Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
Dan Braswell’s January 16th diatribe against bipartisanship is exactly what is wrong with today’s Republican Party.
We need intelligent, mature leaders like Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger who are eager to work across the aisle to pass laws that benefit ordinary people. She has had bipartisan co-sponsorship for nine out of 12 of her sponsored bills.
Editor’s note: this letter originally appeared in the Central Virginian, and has been re-posted here with the author’s permission.
I noted with great interest Dan Braswell’s letter in your Jan. 16 issue. Braswell spent several paragraphs taking Jon Taylor to task for issuing in a previous letter, in Braswell’s words, “distortions and flimsy accusations” while “offering nary a shred of evidence.” We can wonder about the meaning of that last word, “evidence,” as used by partisans on the Right, when mountains of evidence against President Pinocchio pile up in great drifts but are dismissed by them as “fake news” and the latest fact-free conspiracy about the Left is gleefully embraced.
Braswell went on to castigate Republicans and conservatives to “play hardball” against and call out those who “choose to sow hate and discontent as a method to gain power over our lives.” We are led to believe that honest and civil discourse will follow from taking their hardball tactics to a new level. The mind reels at the prospective new lows possible in our public discourse when infanticide, sharia law, and massive voter fraud become too tame to be used as attacks against the Left.
Braswell wants “robust political debate.” In consideration of the current fevered blather over the Second Amendment, I would offer the public at large this hypothetical case. Suppose two old, white men walk into a crowded theater showing the latest Hip-Hop movie. One carries an AR-15 or some other weapon of war. The other one shouts, “FIRE.” Before the machine gun-toting citizen can move, a young Straight Outta Compton fan pulls out a pistol and shoots the potential assailant.
I wish it were more absurd, but in this country today it seems all too plausible. Assuming all survive, who should be arrested, and for what?
Submitted in the interest of the public good,
Editor's Note: This originally appeared in the January 23rd edition of the Central Virginian, and has been reposted here with the author's permission.
Culpeper, and much of the rest of the Commonwealth, has been in an uproar over recent, and mostly successful, efforts to declare “Second Amendment sanctuaries” or “Constitutional” towns, cities and counties—thanks to the National Rifle Association, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, and Culpeper’s own Culpeper County 2A.
To what end? They have no legal standing.
Tomorrow is the traditional day for citizens to demonstrate and lobby the General Assembly, and a massive gun-rights rally is planned. The legislature has already banned firearms from the Capitol and legislative offices. Thankfully, we no longer see Senator Amanda Chase sporting her revolver on her hip in the elevators of the General Assembly building.
Still, the whining on the right is reaching a fever pitch, with our very own Del. Nick Freitas sounding more hysterical than anyone else. Really, do we need lawmakers armed to protect themselves and spectators from whomever? Isn’t that what the Capitol Police are for? What weapons will perpetrators bring into the building that go undiscovered by the new metal detectors? Snowballs?
Even liquor stores ban weapons.
This past Wednesday, the Governor wisely declared a temporary state of emergency that, from this past Friday through Tuesday, will prohibit firearms, sticks, bats, chains and other weapons on Capitol Square and throughout the Capitol complex. There are reports of busloads of extremists coming from as far away as Texas.
Governor Northam cited alarming evidence that authorities had “received credible intelligence,” some gathered via “dark web channels used by white nationalists outside Virginia,” about groups with “malicious plans” such as “storming our Capitol” and “weaponizing drones” over Capitol Square.
“This includes out-of-state militias and hate groups from across the country,” Northam said. “They’re not coming to peacefully protest. They’re coming to intimidate and cause harm.”
The FBI arrested three men who are members of a neo-Nazi group known as The Base, which describes itself as an international network that is training its members to fight in a race war. Authorities believe they were planning to attend the rally, but it is unclear of what crimes the men are accused, as their federal charges have not yet been disclosed.
Culpeper County citizen Tristan Shields cogently summarized the situation:
“This whole 2A Civil War thing has been completely driven by misinformation and conspiracy theories. It is up to our leaders, local and state, from all political backgrounds, to provide clear facts about what is and is not being proposed. Yet I’m seeing quite a few elected officials—both local and state—throw fuel on the fire, re-enforcing this dangerous and false rhetoric. This has to stop. We all saw what happened in Charlottesville on 8-11-17. Please don’t let 1-20-20 be another tragedy.”
Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Las Vegas, Virginia Beach—so many violent deaths. Last Monday, there was a gun scare at a middle school in Henrico County. Somalia and Yemen are possibly the only countries in the world that are more violent than the United States.
Where will it all end? Will anything meaningful be done to reduce gun violence? Not if Republican delegates, senators, sheriffs, supervisors and council members have anything to say about it. They are not the kind of people we need to help parents and teachers take care of our children. Remember that at the ballot box.
Editor’s Note: this originally appeared in the Culpeper Star Exponent and has been re-posted here with the authors permission.
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