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On April 12, Quinnipiac University released results of its latest poll on Virginians’ attitudes about guns and guess what? Ninety-four percent of Virginians support universal background checks. The majority’s support for stricter gun laws was bipartisan. In fact, we Virginians not only support stricter gun laws, but 66 percent of us also believe that new gun laws will not interfere with the right to own guns.

There is no question in Virginia how our residents feel about gun laws. It’s time for our representatives to act accordingly. The only reason why our reps keep putting dangerous bills forth that loosen gun laws, making us less safe, is because the NRA supporters write, call and visit their reps more frequently that the rest of us do. And the only reason many of these dangerous bills never make it into law is because we have a governor who vetoes them. So, my fellow Loudouners, our charge is simple:

1. Call, write or visit your Virginia Senator and Representative and tell them you are part of the 94 percent who support universal background checks. Share the poll with them (https://poll.qu.edu/virginia).

2. Vote this fall for candidates that support common sense gun laws. This includes the very critical role of Governor, which is the only stop gap to a gun-crazed state.

3. Get involved locally with an organization that raises awareness of America’s public health crisis due to gun violence. Check out http://www.everytown.com and join Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Samantha Villegas

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America


Ms. Villegas,
I too share your concerns about gun safety.  However, I don’t share your views.  Virginia already conducts background checks when purchasing a firearm.  Yes, even at gun shows.

Implementing stricter gun laws will only make life more difficult for those who are already following the rules and not committing crimes.  Most crimes committed with firearms are done by people who are obviously oblivious to the law anyway.

Universal background checks is not the answer.  They only look at what a person has already done. And while that may weed out or even discourage a few, they give no insight as to what a person will do in the future.

I do agree that something needs to be done, but enacting additional stricter gun laws isn’t the answer.  Look at the mass shooting in San Bernadino.  The shooters had more guns than legally allowed, used magazines capable of holding more rounds than legally allowed and yet committed their crimes. 

History shows the numbers of mass shootings increased significantly after June 1, 1980.  What happened on that date?  CNN began 24 hour news broadcasting.  And in an effort to fill those 24 hours, they (and all of the other 24 hour news stations) over reported everything, glorifying each and every mass shooting and giving those involved their 15 minutes of fame.  And it continues.  Live Team Coverage, Live Helicopter Coverage, talking to anyone who calls in during a crisis and claims they saw what happened.  As long as there is competition to scoop the news, they will continue to make these crazed individuals famous.

So, not to mention all of the other reasons, putting some restrictions on the news media about the information they can broadcast regarding mass shootings may be a good place to start.  Education would also be a good place to start.  Teaching kids at an early age about guns and their practical uses along with their dangers. And teaching them proper handling and respect for what a firearm can do.  I’m not opposed to increasing prison sentences for homicides committed with any weapon (gun, knife, baseball bat, vehicle, etc.)

Rod Webb

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