Northam lowers flags, calls for new laws following shootings

Northam lowers flags, calls for new laws following shootings
Governor Ralph Northam has ordered the Commonwealth of Virginia to be flown at half-staff. (Source: NBC12)

(WDBJ7/WWBT) - Gov. Ralph Northam has echoed President Donald Trump’s proclamation to lower the United States flag to also include the flag of Virginia.

In response to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the last 24 hours, all United States and Commonwealth of Virginia flags are to be “flown at half-staff over the State Capitol and all local, state, and federal buildings and grounds to honor the victims of the tragedies,” according to the Governor’s office.

The procedure is now in effect and will remain until sunset Aug. 8.

Northam released a statement on the shootings reiterating his call for “votes and laws” that he made after the shooting in Virginia Beach.

The full statement can be seen below:

“Once again, dozens of lives have been shattered by gun violence. Pam and I grieve with the communities and the families of those killed and injured in El Paso and Dayton.

Two months ago, after twelve people were killed and four people were injured in a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, I called a special session of the General Assembly because gun violence is an emergency, felt across our communities daily.

I asked legislators for more than just their thoughts and prayers. I asked them for votes and laws—votes to pass commonsense gun legislation, laws that will keep gun violence from killing more innocent people in our schools, office buildings, churches, stores, movie theaters, and synagogues.

Our proposals were so commonsense that this week even the President of the United States proposed passing some of them, such as background checks and an extreme risk protective order. Yet Republicans in the General Assembly refused to even come to the table, leaving the special session after just 90 minutes.

This loss of life to guns—more than 1,000 Virginians last year—will continue until we take action. Lawmakers can choose to return to the special session any time, and it is my hope they will do so to immediately to pass the commonsense background checks and extreme risk protective orders backed by the president.

The time to save lives is now.”

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