U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Virginia Democrats changed the rules of the General Assembly to ban guns and knives in the state capitol. Nearly all knives are banned as well as any item capable of launching a projectile. There is an exception for folding knives with a blade of less than 3 inches in length.
All people entering the capitol, with the exceptions of full-time, on duty, paid law enforcement officers and military personnel, who are conducting official business at the state capitol, are subject to the policy.
To enforce the policy, Capitol police are authorized to search and seize all people entering the building, with the exception of current members of the General Assembly. In practice, it is expected all people entering the building will have to go through metal detectors, with the exception of current legislators.
The rule change was passed on strict party lines. Democrats voted for the ban, Republicans voted against it.
The Democrats claim the ban is required for “public safety”, and that the Capitol Police recommended the ban. From vpm .org:
“This is a recommendation from our Capitol Police who we trust every day, and who have kept us safe, and I trust their judgment,” House Majority Leader Charniele Herring told the Joint Rules Committee meeting.
Capitol Police Chief Col. Anthony Pike said the Capitol Police had not recommended the ban. From wfmz.com:
But Capitol Police Col. Anthony Pike said after the vote that he made no recommendations on whether guns should be banned, only on how to implement the ban Democrats wanted. The new policy will require that everyone entering the Capitol, except for lawmakers, must go through a metal detector.
The Democrats were able to cite one incident, in 2006 when a Republican delegate accidentally discharged a handgun into a bullet-proof vest hanging on a door. No one was injured. Another delegate forgot a gun in a conference room, in 2017, for about 20 minutes.
Perhaps that would be a reason to ban delegates from conduction dry-fire practice. It does not seem to apply to the general public.
In the last 30 years, several states have loosened restrictions on the exercise of Second Amendment rights in state capitols. Among those are Texas, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. At least 20 state capitols allow some form of the practice.
This is likely the first of numerous restrictions on the carry, ownership, and use of firearms in Virginia by the newly minted Democrat majority. They are unwilling to bear arms themselves. Machiavelli spoke of the mindset that is generated when a government disarms its people:
When you disarm [the people] you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you. – Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.
The Democrat party seems to believe they can convince enough of “the people” that they will be safer without arms than with them.
The next election will determine if Machiavelli or modern Democrats were a better judge of political realities.
Machiavelli had an excellent understanding of power politics and human nature, while modern Democrats have the advantage of mass media and propaganda techniques.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.