Great opinion piece on veto-override session!
One thing the opinion piece got wrong is that it stated that retired
police cannot drink while carrying under SB 877. That is NOT true.
The opinion points out Kaine's anti-gun hysteria for vetoing bills
that have large veto-proof majorities supporting them:
Washington Times - EDITORIAL: Anti-reason on guns
The Washington Times
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
EDITORIAL: Anti-reason on guns
When Tim Kaine campaigned for Virginia governor in 2005, he ran an ad
implying that former National Rifle Association President Charlton
Heston was praising him. His campaign claimed that "Tim Kaine strongly
supports the Second Amendment." Once he won office, Mr. Kaine vetoed
one gun bill after another that would have helped Virginians protect
themselves from criminals.
Unfortunately, this past week, Mr. "strong Second Amendment supporter"
Kaine vetoed all five pro-self-defense bills sent to his desk. His
intransigence endangers public safety. Hopefully, the General
Assembly's veto-override session, which starts today, can correct
All five vetoed bills passed with overwhelming bipartisan support -
indeed, all but one bill got at least two-thirds support in both the
Senate and the House. The governor knows he can be easily overriden.
Showing how out-of-touch he is on this issue, Mr. Kaine vetoed some
bills that even passed unanimously. So overrides seem likely unless
Mr. Kaine can flip enough Democrats to sustain his vetoes.
Take Mr. Kaine's veto of the bill that would let retired law
enforcement officers carry their guns in restaurants that serve
alcohol. These are retired officers who have served in law enforcement
for at least 10 years. They already have been qualified under federal
law to carry a concealed firearm, and they would not be allowed to
drink alcohol when they are armed. The Democrat-controlled Senate
passed the bill unanimously and 85 percent of the Republican-
controlled House voted for it.
Yet Mr. Kaine keeps repeating the mindless, inapplicable slogan "Guns
and alcohol don't mix." More than 30 right-to-carry states around the
nation allow law-abiding citizens - not just retired police with 10
years' experience - to carry permitted concealed handguns in
restaurants that serve alcohol. There is no evidence of any problems.
Yet when asked, Mr. Kaine's press office told The Times that "it is
irrelevant what is the evidence in any other state. This is Virginia,
and that is all the governor cares about." Despite repeated requests
for evidence, none was given. When The Times offered to give the
governor's office more time to find evidence for the Mr. Kaine's
position, the press office said there was "no reason to check" if
there was evidence.
This strikes us as a remarkably anti-rational perspective. When
people's safety is on the line, facts should matter. Retired officers
are volunteering to protect Virginians for free, essentially serving
as undercover officers. But that is not good enough for Mr. Kaine. The
governor trusts active-duty officers, but somehow, as soon as they
retire - even after years of service - they are no longer trustworthy.
We have a news flash for the governor: Crimes occur in restaurants.
Uniformed police are extremely important, but they almost always get
to the scene after the crime has been committed. Indeed, as research
shows, these gun-free zones actually attract criminal attacks because
criminals know they have less to fear from potential victims.
Another problem with banning retired police from carrying their
permitted guns in restaurants is that this can prevent them from
carrying their guns elsewhere - eviscerating the concealed-handgun law.
Mr. Kaine's veto of the bill to let law-abiding citizens with
concealed-handgun permits in restaurants is just as mistaken. There
are obvious benefits from letting people protect themselves and
others, and with all the experience from other states, there is no
evidence that there are any risks.
Mr. Kaine's vetoes of the other bills make no more sense. The House
unanimously passed a bill that lets concealed-handgun permit holders
take their safety course online, and 75 percent of the Senate also
voted for the bill. Virginia lets driver-safety courses be taken over
the Internet. Even if the governor doesn't get it yet, the General
Assembly at least seems to understand that we live in the age of
Finally, there are no published empirical studies by economists or
criminologists showing that one-gun-a-month purchase restrictions
reduce any type of violent crime rate. There is no crime reduction in
states with the laws or in their neighboring states. We wish Virginia
would join the other 47 states without this law, but Mr. Kaine vetoed
a bill that affected only active-duty military personnel - allowing
them to buy more than one gun. Does Mr. Kaine really have a problem
trusting soldiers with guns?
Mr. Kaine is more than just out of step with Virginians on public
safety. The governor's facts-be-damned attitude worries us. Evidence
should matter to public servants. We hope the legislators stick to
their guns, resist the governor's pressure and override all five of
Mr. Kaine's vetoes.
VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
VCDL web page: Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL)