Pair of firearms reports inspires despair more than hope

Pair of firearms reports inspires despair more than hope
Members of the State Crime Commission heard presentations in August detailing the current landscape of gun laws and regulation, ownership, injuries and death in Virginia. (Source: Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Two reports involving guns were released in the past week – one on possible firearms legislation in Richmond, the other studying the horror of the massacre at the Virginia Beach municipal complex this spring.

After reading both, call me bewildered.

(And as I began writing this, another mass shooting occurred at a high school north of Los Angeles. Authorities said a 16-year-old student fired on several other classmates before turning the gun on himself.)

Back to Virginia:

Where is the commitment by state legislators to lower gun deaths – especially homicides and suicides – in the commonwealth? It shouldn’t have taken victories by Democrats in General Assembly elections this month to chart a different course.

Come January, Democrats will control both chambers for the first time in a generation. Party lawmakers and Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, pledge to change gun laws here.

Meanwhile, are there precious few ways to spot a troubled employee among us? That seemed to be one of the key findings in the study by the firm the city of Virginia Beach hired. A worker’s rampage there left 13 people dead – including the gunman – and several others wounded on May 31.

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