mark levine virginia assault weapon
VA Del. Levine demonstrating what a hunting gun is. Source: screen capture from YouTube video.
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By Larry Keane

Virginia House Delegate Mark Levine would be amusing if he wasn’t so serious.

The Democrat who represents portions of Alexandria, an area just a short row down the banks of the Potomac River from Washington D.C., held a town hall meeting to explain what his bill, HB 961, would do.

It would be easy to mistake his pantomime for a comedy sketch. Except, that is, he’s acting out every misnomer and stereotype of a lawmaker who doesn’t know the first thing about the firearms he’s attempting to outlaw.

Del. Levine attempted to distinguish between “legitimate” hunting rifles and “assault weapons” by acting out typecasts and repeating false narratives of how the rifles work. He never considered for a moment that Virginians hunt with the “scary-looking” modern sporting rifles, or that his facts about mass murder events with firearms were completely wrong.

Del. Levine ignores that modern sporting rifles – or MSRs – are semiautomatic rifles, with one round fired for each squeeze of the trigger. It’s technology that’s over 100 years old and functions in the same manner as many handguns and shotguns.

They are not “more powerful,” as he claims. In fact, Virginia requires the use of more powerful calibers for deer hunting than the AR-15’s which is most commonly chambered in 223-caliber. The characteristics that Del. Levine uses to disqualify are cosmetic and have bearing of function of the rifle, only make it easier to operate safely.

He never considered for a moment that Virginians hunt with the modern sporting rifles in larger calibers either, or that his facts about mass murder events with firearms were completely wrong. In fact, murders for 2018 across the United States with any rifle accounted for just 2.1 percent, at 297.

Murders by hands, fists and feet were more than double at 672 and murder committed with knives or cutting instruments were more than five times that by rifle, at 1,515.

Facts be damned, though, for Del. Levine. He claims that his bill to ban so-called “assault weapons” and “extended magazines” would reduce murders, just like he claims it did with the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. Except, that’s not what happened. The CDC investigated and concluded that the gun control laws had nothing to do with the crime reduction rates and those falling crimes rates continued to fall after the ban expired in 2004.

“Our bill allows people to keep their weapons, including their AR-15s and the like,” he explained. “They can keep their weapons, but we’ve asked them to do what people do with their machine guns when they were banned in 1934, to basically get a permit so we know where they are so they aren’t used by criminals.”

Del. Levine likened law-abiding Virginians who own modern sporting rifles to 1920’s era gangsters. The comparison, he alleges, is that the possibly hundreds of thousands of Virginians who lawfully and peacefully own MSRs today, are criminals-in-waiting, just itching to commit horrendous crimes with their rifles.

The peaceful protests in Richmond proved otherwise, if the decades of rifle ownership in Virginia weren’t proof enough. Del. Levine invoked the tragic murders in Virginia Beach, but failed to acknowledge those crimes were committed with a handgun.

He demonized the use of a suppressor but ignored two handguns were used and only one of those was fitted with a suppressor, or that local Virginia Beach ordinance banned the use of suppressors.

Police responding the crimes committed in a “gun-free zone” where law-abiding citizens were denied their right to self-defense told reporters they distinctly heard gunfire and followed it to confront the murderer. The use of suppressors, which are legal in 42 states, in the commission of crimes is so rare it is barely measurable.

Delegate Levine didn’t propose a measure to increase penalties for those who criminally misuse firearms. He didn’t offer solutions to punish those who use firearms to prey on society or carry guns into schools or even those areas already declared “gun-free.”

The hard facts don’t lie, but they demonstrate HB 961 is an attempt to demonize and ostracize law-abiding Virginian gun owners by making them criminals unless they surrender their rights to Virginian authorities by way of a permission slip to exercise their God-given rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It does nothing to reduce crime or make communities safer.

Perhaps Levine and his colleagues should listen to Virginians, rather that insult and demagogue them.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. Note all the flags behind him. Not an American flag to be seen, all foreign.

    Another anti-American democrat (communist party USA) demonstrating his intelligence and his true allegiance.

    • I mean, one of the flags is American, but I know facts are less important than feels for some people. Like Levine!

    • Anti-Semitism? That’s the best you’ve got? Knock it off. And before you make some similarly asinine comment based on my last name, I was born and raised Christian.

    • Levine is an embarrassment to the Tribe. He is definitely not one of King David’s “Mighty Men.”

  2. He doesn’t have to know anything. He just has to convince people who don’t know anything that he knows more than them, and he has the answers.

  3. We all know how ignorant and stupid politicians are when it comes to guns, the real scary thing is that they are just as ignorant and stupid regarding every subject they legislate

  4. After 56 years of voting age observation of the political arena of the United States and the world in general I’ve came to the conclusion that anyone smart enough to be of help to the populations, is just too damned smart to seek an office. That leaves the dumb being led by the dumber. And I’m one of the dumbest for just complaining about it.

  5. I’m hunting w one of those scary black rifles right now.

    I’d ask this guy if he could do anything to be more stupid, but he’d take it as a challenge.

  6. F*ck NOVA. Can we give Arlington, Fairfax (city and county), and Alexandria to Maryland? Maryland can get the tax revenue, and NOVA can get Maryland’s crime, economic policies, and 24hr liquor stores. It’s a win-win.

  7. A liberal that doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Let me put on my shocked face. Winston Churchill said it best, “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” I skipped step one.

    • That’s a great quote, but wrongly attributed to Mr Churchill. The true quote is by John Adams : “A boy of 15 who is not a democrat is good for nothing, and he is no better who is a democrat at 20.” John Adams’ words were preserved in history by Thomas Jefferson in 1799.

      • Jeff, Damn! I didn’t know that. I always want to be corrected when I’m wrong. But, I’ve read that Churchill quote all my life. Could it be that Churchill modified it? Because Adam’s words are not as impressive. In fact they don’t even make as much sence. In that day the democrats were the conservative party. Of course, I could be wrong again.

  8. To people who want to believe him or at least don’t want to believe you he has all the answers and you’re a racist baby killing rapist.

    Confirmation bias is a helluva drug.

  9. My “favorite” part of this is his pantomime of how you hold a hunting rifle vs. a scary black rifle. It’s like, “dude, do you even right click for iron sights, bro?”

  10. Guys a offing moron but then I digress as the guy after all is a member of the Leftard party.

  11. Did Forrest say stupid is as stupid does? Or was it ” life is like a 2-month-old bushel of apples, most of them are rotten”?

  12. Ok. So then. My only question is if you or someone with knowlage of his lies or B.S. there to cover this story,then why didn’t you or them stand up and call him on his lies? Tell those there what the truth was.
    If you can write about their stupidity then why the hell can’t you or them stand up, man up and call him on his lies?

    • The original was filmed by what looked like a phone from a private citizen. It was probably better to let this fool show his true colors rather than to point it out and be made to look like an aggressor. Standing up and disagreeing may have resulted in being removed from the room, then the world would have missed out on the fool’s illogical rantings.

  13. Virginia’s Mark Levine Can’t Define His Own Gun Ban Bill

    Probably has trouble spelling his own name and gets an assistant to tie his shoes unless of course he’s wearing deck shoes, then he just has the assistant look for the laces.

  14. To humans wanting to do away with gunms it doesn’t matter what that gunm is, there all assault weapons

  15. I say he’s just another “educated” idiot…. he should be investigated… his stupidity is a danger to society….
    This is the type of person who submits themselves to the stellar stupidity of the college indoctrination scheme…

  16. My experience trying to influence VA lawmakers in another field is that very few of them write the bills they sponsor. In fact only a few actually READ those bills closely enough to understand them.

    Bills are written by professionals — lobbyists for one interest or another. The claimed sponsor gets talking points. It’s up to him whether he wants to know more than that.

    When you study a bill closely and then talk to the sponsor, YOU are the expert. He’s a lawmaker doing what he’s paid to do.

    And citizens aren’t the paymasters: People like Bloomberg are. We provide some pocket money but nothing like enough to exercise control.

    Mr. Keane’s an expert in how these things are done. Doubtless he’ll correct me if he feels I’m wrong.

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