For all of Del. Surovell's thoughts on today's anti-government, "open carry" rally in Fort Hunt Park, click here. What do you think?
P.S. As the Washington Post story points out, "Those coming to the "Restore the Constitution" rally give Obama no quarter for signing the law that permits them to bring their guns to Fort Hunt, run by the National Park Service, and to Gravelly Point on the banks of the Potomac River. Nor are they comforted by a broad expansion of gun rights in several states since his election." That's right, Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress have expanded gun rights since they took office in January 2009. Why don't they get any "credit" for this from pro-gun folks?
UPDATE: Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th, VA) weighs in.
The free association and gathering of individuals is a constitutionally protected right that all Americans should support, regardless of whether one agrees with the substance of the protest. Holding an armed rally at a public park however, raises major public safety concerns.
These anti-government demonstrations are fueled by the belief that our constitutional rights under the Second Amendment are somehow under attack and urgent action is needed. While this may be a powerful rallying point for special interest groups, the claim could not be further from the truth. In fact, much to my dismay, virtually every action the federal government has taken in the past decade has weakened commonsense gun laws already on the books.
I understand that the Park Service is well aware of the situation and is working to ensure the public's safety is protected. I urge anyone attending the event to protest in a peaceful manner, respectful of the park and its visitors. I maintain my belief that firearms do not belong in national parks but unfortunately, that's now the law of the land.
For more complete instructions for Campus Coffee Week, go to www.CoffeePartyUSA.com.
1. VULNERABLE YOUTH LATEST VICTIMS OF BUDGET CUTS
2. VIAGRA NIXED AGAIN IN MCDONNELL BUDGET FIXES
3. MILITIA MOVEMENT WILL BE PACKING HEAT AT RALLY ON THE POTOMAC
4. STATE POLICE STANCES PUZZLE SOME LEGISLATORS
5. PAIN OF STATE BUDGET CUTS LOOM FOR REGION
8. AFTER PULITZER WIN, SAGA FOR REPORTER AND STORY CONTINUES
12. TRYING TO KEEP THE HEAT ON APPALACHIAN
13. DEFINING PENSION OBLIGATIONS
17. LABOR DAY DEBATE HEATS UP AGAIN IN VIRGINIA BEACH
22. UNINSURED FLOCK TO FREE CLINIC IN LOUISA
24. CHARLOTTESVILLE ENTREPRENEUR OWES CALIFORNIA $13 MILLION IN TAXES
25. 3 CULPEPER JUVENILES ACCUSED IN SEXTING MAY AVOID FELONY PROSECUTION
"I'd love to hear from Senator McConnell and some of the others specifics, not just general attacks..."
"I'm still relatively new to this job, and I didn't get the memo yet that we weren't actually supposed to get stuff done in a bipartisan way...this should not be a partisan bill."
"We need to set financial rules of the road for the next 50-60 years. We had pretty good rules of the road that were set in the '30s that lasted us 80 years; I'd love to see a bill that would put the next 80 years rules in place."
Personally, I think it's far, far too early to say much intelligent about Jim Webb's reelection chances in 2012. For starters, how much "voter anger" will there be at that point, and who will that anger be directed at? Who knows. Second, who will the Republicans nominate to run against Webb (assuming Webb even runs for reelection)? If it's George Allen, how does he get beyond "macaca" and all the other reasons he lost the last time around? If it's "Sideshow Bob" Marshall, can a guy even further to the right than "Felix Macacawitz" get elected in Virginia? Finally, how popular will President Obama be by 2012, since he'll be on the ballot along with Webb? At this point, it's extremely difficult to say. In politics, 2 years might as well be 2 decades. Anyway, we'll see what happens, first and foremost with the economy, over the next couple years. A lot of things will happen in that time period, we just don't know what those things will be exactly.
Anyway, please feel free to use this as an open thread on Jim Webb, his performance in office so far, and his reelection chances in 2012.
1. VA. PUBLIC BROADCASTING FUNDS IN PERIL
2. MCDONNELL LOOKS TO JUMP START TOLL ROAD
3. N.VA.'S HUGO SLATED TO TAKE SPOT ON GOP LEADERSHIP
4. TEA-PARTY INFLUENCE COULD CUT TWO WAYS
5. STUDENT POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT A FORCE TO BE RECKONED ACROSS VIRGINIA
7. CANTOR BLAMES DEMOCRATS FOR EXCESSIVE GOVERNMENT SPENDING IN RESPONSE TO OBAMA'S WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
13. AFTER DOING THEIR TIME, FELONS SHOULDN'T HAVE TO BEG FOR BASIC RIGHTS, OR DISCUSS RELIGION IN DOING SO
14. STRENGTHENING VIRGINIA'S ETHICS LAW
16. CONSPIRACY IN TEA PARTY?
18. 'TEA PARTIERS' MORE WACKY MAVERICKS THAN EXTREMIST THREAT
19. BUDGET DECISION TIME NEARS FOR METRO
24. ARLINGTON COUNTY PLANS MAJOR CUTS TO ARTS PROGRAMS
We can't let the debate veer so far into hatred that we lose focus of our common humanity. It's really important. We can't ever fudge the fact that there's a basic line dividing criticism from violence or its advocacy, and that the closer you get to the line and the more responsibility you have, you have to think about the echo chamber in which your words resonate.
But what we learned from Oklahoma City is not that we should gag each other or we should reduce our passion for the positions that we hold, but the words we use really do matter because there are - there's this vast echo chamber, and they go across space, and they fall on the serious and the delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike. And I am not trying to muzzle anybody, but one of the things that the conservatives have always brought to the table in America is that no law can replace personal responsibility. And the more power you have, and the more influence you have, the more responsibility you have.
For more, see ThinkProgress.
Now, unsurprisingly, these reforms have not exactly been welcomed by the people who profit from the status quo - as well their allies in Washington. This is probably why the special interests have spent a lot of time and money lobbying to kill or weaken the bill. Just the other day, in fact, the Leader of the Senate Republicans and the Chair of the Republican Senate campaign committee met with two dozen top Wall Street executives to talk about how to block progress on this issue.
Lo and behold, when he returned to Washington, the Senate Republican Leader came out against the common-sense reforms we've proposed. In doing so, he made the cynical and deceptive assertion that reform would somehow enable future bailouts - when he knows that it would do just the opposite. Every day we don't act, the same system that led to bailouts remains in place - with the exact same loopholes and the exact same liabilities. And if we don't change what led to the crisis, we'll doom ourselves to repeat it. That's the truth. Opposing reform will leave taxpayers on the hook if a crisis like this ever happens again.
So my hope is that we can put this kind of politics aside. My hope is that Democrats and Republicans can find common ground and move forward together. But this is certain: one way or another, we will move forward. This issue is too important. The costs of inaction are too great. We will hold Wall Street accountable. We will protect and empower consumers in our financial system. That's what reform is all about. That's what we're fighting for. And that's exactly what we're going to achieve.
1. MCDONNELL RAKES IN HEFTY DONATIONS BUT TRAILS KAINE'S EARLY RECORD
2. MCDONNELL NAMES APRIL 16 VIRGINIA TECH REMEMBRANCE DAY...
3. MCDONNELL, CUCCINELLI LEAD REMEMBRANCE FOR VIRGINIA TECH VICTIMS
4. MCDONNELL, BLACK FRATERNITY TO DISCUSS CONFEDERATE DECREE
7. BOLLING FORMS COMMITTEE TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR IN 2013
8. CUCCINELLI FILES MOTION TO FORCE EPA TO REOPEN GLOBAL WARMING FINDING
10. HUGO TO BE ELECTED HOUSE GOP CAUCUS CHAIR
15. HURT LEADS GOP FUNDRAISING IN RACE FOR 5TH
16. PERRIELLO IS WINNING MONEY BATTLE
18. VIRGINIA'S MARCH JOBLESS RATE FALLS TO 7.6 PERCENT
19. POLICE RAID OFFICES OF JMU'S PAPER, SEIZE 900 PHOTOS
30. VIRGINIA'S IMAGE TAKES A HIT