UPDATE Monday 2:25 pm – Snopes says “Storm Durham’s claim that she was fired over possessing a concealed carry permit is unconfirmed and in dispute.” Snopes also says it was sent the City of Roanoke’s statement, which I first posted here on Blue Virginia (not sure what the Virginia corporate media is doing on this, but as is so often the case, we are ahead of them).
The City of Roanoke issued a statement yesterday (see below for a screenshot of their email; click to enlarge) on the Storm Durham story, which is all over right-wing media and social media. Last night, for instance, 2018 Virginia GOP U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart sat down with Storm Durham and wrote on his Facebook page: “Storm Durham @chelstorrm was fired by the city of Roanoke, VA and escorted out by police simply b/c she’s a gun owner. We must fight to protect our #SecondAmendment rights.”
According to Roanoke City’s statement (emailed to me by Roanoke City’s Communications and Media Officer, who said the statement was also “released to the local media yesterday”), in contrast, “Roanoke respects the Constitutional rights of its citizens and that the dismissal in question was not based upon anyone’s exercise of such rights.” Finally, I find it interesting that this story hasn’t moved out of the national, right-wing blogosphere (Townhall, The Blaze, etc.). I guess we’ll see if it does so in coming days, but I thought the story was worth noting since it’s a Virginia story and since it’s getting so much attention on the right.
P.S. Here’s Storm Durham’s original Facebook post which kicked this all off…
I was fired today. I was fired by a Department of Virginia… Social Services the people who are supposed to be there to keep kids safe and develop families into better people for each other. I was fired today due to having a concealed carry permit. Was my gun on me? No. Has it ever been on me during my job, or visits, or anything related to work? No. When I told them that it has never been on me during work, what did they say? “How do we know that.” Search me. Do I have a criminal record? No. Do I, (yes the 22 year old blonde who is 5’2 and about 140 pounds who loves everything Disney, pink, and basic), come across as a threat to you? If you know me I’m pretty sure you’ve never been shaking in your boots due to my vary presence. But today, I was escorted by not one, not two, but three Roanoke City Police Officers to my office where I packed up months of thank you cards, and pictures of kids I’ve helped. I was escorted by officers who have been with me on visits where I placed a child with a relative due to risks, or when I was hugged by a child because they finally felt safe again. I was told to pack immediately and that I could not even use the bathroom to take a minute for myself because of my “serious safety concerns to the building.” I have a concealed carry permit. I own guns. I hunt. I target shoot. I represent Women hunters and outdoorswomen. Does that make me a criminal? Does that make me a safety risk to others? A big enough safety risk to be escorted by three Roanoke City Police officers? So scary and threatening that I need to be treated like a criminal? To be humiliated and looked down upon for owning a gun? For legally having a gun, registering that gun, and having the appropriate documentation for that gun?
The Constitution of the United States of America. The one document that has followed us for years, and will continue to be the power resource of all we do as Americans. The second amendment: the right to bear arms. The Roanoke City Department of Social Services should be ashamed of themselves. They should be publically known that they did this. That they fired a innocent, clean record, white, female, college graduate who works for a living for legally having, and owning a gun. That was NEVER on their property or in their building. A gun that was never used for evil, but as protection as I am a survivor or sexual assault. Protection for being that white, 22 year old, female. I am an American. A gun owner. And a proud sponsor of hunting across America, and I, nor my lawyers, judges, or support systems will rest until something is done. Until someone answers for punishing me and taking away my constitutional right.