Besides the monthly single-pistol limitation and the guns-on-campus initiative, gun-rights forces hope to advance bills that would make it even easier to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons, eliminate state background checks, broaden the legal principle that allows people in their homes to shoot intruders and keep guns of unlimited firepower free of government oversight as long as they are wholly built in Virginia and never taken beyond its borders.
"All of these measures threaten law enforcement. They put law enforcement in danger
," said Lori Haas, whose relentless efforts to restrict gun access began after her daughter Emily was shot in the head during Seung-Hui Cho's one-man massacre at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007.
Maybe, Haas says, what matters isn't the number of people slain by those who never should have access to guns, but who those people are — particularly whether they're close to state policymakers.
"Are we going to wait to react when it's one of their colleagues, their loved ones, their family members?" she said. "Frankly, 'how many have to be killed to get their attention' hasn't worked."
"It's just shocking to me how legislators just pander to the leadership to the gun lobby
," she said.
Andrew Goddard, whose son Colin was wounded during Cho's 2007 rampage, said it's time lawmakers paid at least as much attention to those who wear badges
and face the risk of gun violence every day as they do to pro-gun lobbyists. Perhaps Crouse's slaying gives that message more currency.
"When our police officers go to the General Assembly and say something about public safety, they should listen to them
," Goddard said.