Friday, January 27, 2006

Gun-toting Republicans in Richmond...

A Republican state legislator, pictured with a bullet proof vest he wore on the floor last year by the Virginian Pilot, fired his handgun inside the Capitol building and created a minor ruckus.

Del. Jack Reid of Henrico was trying to eject the ammunition clip when it accidently fired. The bullet was stopped by a nearby bullet proof vest. Reid said the bullet could have easily passed through the wall and hit someone if it had not been stopped by that lucky vest.

At one time, Virginia had the least restrictive gun policy in the nation; and even today, Virginians love their guns.

However, the state does check every citizen at the door of every court house, and they must leave any knife, pepper spray, or item deemed dangerous with guards.

But rules are just for ordinary citizens. Lawmakers can carry weapons into government buildings in Richmond unimpeded.

It does raise a safety question," Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said. "You've got Boy Scout groups and pages and all kinds of folks walking around in the halls, so I think it's something the Legislature needs to look at."

But not so quick, governor. It was an accident and Reid "apologized at several meetings of the House Republican and Democratic caucuses and then before the entire chamber, the Pilot reported. He's sorry, and that should be that!

And yet, I can't help but harken back to the tale of the sad father of 13 kids a few years back who was charged and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for accidentally leaving his child in a van who died.

In other words, lawmakers should immediately change the law and ban guns from the state Capitol and other buildings at Capitol Square before someone gets hurt or killed.

House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith doesn't quite see it that way; the rights of gun toting legislators are paramount.

"The truth is you're more likely to get hurt in a car accident than by a gun," he said. "So why restrict people's freedoms?"

Why indeed!

down with the latinos
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