AM-15

Connor Betts used this gun, an AM-15 .223-caliber firearm, to kill nine people and injure 14 others in approximately 30 seconds in Dayton, Ohio, last weekend. Anderson Manufacturing, in an ad for the firearm, called the weapon “an orchestra of metal and hellfire” and said it sets off the “sound freedom makes.” 

More mass shootings. Sadly, I'm not surprised.

On May 31, 12 people were murdered by a disgruntled government employee in Virginia Beach.

On July 28, three people were killed and 12 injured at a garlic food festival in Gilroy, California, by a 19-year-old wielding an AK-47.

On Aug. 3, 22 people were murdered in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart by a 21-year-old man armed with an AK-47.

Early Aug. 4, a 24-year-old man using an AR-15 and wearing body armor murdered nine people in less than one minute in Dayton, Ohio's historic Oregon District before police shot him.

This gun owner, hunter and National Rifle Association member is fed up. The number of murdered and wounded is appalling. We should be viscerally angry at the inaction and gamesmanship by politicians.

Loudoun’s only Virginia governor, Westmoreland Davis, who served from 1918-1922, once remarked the common issues in Virginia state and local elections are roads and schools. The accuracy of the governor’s sage words endured for almost a century.

With apologies to our dedicated teachers, brave first responders and hard-working county staff, I urge Loudoun voters to put aside partisanship, teacher salaries, road funding and vote for the candidates who promise to act to lessen the chance the death and misery visited on other communities happens here.

This November, Loudouners can send a message that change is needed, and action is expected.

I am a Republican, but this November I am voting “guns” not party. All Loudoun voters should do the same.

This isn’t a partisan issue, but both parties are to blame. Take, for example, the recent special session of the Virginia legislature called by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) after the Virginia Beach shooting.

Perhaps to the chagrin of party regulars, nervous Republican leaders appeared willing to consider a few of the Democrats’ proposals. Of course our ham-handed governor didn’t negotiate a deal in advance with the Republicans, who then proceeded to tank the special session as soon as it started.

On Nov. 6, we’ll know whether voters agreed with the governor or the Republicans. Every seat in the General Assembly – in addition to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors, the School Board and the constitutional officers – is up for a vote this fall.

The candidates you should talk to about gun issues are those running for the General Assembly, Board of Supervisors, commonwealth’s attorney and sheriff. The General Assembly passes gun laws that can bind to localities, including optional restrictions on hunting and guns.

Every year the Board of Supervisors votes on a legislative package of recommended changes in state law. Even though a supervisor can’t vote to change the Code of Virginia, they can recommend or oppose changes.

The sheriff and commonwealth’s attorney enforce the law, but have some discretion in doing so. Traditionally, legislators value their opinions on proposed legislation.

Loudoun voters should demand candidates support two changes in state code. First, close the so-called “gun show loophole” and require universal background checks. Second, require anybody who wants to buy or build an assault rifle, such as an AK-47, AR-15 or M4, to obtain a special license, pay an extra fee, undergo an enhanced background check and require first-time buyers who have not served in the military or as law enforcement officers to complete a safety course. The safety course should include range training.

An assault weapon should not be a young man’s first gun without some manner of screening and training.

Given what has happened, these are not invasive changes.

My friends are safe and responsible gun owners. If all gun owners were like my friends, this column wouldn’t be needed. But they aren't.

When I wrote a column about the Pittsburgh shooting, my toughest critics were my friends, so I will respond, in advance, to the comments I expect.

Gun owners will argue, usually correctly, that commonly proposed gun restrictions wouldn’t have kept the shooter from obtaining a firearm.

In the micro sense of a single incident this may be true, but in the macro sense it is not. The changes I propose are about long-term odds. If background checks are required, it will be harder, but not impossible, for criminals to get guns in the long run.

There was once a time when the NRA supported universal background checks.

If there is a license, fee, background check and training requirement for getting an assault rifle, the odds are reduced that somebody who shouldn’t have a AR-15 gets one.

To the argument these restrictions won’t stop all mass shootings, my response is it’s impossible to quantify events that do not happen.

It sickens me to have to write another column on this topic.

 ___________

Charlie King

Charlie King

Charlie King is a Leesburg-based attorney and member of the Loudoun County Republican Committee. He was the Republican nominee for county chairman in 2015.

(38) comments

amerigirl

JustAnotherVirginiaNumber, the word choice was a response to the post above about “law abiding citizens” and “law abiding” gun owners. There are many cases, not just 2, but they were an example. Also I said from the last 2 weekends, not 2 shootings. A Northern California festival, a neighborhood Walmart in Mississippi, followed by El Paso and Dayton. That would be 4 cases, yes, I consider 4 cases in less that 2 weeks many. What is your minimum of lives lost to prove a point? I also added, Aurora, and Las Vegas.















There are some people that use other tools to kill, but the chances of a car doing the kind of damage that a shooter can are next to impossible. If someone wants to proficiently kill mass amounts of people, there is a good he/she could get their hands on the guns and ammo legally. I am making a point that people can get their weapons legally not that all people with weapons will be mass murders. It isn’t my emotions; it is you lack of understanding the message. Why would you jump to that? So, then you think it’s alright to make fun of me? Seriously, who is being silly?


JustAnotherVirginiaNumber

Here is my question to you. Why are you focusing on semi-automatic rifles when the vast majority of gun deaths are from handguns? It's a very simple question. ANd it's not my lack of understanding the message, it's your lack of taking a logical stance on what is the cause of the issue. The issue is not the tool that is used, it's the person that is using it. A gun cannot kill without a person, but a person can kill without a gun. When you're done with your logical fallacies and can step outside of your own head for a few minutes then we can have a logical conversation about the cause of the issue and potential fixes. It's just impossible to speak with someone like you, who has made up their mind and closed it off to any outside influence or reason. It's a shame that politics has divided us so much to where it came to this point.


amerigirl

Because the biggest mass shootings in American history have involved semi-automatic rifles. Most guns used in crimes are handguns, like for robberies. Sometimes it is the tool used, a handgun would have done much less damage in Las Vegas. My focus isn’t just the size and capacity of the gun. But since that is what the conversation was about that is what I talked about. I believe that we need gun reform, for all gun’s sizes and types that are in the wrong hands. Well since you and I feel the same way about many of these points I guess you have the same logical fallacies as I do. But you know what, it’s going to be hard to have “a logical conversation about the cause of the issue and potential fixes” with someone who has tried to debase me. You can’t act superior to someone and then have a normal conversation when that person is going to feel that you are just trying to talk down to them. I haven’t made up their mind and closed it off to any outside influence or reason. I have closed it off to someone who thinks they always right and are better than others.


JustAnotherVirginiaNumber

No matter how badly you want to be, you're not the victim, sorry to break it to you. Now that we've established that, let's get to the real point. The real point is you are just scared of the scary looking guns. The logical fallacy is that "



assault rifles" are responsible for a majority of gun related deaths and that's just absolutely untrue. FACT: There are more gun related deaths in West Garfield park in Chicago alone then there are in the country of Honduras. FACT: There are more deaths in Chicago alone then there were in Honduras, Venezuela, Belize, El Salvador and Guatemala COMBINED. My point is, it's not the tool being used, it's the tool using the tool. I understand where you are coming from, that semi-automatic rifles are a tool that can be used, and attachments can be purchased in a wide variety of ways. That's irrelevent to the underlying issue. Your logic is the same as cars being used for murder, so let's limit the speed at which they can hit their victims. It's flat out the wrong way to go. Let's figure out why the hell the nut gets behind the wheel before we ban the car. Nobody speaks of the gun deaths in our inner cities. Why do you think that is? BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FURTHER THE NARRATIVE. When the narrative takes precident over the act, the entire conversation becomes disingenuous and nobody from the other side wants to play ball. So let's get rid of the narrative and stop the deflection.


PVanCleave

Mr. King, for someone who claims to be a gun owner, you don't seem to know much about them. So called "assault weapons" are classified as such based on *cosmetics* and not what rounds they shoot, or how many rounds they hold, or how accurate they are. Gun controllers coined that term to make certain guns sound "scary" so that they could convince people they needed to be banned.















And according to the government, 94% of criminals do NOT get their guns by going through a background check. They get then from the blackmarket, steal them, or get someone with a clean background to go through a background check (no way to stop that). Universal Background Checks are designed to register guns for later confiscation - just take a look at California.















Yes, by all means vote guns this election - vote to protect your right to own guns for self-defense. Vote for those that oppose gun control. Let's not end up like gun-control heaven, Chicago.




amerigirl

Sorry to disagree but assault style rifles are just what they say they are, rifles styled like assault rifles. They are sold with 30 round clips but can hold up to 600 clips. Virginia has no law restricting large capacity ammunition magazines. For comparison most pistols only hold 10-17 rounds.



The study you described was only of 287,400 convicted criminals, that alone skews the results. If 56% were stolen doesn’t that mean that the original owner passed a background check? Maybe there should be laws about how guns are kept when not in use, like a locked gun case or vault. It would save the lives of so many children. It also said that 43% of that 56% were gotten through an underground market, not the black market. Many of those guns were obtained through straw purchases, (purchases of 1 or more guns, many from out of state for another person). So, states with lax gun laws help keep that market in business. The next biggest source is corrupt at-home and commercial gun dealers known as Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs). According to a recent ATF report, there is a significant diversion to the illegal gun market from FFLs. Yes, look at California, they have managed to get guns from people who have suffered from mental illness and dementia. They have granted restraining orders on violent offenders. However, California law allows gun owners to petition to reclaim them.







Chicago has tight gun control, which is why most of the guns are purchased in Nevada and Indiana, remember straw purchases.







Yes vote guns this election, save lives.


tolerantleft

600 "clips"? Really? You continue to show ignorance about fire arms.


JustAnotherVirginiaNumber

There is no such thing as an "assault rifle" even if you use the name "assault rifle" to describe an "assault rifle." The only descriptor that can be used are "scary looking guns." Sorry, but that's not good enough to describe any type of weapon. By the way, no gun can hold 600 clips. PLEASE learn weapons before speaking about them. You sound like CNN talking about pump action shotguns as an "assault rifle." Secondly, if the type of gun regulation you are talking about is requiring people to keep it locked in a gun safe or lockbox then I AM ALL FOR THAT. If you want to talk about closing gun show loop holes and placing a 30 day waiting period on obtaining the gun, then I can even get behind that. If you are talking about banning certain guns because you are afraid of them and someone decided to use that TOOL as a weapon of murder, that's where you lose me. How about getting fathers back in homes and instilling morality back in children. Make your own bed before trying to make someone else's. And yes, before you whine and cry about me attacking you as a person, I am attacking the shortcomings of the liberal view, not you specifically. The fact that I have to clarify that before someone starts whining and crying is ridiculous.


amerigirl

Sorry the Newsweek article was wrong, The 200 round is the largest.


JustAnotherVirginiaNumber

This highlights the ignorance around guns. You can buy a 600 round clip for a pistol. Tactical reloads can see unlimited clips and fire nearly just as quick. The only thing all of those guns have in common is the SHOOTER.


tolerantleft

Thank GOD for the Virginia Citizens Defense League!!!



GUNS..... SAVE.... LIVES.......



I can't wait to send more PAC dollars to support my Second Amendment Rights


AFF

The Citizens Defense League? Those guys are your heroes?







from wiki, cause I literally couldn't make up anything better to mock the group then their own actions .... Philip Van Cleave (born 1952 in Kankakee, Illinois)[1] is an American gun rights advocate, computer programmer, and the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). In 2018, he appeared on the show Who is America? where he instructed preschool children how to use guns in a fictitious show.







Yup- he sang and danced and narrated a cartoon that advocated arming pre-schoolers. That's this guy's hero- Thank god for reality.


AFF

Lordy Lordy- are you really P Van Cleve? The Phillip Van Cleve of the Virginia Citizens "defense council"?







Question- After Sacha Baron Cohen interviewed you and essentially got you to sing, dance and narrate a song ARMING KINDERGARTNERS as a first defense for school shootings, after that clip hit the inter webs, how do you go out in public? Does the mocking and derision get to you? Do you ignore it and pretend that a good portion of the country didn't see you advocating for arming 5 year olds because "since children have not developed a conscience, "they would make very effective soldiers"







Go on the google people- watch the clip for yourself. You couldn't have mocked the guy with a thousand satirical skits as well as he did to himself.







With that said, some of the most prolific posters on this site still idolize the man. The round hill gun hugger idolizes the man who wants to arm toddlers- makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time. I cannot believe these people live among us.


jke

And your a fool!








BobOhneiserEsq

Charlie, We don't often agree (mostly because I believe your wrong a lot) but one thing you said I can agree with "People should vote issues not party". Phyllis voted for the $300 million 3 mile RT 15 widening which does not solve the commutation nor volume nor safety problems (and doesn't start for 5 years) and she approved the less than comprehensive plan which will increase taxes, traffic and return on investment for her developer donors. I'm surprised you missed the most obvious fact about ALL of the shootings you mentioned. None of these shootings occurred in the home of the perpetrator. When assault weapons have been used they went mobile first. Just like the RFID chips in our cars can communicate with toll booth receivers I expect someday these weapons will have RFID transmitters to alert police when they are in proximity of a no-gun area such as a school, movie theater, court house parking lot etc That may provide probable cause to justify a stop not an arrest but if these events keep happening I expect actions using technology to minimize police response times.


EODTech

As someone who is a retired Federal Law Enforcement Officer with 32 years of experience and Mr. Kings brother, I am shocked by this article. This gun control issue has been argued back and forth for years, and there is no one fix to the gun violence. One of the larger issues is Mental Health, and I believe gun owners should have a license to own, posses, and carry firearms similar to a drivers license. This license would be good throughout the United States and would ensure law abiding citizens rights will not be infringed. Under LESO, I can carry a loaded handgun anywhere in the United States except Federal Property. In West Virginia you do not need a permit to carry a handgun open or concealed. In fact, we have very few gun crimes in respect to the size of the population. The law abiding citizen has never been a problem, and I saw how well Gun Laws worked in Washington DC over my 32 years. I truly believe an armed population is a polite population. I would appose any new gun ordinances or laws, as this is a slippery slope. If the Government would enforce the law on the books that would be a good start. Gun owners do not be hoodwinked by the fake media, and maybe if the media quit glorifying these monsters, they would quit seeking the 15 minutes of fame.



We should not forget, the road to Hell was payed with good intentions. We need to find solutions to gun violence that do not violate ones rights while attempting to secure a safe community.





bluedog20175

So what amerigirl is saying, poorly, is that you do not have a right to support candidates who support your views, unless they are the views she has selected for you. I see.







For the above comment about "well-regulated" in the Second Amendment, you clearly understand the Second Amendment as much as this Mr. King understands firearms. The second amendment is made up of two clauses, the first reinforces the need for a militia to repel threats to the republic as the Framers were against large standing armies. The second clause specifically says it is the right of "the People", not the militia and not the government.







We citizens have allowed the nibbling at our rights for decades now. Each time a new law is put in place, it degrades the Second Amendment and prevents the law-abiding citizen from exercising their rights to self defense. Why do we let legislators do this to citizens and what possible impact would it have on any of the past shootings because you cannot legislate out insanity or malicious intent. You only impact the law-abiding.


rcanton

No, Charlie, an AK47 was NOT used in those shootings.







And you're so horribly wrong here, and uninformed, to the extent that you are suggesting making it LESS safe in Loudoun County with your drivel.







I'm SO glad that you weren't elected to public office.


amerigirl

Well, it looks like Charlie got most of it right, and you got all of it wrong. What is you thought on how his information makes it “LESS safe in Loudoun County” ?.







According to authorities in each area were the types of guns used. At the garlic food festival in Gilroy, California, the shooter’s purchased a WASR-10 AK-47-style rifle in Nevada where such guns are legal and can be sold to anyone 18 and over. In El Paso, police confirmed that the shooter used an AK-47 style rifle. The 21-year-old suspect wore ear protection but did not appear to wear any body armor or heat-resistant gloves. Dayton police officials announced that 24-year-old Connor Betts opened fire on bystanders just after 1 a.m. outside of Ned Peppers Bar in the city’s historic and popular Oregon District. Betts was wearing body armor and came armed with a .223-caliber “long gun,” high-capacity magazines, and extra ammunition. He left a shotgun in his car. The gun he used was styled as an AR-15.


wallet00

"If there is a license, fee, background check and training requirement for getting an assault rifle, the odds are reduced that somebody who shouldn’t have a AR-15 gets one."







NO. There is a reduced chance of any law abiding citizen having one because you've created roadblocks like Maryland and New York to legally acquiring a firearm.







It will do nothing to stop a determined killer from acquiring a gun. Your an attorney and a legal gun owner. Would that stop you from getting a gun? No. Your just making life more difficult for lawful gun owners so you can say you done something. This is wrong.







You've drank the Kool-Aid that says Gun Safety is only possible through Gun Control.


Spartacus

Plenty of ways to disarm law-abiding gun owners. Now tell me how you’re going to disarm the criminals.


amerigirl

It looks like many of those "law abiding" citizens decide later to become criminals. Just look at the shooters from the last 2 weekends. If you have a gun for protection, as I do, or hunt, I see no problem with that. But there are so many gun nuts that start stock piling guns for paranoid reasons Much of that reasoning is NRA fed. With stricter gun laws there will be less guns available to criminals. It is the states with lax gun laws that feeds the problem. According to the FBI, roughly 60% of guns used in crimes in Illinois were from out of state.The internet and gun show loop holes allow illegal and legal guns to be brought into Baltimore via the I-95 corridor from southern gun liberal states like Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina to northern gun conservative states like New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.If they aren't available than the flow stops


JustAnotherVirginiaNumber

Many of those 'law abiding citizens?'" You are outside of your mind if you think many of those law abiding citizens become criminals. Your argument is like me saying "well it looks like many of those social drinkers get drunk and kill a van full of children." Get off of your nonsense. Guns are to deaths as cars are to drunk drivers. It's the dumbass behind the wheel(trigger) that's causing the deaths. PERIOD!


amerigirl

JustAnotherVirginiaNumber. Those so called "law abiding" citizens were people like the Dayton shooter, no criminal record got his guns legally. Las Vegas shooter, no criminal record, Aurora, Colorado shooter, no record, same with ElPaso. There is a big difference between a shooter who decides of his own free will to commit mass murder and a drunk driver that was out on the town. Do you think that drunk driver planned to kill anyone?


JustAnotherVirginiaNumber

Listen to your wording choices is what I'm saying. You are saying "many of those law abiding citizens," then you subsequently name 2 cases. Do you consider 2 cases many? How about the guy who mowed down people in Charlottville? How about the guy who mowed down people in NY with his car on the bike path? There are two examples of people killing people with car, but do you see me saying "many of those licensed drivers turn out to be killers?" Don't let your emotions get into your debates, because you look silly when you do. When logic is used then your argument is flawed...Period.


bluedog20175

It saddens me when a supposed Republican and lawyer does not even understand the US Constitution, nor the meaning of "shall not be infringed." Once again a commentator uses the undefined term "assault weapon" to describe a semiautomatic rifle with cosmetic features similar to a military rifle. Please tell me, once and for all, what obtaining a separate license or additional background check would have done to stop any recent shooting. How about you just leave law-abiding citizens alone to exercise their rights and address the cause of shootings, none of which you have mentioned here. This fall I will be voting guns not party as well. I'm glad to see my vote will cancel yours.




Loudoundad

It saddens me when a political commentator conveniently forgets the words "well regulated."




amerigirl

Man, you really twisted that one around. Did I ever say who anyone should support? Nope, I just listed the people who are accepting support from the NRA. The second amendment has those phrases all in 1, and only 1 sentence, making the second part contingent on the first part. You can try and say it any way you want but it was the people of the state back in the days it was written, that were the volunteers for the militia. It’s not like they had the National Guard back then. So, what do you think your rights are? Do you think it says you can all the weapons you want? Do you think it gives everyone the right to own a gun, violent criminals or mentally ill? The amendment is not getting degraded, it is being twisted and taken advantage of. No one ever has tried to take away guns from qualified people that would use them for protection, hunting or sport. If you can think on any circumstance where the government has tried to strip the public of their guns let me know. IMO, there are weapons that should not be on the streets like assault style weapons that make it possible to kill and wound hundreds of people at a time. Example: Las Vegas, 58 people were killed, and almost 500 others were injured. Please explain the “nibbling” comment? What has been taken from gun owners? And were these done to protect other citizens?


Pugsley

Mr. King, in following the reasoning you present we should all lose our cars because one of your clients was convicted for DUI.


amerigirl

Where do you see anything about taking all your guns away? Don't go overboard now. He is talking about things like background checks. Reform! Just how many more men women and children should die before that happens? Enough of the excuses that the gun didn't pull the trigger, it because of video games, or people like trump, who blame it on mental illness. He's the one who relaxed the laws on the mentally ill getting guns right after he got in office.




Pugsley

His answer is vote guns, not parties. That implies voting for candidates who oppose guns and who will propose additional restrictions and bans. No thank you.


amerigirl

Sure, let the blood bath continue. Don't you feel even a little bit of responsibility for that?


JustAnotherVirginiaNumber

Why would he feel responsible for someone else's actions? Should AOC feel responsible for the dude who threw the molotov cocktail at an ICE facility and got killed? NO Should Bernie feel responsible for the guy who cited his rhetoric and shot up a congressional baseball game? NO BECAUSE IT WASN'T THEM THAT DID IT. Your CNN talking points are lame and out of fashion. Get some new content that makes sense.


jke

Did the party pull the trigger. Don't blame the tool put the blame on the fool.


amerigirl

Your a tool, thinking that everyone should have the right to guns, no sensible restrictions. The party stop legislation that could prevent these tragedies, remember they ended the session and walked out? NRA bribes them with campaign contributions, $1,500 - Webert for Delegate (Michael)







$500 - Freitas for Delegate (Nick)







$500 - Gilbert for Delegate (Todd)







$500 - Hugo for Delegate (Timothy)







$250 - Cole for Delegate (Mark)







$250 - Fowler for Delegate (Buddy)







$250 - LaRock for Delegate (Dave)







$250 - McGuire for Delegate (John)







$250 - Orrock for Delegate (Robert)







$250 - Peace for Delegate (Christopher)







$250 - Thomas for Delegate (Bob)







They own them and their party. They don't want any gun legislation.They don't care how many die as long as their making money. LaPierre has those travel expenses and new suits that cost him over $540,000.




JustAnotherVirginiaNumber

"You're a tool" haha nothing like "tolerance" from the party who preaches tolerance. Amerigirl, try bringing adult conversation to the table, then people will take your CNN talking points more seriously.


amerigirl

First you took 'tool' the wrong way. It was meant as a tool, that enables. A means to arm those who are committing these mass murders. It is time to stop tolerating mass shooting and offering only thoughts and prayers. What does the Democratic party teach tolerance of? They don't. They want action. I can't believe You can say that coming from a party that tolerates trump's caging of babies, affairs with women, lies, oh so many lies, over 108 million dollars of taxpayers money spent on golfing etc.


tolerantleft

The power of the NRA and the VCDL is not the dollars, but the voting power of their membership.


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