Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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New Study: Virginia One of Top Sources for Crime Guns

This morning's New York Times reports on a new study by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which concludes that states with the loosest gun laws - states like Virginia - "exported guns used in crimes at significantly higher rates than states with more stringent laws."
"What this does is help refute some of the statements that people make on the pro-gun side in saying that tougher gun laws are unconnected to reducing crime," he said.

"A state's gun laws are only as good as the weakest link in the national chain," Professor Fox said. "A state with weaker gun laws becomes a supplier for states with stronger laws."

Indeed, the authors of the mayors' study, which was prepared largely out of Mr. Bloomberg's office, said the findings suggested that gun traffickers had sought out states with less restrictive gun-purchase laws.

"What this really shows is that bad laws really do equal more gun trafficking," said John Feinblatt, Mr. Bloomberg's chief policy adviser, "and that gaps in the law really do make a difference."

Where does Virginia fit into all this? According to the study, Virginia is one of the top 10 states, on a per capita basis, in terms of gun export rates. These 10 states "also supply a greater proportion of guns that are likely to have been trafficked."  And, not surprisingly, "There is a strong association between a state's gun laws and that state's propensity to export crime guns."  Which is why it's not surprising that, in 2009, Virginia - with its relatively lax gun laws - ranked third in the nation in top interstate crime gun supplier states, behind only Georgia and Florida.  It's also why laws like "one gun a month" and closing the "gunshow loophole" are so important, if we could ever get them passed in Virginia.

Annabel and Eric Discuss “9500 Liberty” Following Television Premier


For more information on this important and powerful film, centered in Prince William County, Virginia, click here. And, of course, congratulations to filmmakers Eric Byler and Annabel Park for receiving so much viewership and well-deserved praise for "9500 Liberty!"

Photos: Farm Team at Terry McAuliffe’s House

Thanks to Sue Langley for the photos from this Farm Team "Women of Courage and Truth" event earlier today. Looks like fun!

Photos: Al Gore Campaigns for Jim Moran

A few photos, courtesy of Sue Langley and Drew Kleibrink, of the Al Gore fundraiser for Jim Moran, held earlier today in Reston, Virginia. If only Gore had been president instead of Dubya, imagine how much better we'd all be today?  Another example of how elections have consequences and of why we need to get out and vote!

780 Ex-Felons’ Voting Rights Restored; 300,000+ to Go!

First, the good news.
Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is on track to restore voting rights to more felons than either of his Democratic predecessors - a surprising development for a conservative Republican who served as a law-and-order attorney general.

He has won praise from African Americans and civil rights groups for scrapping plans to require essays as part of felons' applications and vowing instead to act on each case within 60 days.

His administration has approved 780 of 889 applicants - 88 percent, according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia's Office, which handles the requests.

Wonderful, good work, kudos to Bob McDonnell for restoring 780 ex-felons' voting rights!  Even more impressive is that McDonnell's outpacing his two Democratic predecessors (a subject for another day, but why on earth Warner and/or Kaine didn't go a lot further than they did in this area is simply mind-boggling). Now, the bad news.
Kent Willis, executive director of the ACLU's Virginia chapter, praised McDonnell, but added: "There are more than 300,000 people who still don't have their voting rights restored. The governor's reforms are good, but they don't tackle the problem. It simply doesn't address the real issue."
So, 780 ex-felons' voting rights restored, but 300,000 still with their fundamental rights deprived, despite having "done their time and paid their debt to society." That needs to change; Virginia needs to join almost every other state in the country - and almost every other democracy in the world - that automatically restores ex-felons' voting rights. Until then, applause for Bob McDonnell - or a future governor, Democratic or Republican - will be tepid at best.

Jules Feiffer, Bruce Feiler at National Book Festival 2010


Two more excellent authors from yesterday's National Book Festival on the Mall in Washington, DC.  

Video: Craig Robinson on Barack Obama as a Basketball Player


Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, speaking about Barack Obama at today's National Book Festival on the National Mall.

For more video of Craig Robinson, see the "flip."

Christine O’Donnell: “Why Aren’t Monkeys Still Evolving Into Humans?”


Actually, the real question is, "how did evolution go so horribly wrong in the case of Christine O'Donnell?"
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