For the leftward leaning of the Virginian government, gun control has always been given a very high priority. However, one would think that in a time of such unrest, with a virus that is crippling our nation’s economy and causing near pandemonium, Democratic Governor Ralph Northam would have his mind on just about anything besides banning firearms.
But surprise, surprise, he can’t help himself from focusing on his party’s long-lost cause instead of on his state’s public and economic health.
As most of the nation struggles to reopen their businesses, communities, and economies, carefully weighing the risks on either side, Virginia has taken an odd position.
As logic would demand, states who were and still are being heavily hit by the quickly spreading coronavirus are the slowest and last to begin reopening. Governors and mayors are understandably hesitant to allow business to resume as usual when the threat of a second outbreak looms large on the horizon.
In contrast, states that seem to have missed the brunt of the spread and report much lower numbers, both in terms of confirmed cases and deaths, were among the first to reopen their doors.
Virginia was one of the latter. At the onset of the pandemic and well into its rampant spread throughout the country, the state recorded some of the lowest numbers in the entire nation. In fact, as the Roanoke Times reported, data has proven that is some areas of the state zero coronavirus cases ever existed. The state was also ranked 48th in the number of COVID-19 tests.
Now, this low number of available testing is likely why the state has reported such an equally small number of confirmed cases. However, in all honesty, the commonwealth has been blessed with health far beyond that of some of its neighbors.
And yet, Northam has only now even considered reopening the commonwealth and entering “Phase One.” In fact, on May 5, at a time when much harder hit states were already well into Phase Two or more of reopening, Northam announced that he would not be doing so.
According to the Roanoke Times, the decision was recommended by Northam’s “COVID-19 Business Task Force,” who were called to base their suggestions on data provided from the Roanoke Valley area, which is the “largest metro area west of the urban crescent.” However, as the outlet noted, not a single member of the task force was actually from, worked in, or even resided in the area.
This decision by Northam, as well as his strict guidelines on wearing facemasks and social distancing even though he himself seems not to comply, has earned him much scorn and ridicule in recent weeks. And this backlash has caused him to reverse his decision on reopening, choosing to enter into Phase One on May 15.
But as it turns out, Northam and his staff might have been inclined to open a little earlier if they had not been so preoccupied with the possible passing of new gun control laws.
As you will likely remember, the Virginia General Assembly was essentially taken over by the Democratic left last November. And by early March, the liberal lawmakers had introduced a bill that would seek to implement such things as the notorious ‘red flag’ law, a handgun purchase limit, a modern sporting rifle ban, as well as the prohibition of private firearm transfers.
For now, the introduced law was denied. Still, Northam and his comrades just got another bill passed, known as SB 248, that will allow $3 million in grants to be divided up and given to various gun control activities and initiatives over the next two years.
This is, no doubt, to satisfy the interests of former presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, who bought out the state’s 2019 election so Northam could win. And while $3 million may not seem like a vast sum in the grand scheme of things, for the state’s heavily downtrodden taxpayers, it is money that would be of much better use elsewhere, especially at a time when the economy is barely able to tread water.
But apparently, the economic rebirth of his state and the livelihoods of his constituents are of little concern to Northam. Instead, further gun control and a dictatorship seem to be the only motivation he needs.