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GOP candidate compares gun laws to putting ankle monitors on abortion patients

Bill Drennan, a GOP candidate for Virginia House of Delegates, made a bizarre argument against gun control.

By Josh Israel - October 21, 2019
Virginia GOP candidate Bill Drennan

A Republican candidate for Virginia’s state legislature likened measures to reduce gun violence to requiring women to wear ankle monitors to reduce abortion. He then suggested that gun violence is a much smaller problem than the fact that women have a right to abortion.

At a candidate forum in Sterling, Virginia, last Wednesday, candidates were asked what gun policy changes they would support if elected in next month’s elections. Bill Drennan, who is running for the 87th District seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates, answered by saying that he opposes doing anything to restrict guns.

First, he said he would “be the contrarian on the panel” and would answer from the standpoint of the U.S. Constitution. He then argued the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is both for personal protection and for protection against “an aggressive, dictatorial, autocratic, potentially totalitarian government.”

Next, he noted, “The number of abortions in Virginia in 2017 was 17,210. The number of gun deaths, the misuse of guns, was 1,041. That’s a ratio of 16.5 to 1.”

Finally, he suggested that as a “contrarian,” he would instead “impose commonsense restrictions on the constitutional right to an abortion,” such as mandatory ankle bracelets.”

While Drennan acknowledged, “I don’t think very many people would agree with that,” he claimed it was “analogous” to proposals to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people

In a phone interview, Drennan’s Democratic opponent, Suhas Subramanyam, said the analogy was a clear example of the stark differences between them.

Noting his support for reproductive rights, Subramanyam said Drennan’s “proposal, if that’s what he is proposing, is outlandish.”

“I think we need to do something about gun violence,” he said, suggesting “commonsense reforms like universal background checks, banning some automatic weapons, [and] laws that prevent guns from getting in the hands of people who are dangerous.”

Drennan did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether he would actually support ankle monitoring or how exactly such a scheme would be used to reduce abortions.

Last month, Drennan falsely claimed at another candidate forum that climate change is “not based on science,” but was a “religion.” Subramanyam supports action to address climate change.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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