Shame on Legislature for gun law travesties
To anyone who hoped that the West Virginia Legislature would do anything to curb gun violence, the just-finished 2013 regular session is an extreme disappointment.
First, we had the insanity of well over 30 gun bills being introduced - none of which were intended to do anything to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them.
Next, there was the travesty of HB 2760, which would overturn local gun ordinances in four West Virginia communities. It didn't matter that neither the leaders nor the majority of the citizens of the four communities involved - Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar and Martinsburg - wanted their ordinances overturned. It didn't matter that the ordinances worked to decrease gun violence. The House of Delegates went ahead and bowed to the gun lobby and passed the legislation.
There was a bright spot in the session when the Senate, refusing to give in to threats made against individual Senators, decided not to take up HB 2760. However, it was not to last. Provisions of HB 2760 were amended into SB 435, a bill that would expand home rule in West Virginia.
So, on one hand, our Legislature expands the freedom of municipalities to govern their own affairs while on the other hand, makes them unable to protect their residents against gun violence. All because of the legislators who bow to the wishes of the NRA, starting with Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha, who is largely responsible for all of this. Delegate Lane, this mother against gun violence gives you a grade of F.
Shame, shame on you, West Virginia Legislature. Once again, you move in a direction opposite to much of the rest of the country. Undoubtedly, our state will once again become a laughingstock across the nation. What a slap in the face to those first-graders and their teachers who died five months ago in Newtown and to the more than 3,400 Americans who have died from gun violence since Sandy Hook.
Corporations leave people high and dry