In response to the tragic shooting of a reporter, cameraman and interviewee, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe seized an opportunity to push background checks.
The governor gave his condolences to the family and friends of reporter Alison Parker, cameraman Adam Ward, and interviewee Vicki Gardner, but quickly shifted gears once the question was raised of what was being done to stop guns getting into the hands of criminals.
“Well, you know, I’ve continued to raise this issue,” said McAuliffe. “Twice I have brought legislation before the general assembly. Twice I have asked that we have [Universal] background checks. Twice now they have rejected background checks in the common wealth. As you know, this year, in the general assembly, I had to veto a piece of legislation that allowed individuals to buy machine guns in the common wealth of Virginia. I had to veto another piece of legislation that allowed folks to carry loaded shotguns in their cars. Now that’s a tragedy. We actually had an incident in the history of Virginia where a state trooper came up on a scene, they were loading the car in the wrecker and the shotgun went off and the state trooper was killed. … I’m a gun owner, I’m a hunter, I go through background checks. It takes five minutes. Hand your license over and run the data. There are individuals in this country who should not be allow to own a firearm. And it’s just, to me, common sense, and it’s just tragic that this kind legislation cannot be passed and signed into law.”
The reporter immediately followed up by asking if the governor knew definitively that the gunman was not a permit a holder and that he had a criminal background and was therefore not allowed to carry a gun.
“I don’t. I don’t. At this stage I don’t.”
(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)