The city of Roanoke on Monday voted to ban guns from libraries, offices, parades, political marches, parks owned by the city, and other public events. This means this Saturday’s gun show in Berglund Center, the city-owned convention center, could be the last in that location, although the event that sponsors the show says they have a contract to do other gun shows there for the rest of this year.
Roanoke is the latest Virginia locality to exercise its right to restrict the carrying of weapons in places it owns or issues permits to accommodate. This, of course, does not sit well with gun fanatics.
“Last night the Roanoke City Council pulled a bait-and-switch. City Council presented a more mild version of a proposed local gun-control ordinance to the public that would have allowed for the Roanoke gun show to continue to operate, but passed a version that the public had not seen nor had a chance to comment on,” claimed the Virginia Citizens Defense League in an email.
The VCDL admitted those who did speak before the council outnumbered ther gun nuts 2-1.
As I warned, we need to dominate these hearings. We usually do, but we were outnumbered 2 to 1 in speakers last night. That’s not a winning strategy to protect our rights.
Perhaps the majority of the city council cared more about the rights of those who prefer being around people who don’t parade around with their AR-15 assault-style rifles on a sling around their neck or hiding one under a shirttail. Only one member of the council, Stephanie Moon Reynolds, voted against the ordinance but said she was only opposed to banning guns in parks because it would be difficult to police.
One of those who spoke in favor of the ban was Andy Parker, whose daughter and WDBJ reporter Allison Parker, who was murdered along with the station’s cameraman, by an angry gun-toting former employee at Smith Mountain Lake.
Parker dismissed the claim that arming more citizens kept us safe when he told the meeting:
When was the last time, quote, good guys with guns stopped a bad guy? If it happened you’d see it in the news all the time, but it doesn’t.
Oh, we see claims of cases where someone shot and killed a robber or mugger in the propaganda magazines of the National Rifle Association, but when we check the accuracy of such claims we often find them exaggerated or untrue. NRA lies a lot, which is what we expect from an outfit where its executive vice president looted the organization of hundreds of thousands of dollars so he could live like a millionaire.
Roanoke is not the only place where guns are not welcome in our neighborhood. Blacksburg voted unanimously earlier this year to ban guns in its municipal buildings and streets during public events. So has Fairfax County and the cities of Alexandria and Newport News.
Growing up in a hunting family, I’ve been around them most of my life. I hunt, own weapons and have a concealed carry permit but I also want to see the current laws enforced and welome new ones that help keep weapons out of the hands of those who break the law.
Virginia’s so-called “Citizens Defense League” opposes restricting ownership of gun by those who abuse spouses or other family members. I believe anyone convicted of such assualts, be them felonies or midemaeanors, should not be allowed near a firearm for the rest of their lives.
VCDL tells it members to “dominate hearings” if their localities try to ban weapons in specific places but supporters of the ban in Roanoke outnumbered the pro-gunners 2-1.
That’s a good start.