Gun control groups crowing about the Democratic takeover of the Virginia legislature, which will reportedly result in next year’s full-court press on restrictive gun legislation, apparently had two things on their side: Big money and what might appear to be low turnout.
Virginia saw a turnout of “nearly 40 percent of voters statewide,” according to the Virginia Public Access Project.
In an “off” year that’s good, according to Andrew Cain, state politics editor at the Richmond Post-Dispatch, who chatted via telephone. That was actually up from 29 percent in 2015.
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But how many of the 60 percent who stayed home are Old Dominion gun owners? How many of them will now be singing the blues when anti-gun Gov. Ralph Northam, backed by a Democrat-controlled legislature, starts what could be a gun control juggernaut in January?
Northam is set to push his full gun control agenda, including a ban on so-called “assault rifles” and original capacity magazines, one-gun-a-month limit, so-called “safe storage”/child access prevention, and other schemes.
If gun owners allow lethargy or apathy to prevent them from voting, the scenario looming large in Richmond will be coming to a state capitol near them.
According to various published reports, including Vox.com, the National Rifle Association, which is based in Fairfax, spent $350,269 during this election cycle. Compare that to the $2.5 million reportedly spent by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action and Victory Funds, and the reported $300,000 spent by the Giffords PAC on a digital advertising campaign.
Now that Bloomberg appears to be getting ready for a presidential campaign, he may throw even more cash into the gun control movement. He’s got plenty to spare, with a reported net worth of more than $50 billion.
Granted, that amount of money poses an insurmountable obstacle, but that would only be a pose if every Virginia gun owner had voted. Dollar bills don’t vote. People do.
As Vox noted, “gun control groups spent far more, hoping to help get Democratic candidates into office who could push forward a package of proposals aimed at stemming gun violence, including background checks on all firearms sales.” They succeeded.
Instead of rolling over, Virginia gun owners have 12 months to get in the game. Many in the establishment media are claiming the state has “turned blue.” When possibly 60 percent of registered voters—many of them Second Amendment voters—don’t show up, anything can happen and it’s usually bad for gun owners.
Too many people have convinced themselves their votes don’t count, and that is correct when votes aren’t cast. But do the math. Say all gun owners in any given state vote as a single-minded block, they would stop anti-gunners cold.
Instead, on Friday Everytown for Gun Safety launched yet another fund raiser, this one aimed at needling NRA’s Wayne LaPierre. His 70th birthday is Saturday, so the Everytown Victory Fund is asking its supporters to donate $7 to the fund “to help us beat Wayne and the NRA in the 2020 elections.”
It’s a safe bet those anti-gun-rights activists at the grassroots level won’t be as lethargic as Virginia gun voters. Instead, they are raising money. Gun owners around the country just might learn from that.
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