Virginia voters are preparing to head to the polls where they will decide on a number of major issues and possibly flip control of the legislature. This week’s elections will test Democrats’ enthusiasm as well as the political waters surrounding gun control.
One Republican candidate hoping to represent the state’s 68th District is Garrison Coward, who appears to be on board with some type of reform. Coward recently unveiled his plans to address gun violence, which could be a defining issue for candidates across the U.S. [RELATED: Donald Trump’s Legal Team To Take N.Y. Tax Returns Case To the Supreme Court]
“Anytime there’s gun violence, I believe it is a tragedy. Right? For me, it’s making sure that we have mentally-ill folks and violently-radical individuals not getting access to these weapons. On the federal level, you do hear talks about beefing up background checks, red flag laws…I’m not quite there. I do think that we need to have a conversation,” Garrison Coward said.
His remarks come as Democrat Governor Ralph Northam, who is not up for reelection, waits to see the results of the race as he tries to push through a package of gun control measures.
More than 78,000 residents have already cast an absentee ballot since early voting began on September 15th. Compared to last year, the change in early voting is up 75 percent. The analysis also found early voting is particularly high in tight House races, especially in Virginia’s Second, Fifth and Seventh Congressional Districts. [RELATED: As Usual, AOC Unsurprisingly Backs Protesters Over Police Officers]
Just two seats stand in the way of Democrats retaking the House and forming a supermajority in the legislature. Meanwhile, those who have yet to cast their ballot will head to the polls on November 5th.
This vote comes amid the push for “red flag laws.”
Red Flag gun control is designed to “flag” suspicious, potentially dangerous gun owners. Red Flag laws usually include legalese allowing for gun confiscations and further investigation of the “flagged” individual.
Once flagged, law enforcement usually gets involved quickly. They’ll demand you confiscate your guns under threat of being imprisoned or committed. You may be required to submit to psychological tests or cross-examination by a medical professional.
However, many conservatives feel that the left will abuse these laws and have the police taking guns from law-abiding citizens. All it takes is for someone to report to the police that they feel you will put yourself or others in danger.
Many legislators and Justice department officials say these laws help to prevent gun violence from happening. California reported a sharp increase in gun confiscations with the passage of its own Red Flag law. The bill required anyone with a restraining order to submit their guns for confiscation. [RELATED: TRIGGERED: Liberals Hysterical Over the Build the Wall Project at White House Halloween Party]
While taking a firearm from a dangerous person sounds reasonable, the attitude of officials charged with enforcing these bills is worrying. When asked about why the law is so effective, San Diego City Attorney Maria Elliot said quite simply, “We don’t have to wait for a crime to be committed.”