Voters and other residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia have much to ponder this year ahead of 2016’s presidential election.
As usual, 2015 means there are no statewide elections for governor and the like, and that means all the politics are local.
A buttinsky nonetheless is trying to be a powerbroker in your hometown, and his name is Michael Bloomberg.
Mr. Bloomberg, recall, is no longer mayor of New York City, but for a decade he has tried to sway America’s voters and politicians to his way of thinking about guns.
You know, there are people who are anti-motorist, right? Well, Mr. Bloomberg is anti-firearms.
His Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit founded in 2014, is a kissing cousin to the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which has announced plans to spend $700,000 on one election in Virginia — a state Senate race in the Richmond area that could easily deliver control of the chamber into the hands of the Democratic Party. Everytown said it will spend another $1.1 million to influence Virginia’s November elections.
When and precisely how conservatives and Republicans in the former red state flipped the script and handed it to their blue-hued counterparts is not the topic of this day, however.
Today, let’s look at the topics of guns and gun control, since “gun safety” is a favored term of Mr. Bloomberg‘s.
Virginia, of course, is red meat for anyone who opposes the right to bear arms, supports outsiders’ hefty roles in local politics and thinks, quite naively, that we can have “a future free from gun violence.”
What are our local, state and federal law enforcers going to use? Whistles and lightsabers?
One of the Bloomberg fans’ grand notions is that a gun-free America will become a reality if we create more laws that restrict gun rights.
With so much at stake, perhaps this is the perfect time to educate — and in some instances, re-educate — readers about some of the gun control laws already on the books that target gunrunners, straw purchasers, drug criminals and the like.
After poking around the Internet, I found a Virginia case that fits the enforce-the-law advocates. The criminal case hit the sentencing docket in Northern Virginia in May 2013, a few months after Kimberly Yvette Dinkins had pleaded guilty to dealing firearms without a license.
Dinkins, 44 at the time, had bought 31 handguns from three different gun shows in three different parts of Virginia — Hampton, Chantilly in Fairfax County and Richmond. Her maximum prison sentence was five years in a prison.
Now, consider these facts:
1) She had no license to deal firearms.
2) She resold the firearms for profit.
3) The firearms she resold ended up in the hands of felons and juveniles.
4) She was sentenced to 18 months in prison and two years’ supervised release.
Her sentence gives the appearance of weakness in federal gun laws, the kind of laws anti-gun rights folks love to target. The contrary is true.
Had federal prosecutors utilized the long arm of John Law, Dinkins would still be behind bars — and not because orange is the new black. She would still be imprisoned because she violated the federal Gun Control Act.
Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) explains it this way in a recent article that advocates enforcing existing laws: “If any violator of the Gun Control Act provisions can be shown as intending to commit a state or federal felony involving a firearm, that individual has committed an additional federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison on each count (Sec. 924(b)).”
One woman. One state. Three gun show events. Thirty-one handguns. Eighteen months in prison. Doesn’t add up, does it?
OK, OK. You know the NRA is spending money this election year too — and I hope it’s because you read it in The Washington Times. In case you didn’t, I’ll educate you: The NRA has spent $340,000 — less than half of the Bloomberg gang’s targeted spending.
What’s more, the Bloomberg gang also is targeting the pain and suffering of gun victims’ loved ones, including those who were victimized — indeed traumatized — by legal gun owners.
What about those who became victimized by Dinkins’ dirty hands?
Billionaire Bloomberg can take up whatever causes he pleases and whatever causes he can afford. But, look, I have a lot of family, friends and coworkers who live in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I wouldn’t wish that the constitutional rights of my worst enemy be yanked.
I bet Mr. Bloomberg has yet to pore his own eyes across all the local, state and federal laws regarding firearms, and I feel comfortable making such a statement because our tax dollars pay people to explain to mayors and other politicians what the laws mean.
With the anti-gun crowd locked and loaded, Virginians shouldn’t jump the gun and begin electing politicians because Billionaire Bloomberg says so.
Leverage your own power.
You only get one vote.
Deborah Simmons can be reached at email@example.com.
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