Far be it from me to give advice to politicians, but since the governor of Virginia is hellbent on ramming through gun control laws that would have done absolutely nothing to prevent the shootings in Virginia Beach last week, I’m going to give the other side some help.
Virginia Republicans should demand that Ralph Northam stop restoring the civil rights of felons. Until Virginia figures out a way to strip these same criminals of their gun rights.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Gov. Terry McAuliffe was so desperate to get more Democrats on Virginia’s election rolls in time to vote for his pal, Hillary, in 2016 that he violated state law to do it. In April of that year he did a blanket restoration of rights for 206,000 criminals.
The Virginia Supreme Court slapped him down, telling him that restorations had to happen one at a time.
Still, McAuliffe managed to get 173,000 felons the right to vote before the 2016 presidential election.
In his first year in office, Ralph Northam bragged that he restored the civil rights of 10,992 felons.
What’s the first stop for many of these newly enfranchised felons, some who are still on probation and haven’t paid fines and court costs?
Circuit court, where they petition to have their gun rights restored.
Yep, thanks to our last two magnanimous governors, about 200,000 criminals have been made eligible to ask for their gun rights in the past 2 1/2 years.
Circuit Court judges make the decisions. And a surprising number of criminals are given permission to own firearms.
They like to hunt, apparently. At least that’s what they often tell the judges.
In Virginia Beach there are so many felons seeking firearms that the courts set aside a day every month to deal with the cases. Lawyers are getting rich specializing in gun rights cases.
In a piece I wrote in February, Virginia Beach prosecutor Andy Rosenberg, who opposes every gun request, said he saw more than 60 percent of felonious petitioners walk out of court with the right to get a firearm.
From there, it’s easy to get a concealed-carry permit.
What could possibly go wrong?
When The Washington Post pointed out in 2016 that McAuliffe was putting hundreds of thousands of convicted criminals on the road to gun ownership, the former governor played dumb.
“My actions were about giving you the right to vote, to serve on a jury and run for political office,” he (McAuliffe) said… “My action, I didn’t think it had anything to do with gun rights. I stayed away from that.”
Typical. Virginia governors acting without first engaging their brains.
If Ralph Northam were serious about keeping the commonwealth safe instead of simply bowing at the altar of gun control, he’d make sure felons were not armed in Virginia.
But he won’t.