See below for audio and a partial transcript of an interesting back-and-forth this morning between Trumpster radio host John Fredericks, State Sen. Bill Stanley (R), State Sen. Bill DeSteph (R) and former Del. Chris Saxman (R) about State Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment introducing “bill for Tuesday’s special session of the General Assembly that would ban anyone from bringing a gun into a local government building, a measure that goes further than what Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has proposed.” Clearly, Fredericks and Stanley are not happy – at all. Personally, my view is that Norment’s being clever, knows that his bill has no chance of getting out of the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, and is doing this mostly to pretend that Republican are taking this issue seriously (which they aren’t, of course), and possibly giving a few of his vulnerable members (e.g., Sen. Glen Sturtevant) something they can vote for and take back to their “blue” districts.
John Fredericks: “So Bill Stanley again, differentiate your legislation from what I summarized here as the great cave by Tommy Northam [sic]. And what was the point of [Norment] coming into this session already caving?”
Sen. Bill Stanley: “John, I’m gonna be as honest with you as I was with the fellow members of my leadership – we’ve lost the debate before we even got started. I mean remember, that’s banning all guns in public places and elevating it to a felony crime. That goes farther than the governor’s proposal. That’s the governor’s proposal on steroids. My bill is protective, this is punitive…[The narrative at the end of the week] should be that the Republicans came here today about policy…instead, we do not have a narrative that says Republicans came here with policy and not politics. Instead, and I think you used the word cave, the front-page headlines of every newspaper this morning was GOP majority leader drops anti-gun measure. So every single person, you know, we’ve had emails going around saying Tommy Norment’s working with Governor Northman and this is what’s gonna happen, he’s going to take our Second Amendment rights away. And we all were telling our people, and I’m sure Bill [DeSteph] was saying the same thing, [it will] never happen, never happen never happen. Well, looks like it might happen.”
Fredericks: “What [Norment] did is – and I agree with Senators DeSteph and Stanley hundred percent…what Tommy Norment did…what Tommy did is he took the argument away before anybody opened the door today, he already gave it to the Democrats, and he changed the narrative…”
Stanley: “…I’m going to be quite honest with you, you’re the first to know this. Last night I offered my resignation…as the majority whip, because I think we’ve tried to fool our caucus. And I’m not standing for it, I didn’t come down here for this. And so I’m upset, I am stunned, I am dumbfounded, and I’m mad. He knows it, the rest the leadership knows.”