House Bill 1582 reflects an incomplete understanding of weapons qualification practices within our military and is an unwarranted expansion in the number of people allowed to carry handguns in the Commonwealth. It would do nothing to protect the safety of our citizens.
It would allow any person 18 years of age or older and on active military duty or honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces or the Virginia National Guard who has completed basic training to apply for a concealed handgun permit.
Contrary to the assumption of House Bill 1582, weapons familiarization training as a component of an individual’s military basic training does not qualify that
In typical Bowers’ grandiosity his victory party at Fork in the City was staged with a ribbon cutting as the media waited at the entrance. The slim victory of 349 votes did not daunt his elation.
The numbers unofficially were 4827 for David Bowers and 4478 for his Republican opponent Mark Lucas. It was a 51.7% victory for Bowers to a 47.96% loss for Lucas.
Bowers presented his mother Mary Bowers, his campaign manager Joan Washburn and his girlfriend Margarite with a dozen yellow roses each. Court Rosen won the council vote total to become Vice-Mayor and Anita Price and Sherman Lea were re-elected to council.
He praised Roanoke as a great place to raise a family with great neighborhoods and great schools. He credited his opponent for “a very spirited campaign.” When asked what it was that put him over the top Bowers’ replied, “Darned if I know.”
“I give you my heart, I give you my honesty and I give you my good sense of humor,” said Bowers. He exclaimed that Roanokers said to him Tuesday that “they know a good thing when they got it and someone in South Roanoke said if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
The election results will bring stability to the city he said. “If the vote had gone the other way we would have had four single term mayors,” he said. Having a stable government is good for economic development and progress.
Later he said it was the toughest race he had ever been in. Bowers will be 60 years old on his next birthday.
But it was party time at Fork in the City with dancing and Jim Baldwin playing the bagpipes. Bowers even did a little Irish jig with his girlfriend. The whose-who of Roanoke Democrats was there to celebrate including Senator John Edwards and former Senator Granger MacFarlane.
Bowers said that he guessed that The Roanoke Times was going to have to put up with him for four more years he said with a smile.
My note:Surely tonight The Roanoke Times got at least ONE picture of Bowers smiling – that is if they wanted to.