Michael Bloomberg can’t be happy with what’s going on in Virginia right now. State Democrats are fleeing into the bunker regarding gun control. It’s over. There are no gun bans, no magazine capacity limits, and no universal background checks coming. Why? Well, there’s an election coming up—and voters apparently have not forgotten their push to confiscate firearms. It gets our side animated. For the Left, not so much—and there are hordes of Democrats in moderate to conservative state legislature districts who would be eaten alive if Richmond tried to do what we all know what they want to do concerning our Second Amendment rights.
Democrats insist they’re not giving up, but for this session—they have. Bloomberg and his allies dumped millions into the state to try and shift it blue. It worked in 2019, but that debt has yet to be repaid in any manner that would be palatable to the anti-gun Left. There’s also a new player in this fight: nonwhite voters. They’ve stocked up on guns either for personal protection as we continue to deal with COVID or the phantom white nationalist threat that was propped up and exaggerated by the liberal media. It’s ironic. Their media-manufactured myths actually led to nonwhites arming themselves who in turn are not for gun control and are certainly not turning in their firearms to the government.
Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League had a blunter assessment of what happened on gun control in the state this year. "I think they [Democrats] found out last year when they tried it really blew up in their face big time.” Stephen Gutowski of The Washington Free Beacon has more:
The party, which enjoys total control over the state government, did not pass any major new restrictions on guns in 2021. Democrats failed to act on the most ambitious aspects of their gun-control agenda—including proposed bans on the kinds of guns or ammunition magazines Virginians can own—before the end of the session on March 1. Despite repeated promises from party leaders dating back to the 2019 campaign, Democrats passed only minor new restrictions, including new laws to regulate where Virginians can carry guns; residents will be prohibited from bringing firearms near polling places and in school administration buildings under the new regulations. Democrats did not even introduce the hallmark gun legislation to ban possession of AR-15s and magazines holding more than 10 rounds—proposals that passed the state house in 2020 but sparked protests across the state before failing in the state senate.
Delegate Mark Levine (D.), who introduced the confiscation bill in the 2020 session, said the bill would "save lives" and make "mass murder" harder to carry out during debate in 2020. In December, he said he would not reintroduce the bill and told a Richmond ABC affiliate Democrats would focus on "things that are less controversial."
Governor Ralph Northam (D.), whose initial confiscation proposal was even broader than the bill that passed the state house in 2020, also shied away from the issue in an interview with the station. After admitting the gun ban was a "campaign promise that a lot of us ran on," Northam said he would let the legislature decide whether to pursue the legislation again. When asked if he would push them to do so, he said, "No, not this year."
Democrats' reluctance to press the issue and potentially further anger gun voters demonstrates a new political calculation from liberals at the national and state level. Even when Democrats have full control of the lawmaking process, passing strict new gun laws may prove too politically costly for their members, according to experts who spoke with the Washington Free Beacon. They said the retreat on assault weapons confiscation is likely driven by concerns it could do more harm than good for Democratic members in swing districts, rather than a change of heart on the policy. Robert Leider, a George Mason University professor who studies gun politics, said there are more single-issue voters who favor gun rights than there are gun-control proponents. He said that principle extends beyond Virginia's borders.
So, gun owners, Second Amendment supporters, and freedom lovers have a buffer, but this fight is not over. Maybe this provides an opening for Republicans to retake lost ground. Trump was an animating national force driving Democrats in Virginia, but he’s gone now. Will there be a dip in this year’s legislative election? Democrats seem to be banking on it. This is classic ‘all talk, no action,’ huh? I guess in this case, with Democrats failing to enact draconian anti-gun measures—I’ll take it.