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Virginia: Tight Governor’s Race May Hinge on Second Amendment Rights

Virginia: Tight Governor’s Race May Hinge on Second Amendment Rights

The Vegas shooting “pushed gun control to the front of the neck-and-neck race”

Because Virginia’s constitution does not permit current Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) to run for another term, there is no incumbent for voters to assess when they vote for a new governor on November 7th.

A Libertarian convention and regular primaries earlier this summer resulted in a three-way race amongst Republican Ed Gillespie, Democrat Ralph Northam, and (nonstarter) Libertarian Cliff Hyra.

According to Real Clear Politics averages, Northam was leading Gillespie last month by 4.4 points.

Hillary Clinton, who in 2016 won Virginia and its 13 electoral votes, has pledged to fundraise for Northam.  Virginia leans Democrat, with its sitting governor and both of its senators being Democrats.  On the other hand, Virginia’s House of Delegates and its Senate is controlled by Republicans.

While energy and the environment are key issues in next month’s gubernatorial election, another issue is taking center stage in light of the Las Vegas mass shooting:  the Second Amendment.

Northam is calling for strict gun laws, while Gillespie maintains his stance as a proponent of the Second Amendment.

The Washington Post reports:

The Las Vegas mass shooting, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, pushed gun control to the front of the neck-and-neck race for Virginia governor on Monday.

At a previously scheduled forum in Vienna that was held hours after a gunman killed at least 58 people and injured hundreds, Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie offered condolences.

But the partisan divide over guns in Virginia, a Southern state with a strong gun tradition that was shaken by the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, was immediately evident.

Northam, a former Army doctor who has an F rating from the National Rifle Association, decried what he called “a proliferation of guns” in society and urged gun-control measures.

Gillespie, who has an A rating and an endorsement from the NRA, asked for a moment of silence, later telling reporters that it was too soon to discuss policy.

Gun-grabbing groups are pouring money into Northam’s campaign, while the NRA is countering with its own ad blast.

WaPo continues:

Americans for Responsible Solutions, Giffords’s gun-control group, has pledged to spend $150,000 on pro-Northam mailings.

Northam is also backed by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, a group bankrolled by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) that is spending at least $700,000 on his campaign.

“In light of the tragedy in Las Vegas, today is a day for resolve,” said Kate Folmar, an Everytown spokeswoman. “In this governor’s race, Virginians have a clear choice between a candidate who believes we must do much to prevent such tragedies, Ralph Northam, and a candidate who does not, Ed Gillespie.”

Meanwhile, the NRA, which had planned to run political advertising in Virginia starting Tuesday through Election Day on Nov. 7, delayed those commercials for one week, according to a media buying firm and a Richmond television station.

The gun rights group plans to spend more than $750,000 on commercials in the Richmond and Roanoke markets, according to filings reviewed by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project.

While Virginia is hardly West Virginia (where Senator Joe Manchin (D) famously shot the cap and trade bill in a campaign ad), it’s not exactly anti-gun deep blue, either.  Virginia is an open carry and reciprocal concealed carry state.  So the right of Americans to own guns may be a defining factor as Virginians head to the polls next month.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has more on gun rights becoming key in the Virginia governor’s race.

Guns were already on the radar for Monday in Virginia’s governor’s race, but the massacre in Las Vegas on Sunday night forced both campaigns to react amid another round of debate over the political response to mass shootings.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam called the shooting a “terrorist attack” and reiterated his calls for tighter gun restrictions. Republican Ed Gillespie, whose promises to preserve gun rights have earned the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, called the violence an “act of evil,” but did not weigh in on the question of whether the latest tragedy should compel new approaches to gun policy.

. . . . Northam has advocated for universal background checks, an assault weapons ban and reinstating Virginia’s former law limiting handgun purchases to one per month. Democrats have introduced a variety of gun control bills in recent General Assembly sessions, but the Republican-controlled legislature routinely blocks efforts to add new restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms.

Gillespie has vowed to “defend and advance” gun rights. In its August endorsements, the NRA’s Political Victory Fund called Gillespie “a strong supporter of our constitutional rights who will stand up to Michael Bloomberg and his out-of-state gun control groups.”

Republicans currently hold 34 governorships, including those that constitute the surprising “takeover” of New England.

However, it will be interesting to see how much or how little Charlottesville and the Vegas shooting influence Virginia’s voters.


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Making this election about the 2A will help the Republican.

    gospace in reply to Same Same. | October 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    But Liberal Democrats (redundant, I know) and the MSM believe exactly the opposite despite much evidence otherwise.

      Olinser in reply to gospace. | October 3, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      Good. So far they’ve BADLY misjudged how popular the following things actually were:

      1) ‘Affordable’ care act
      2) Black Lives Matter
      3) Antifa
      4) Illegal immigration
      5) NFL anthem protests

      By all means, I hope they push this gun grabber nonsense.

      I always laugh at people that whine about ‘common sense’ gun laws. Yes, the common sense ones are on the books. No actual law actually proposed outside an outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment would have stopped ANY mass shooter in the last 10 years.

      I pray they’re stupid enough to make actual repeal of the 2nd Amendment a campaign promise.

        ConradCA in reply to Olinser. | October 3, 2017 at 11:24 pm

        I can think of a number of additional gun control laws that should be enacted:

        1) Make possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime or a felon in possession of a firearm a federal felony punished by 30 years in prison.

        2) Reestablish the Militia who carry concealed weapons so that Muslim, Democrat and other mass murders are confronted by citizens able to deal with them.

        3) Defend the citizens 2nd amendment rights against states like California and New York that violate them.

        Stan25 in reply to Olinser. | October 3, 2017 at 11:36 pm

        Gun control is one of the major reasons Hillary lost. Remember, she preached how she was going to make it harder to buy firearms when she became President. See how well that went over with most of the voters. Dems who think gun control is a winner are living in a land of elusion.

As a Virginian, I hold out zero hope that it will be anything other than blue because of the inanity of Northern VA and their liberal hordes of arrogant and ignorant dumbasses.

McAuliffe has absolutely run our business rankings into the ground in comparison to other states. McAuliffe’s heir apparent should be tanking based on his track record of said business ranking tanking, charging up debt to expand Medicaid, his business scandals (McDonnell hung for much less), and attempting to stuff ballot boxes with felons. Let’s also not forget to mention that he’s done jack crap for education in this state; we’ve always been high, but we’ve only slid from that so he can’t fall back on the academic bubble building either.

The title of heir apparent to McAuliffe would be a political career death sentence in a sane state with common sense. Instead, he’s ahead by over 4 points. If McAuliffe’s abysmal record can’t sink Northam then nothing can for the true blue jackasses of the north.

    4th armored div in reply to healthguyfsu. | October 4, 2017 at 12:23 am

    VA is a ‘suburb’ of DC, which means (D) any way you cut it.

    bad guys will find a way to get weapons just ask Eric Holder.

    My daddy always said ‘you can’t lock enough doors to protect your home from evil folks and no need to lock from good folks’
    which only leaves you to protect against opportunists.
    replace the concept of doors with weapons and it is still a valid idea.


Nobody’s buying this crap – not while Donald Trump is out there slugging.

An interesting analysis from forensic doctor Michael
Welner on the demonization of the right by the democrat media that is leading to violence. We already know it, but it’s interesting to hear it in clinical terms:

Rights and responsibilities.

The right to self-defense, wildlife conservation, and eye-hand coordination.

The responsibility that accompanies carrying a tool with multiple purposes.

DINORightMarie | October 4, 2017 at 8:47 pm

If the Republican doesn’t start coming out STRONG, then it will be a Dem in the Governor’s mansion once again in Richmond.

Yeah, Gillespie, I am looking at YOU. Yeah, Republican Party of VA, I am looking at YOU, too!

It will only be by the grace of God that Gillespie wins and this hideous Dem that is tighter-than-tight with McAuliffe will win.