Virginia Gubernatorial Nominee: “Gun Violence Going Down Is Not The Issue”

Terry McAuliffe is the Democrat nominee running for Governor in Virginia against Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Historically, he’s been a proponent of an assault weapons ban, and recently Breitbart confronted him to see if he still supports that idea in spite of Virginia’s crime rate going down while gun sales go up. Here was his “response”:

“What I said in Virginia, what we ought to do—and I’m a strong supporter of the second amendment—I’m a gun owner. I take two of my sons hunting and skeet shooting. I think there are reasonable things we can do.”

Let’s just stop right there for a second. How can anyone take this guy seriously? The whole hunting and skeet shooting thing is a joke. Politicians used to think that it was good for their image if they were photographed in hunting garb, holding a shotgun. Then, hopefully, the people would look at the photo and think, “Well, at least he supports the 2nd Amendment.”

That doesn’t work anymore. In fact, I’m not sure that it ever worked. And yet, here’s Mr. McAuliffe trying to pull the same stunt. “Oh yeah, I like the 2nd Amendment. I like, you know, hunting and skeet shooting.” Mr. McAuliffe, you know the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with “skeet shooting.” It has to do with us protecting ourselves from you.

And what’s worse, what makes McAuliffe even more of a joke, is that he bought his first gun earlier this year. Apparently, he walked into a local Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought a Beretta shotgun for skeet shooting. And I’m sure that was right before his photo op, where his image was superimposed over a backdrop of a skeet shooting range.

Here was the rest of his response:

“I think that anyone that purchases a gun should have a background check. I’ve gone through it myself. It’s a very simple process. It only takes a couple of minutes to do it. There are certain people that should not own guns and with all the issues we’ve had, and the comparison of Newtown and Aurora, and gun violence going down—that’s not the issue. I think I speak for every Virginia parent, when you drive your child off to school; you want to know that your child is going to be safe. And I think a practical, mainstream idea is that anyone who purchases a gun should go through a background check. I think that’s reasonable. That’s my opinion.”

So, like a good politician, he never really answered the question about whether he was going to work towards an assault weapons ban as governor. He did say that the crime rate going down in Virginia in the same time period as gun sales going up is “not the issue.” The issue is that he wants everyone to get a background check in order to buy a gun, regardless of what the gun crime rate is doing.

First of all, isn’t that already law in Virginia? Second, how is a background check going to prevent another Adam Lanza from breaking into a Virginia school and shooting up a bunch of people? Lanza had no criminal record. If he had gotten a background check, it would have been clean. Same with James Holmes. Third, how is any gun restriction going to prevent a criminal from committing mass murder? What criminal is going to care about going through the “proper” process of getting a background check in order to buy a gun? Maybe he’d rather steal one or obtain one on the black market.

But, I’m sure he’d reiterate that “that’s not the issue” either. What is at issue is the fact that he just bought a shotgun so that he could paint himself as a “true” gun rights advocate to get us on his side (which won’t happen). Hopefully, his campaign against guns will backfire, and he’ll lose the race.