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The Richmond Times Dispatch had this Op/Ed by Lori Haas, the Virginia director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and mother of a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech Shooting.  In the opinion piece, she says that Virginia Republicans have lost every state wide election since 2009 because they refuse to consider gun control, and that the NRA isn’t the legislative force that it used to be:

I’ve watched year after year as members of the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee have routinely ignored the pleas of gun violence survivors and prevention advocates by defeating popular, commonsense gun reform proposals.

It has become a disgusting and ludicrous ritual: the public pleads for change, subcommittee chairman Tommy Wright holds a moment of silence, and then the bill is defeated without further debate.

But the political landscape is changing. It’s been a long while since a National Rifle Association (NRA)-endorsed candidate has won a statewide election in Virginia.

In fact, by the time the commonwealth’s Senate and House of Delegates elections are held next year, it will have been a decade since an NRA-backed statewide candidate in Virginia has given a victory speech.

This is a dramatic shift — especially in the NRA’s home state. But it’s not necessarily surprising; Virginians are sick and tired of daily gun violence in their communities. The majority of Americans — including most gun owners — support stronger gun laws. It’s the people versus the NRA, and the people are winning.

While the gun lobby’s influence is withering, the gun violence prevention (GVP) movement in Virginia is stronger than it has ever been.

 

She goes on to detail that three pro-gun U.S. Representatives were defeated by women who were loud gun control supporters.  While I only saw the ads in one of the districts (VA 7th), other than Jennifer Wexton in the 10th, who had a long history of supporting gun control in the General Assembly, I don’t know that simply talking about it on your web site qualifies as being loud supporters.  Yes, they were all supported by the gun control groups but there were no gun control ads run for or by Abigail Spanberger in the 7th District and believe me, and I saw a lot of Spanberger ads during the campaign.

Yes, the demographics of Virginia are changing.  That just means that pro-rights supporters need to be proactive in our efforts to reach out to those folks and be smarter about our advocacy.  It doesn’t mean that we abandon the most effective pro-rights organization in the country.

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