1. Kaine wants gun show sales to require background checks **************************************************
This is Governor Kaine at his worst.
My comments are imbedded below:
Kaine wants gun show sales to require background checks
By WARREN FISKE, The Virginian-Pilot (c) November 28, 2007 Last updated: 9:53 PM RICHMOND
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine called Tuesday for new restrictions on firearm sales at gun shows but stopped short of declaring passage of the legislation as a high priority for the 2008 General Assembly session.
Under current law, background checks on buyers are not required by unlicensed dealers who privately sell and trade firearms at the shows. [PVC: or ANYWHERE ELSE, for crying out loud!!!]
Kaine endorsed closing the loophole, saying it provides an opening for felons and mentally ill people to buy weapons they are otherwise forbidden to purchase. [PVC: Sigh. There is NO gun show loophole to close.]
"You either want felons to have guns or you don't," Kaine said on a morning radio show. "You want people who are mentally adjudicated to be dangerous to have guns or you don't. If you don't want them to, then you ought to close that gun show loophole." [PVC: Oh, BS - just because we want to preserve our freedoms, we are pro-crime? If you don't trust the police to search your house at will, are you anti-law enforcement?]
In the wake of the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech, the General Assembly this winter is expected to vigorously debate gun control. Seung-Hui Cho, an emotionally troubled Tech senior, fatally shot 32 students and professors before killing himself.
In August, an eight-member task force appointed by Kaine to investigate the killings recommended in its final report that the gun show loophole be closed. [PVC: A totally gratuitous finding that was way beyond the scope of the task force's marching order and had nothing to do with the VT tragedy.]
Former state police Superintendent Gerald Massengill, whom Kaine appointed to head the task force, has been calling for the end of the loophole in a series of speeches and interviews. Massengill has said the only exemption to background checks should be for gun sales and trades among family members. [PVC: Boy, isn't that a big concession from Massengill? But, that will be the next "loophole" that the antis want closed, you can make bank on it.]
Kaine criticized the gun show exemption when he ran for governor in 2005 and in the days after the Tech shooting. He repeated his concern Tuesday in response to a listener's question during the governor's monthly call-in show on WTOP radio in Washington.
Later in the day, Gordon Hickey, Kaine's press secretary, said the governor has not decided whether he will spend political capital to expand background checks. [PVC: However much political capital Governor Kaine has, it won't be enough as long as gun owners stand united. Hopefully the Governor will realize that this is just not a good idea and will let it drop.]
"Just because he said it doesn't make it the highest priority," Hickey said. "He hasn't gotten anywhere near making that kind of decision yet."
The legislation will travel an uphill road in the General Assembly. Bills to close the gun show loophole have been defeated three years in a row in the state Senate. The House of Delegates, which has not taken up the measure recently, strongly backs gun rights.
Gun advocates note that Cho legally purchased his guns, even though he was held overnight in a mental hospital in 2005 and judged an "imminent danger" to himself. Because his hospitalization was brief, it was not reported to law enforcement officials and not detected on background checks when Cho bought firearms.
After the Tech shootings, Kaine issued more rigorous guidelines for reporting dangerous mental health problems to law enforcement officials.
House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, R-Salem, said if the General Assembly "wants to make sure there's no repeat of Cho," it should focus on mental health reform, not gun control. "That's a much better long-term solution than taking away rights from law-abiding citizens," he said. [PVC: Nicely said, Delegate Griffith.]