)
Bills to punish “good guys” who sell such dangerous weapons to the “bad guys.”
The GOP doesn’t want a basic background check, already used in gun stores.
To apply to gun sales to criminals, terrorists, and the violently insane in the streets.”
The only way out of this madness, he says, is to elect Democrats.
Now, you may or may not think this letter was divisive, or partisan, or even unfair to the VA GOP (I do not). And, if you are his constituent and you received this letter, you are within your rights to call his office and complain or thank him for the letter, as appropriate for you. If you are really angry about the letter, you are free to challenge his seat the next time he’s up for election. That’s called democracy.
Apparently, though, if you are a butthurt, snowflake Republican like Senator Bryce Reeves (R-17) (who’s probably still smarting from his loss to Senator Jill Vogel (R-27) in the GOP primary for Lieutenant Governor), and you aren’t satisfied with the House majority leader Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15) “demanding an apology” from Delegate Levine, you have other alternatives.
You can take a harmless bill about mixed-use beverage licenses for those using historic museums for a special event, which passed out of a House subcommittee and full committee unanimously, passed the full House, passed the Senate committee and Senate floor unanimously, and decide that the democratic process by which such a bill becomes a law can be thrown in the garbage because your feelings were hurt. You can have a unanimous vote to pass a bill be RECONSIDERED, sent back to the same committee that also unanimously passed it, and then use that opportunity to scold the bill’s patron before killing the bill without allowing anyone else to even speak. So, that’s it, friends, sorry if you wanted to have your wedding or bar mitzvah at a historic museum and serve alcohol–you can’t, because even though our entire legislative body agrees that you should be able to, you can’t. Because someone is butthurt.
In case you haven’t heard this a hundred times this year, Virginia is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World, dating back to 1619. And yet, it’s such a fragile system that its entire purpose–to write laws–can be thwarted by some snowflake who’s upset at being called out for doing nothing to stop children in schools, people watching a country music concert, people attending a movie or dancing at a club, from being shot down in cold blood.