[An update to my post from October 20, 2015.]
Nothing has changed, except that more have died in mass shootings, and the General Assembly has failed to pass any gun safety legislation.
The names of five cities and towns – San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, and now Parkland – have become shorthand for tragedy and terror, added to a list of such places that is already far too long.
According to this morning’s New York Times coverage, “[w]ith the Parkland shooting, three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern United States history have come in the last five months.”
Since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary just five years ago, there have been 239 school shootings in the United States.
In the last five weeks, since the 2018 General Assembly session began, almost every bill filed to try to stem gun violence has been killed in subcommittee or committee hearings by a small subset of delegates or state senators. Even bills to ban the “bump stock” mechanism that was used by the Las Vegas shooter were defeated.
The consequences of this inaction at state and federal levels are disturbing. As Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut said recently, even states with strong gun laws are “at the mercy of the weakest states.” The Supreme Court of the United States knows that gun safety regulations do not run afoul of the Second Amendment; so do the citizens of this Commonwealth. We must not allow Virginia to remain in that set of states holding the entire country hostage to the weaknesses in our laws.