Washington Post Editorial Board: Virginia gun laws have never received a fair hearing. A special session might be different.
Now, Virginia is mourning 12 more innocent lives senselessly lost to gun violence — 12 people slaughtered as they went about their business at a municipal center in Virginia Beach. Legislative inaction should not be acceptable to anyone, as Gov. Ralph Northam (D) made clear Tuesday . Flanked by Democratic officeholders, Mr. Northam announced he would call a special session to consider gun-control reforms
The governor said he is finalizing a legislative package that would include familiar ideas, as well it should: closing the gun-show loophole for background checks, banning assault weapons, reinstating the one-gun-per-month rule and expanding local authority to regulate firearms. “They have never received a fair hearing,” Mr. Northam said. “I want these pieces of common-sense gun safety legislation to get to the floor and let these individuals elected by you, the people, to come to the floor and cast their vote.”
Roanoke Times Editorial Board: 7 takeaways on Northam's call for a special session
“I will be asking for votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.” And: “I am calling on the elected officials of this Commonwealth to become second responders. Your duty is clear: rush to the scene and put a stop to this violence.”
Even Republicans who hold diametrically opposed views on guns ought to admire the wordsmithing there. They also might want to come up with a better rhetorical response than the now-routine “thoughts and prayers.” That’s become a cliché, and it’s not helpin their cause. Here’s another unhelpful cliché: That it’s too soon to talk about solutions.
Richmond Times-Dispatch Editorial Borad: Special session will begin the conversation
In the wake of the Virginia Beach massacre that claimed the lives of 12 victims, Gov. Ralph Northam took the right step Tuesday when he announced he will call a special session of the General Assembly. The governor wants state lawmakers to convene “for the purpose of passing common sense public safety laws” and asks that they “engage in an open and transparent debate, and that the bills brought before the legislature are put to a vote by the entire General Assembly.”
We wholeheartedly agree with his statement that “It is wrong that we now view these mass shootings as the new normal.” We as a society need to stand up to this growing scourge of violence and demand solutions from our lawmakers.