As Counties Declare Themselves 2A Sanctuaries, Reports Reveal Virginia Misses the Mark on Guns

northam gun control virginia beach

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

[ED: Three more Virginia counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries in the last few days. That sets up impending conflicts once the newly Democrat controlled state legislature enacts a slate of gun control bills they’ve been promising.]

By Dennis Petrocelli, MD

Two long-awaited reports were released to the public this week that could have helped further the dialog regarding guns in the Commonwealth of Virginia: The Virginia State Crime Commission report regarding mass killings and gun violence, and the Hillard Heintze Independent Review of the May 2019 Virginia Beach killings.

For those who haven’t been following events in Virginia, the killings in a Virginia Beach City government building in May 2019 ostensibly led the Governor, at that time embroiled in scandal, to call for a special session of the General Assembly to consider a raft of “gun violence” bills.

Although the Governor conceded that none of the bills would have stopped the Virginia Beach killer, he and Democrat legislators marched in lockstep with the Bloomberg-sponsored confiscation agenda, asserting that reducing access to lethal firearms was urgently needed.

Rather than hastily vote on the bills, the then Republican-controlled Assembly moved consideration of the bills to the Crime Commission. The Commission took two days of testimony and reviewed thousands of emails before issuing its report earlier this week.

It was no surprise that Crime Commission’s report concluded with the equivocation that “inconclusive evidence exists to develop recommendations.”  The Assembly then flipped from Republican control (generally pro-Second Amendment) to Bloomberg-financed Democrats (“we support the Second Amendment but . . .”), the Commission’s recommendations were neither binding nor likely to carry weight in future deliberations.

Nonetheless the report did provide insight into how the legislators think about crime or, in Virginia’s case actually, the relative lack thereof. The report in part read:

Our Commonwealth is one of the safest states in the nation. Our firearm mortality rate is below the national average. We have the fourth lowest violent crime rate in the country. And as Governor Northam proudly pointed out in a January press release, Virginia also has the lowest recidivism rate in the country.  We have achieved this because of our brave men and women in law enforcement, a strong criminal justice system, and by enacting sound, evidenced-based public policy through thoughtful legislative dialogue.

Note the absence of any reference to concealed carry permit holders. Although the points referenced are valid, how can over 600,000 responsible, armed citizens get overlooked?  Was that a deliberate omission, or did the Crime Commission not comprehend testimony by Amy Swearer (of the Heritage Foundation) about the vast numbers of defensive gun usages?

In some ways, the review of the Virginia Beach killings was even more perplexing.  The section titled “Weapons” obfuscated the legality of guns in the building where the killings occurred. It acknowledged that employees were prohibited from carrying guns even if they could lawfully carry elsewhere, but omitted the fact that citizens and visitors were not prohibited from carrying guns.

In other words, it was a “gun-free zone” for employees only. That section of the report continued:

The attacker left Building 2 and retrieved his weapons from his parked vehicle on government property. He then shot two people in the parking lot and reentered the building and shot many of his coworkers. The City of Virginia Beach has a firearms policy that prohibits the possession of firearms in the workplace. The attacker’s actions are one reason why such policies exist, as they are intended to reduce the risk of such attacks. Some employees suggested, however, that had they been allowed to have weapons in the workplace, they might have been able to limit the harm done in the attack.

Many employers ban weapons in the workplace as a risk factor for violence. Some employers and employees believe that the availability of armed defense would limit such attacks. Notwithstanding this difference of opinion, it is a known correlation that most of the mass casualties in the workplace are caused by firearms.

I cannot help but infer bias against armed employees in the preceding passages. Not only is there excellent data that supports the ability of armed citizens in stopping active shooter attacks, this analysis doesn’t consider the deterrence effect of people carrying guns.

Would the killer have attempted his attack if he thought his potential victims might be armed? Again, research supports the finding that criminals fear armed potential victims more than law enforcement officers.

Finally, it isn’t linguistic quibbling to point out that casualties aren’t caused by firearms:  casualties are caused by human beings. The report’s usage confirms its hoplophobic bias.

Bias against lawfully, responsibly armed citizens is even more difficult to understand given the report’s conclusion that the killer’s actions leading up to the murders would not have led to identifying him as at risk of committing such an atrocity.  Even the suggested human resource changes instituting an elaborate threat assessment team and protocol would not have mattered.

Although the rapid response of the police was commendable, the attack still went on for over thirty minutes. Given that concealed carry permit holders are less likely to commit offenses than law enforcement officers, it is wrong to support that “gun free zone for employees” policy.

At some point, reality needs to be acknowledged: despite everyone’s best efforts, evil occurs. Gun free zones needlessly endanger the lives of those who have no choice but to frequent them.

Although some of the report’s recommendations would be prudent additional safeguards, we would all be safer recognizing that responsible, lawfully armed citizens have the God-given right to defend themselves. We ignore this at our peril.

Dennis Petrocelli, MD is a clinical and forensic psychiatrist who has practiced for nearly 20 years in Virginia. He took up shooting in 2019 for mind-body training and self-defense, and is joining the fight for Virginians’ gun rights.

This post originally appeared at drgo.us an is reprinted here with permission. 

comments

  1. Hopefully the now solidly conservative Supreme Court will work to immediately shoot down any treasonous law that the new communistic Virginia Legislature and governor enact.

    1. avatar -Peter says:

      I can’t tell if you’re being serious.

      1. avatar Mike Dexter's a GOD says:

        Virginian’s will not let it get that far.

        1. avatar Baldwin says:

          I sincerely wish that is true…but look at where we are, the General Assembly is blue with a blue governor.

      2. avatar Ton E says:

        He has to be sarcastic

  2. avatar -Peter says:

    I’m declaring my house a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary.

    1. avatar enuf says:

      TERRIFIC!!!!

      Hey everbody, let’s meet up at -Peter’s house for dinner! Bring yer gunz!!!

      A dessert dish to share would also be very nice……..

  3. avatar Aven says:

    Our next Board of Supervisor’s meeting isn’t until December 10th. Besides the Sheriff, we already have over 100 that have promised to attend and I don’t think there is room for nearly that many. We might be the last county on the western end of Virginia to pass the proposal.

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      I would like to see a lawsuit about the ” Gun Free Zone ” issue framed as a civil rights violation. This does violate a citizens civil right.

  4. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    “Many employers ban weapons in the workplace as a risk factor for violence. Some employers and employees believe that the availability of armed defense would limit such attacks. Notwithstanding this difference of opinion, it is a known correlation that most of the mass casualties in the workplace are caused by firearms.”

    Translation: “There’s no consensus on the policy, but I still think the problem is guns and want my readers to also think so.”

  5. avatar Gun Smoker says:

    ‘The Truth About Guns’ is an odd name for a website with such an overtly homosexual agenda…

    1. avatar Manly Man says:

      Looking for a little ‘action’, “Gun Smoker”? 😉

    2. avatar Guesty McGuesterson says:

      …says the guy with the username ‘Gun Smoker’.

    3. avatar Kyle says:

      Troll better, or go home.

  6. avatar million says:

    i could see state preemption being the first to go.

  7. avatar Cadeyrn says:

    The article is extremely well-written and points out concrete data showing why Virginia doesn’t need additional gun laws.

    However, Democrats don’t care about facts. They don’t care about logic. They only care about emotion as a cheap tool to manipulate people.

    Democrats literally only care about one thing: power. They crave it and all of the uses of it like a junkie needs their smack. Every city and county in Virginia could pass local protections for the Second Amendment and the Democrat representatives in Richmond will jam through anti-gun legislation anyway. There is zero consolation that the courts might, in a couple of years, roll back some of the most egregious infringements of liberty because a) the confiscations and damage will already be done; and b) they might not roll it back either. It could also take ten years or a dramatic upheaval in the political landscape to actually roll back anything.

    If you haven’t read the draft legislation being proposed, you should. All firearms which have detachable magazines or internal magazines which hold more than 10 rounds will be “assault weapons” and banned with Class 6 felony-level penalties. That’s one to five years in jail. Not the local county jail. The hard-core, up-the-river prison.

    Then they will use the 2020 census to re-draw voting districts. They’ll gerrymander the hell out of it like they did in Maryland to give themselves a permanent super-majority. For those who don’t follow history all that much, Maryland has had a Democrat super-majority for almost a century now.

    That’s what we get for letting Democrats have power. Ever. And now we have allowed it because those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

    1. avatar Geoff "Run, Bloomie, run!" PR says:

      “All firearms which have detachable magazines or internal magazines which hold more than 10 rounds will be “assault weapons” and banned with Class 6 felony-level penalties.”

      A Glock 26 comes standard with a 10-round magazine. But it can accept a 13, 15, or 30 round magazine. The way the law is written, will a Glock 26 be banned, or only when it has a magazine exceeding 10 rounds installed in it?

      (The proposed law sucks, but the wording of laws matters…)

      1. avatar Hush says:

        “will a Glock 26 be banned, or only when it has a magazine exceeding 10 rounds installed in it?”
        Most likely they will ban any gun that will accept a magazine holding more than 10 rounds. The argument will be, It has the ‘potential” of holding more than 10 rounds…….Hope I am wrong and I do not agree with any magazine limits. Keep in mind that a limit today only leads to further limits tomorrow! Then at some point in the future there are NO limits because ALL have been eliminated by total confiscation.

        1. avatar UpInArms says:

          Just to point up how idiotic things can get (as if I need too)–

          The state of Delaware operates a pretty nice gun range, and I go there a lot. I used to be we were not allowed to have any magazines greater than 10 rounds capacity. Since most pistols these days ship with magazines over the 10 round capacity limit, complaints were forthcoming. The compromise eventually reached was we could use our “high cap” magazines, but we could only put 10 rounds in them. It was an honor system, and nobody that I know honored it.

          The range has since gotten a new director. The limits are now 17 rounds for pistol, 30 rounds for long guns. Baby steps.

  8. avatar Baldwin says:

    In the Virginia Beach gun free zone shooting incident “… the attack still went on for over thirty minutes…” …right across the parking lot from the police station!

    In 2007, at the Virginia Tech gun free zone shooting incident, the attacker shot and murdered 32 …32 minutes AFTER law enforcement arrived on scene!

    We are each our own first responder. Gun free zones kill. Gun control legislators kill. Gun control governors kill.

    I will not comply!

  9. avatar Randy Jones says:

    You forget that the NRA has politicians on it payroll. The NRA spent about $300,000 in the Virginia elections, which would average about $3 per NRA member (based on average per state). Bloomberg and Everytown For Gun Safety spent $2,500,000 on Virginia elections. Or about 20 times as much per member (Based on average per state). I guess its not the NRA that has politicians on its payroll.

    When you consider campaign finance laws, why can money from outside of a state be used in state political ads?

  10. avatar Dannytejas says:

    Buy more ammo and TRAIN!

  11. avatar Hannibal says:

    “Notwithstanding this difference of opinion, it is a known correlation that most of the mass casualties in the workplace are caused by firearms.”

    Er… notwithstanding that fact, it is a known correlation that those mass shooters do not seem to be deterred by laws.

  12. Hopefully the now solidly conservative Supreme Court will work to immediately shoot down any treasonous law that the new communistic Virginia Legislature and governor enact.
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