Support VSSA Advertisers

Thursday, January 20, 2011

News and Advance Pushes for Closing So-called "Gun Show Loophole"

Today's News and Advance has an editorial today titled "Reflecting the Will of the People?" that takes the General Assembly, and specifically the House Militia Police and Public Safety Committee, to task for annually killing legislation that is aimed at closing the non-existant "gun show loophole," using the results of a poll conducted in December by Christopher Newport University (a similar poll was released by CNU during the General Assembly session last year).  The lastest poll claims that 80% of the respondents support background checks on all firearm purchases at gun shows. 
Media General News Service reported recently that a survey of 1,097 Virginians conducted in mid-December found that more than eight out of 10 respondents would favor a law that requires the purchasers of all firearms at gun shows to go through background checks.

That’s more than 80 percent. Usually when you get 80 percent approval on a given proposal, it becomes law. But not in the General Assembly of Virginia.
Who's to blame according to the News and Advance?  You guessed it, legislators influenced by "well-funded lobbying interests" including the NRA.

One way the majority uses the rules against measures that have broad public support is to assign the bill to a committee with the assurance that it will not get out of that committee and that only a few delegates have to vote against the measure to kill it for the session. That is especially true in subcommittees, where only a few delegates can kill the bill.
Last November, the News and Advance's sister Media General publication, the Richmond Times Dispatch, editoralized about the so-called "gun show loophole" after the Washington Post's series "The Hidden Life of Guns" which traced 341 of the guns used in the 511 incidents in which law-enforcement officers have been shot during the past decade. The RTD looked and the numbers provided in the Post series and concluded the following:
There is simply little proof that gun shows provide a significant proportion of the guns used to commit crimes, including homicides.
The RTD concluded that until there is more hard evidence of the connection between guns used in crime and guns sold at gun shows by private sellers, any bills directed at curbing private sales should meet the same fate as they have in the past.  The News & Advance should heed the advice of its sister newspaper.

No comments: