Rep. Rob Wittman (R – VA01) has commended the NRA for its “Eddie Eagle” program, a gun safety program for young children that teaches them what they should do if they come upon a gun: Stop! Don’t Touch! Run Away! Tell a Grown-Up!
But what if it’s the guns that find the children? What if there’s nowhere to run? What if the children tell grown-ups, but they let the children get shot up so brutally that they can be identified only by their shoes — or even just their DNA?
The fact is, homicide was the second leading cause of death of American children in 2020, and firearms were by far the weapon of choice in those homicides (source: Center for Disease Control).
We may not be able to count the number of children’s lives saved by the “Eddie Eagle” program, but we can certainly count the bodies of children ravaged by firearms.
Rep. Rob Wittman praises the “Eddie Eagle” program, and sends the usual “thoughts and prayers” at all the usual times that Republicans do, but he consistently (as Republicans do) legislates against the most reasonable gun safety measures:
For example, Wittman:
- co-sponsored the DC Personal Protection Act (2007), which repealed DC’s requirement for the registration of firearms and its ban on semiautomatic weapons;
- co-sponsored the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009 (HR 197), which grants those with concealed carry permits in one state virtually the same rights in every state, even those that don’t permit their own residents to carry concealed weapons;
- voted against the 2019 and 2021 Background Check Expansion Acts, which require a background check for every firearms sale (2019), including private transfers (2021).
Fortunately, Wittman is being challenged this year by the totally wonderful and highly-qualified solid Democrat Herb Jones.
Herb Jones served in the military, retiring as a full Colonel after service that included two tours of Iraq. That was followed by two years in Afghanistan serving as an operations officer for the federal government. Herb knows guns. He also knows what it means to fear for the safety of a loved one: Herb’s wife was a high school principal when Sandy Hook happened; he was in Afghanistan and he says he realized that she was in greater danger in an American high school than he was in an overseas combat zone. He will not forget that experience and he will not forget our children.