Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
In thinking about the impact of the recent Board of Supervisors approval of the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Resolution, I found myself reflecting on my experiences as the Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates. I learned and heard a lot while out on the campaign trail. No one, no voter and no candidate, suggested that the General Assembly of Virginia should go into people’s homes and take away their guns. I did hear a lot about REAL issues that our neighbors in Louisa need help with, including lack of access to doctors and healthcare, lack of public transportation, and the need for access to affordable high-speed internet. I believe the most important point of view I heard at the doors of Louisa voters was one that came from across the political spectrum.
That point of view was and is a frustration with the divisiveness in the United States of America today. I’ll quote from some conversations: “Bring us together.” “Do whatever you can to stop all this silly name-calling and fighting”. The citizens who talked to me wanted politicians to steer clear of actions that would further divide us, and to find real solutions to real problems we have – not to manufacture issues that lead to us taking sides and further dividing us.
Whatever you want to call us – democracy, republic, representative government – our governing bodies are supposed to take action based on what we know and what we want and need. There are gun regulations that are constitutional and should be acceptable to all reasonable citizens. A 2017 national poll showed that universal background checks are supported by 94% of Virginians.
We know, based on scientific research, that universal background checks and Extreme Violence Protection Orders, commonly called Red Flag laws, save lives. The citizens of Virginia are not currently protected by these laws. They have been proposed for consideration during the 2020 General Assembly and have already been enacted in many other states, successfully undergoing judicial scrutiny about their constitutionality.
I hope we can recover from this divisive idea of localities calling the shots for themselves without consideration for the constitutional processes for questioning laws. The approval by the Louisa County Board of Supervisors of the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary resolution takes us in the wrong direction.
Let’s understand that we are all in this world and this life together. My dad would say we have to work together like his team of mules – we have to figure out how to “gee” and “haw” together if we want to get anything done. And that’s what the people of Louisa County told me they want – that their elected officials get things done that benefit us, not divide us.
Juanita Jo Matkins
Editor’s Note: this letter originally appeared in the December 5th edition of the Central Virginian, and has been re-posted here with the author’s permission.
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