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Thread: In Gubernatorial Race, It's About Who's More Pro-Gun

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    In Gubernatorial Race, It's About Who's More Pro-Gun

    Background Check Loophole Puts Fine Point on Policies

    By Fredrick Kunkle
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, July 27, 2009

    Walking the jam-packed aisles of Virginia's biggest gun show, Richard Begay carried a .30-06 Sauer hunting rifle and a hand-lettered cardboard sign on his back asking $1,199.

    Unlike the federally licensed firearms dealers at tables nearby, Begay, 72, an occasional seller, can peddle the slick-looking rifle legally without a background check to any interested adult he meets at the show in Chantilly. To him, it's his right. To others, it's a potential disaster.

    "I ask for their name and ID," said Begay, a bus monitor for the Fairfax County public schools who visited the Nation's Gun Show at the Dulles Expo Center this past weekend. "I hold on to it in case something does happen so I can tell the police."

    The question of how much to regulate the sale and possession of guns has always been a dividing line in Virginia political contests. This year's gubernatorial candidates -- former attorney general Robert F. McDonnell (R) and state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D) -- both have extensive pro-gun records. But the campaign is unfolding at a turbulent and uncertain time in the nation's debate over guns. One unresolved issue in Virginia, where 36 percent of households have a firearm, is whether to close the so-called gun show loophole, which permits freelance sellers like Begay.

    The issue gained momentum after the April 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, which left 33 dead, including the student gunman.

    "Virginia is ground zero for this debate," said Alexander Howe, a spokesman for Americans United for Safe Streets. Legislation to require background checks for every transaction at a gun show is pending in Congress as both sides strive for the advantage.

    President Obama's election triggered a surge in sales among gun buyers, who feared that he and a Democratic-led Congress would push for new regulations. Instead, gun owners have cheered moves by Congress to allow people to carry concealed weapons in national parks and to link voting rights for the District to looser gun regulations.

    In Congress last week, gun control advocates narrowly defeated a bid to force states to honor concealed handgun permits issued by other states. Two of the Democrats who supported the proposal were Sens. Mark R. Warner and James Webb of Virginia.

    Advocates on both sides of the gun rights debate are closely following the Virginia race and the candidates' stands on gun shows for signs of a shifting trend.

    Gun control advocates say private sellers should perform the same background check on prospective buyers that is required of federally licensed firearms dealers. Since February 1994, when the Brady Act began requiring licensed dealers to run such checks, more than 1.2 million purchases have been stopped because the buyer was ineligible -- a point of pride among gun control advocates.

    But gun owners counter that requiring background checks for all gun show sales is the first step toward mandatory checks anytime a gun changes hands -- whether a father wanted to pass on a .22-caliber rifle to his son or a member of a shooting club wanted to trade shotguns with a fellow member. They also say there is scant evidence that criminals get their guns from gun shows, citing Justice Department statistics that indicate only 0.7 percent of guns used in crimes were purchased at gun shows.

    Until recently, Deeds, as a lawmaker from rural Bath County, had been a more staunch advocate of gun rights than McDonnell, whose career began in Virginia Beach. One of Deeds's signature pieces of legislation was a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing Virginians the right to hunt and fish. Deeds also secured the National Rifle Association's backing in the 2005 attorney general's race against McDonnell, who won by 360 votes.

    Former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, pointedly declined to endorse Deeds in that campaign because Deeds, as a delegate, had refused to support legislation limiting handgun purchases to no more than one per month -- a measure McDonnell backed

    But both candidates have gravitated closer to positions generally embraced by their party's base.

    McDonnell, for example, now says he supports a repeal of the one-a-month law because computerized background checks and other advances make it unnecessary. In an interview last week, McDonnell also said he opposes further regulating gun shows because statistics show only a tiny number of guns used in crimes were obtained at gun shows.

    "I'd say it's a little bit of a misnomer to call it a loophole," McDonnell said. "It's really an attempt to regulate private sales."

    But McDonnell touted his work with Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) in closing a loophole that allowed the Virginia Tech shooter to evade a ban on transferring firearms to someone with serious mental illness.

    "I'm very sympathetic to the victims at Virginia Tech," McDonnell said. "The problem that occurred at Virginia Tech had nothing to do with the gun show loophole."

    Deeds, who owns several firearms and has hunted since he was a child, said he understands the importance of the Second Amendment and has no interest in working for broader gun controls except for the gun show loophole.

    "For me, everything changed on April 16, 2007," Deeds said in an interview Sunday. "As a father, I felt just a need deep down in my soul to respond to their grief somehow."

    During the 2008 and 2009 General Assembly sessions, Deeds voted to close the loophole, including a compromise that would have exempted antique firearms. That soured his chances with Steve and Annette Elliott, owners of C&E Gun Shows, which promoted the three-day gun show at the Dulles Expo Center.

    The Elliotts said that requiring background checks for private sales at gun shows would wreck their business and lead to further regulation.

    "First they register them, then they make more laws and then they take them away," said Annette Elliott, who got her start in the business when she was 7 years old by collecting tickets at the door of gun shows her father sponsored in the Roanoke area. She said that using the Virginia Tech tragedy as an argument for further restrictions makes no sense because the shooter did not obtain his weapons at a gun show.

    "I absolutely sympathize with all those families," Annette Elliott said. "But I think they're trying to blame the gun for what this crazy person did."

    Lori Haas, 51, disagrees. Her daughter survived the massacre, and she praised Deeds for his change of heart. Haas said none of the Virginia Tech families wants to drive gun shows out of business or require a father to obtain a background check on his son before handing down a weapon, but they believe requiring background checks is common sense.

    "The focus of the families of Virginia Tech, given the magnitude of the tragedy, is the desire to make sure that that pain and suffering and grief is not foisted on anyone else," Haas said. "We suspect that the average seller at a gun show would be more than happy to ask the potential buyer to take the two minutes necessary to do a background check, knowing that that could save the life of their son or daughter, their father or their mother, their grocer or their convenience store clerk, their sheriff or their police officer or their fellow citizen."







    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    One gets it:

    In an interview last week, McDonnell also said he opposes further regulating gun shows because statistics show only a tiny number of guns used in crimes were obtained at gun shows.

    "I'd say it's a little bit of a misnomer to call it a loophole," McDonnell said. "It's really an attempt to regulate private sales."

    The other doesn't:

    "For me, everything changed on April 16, 2007," Deeds said in an interview Sunday. "As a father, I felt just a need deep down in my soul to respond to their grief somehow."

    Classic difference between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives act on facts, liberals act on feelings.

    TFred

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    This gun show loophole canard is getting as tiresome as it is rediculous.

    What rational human being will believe that a criminal wants to buy a $1200 hunting rifle at a gun show when he can get a fully loaded major caliber handgun for $100 (or $40 worth of cocaine) right down the street.

    Hell at street prices, for $1200 a crook could get a full-auto that would cost us law-abiding citizens $10K or more, not to mention paperwork hassles and the surrender of some of our rights.

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    TFred wrote:
    One gets it:
    In an interview last week, McDonnell also said he opposes further regulating gun shows because statistics show only a tiny number of guns used in crimes were obtained at gun shows.

    "I'd say it's a little bit of a misnomer to call it a loophole," McDonnell said. "It's really an attempt to regulate private sales."
    The other doesn't:
    "For me, everything changed on April 16, 2007," Deeds said in an interview Sunday. "As a father, I felt just a need deep down in my soul to respond to their grief somehow."
    Classic difference between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives act on facts, liberals act on feelings.

    TFred
    But "one gun a month" is just a step beyond:
    "Former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, pointedly declined to endorse Deeds in that campaign because Deeds, as a delegate, had refused to support legislation limiting handgun purchases to no more than one per month -- a measure McDonnell backed."
    Donkey


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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    The Donkey wrote:
    TFred wrote:
    But "one gun a month" is just a step beyond:
    "Former Virginia governor L. Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, pointedly declined to endorse Deeds in that campaign because Deeds, as a delegate, had refused to support legislation limiting handgun purchases to no more than one per month -- a measure McDonnell backed."
    Donkey
    And the very next sentence in the article:

    McDonnell, for example, now says he supports a repeal of the one-a-month law because computerized background checks and other advances make it unnecessary.
    TFred


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    McDonnell voted for "one gun a month"

    Then he ran against it.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    TFred wrote:
    And the very next sentence in the article:

    McDonnell, for example, now says he supports a repeal of the one-a-month law because computerized background checks and other advances make it unnecessary.
    Do I need to reprint the entire article one line at a time? :P

    TFred

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    There were computerized background checks when McDonnell voted for one gun a month.

    What "other advances" is he talking about?

    The only thing that has advanced is McDonnell's political career.

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    The Donkey wrote:
    There were computerized background checks when McDonnell voted for one gun a month.

    What "other advances" is he talking about?

    The only thing that has advanced is McDonnell's political career.
    What, are you stupid? NICS checks didn't start until 1998.

    Or do you routinely lie to people about your political opponents?

    Hmm...I think I'm gonna go with "liar."

    ~ Boyd

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Donkey is right, the Virginia instant check system was instituted in 1989. Even if McDonnell voted for it originally it is time to remove the 'One gun a month' law and at least he is talking about removing gun control laws. While Deeds may sign the restaurant ban repeal, I surely would not trade that for loss of private sales of firearms.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    The Donkey wrote:
    What "other advances" is he talking about?
    I'm sure the database of "prohibited people" has grown tremendously...

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    virginiatuck wrote:
    The Donkey wrote:
    What "other advances" is he talking about?
    I'm sure the database of "prohibited people" has grown tremendously...
    Of course this is the Washington Post, we have no idea what he actually said.
    Notice they are not quoting him, they are paraphrasing McDonnell.

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    longwatch wrote:
    Donkey is right, the Virginia instant check system was instituted in 1989.
    McDonnell was a prosecutor in Virginia Beach in 1989. He was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1991.

    So no, Donkey is wrong.

    ~ Boyd

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    TexasNative wrote:
    longwatch wrote:
    Donkey is right, the Virginia instant check system was instituted in 1989.
    McDonnell was a prosecutor in Virginia Beach in 1989. He was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1991.

    So no, Donkey is wrong.

    ~ Boyd
    The point is that there have been no "advances" in VA firearms law or enforcement that would justify McDonnell's change in position on "one gun a month" since McDonnell voted for it.

    VA firearms law hasn't changed, but McDonnell wasn't aiming for the governorship.

    It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. McDonnell is being dishonest about this.

    Deeds' proposed "gun show loophole"compromise was opposed by the Bradys because it was strictly limited to saleson the premises of the gun show, exempted CHP holders, and contained other limitations.

    I thinkDeeds' "gun show loophole" reform really wouldn't matter much. What bothers me about Deeds' position is that he directly links it to VA Tech when gun showshad nothing to do with Cho.

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    The Donkey wrote:
    The point is that there have been no "advances" in VA firearms law or enforcement that would justify McDonnell's change in position on "one gun a month" since McDonnell voted for it.
    No, the point is you're deliberately cherry-picking your "facts" so you don't mention anything that distracts from your point. The problem is that facts are available for everyone, so your intent to deceive is easily uncovered.

    About the same time as McDonnell voted for OGAM (which I certainly agree was the wrong thing to do), the Brady bill was implemented at the federal level. And while the background checks, as perceived by the purchaser at the point of sale, hasn't really changed since then, much has changed behind the scenes, due to technological advances in general, and the NICS implementation in particular.

    More importantly, even if your point were accurate, McDonnell has to all appearances seen the error of his ways. His stance on gun issues is rock solid, and has been for quite some time.

    Deeds currently has anti-gun positions that are, of course, absolutely wrong. So, you're saying that Deeds is better because he's currently wrong, but McDonnell was wrong 16 years ago and has changed his mind, so that's worse.

    This sounds more like making up your argument after you've decided on your conclusion (Democrats über alles!). Not a sound way to go about decision-making.

    ~ Boyd

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    TexasNative wrote:
    The Donkey wrote:
    The point is that there have been no "advances" in VA firearms law or enforcement that would justify McDonnell's change in position on "one gun a month" since McDonnell voted for it.
    No, the point is you're deliberately cherry-picking your "facts" so you don't mention anything that distracts from your point. The problem is that facts are available for everyone, so your intent to deceive is easily uncovered.

    About the same time as McDonnell voted for OGAM (which I certainly agree was the wrong thing to do), the Brady bill was implemented at the federal level. And while the background checks, as perceived by the purchaser at the point of sale, hasn't really changed since then, much has changed behind the scenes, due to technological advances in general, and the NICS implementation in particular.

    More importantly, even if your point were accurate, McDonnell has to all appearances seen the error of his ways. His stance on gun issues is rock solid, and has been for quite some time.

    Deeds currently has anti-gun positions that are, of course, absolutely wrong. So, you're saying that Deeds is better because he's currently wrong, but McDonnell was wrong 16 years ago and has changed his mind, so that's worse.

    This sounds more like making up your argument after you've decided on your conclusion (Democrats über alles!). Not a sound way to go about decision-making.

    ~ Boyd
    In this case, the older sin is the more profound one:

    "One gun a month" is a an actual and profoundlimitation on private gun sales.

    Deeds' "gun show loophole" reform adds a bureaucratic requirement to a truly miniscule percentage of gun sales, (my guess is like 1 in 3000)and would not prevent any sales that most gun owners actually would care to make.

    I fault both candidates because I find their reasoning -- or what passes for it --flawedon these issues. But yes: both candidates fundamentally are pro gun, and there is nothing here that would cause me to change my vote either way.


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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    So there ya go, folks, Mr Donkey thinks we should all vote for Creigh Deeds because he's just a little bit wrong today, instead of Bob McDonnell who was a lot wrong 16 years ago, but has seen the error of his ways and is right today.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    ~ Boyd

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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    I was prepared to support Deeds until this article.

    "Feel-good" legislation is, in my opinion, the worst possible use of a politician's time, and Deeds just admitted he'd rather support useless legislation, to make someone feel better, than to spend his time on finding real solutions to real problems.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    Regular Member crazydude6030's Avatar
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    Tess wrote:
    I was prepared to support Deeds until this article.

    "Feel-good" legislation is, in my opinion, the worst possible use of a politician's time, and Deeds just admitted he'd rather support useless legislation, to make someone feel better, than to spend his time on finding real solutions to real problems.
    I agree 100%

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Tess wrote:
    I was prepared to support Deeds until this article.

    "Feel-good" legislation is, in my opinion, the worst possible use of a politician's time, and Deeds just admitted he'd rather support useless legislation, to make someone feel better, than to spend his time on finding real solutions to real problems.
    Even if Deeds were a "little bit better" on this one issue, I just can't stomach the "in-laws" that come with him, and who will expect his cooperation in advancing their destructive agenda.

    But that's just me.

    TFred


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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Here are some fleshed out answers.
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/vir..._and_gubs.html

    More on Guns and Gubs Just when you thought you knew everything about guns and gubernatorial candidates Robert F. McDonnell (R) and state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D), we offer, courtesy of both campaigns, a few more bullet points.
    As part of Monday's story on guns and the gubernatorial campaign, we asked the candidates where they stood on several gun related issues besides the so-called gun show loophole.
    Campaign answers are after the jump.

    1. GUNS IN BARS: Should people who have permits to carry concealed handguns be allowed to carry firearms in a restaurant that serves alcohol?
    Creigh Deeds: Yes, provided the gun owners do not consume alcohol while carrying their weapons
    Bob McDonnell: Yes, provided the gun owners do not consume alcohol while carrying their weapons

    2. GUNS ON CAMPUS: Should there be laws guaranteeing the right of eligible gun owners to carry their weapons on the grounds of universities and colleges, potentially overruling local decisions by the institutions' governing bodies?
    Creigh Deeds: No
    Bob McDonnell: "The law should be reviewed to find ways to strengthen the security of students and faculty."
    3. ONE GUN-A-MONTH: Should Virginia repeal the 1993 law limiting people to buying no more than one handgun a month?
    Creigh Deeds: Yes
    Bob McDonnell: Yes. "Since the passage of of the one-gun-amonth law in the early 1990s, several key things have changed. First, the instant background check process has been greatly improved. The scope of the search is broader, and includes more criminal offenses from other states as well as other disqualifications such as mental health prohibition. In addition, the process has been speeded up considerably. Second, laws prohibiting straw purchases have been improved as well. Thus, the primary concerns that existed over 15 years ago have been diminished today due to positive legislative changes, many of which Bob McDonnell has played an important role in crafting and moving forward."
    4. CARRYING GUNS ACROSS STATE LINES/Thune Amendment: Should Virginia honor the concealed carry permits issued by other states?
    Creigh Deeds: Yes, for states whose requirements for concealed carry permits are similiar to Virginia's
    Bob McDonnell: Yes
    5. GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE: Should all private firearms transactions at gun shows to be subject to a background check?
    Creigh Deeds: Yes
    Bob McDonnell: No
    -Freddy Kunkle


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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    The Donkey wrote:
    In this case, the older sin is the more profound one:

    "One gun a month" is a an actual and profoundlimitation on private gun sales.

    Deeds' "gun show loophole" reform adds a bureaucratic requirement to a truly minuscule percentage of gun sales, (my guess is like 1 in 3000)and would not prevent any sales that most gun owners actually would care to make.

    I fault both candidates because I find their reasoning -- or what passes for it --flawedon these issues. But yes: both candidates fundamentally are pro gun, and there is nothing here that would cause me to change my vote either way.

    That is BS Donkey

    Past sins are bad enough, but maybe McDonnell is a reformed sinner. What we know is that Creeds is telling us that he will keep on sinning. He is clearly not reformed. If private sales continue when the "gun show loophole" law is passed, will Cree Deeds sign a "private sale loophole" law?

    1) Cree Deeds is pushing a law that will clearly and unambiguously make gun collecting a crimein the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    2) Cree Deeds would make the 18-20 year old that buys a handgun at a gun show a criminal, as well as the person that sells the gun to him or her.

    Personal Property rights are not minuscule or bureaucratic. They arethe foundation ofcommon law. Cree Deeds apparently doesn't get it.

    I'm just not sure if I can cross the isle from conservative to republican and vote for McDonnell. I usually just vote Libertatrian.



    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    The Donkey wrote:
    There were computerized background checks when McDonnell voted for one gun a month.

    What "other advances" is he talking about?

    The only thing that has advanced is McDonnell's political career.
    The other advances would include:

    (1) The tightened rules for obtaining a VA driver's license implemented after 9/11 that made it far more difficult for anyone ranging from a terrorist wanting a US state-issued IDtomore freely travel about the country (e.g., boarding planes)to a a northeastern gun runner wanting an ID showing apparent residency in VA to enable him to falsely present himself as a VA resident to easily buy multiple guns to illegally take home; and

    (2) The 30-day freeze on dealer gun purchases after obtaining a new VA driver's license or ID (which I believe was enacted about the same time as or shortly after one-gun-a-month) that, taken together with the post-9/11 driver's license security reforms, also impedes illegal gun runners who use a fraudulently-obtained VA DL or ID card to acquire their guns.
    James M. "Jim" Mullins, Jr., Esq.
    Admitted to practice in West Virginia and Florida.

    Founder, Past President, Treasurer, and General Counsel, West Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    Life Member, NRA

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Thundar wrote:
    The Donkey wrote:


    That is BS Donkey

    Past sins are bad enough, but maybe McDonnell is a reformed sinner. What we know is that Creeds is telling us that he will keep on sinning. He is clearly not reformed. If private sales continue when the "gun show loophole" law is passed, will Cree Deeds sign a "private sale loophole" law?

    1) Cree Deeds is pushing a law that will clearly and unambiguously make gun collecting a crimein the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    2) Cree Deeds would make the 18-20 year old that buys a handgun at a gun show a criminal, as well as the person that sells the gun to him or her.

    Personal Property rights are not minuscule or bureaucratic. They arethe foundation ofcommon law. Cree Deeds apparently doesn't get it.

    I'm just not sure if I can cross the isle from conservative to republican and vote for McDonnell. I usually just vote Libertatrian.
    The last election exposed the flaw of rejecting both major candidates. Voting for a candidate who has no chance of being elected is the same as giving your least favorite a free, uncontested vote.

    I understand voting your mind, but a vote is a terrible thing to waste.

    Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    Grapeshot wrote:
    Thundar wrote:
    The Donkey wrote:


    That is BS Donkey

    Past sins are bad enough, but maybe McDonnell is a reformed sinner. What we know is that Creeds is telling us that he will keep on sinning. He is clearly not reformed. If private sales continue when the "gun show loophole" law is passed, will Cree Deeds sign a "private sale loophole" law?

    1) Cree Deeds is pushing a law that will clearly and unambiguously make gun collecting a crimein the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    2) Cree Deeds would make the 18-20 year old that buys a handgun at a gun show a criminal, as well as the person that sells the gun to him or her.

    Personal Property rights are not minuscule or bureaucratic. They arethe foundation ofcommon law. Cree Deeds apparently doesn't get it.

    I'm just not sure if I can cross the isle from conservative to republican and vote for McDonnell. I usually just vote Libertatrian.
    The last election exposed the flaw of rejecting both major candidates. Voting for a candidate who has no chance of being elected is the same as giving your least favorite a free, uncontested vote.

    I understand voting your mind, but a vote is a terrible thing to waste.

    Yata hey
    I do consider both major candidates. The Libertarian Party candidate and the Constitution Party Candidate.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come …………. PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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