PRESS RELEASE: Blanket Gun Bans Endanger Lives

September 14, 2020.

As the Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 3, I’m afraid that the current County Board led by my opponent, Libby Garvey, is endangering the citizens it has sworn to protect. On September 12 it adopted a blanket gun ban on County property and County sponsored events, thus assuring that future targets of gun violence are unable to defend themselves on public property.

Proof of this occurred on May 31, 2019 when a disgruntled employee massacred 12 Virginia Beach colleagues in a municipal building before police finally took him down. One of the dead, Kate Nixon, a supervisory engineer, could have saved her life and those around her if she had taken her husband’s advice and brought her handgun to work to protect herself against the assailant–a guy she’d already written up. But Kate didn’t do this because Virginia Beach bans guns on city property–even those owned by people like Kate, who hold conceal carry handgun permits (CHP).

Instead of acknowledging the probable cause of the Virginia Beach tragedy, local investigations appear to be stymied, and state legislators have quashed efforts to hold municipalities accountable for injuries sustained in gun free zones.

Brady activists who testified at the September 12 County Board hearing, insisted that gun bans are needed to make them feel safe, despite testimony from dozens of gun rights advocates, who argued that feeling safe and being safe are not the same. Their argument that it’s unconstitutional to infringe Second Amendment rights absent proof that doing so will make people more secure also fell on deaf ears. The ban was adopted on a unanimous vote.

The issue isn’t dead, as gun rights advocates have vowed to challenge the gun ban in court. Do you object to spending taxpayer dollars on a costly court battle that could have been averted with a narrow exemption? Do you feel that your own rights are jeopardized when others’ rights are infringed? If so, you are probably looking to unseat my opponent. If elected, I will:

  • Restore the right of CHP holders like Kate Nixon to protect themselves while on public property.
  • Say YES to affordable housing, and NO to upzoning.
  • Use bond money for needed facilities not boondoggles.
  • Save our parks, streams and tree canopy and stop clear cutting wooded areas as the first line of defense against runoff and flooding.
  • Exercise the County’s own independent authority to deal responsibly with the COVID crisis.
  • Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.

As a 16-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and current member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience and independence to promote these reforms

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