November 5th is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to vote again. Among many other important issues to consider about each candidate, is the issue of gun control. So, where does each candidate stand when it comes to Virginia citizen’s gun rights?
Terry McAuliffe, former Democratic Party chairman, and currently Democratic gubernatorial candidate, was seen purchasing an over and under shotgun just a few months ago. On the other hand, after the shooting in Newtown, Conn, he issued the following statement: “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.”
Ken Cuccinelli, former Republican member of the Senate of Virginia, current Virginia Attorney General, and Republican gubernatorial candidate on the other hand has issued a statement on his campaign website: “Our Constitution and Bill of Rights safeguard our rights and liberties, and I support our nation’s foundational document in its entirety – even when that means taking on the federal government. I strongly believe in protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of our law abiding citizens. I have been an advocate for law abiding sportsmen, gun collectors, and gun owners throughout my time in the state Senate and as Attorney General. As Governor, I will continue to protect our rights. And while it is important to respect the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, I know many people have reasonable concerns about the misuse of firearms, and I will continue to support Virginia being among the most aggressive states in prosecuting gun crimes – including aggressively prosecuting illegal gun purchases. And with recent tragedies still fresh in our minds, I will also continue my work of more than 15 years to help improve Virginia’s mental health system, so those suffering from mental illness and their families can live happier and more productive lives, with a reduced chance of suicide or other violence.”
Robert Sarvis, former Republican nominee for a State Senate seat in Virginia and current Libertarian nominee for Governor of Virginia has also issued a statement on his campaign website regarding gun control issues: “My view is this: proponents of restricting our freedoms bear the heavy burden of showing the necessity, propriety, and wisdom of their proposed regulations. Yet gun-control measures have repeatedly failed to reduce violent crime or criminal’s access to guns. Instead, they burden law-abiding gun-owners and prospective gun-owners. Gun violence and violent crimes have declined dramatically over the last two decades. If we want to reduce gun violence and violent crime further, the first place to look is our drug laws. Drug prohibition, like alcohol prohibition before it, has produced well-financed, well-armed, violent criminal enterprises. Before we even think about burdening our law-abiding gun-owners with further regulations, we should end the drug war. I also object to the Republican Party’s attempts to get the information of all concealed-carry permit holders in Virginia.