The Sun Gazette opined yesterday on the subject of gun ban advocates attempts to stop gun shops from opening in Northern Virginia neighborhoods and the challenges they face in stopping them:
Over the past year, inside-the-Beltway gun opponents have gone 1-for-3, having successfully worked to scuttle plans for a gun store in the Cherrydale section of Arlington but then having watched, and fulminated, as Nova Firearms relocated to a larger and more prominent location in McLean and Nova Armory opened late last month on Pershing Drive in Arlington.
In each of those last two cases, officials in Fairfax and Arlington counties noted, correctly, that their hands were tied by state law prohibiting them from enacting zoning rules that would keep such shops out.
The Sun Gazette noted they don’t stay up at night worrying about gun shops in their neighborhood (writing that NOVA Firearms is two blocks from their office) but did express empathy for those who take a different view:
…assuming they are actually serious about their concerns, rather than using the shops as convenient political whipping boys.
But that’s just the problem. All of the noise made by the gun ban lobby is less about legitimate concerns with gun shops in the neighborhood (since they can’t point to any problems caused by gun shops operating in any area of the Commonwealth) and all about trying to stop legitimate businesses from being able to operate in the first place. The Gazette said if the gun ban lobby wants to really have the power to stop gun shops from opening, they need to change the “hearts and minds” of Virginians to affect legislative races in order to get the General Assembly to allow localities to ban gun shops from opening. So far, the gun ban folks have only been successful in getting Northern Virginia legislators on their side. It is up to us to make sure they don’t make any headway in other areas.