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On the Newtown tragedy: this is a time for action

by: Mark Herring

Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 15:52:09 PM EST

(Good stuff, it's long past time for action on this national epidemic of gun-related violence. In addition to Sen. Herring's statement, also click here for Sen. McEachin's thoughts on this situation. Thanks to both Senators for stepping up and leading! - promoted by lowkell)

The senseless violence that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday is difficult to understand.  That such a horrific act could take place in an elementary school, robbing innocent children of their lives, is every parent's worst nightmare realized.

These tragedies, however, have become all too common in our society in recent years.  We in Virginia were instantly reminded on Friday of the agony and sorrow we felt on April 16, 2007, the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

President Obama, in his speech to the nation last night, focused our attention on the difficult questions we now confront as a country: can we honestly say we are doing enough to keep our children safe from harm?  

As we gather together with family and our loved ones during the holidays, and in the days and weeks that follow, we will no doubt reflect on this and other questions.  We will debate policy as it relates to firearms and to mental health, and we will take a hard look at our society and our culture.

There will be disagreements about the path forward, but there can be no doubt: this is a time for action. Surely we can all agree that these tragedies must end and we can't tolerate this anymore.


Mark Herring :: On the Newtown tragedy: this is a time for action
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Mark Warner weighs in (0.00 / 0)
as well:
"I've been a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights," Warner said Monday outside the Virginia Capitol, where he was attending an unrelated meeting. "I've got an A rating from the NRA. But the status quo isn't acceptable. I've got three daughters. They asked me on Friday evening, 'Dad, what are you gonna do about this?' There's got to be a way to put reasonable restrictions, particularly as we look at assault weapons, as we look at these fast clips of ammunition."

Warner said his resolve to pursue a solution solidified over the weekend while attending a Washington Wizards game. Many people approached him to talk about the tragedy, in which a gunman with a military-style rifle killed 20 first-graders and seven adults.

"I must have had a half-dozen people come up - Colin Powell actually," Warner said. "People were just coming up and saying, 'Hey, we've got to [do something]."

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Video of Mark Warner talking about Newtown: "enough is enough" (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
More Mark Warner (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
Video: Virginia Tech Survivor Colin Goddard Demands a Plan to End Gun Violence (0.00 / 0)

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For more of these powerful videos... (0.00 / 0)
check out the "I Demand a Plan" website.

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[ Parent ]
Video of Virginia Tech mom Lori Haas (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
Video of Reema Samaha's brother Omar Samaha (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
Video of Virginia Tech victim's mom Tracey Lane (0.00 / 0)

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[ Parent ]
Video of daughter of Virginia Tech victim (0.00 / 0)
Uma Loganathan's dad G.V. was murdered at Virginia Tech by a lunatic wielding guns...

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[ Parent ]
It's time (0.00 / 0)
It's good that the families of the Virginia Tech victims are speaking out.

Putting aside federal legislation, I was wondering what, if anything, has been done in Virginia in response to the Virginia Tech shootings?  

My general sense is that there still hasn't been a legislative reckoning in Virginia for the Virginia Tech shootings.  

If anything, it appears that there has been a steady march to relax Virginia's gun safety laws, which was hampered only by Governor Kaine's vetos.

The Virginia Tech murders were on April 16, 2007.  If you click here, you can page forward in time on the NRI - ILA reports for Virginia, which summarize all the pro-gun and anti-gun legislative efforts in Virginia from then up to the present.

I didn't see one thing done since April 16, 2007 to increase gun safety in Virginia.

Actually, we've gone backwards since VA Tech (0.00 / 0)
with the repeal of our one-handgun-per-month law. #FAIL

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[ Parent ]
It's never too late to do the right thing (0.00 / 0)
That's the sense I had, and I feel a real sense of shame for Virginia about that.  And perhaps that is one of the reasons why the Newtown massacre has been so disturbing to me:  we have unfinished business here in Virginia concerning the Virginia Tech massacre . . . .

Well, "the past isn't dead.  It isn't even past."  That really applies to Virginia Tech.  It's never too late to do the right thing.  We need to stand up as best we can.


[ Parent ]
The broad use of social media and YouTube (0.00 / 0)
can nurture this campaign, so that perhaps at long last the anguish will not fade away, and the public can force "reasonable" gun control action at both state and national levels. I must say I am impressed that Senator Mark Warner is stepping up to the plate. We must keep him involved.

[ Parent ]
Mental Health budgets slashed (0.00 / 0)
We've also cut back mental health benefits at the state and local levels -- and both parties have had a hand in this.  McDonnell is already planning to make more cuts this year.

[ Parent ]
Walmart (4.00 / 3)
The largest seller of Bushmaster semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity clips is Walmart. Never forget that much of this insistence on "freedom" for our "2nd Amendment rights" is nothing but a profit-driven sales pitch, financed by the gun manufacturers and retailers, with the NRA acting as their front, while the NRA is pretending to represent responsible gun owners.

Any one of us could walk into a Walmart at 2 a.m., and with the right money, could walk out with a Bushmaster, all the hollow point bullets we wanted, and  high-capacity clips. While a background check might catch us if we had a criminal record, we could be homicidal and desperately mentally ill, and chances are we wouldn't be stopped by the so-called "instant background check."

We so desperately need leaders... (0.00 / 0)
...who focus on solving problems rather than on pleasing powerful lobby groups like the NRA.  Thanks to Sens. Herring, McEachin, and Warner for stepping up to start to lead that conversation.  Of course y'all know that this puts more pressure on you down the line to make sure it leads to real change.

Speaking of leadership, I'd like to hear from our candidates from governor on the matter.  Terry McAuliffe, what are your thoughts and proposals?  And Ken Cuccinelli, has this shaken your faith in absolutely unlimited gun rights in America one single iota?

For a Sustainable Virginia. Now on Twitter.

Ask and ye shall receive (0.00 / 0)
Up on the WaPo

Of course, Cuccinelli slithers out of taking any stance on guns that might offend his donors...

For a Sustainable Virginia. Now on Twitter.

[ Parent ]
Guns do more than high-profile mass killings (0.00 / 0)
More people are killed individually every month by guns than are killed in these spectacular mass massacres--- and that includes policemen who are simply stopping a car for a traffic violation, and not to mention those (usually the woman) involved in a domestic dispute. There are simply too many guns too easily at hand in a society drowning in a culture of violence.

I believe we should not only re-instate the assault weapons ban, but also require anyaone buying or owning a gun to be licensed, just as we license car and truck drivers. Also, how about taxing the sale of guns and ammunition, then use the proceeds for gun safety and education--- just as we have imposed heavy taxes on cigarettes, let's tax guns and ammo.

McAuliffe calls for assault weapons ban, 1-gun-a-month, stronger background checks (0.00 / 0)
Terry McAuliffe Statement on Protecting our Children

As I learned of the horrific tragedy in Connecticut, my initial reaction was shock and grief as a parent. Very simply, it is difficult to comprehend that something like this could happen in our neighborhoods and schools. It causes us all to hold our families closer and to pray for those whose families have been torn apart.

The events also demand a reflection on what we as a Country and a Commonwealth can do to make our children safer. For me, there are some common sense places to begin. First, we must prioritize the diagnosis, treatment, and awareness of mental health issues by recognizing that individuals with psychological and emotional disorders need our help instead of stigmatization. Second, I've said in the past and I continue to believe that there are mainstream restrictions on dangerous weapons that we can agree on including: renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban, passage of bipartisan legislation to strengthen background checks, and re-implementation of Virginia's one-gun-a-month rule.

While we will never know the exact cause of unimaginable violence, our children should know that we're trying our best to make their lives and our Commonwealth safer.

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