The irony of anti-gun Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s current predicament – being targeted by a blistering full-page advertisement paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety – cannot be lost by political observers who chuckle every time the gun prohibition lobby complains about the inflexibility and vindictiveness of gun rights organizations.
A month ago, McAuliffe was the darling of Everytown and other anti-rights groups because Virginia had suddenly, and rather arbitrarily, decided to stop honoring the concealed carry permits and licenses from 25 other states. That came late last year following a “review” of the state’s “reciprocity” agreements; that is, an agreement between Virginia and other states to recognize one another’s carry permits.
Reciprocity is the next best thing to so-called “national concealed carry. That’s a scenario under which citizens from one state can carry defensive sidearms in any other state. Right now, many states have reciprocity agreements, but there are holdouts, including Oregon, California, Maryland and New Jersey, for example.
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But McAuliffe back-pedaled last week, announcing a compromise agreement with pro-rights lawmakers. That agreement will expand recognition of permits in exchange for voluntary background checks on firearm sales at gun shows.
Anti-gunners, who had delighted in the original decision to trash the self-defense rights of many Virginia visitors by nullifying the reciprocity agreements that honor their carry permits are now trashing McAuliffe. The full-page advertisement does not call him a liar, but it does label several statements he made as “false.” It is essentially a game of semantics.
Everytown for Gun Safety is the group funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who has apparently decided to explore the possibility of running for president. Believing that if he enters the race, Bloomberg will drain votes away from the Democrat nominee in November, a lot of conservatives are quietly urging the former New York mayor to “run, Mikey, run!”
For his part, McAuliffe has discovered that anti-gunners can be vindictive, too, and they’re nasty about it. The advertisement is in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but there’s a major story about the flap in the Washington Post.
McAuliffe has not been friendly to gun rights activists in the Old Dominion. But now, because of his change of mind, the gun control lobby is not being friendly to the governor.
Some might call that karma.
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