Gun enthusiasts have won battle after battle in Richmond for the past 20 years. Now they’re preparing their 2016 legislative initiatives, and Dan takes a tongue-in-cheek look. That’s the subhead underneath Dan Casey’s column Some big plans for gun laws in 2016 in roanoke.com. Here’s the thing: all of Dan’s “ironic” proposals to the fictional Virginia Rifle Federation make perfect sense. Well almost all of them . . .
1. Guns on planes and trains: Our friends in the Virginia Citizen Defense League already are clearing the way for guns on municipal buses. So the VRF will focus on other modes of mass transit — Amtrak and commercial airliners.
After all, plane and train passenger compartments are full of innocent sitting ducks, because these places are dangerous “gun-free zones.” Only criminals are armed there now.
The Mass Transit Gun Safety Act will allow any passenger on a train or plane departing Virginia to pack a handgun. Just imagine if this was the law of the land during 9/11. The Twin Towers might still be standing.
I don’t see anything wrong or funny or unacceptable about this proposal. My credulity may make Dan yuk it up with his anti-gun associates but his evocation of the 9/11 horror shows you the depths they trawl.
Guns in the workplace: Many massacres occur at places of employment where shortsighted and cowardly bosses prohibit firearms. Usually these tragedies are sparked by gun-toting, fuming ex-workers who have been fired. The problem is, the remaining employees are exposed to these angry nuts.
The Massacre-Free Workplace Act will give workers the right to bear arms in their places of employment for the purpose of self defense. It also will grant employers immunity from liability arising from on-the-job gun incidents. Bosses who maintain gun bans will be subject to stiff fines and incarceration.
This won’t necessarily prevent revenge-seeking maniacs from bursting in and opening fire at ex-colleagues. But at least it would even the playing field, and mean those nuts could get off fewer rounds before they were struck down with defensive lead.
3. Welfare guns: The government offers many housing-, medical- and food-assistance programs to help alleviate poverty. One example is food stamps. But none of those addresses the glaring firearms gap between the haves and have-nots. That’s unfair, and we have a solution.
The Supplemental Firearms Assistance Program would correct this oversight by creating state-issued “gun stamps,” redeemable for weapons and ammo at any Virginia gun store. Any legal resident whose household income is below the federal poverty threshold would be eligible.
We anticipate this program will more than pay for itself through taxpayer savings in law enforcement and food stamp expenditures. After all, once the poor have welfare guns, no longer will they need to call the cops for protection. And they’ll have the tools to hunt for their own meat.
I’m opposed to government intervention in most things. While I appreciate Mr. Casey’s proposal of a firearms voucher program – rather than, say, the Mexican model (government-run gun store – there are still a million ways that could go wrong. I favor a privately-run model.
I’ve discussed something similar with Alan Gottleib of the Second Amendment Foundation: a charity called SAFE (Share America’s Firearms Equally). Assemble a trained team of community organizers (I know, right?) to help low-income Americans overcome through the practical, bureaucratic and financial hurdles preventing them from exercising their Constitutionally protected rights. Including a free revolver, ammo, gun safe and training.
4. Bars at gun ranges: Did you know that not one Virginia gun range has a license to serve alcohol? That’s both outrageous and discriminatory, considering beer is available at many bowling alleys in the commonwealth. Heck, bowling balls can be deadly, too.
Yet gun-progressive states like Oklahoma, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky and Florida already allow bars at firing ranges. That why we’re proposing the Virginia Beer and Bullets Act. It will stanch an exodus of restaurant and a firing range jobs from the Old Dominion.
Naturally, the ABC permit would be “shall issue.”
Meh. I don’t see anything wrong with gun ranges having liquor licenses. It’s up to the establishment and patrons to make sure surviving alcohol to patrons is safe. If if isn’t, the license can be revoked, as it is in bars throughout Virginia where a single patron commits a violent criminal act. Oh wait . . .
5. Guns for kids: Last year, we defeated legislation to prohibit adults from allowing children under age 5 to handle or fire a gun. In 2016 we’ll carry that success forward and explicitly legalize children-with-guns through a package of commonsense legislation titled, “Kids Have Gun Rights, Too.”
We’ll start with a measure that allows pupils to carry pistols in public schools. Right now, like planes and trains, schools are dangerous “gun-free zones.” Imagine how many elementary students in the Sandy Hook massacre would still be alive today if only they had been able to return fire.
In conjunction, we’re pushing for taxpayer funding of our “Eddie Eaglet” program, which is gun training for pre-schoolers. It’s never too early to learn how to safely handle a Glock, you know?
Another measure would lower the minimum age for buying a handgun, or getting a concealed carry permit, from 21 to 15 1/2. This is a no-brainer, because that’s the minimum age to get a learner’s permit to drive. As statistics show, cars are more deadly than guns.
In future years, we intend to lower the gun-buying age even further. That’s because driving is a mere privilege, but carrying guns is a right enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The forefathers established no minimum age for that.
Society confers Constitutional protections to adults. That’s all I’ve got to say about that. I’m laughing too hard to type. And glad that Dan understands the true meaning of common sense gun control.