On Monday morning the people of Virginia awakened to breaking news from Las Vegas, Nevada. The headlines read “50 dead, 200 injured.” The toll from the mass shooting would eventually rise to 58 dead and 489 injured.
Five days later, we know more about the terrible shooting Sunday night: We know that, of the 23 firearms in the shooter’s possession, at least 12 were semiautomatic rifles legally modified to fire like automatic weapons, using a bump fire stock. We know that even though people—including members of the band playing at the time—were armed, the scene was so chaotic that even armed civilians admitted they couldn’t use their weapons for protection.
We know another thing to be true this morning: We know the NRA will continue to fight for guns and profit from human lives.
If You Live in Virginia, You Live in the NRA’s Backyard
The Las Vegas shooting is a painful reminder that, if you live in Virginia, you live in the NRA’s backyard. What does this mean? Lax gun laws and more deaths, for starters.
Roughly 900 Virginians lose their life annually to gun violence. In fact, more Virginians die by guns than car accidents.
As the home of the NRA, we also have the dubious distinction of being the state with the 9th highest rate of crime-related gun exports (between 2010 and 2015). Of all the illegal guns recovered in crimes around the country, Virginia is 9th most likely to be the state from where the gun was obtained. That means that Virginia’s relaxed gun laws are not only costing lives here, but around the country.
Virginia’s relaxed gun laws are not only costing lives in our state, but around the country.
On November 7, will you vote for these NRA-backed candidates?
With the entire Virginia GOP statewide ticket backed by the NRA, ask yourself: What will four years of Ed Gillespie, John Adams, and Jill Vogel do to us? Will you feel any safer knowing that we have elected officials who strongly oppose universal background checks on gun purchases and who believe, as John Adams does, that “the system we have now is actually OK if it’s used properly”?
Let’s take a look at the candidates’ relationships with the NRA:
Ed Gillespie, Republican Candidate for Virginia Governor, Gets the NRA’s Highest Rating
Ed Gillespie has the highest rating the NRA gives to a candidate without a voting record—an AQ rating. The score is based on a questionnaire given to the candidates. An A rating means that Gillespie has pledged to carry out the NRA’s full agenda in Virginia. For example…
If elected, Ed Gillespie will allow Virginians to carry concealed handguns WITHOUT a permit. He said so, earlier this year.
If elected, Ed Gillespie will allow Virginians to carry firearms in most state buildings. He promised to overturn any firearms-related legislation passed by current Gov. Terry McAuliffe, including a 2015 order banning the open carry of firearms in most state buildings.
John Adams, Republican Candidate for Virginia Attorney General, ALSO Gets the NRA’s Highest Rating
Adams has also promised to bring no new gun legislation to Virginia; continuing the long NRA-endorsed tradition of inaction in the face of mass shooting tragedies.
John Adams strongly opposes universal background checks. He doesn’t think the closing the gun show loophole is his job, and he has already promised to follow whatever decision the Virginia legislature makes. (With a Republican House, if Jill Vogel and John Adams are elected you can be sure the problem will only get worse.)
John Adams is horrified by the prospect of the next school shooting, not because children will be terrorized and lose their lives, but because Congress may act in passing commonsense gun safety legislation.
Jill Vogel, Republican Candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Gets An “A+” NRA Rating
Jill Vogel has an A+ rating from the NRA, and a long voting record to back it up in the Virginia General Assembly.
In 2009, Vogel voted against background checks for gun show purchases. That year, she also voted to allow guns in establishments that served alcohol. That’s really smart. You can’t mix alcohol and cars, but you can mix alcohol with guns.
In February 2012, Vogel voted to repeal the one-gun-a-month rule.
In February 2013, Vogel also voted for a bill that would seal the records of all concealed carry permits in the state, thus allowing permit holders hide from the public record.
37 percent of female homicides in Virginia are intimate partner abuse, most often with a gun. Shouldn’t the police and women know if someone with a history of domestic violence is also a gun owner with a concealed carry permit?
A Virginia Republican Ticket Is a Promise to Gut Laws That Protect Us from Gun Violence
For all the victims of mass shootings, including those who died and were injured in Las Vegas and those in our own communities who die from gun violence, I say this: The last thing we need in Virginia are more politicians in office who not only do nothing to strengthen the laws that protect us from gun violence, but actively promise to work with the NRA to gut them.
The last thing we need in Virginia are more politicians in office who not only do nothing to strengthen the laws that protect us from gun violence, but actively promise to work with the NRA to gut them.
Think about that as you decide what’s best for you, your family, and your community this November 7.