Regarding the Board of Supervisors' intent to proceed with a prohibition of firearms in county buildings, public parks and recreational community centers, I am baffled at the apparent refusal to critically examine the logic behind this effort and the lack of respect for input from citizens.
For example, I am surprised by Democratic Supervisor Juli Briskman's comment that, “They don't need [to] have guns at playgrounds, libraries, parks, recreation centers. Our citizens have the right to feel safe in these publicly owned facilities and spaces.” What a contradiction! The whole point of legally carrying a firearm in such public places is for citizens to have a means of protection! Concealed Handgun Permit holders have documented training and submit to extensive background checks and fingerprinting in order to get their permits and should be considered the least likely to commit crimes with firearms.
Supervisor Buffington argued that the so-called bad guys with a gun aren't going to abide by the proposed regulation or any existing firearm laws, and said the proposed prohibition “makes us less safe. I'd rather have good guys with guns wherever I go.” This seems to be a valid point; what is the board's response to this? There is no record of an answer. I think it is because it is self-evident: No amount of new legislation is going to stop a criminal from being a criminal, using or carrying a firearm illegally. All this proposed prohibition would do is infringe on the rights of those who legally carry firearms for purely self-defensive purposes.
I also like Supervisor Kershner's comment that “I think we're trying to address a problem here that we really don't have here in Loudoun County." Exactly! Is there some tidal wave of crimes being committed with firearms in buildings, parks or any other county-owned buildings? Of course not, that is why such a prohibition is an unnecessary, politically-driven, waste of time and money. Didn't any other board members wince when the county staff said there would be significant fiscal impacts in implementing this, such as the estimated annual cost of $550,000 for screening at each facility, plus additional staffing costs for after-hours events? That's a lot of my tax money going towards a non-existent problem. (If they can come up with that kind of money, instead put it towards something useful, like purchasing the Westpark property as a great public park, but that's another story ... )
The board as a whole also seems to be ignoring input from the large, loud and strong majority of citizens who oppose this infringement on a fundamental civil right. Come on, Board of Supervisors, stop ignoring the facts and wishes of your constituents.