It's notable that House Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley, D-Harrison, a co-sponsor of HB2760, tweeted a copy of Friday's Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram editorial, basically calling on legislators to stop showboating on guns and get to work on key issues this session such as public education reform and prison overcrowding.
"There are other important issues to deal with, and we're already half-way through the session," the editorial stated. "Some people in Charleston need to stop pounding their chests and showing off for the NRA and get down to business."
Speaking of public education reform (SB359), for many years, teachers unions had a safe harbor in the House Education Committee, where bills they opposed were destined to die or get watered down beyond recognition -- but no more.
Last year, Democrats had a 16-9 majority on the committee, but now the margin is down to 13-11, and gone are such teachers' union-friendly delegates as Brady Paxton, Mike Caputo, Ricky Moye, Ralph Rodighiero and Walter Duke.
My initial, completely unscientific headcount on SB359 in House Education: 10 yeas, 10 nays, four too close to call.
*Ironic sign of the week: "30 years of progress ... erased," held by one of the teacher union members protesting the education reform bill last week.
Considering that we're currently ranked 49th in student achievement, unless he was counting 57 states like President Obama once did, how much progress could there have been in public education since 1983?
Speaking of, between my nearsightedness, cataract, PVD, and refusal to get bifocals, no one will accuse Uncle Phil of having eagle eyes, but I have to admit I initially mistook Tuesday's rally for a slightly larger than normal state employee smoke break.
Upon closer observation, the joint WVEA, AFT-WV and AFL-CIO rally appeared to have fewer than two dozen participants at the rally.
That's a far cry from 1990, when some 8,000 teachers swarmed the Capitol grounds during the teachers' strike.
Finally, when I said I recently joined Twitter as a condition of employment, I was being semi-humorous. However, I've come to learn that senior on-air personalities at Bray Cary's West Virginia Media stations were ordered to either set up Facebook pages or face five-day unpaid suspensions.
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.