McAuliffe takes aim at guns

Published 10:23 pm Monday, December 15, 2014

While some Suffolk gun owners have slammed proposed gun-control legislation Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday, a Suffolk mother whose son was a victim of gun violence 17-½ years ago believes it’s a step in the right direction.

McAuliffe announced a raft of what his office referred to as “gun violence prevention efforts,” including banning gun ownership for those subject to protective orders and perpetrators of some misdemeanors, such as stalking, sexual battery and domestic violence.

Concealed handgun permits would be revoked for parents delinquent on child-support payments. Background checks would be required for all firearm purchases at gun shows, which could no longer advertise the checks were not required.

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Reinstating the one-a-month rule that Virginia repealed in February 2012 would curtail handgun trafficking, McAuliffe says.

Virginia State Police would be given statutory authority to process voluntary background checks when asked to do so, and $100,000 would be budgeted for the presence of troopers at all gun shows in the state.

“As governor, there is no greater responsibility than ensuring the health and safety of the citizens I serve,” McAuliffe stated.

“These common-sense proposals will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, will keep our communities safe, and will help to build a new Virginia economy.”

Michael Barnes, who runs the Chuckatuck Turkey Shoot, is a self-described “gun-owner, gun-enthusiast, gun-supporter and a member of the NRA (National Rifle Association).” He thinks the proposals are “foolish,” and suggested McAuliffe needs to study the U.S. Constitution, which protects the rights of citizens to bear arms.

“He should study Jefferson a little more, he should study Monroe and Madison a little more,” Barnes said.

Barnes argues the legislation would not keep criminals from obtaining and carrying guns. “I could go down to any back street in Suffolk, Smithfield, Norfolk, Virginia Beach — anywhere you want to go — and find a bunch of miserable, low-life creeps — criminals — and they are carrying guns,” he said.

“All of these ideas are not going to stop that from happening. All he’s going to do is get the guns away from the law-abiding citizens.”

Vernon Cadwallader, another Suffolk gun owner, said McAuliffe is “just trying to advance the liberal-Democratic gun-control agenda.”

McAuliffe is paying the debt he owes former New York mayor and gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg, who supported his campaign for governor, Cadwallader said.

“I don’t think any of the ideas are necessarily going to make any difference keeping guns out of the wrong hands,” he said.

“He’s trying to get the door cracked (open) with some things people will be able to agree on — ‘common-sense measures’ — but I don’t think they are going to be very effective.”

But Suffolk’s LaVerne Flythe is on the other side of the debate. In May 1997, her 25-year-old son Dameyon Flythe was shot to death during a carjacking and robbery in Newport News. He had just made sergeant in the U.S. Army

“Two teenagers tried to rob him and they shot him in the back,” LaVerne Flythe said. “His birthday is on the 27th of this month.”

She said McAuliffe’s proposals sound good. “If they just can get it done,” she said, referring to their passage through the two General Assembly’s two chambers — required before the legislation can land on the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“I don’t think a person should be allowed to purchase more than one handgun a month,” Flythe said. “For what reason (would anyone need more than one)? So they could shoot somebody else?”