Virginia GOP lawmakers revolt against making government buildings safer


State Senate Republicans in Virginia voted to abandon an effort to pass gun control measures in the state after GOP lawmakers revolted.

Republicans in the Virginia state Senate are in disarray.

Virginia lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Tuesday for a special session called by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to pass gun control measures — a response to a deadly mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach back in June that left 12 people dead.

But the session was over before it began, after GOP senators — who are in the majority and thus control the chamber — revolted over a bill that would ban guns from municipal buildings like the one where last month's shooting took place.

The brouhaha began when state Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, a Republican, introduced the measure that would ban guns in municipal buildings.

Norment's bill enraged state Senate Majority Whip Bill Stanley, who resigned in protest over Norment's bill.

Ultimately, the Republican-controlled state Senate voted to adjourn before they could even consider any gun control measures at all.

Now, Virginia won't consider any gun control measures until the end of November, after voters in the state head to the polls for state legislative elections.

Republicans' failure to act on guns could be problematic for the GOP's quest to maintain control of both the state Senate and state Assembly.

Virginia has trended Democratic in recent years, and Democrats are making a major run at winning the majorities in both chambers. Now Democrats could use Republicans' failure to act on guns as fodder in their campaigns.

Ultimately, however, the temper tantrum Republican lawmakers displayed on Tuesday over a commonsense bill to ban guns from local government buildings was an embarrassing spectacle to behold.

And Republicans continue to prove that their views on gun ownership are so extreme that they won't make any reasonable reforms to try and stop the spate of mass shootings plaguing this country.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.