Last Friday, a gunman opened fire on a municipal building in Virginia Beach, killing 12.
The suspected gunman, a public works employee, died in a shootout with police. The mass shooting is the most deadly the country has seen so far this year, and embattled Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) is taking the opportunity to try and regain some political footing.
Northam, fresh out of his own racially-embroiled scandal, announced Tuesday that in response to the shooting, he has summoned Virginia legislators back to the state’s capital to vote on new gun control legislation.
Swiping at those who offer their condolences to the victims of such tragic events in the most respectful way possible, Northam said the shooting called for “votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers.”
According to the AP, Northam’s Bills would include:
… a ban on silencers and high-capacity magazines, as well as a broadening of the ability of local governments to limit guns in city buildings. The governor said he also wants mandatory, universal background checks before gun purchases; a limit of one handgun purchase per month; and a “red flag” law that would allow authorities to seize the weapons of those who are a threat to themselves or others.
None of these would have stopped the current shooter, who used a .45 caliber handgun with a silencer and extended mags and appears to have bought his firearm legally.
The response to Northam’s move hasn’t been received well by the other side, with Virginia GOP Speaker Kirk Cox saying Northam’s calls for action are “hasty and suspect when considered against the backdrop of the last few months,” an obvious reference to Northam’s blackface scandal.
As is the usual question when Democrats suggest new gun control legislation, Republicans will surely ask whether or not the proposed bills would have actually prevented this mass shooting, or if it is just a partisan attempt to implement personal ideological preferences into law.