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
Over 200 Virginia Republicans assembled at the Salem Civic Center 8:00 AM Saturday morning. The annual event’s master of ceremonies was Salem Republican Committee Chair, Greg Habeeb.
Headliners included: Congressman minority whip Eric Cantor (R -7th District), Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-6th District), and State Senator Ralph Smith. State Republican candidates who spoke included: Bob McDonnell for Governor, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling running for re-election, Senator Ken Cuccinelli for Attorney General and Delegate Morgan Griffith (R-8th District). Other candidates were: Bill Cleaveland for the 17th HOD, Troy Bird for the 11th HOD, Octavia Johnson for re-election to sheriff, Ed Elswick for Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Windsor District and Salem City Council member Jane Johnson.
Cuccinelli accused his Democratic opponent Steve Shannon of dodging debates and refusing to engate him on the issue of right-to-work (a.k.a. card-check). He framed five issues he and his fellow candidates support: Gun rights, property rights, state sovereignty, pro-life and traditional marriage. He promised to defend the marriage amendment to Virginia’s constitution in court.
McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli all support drilling off Virginia’s coast for oil and natural gas. Cuccinelli said, “I’m for it – I’m for it tomorrow.”
Congressman Eric Cantor credited “18th century Virginians who gave birth to the notion of American freedom.” He challenged Republicans to win another revolution on November 3.
Congressman Eric Cantor
November 2008 election was based on change. Cantor believes that Americans now realize it was not necessarily change for the good. “The change that has come will put the America we know at risk,” said Cantor. He accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid, and DNC chair, Tim Kaine for “dictating what we should believe is morality … and we’re not going to take it anymore.” Cantor said the contentious town hall meetings are the proof that Americans believe “enough is enough.”
After the breakfast I asked Cantor what he was texting during President Obama’s speech to the joint members of Congress on healthcare. Cantor said he was “reviewing the excerpts from [President Obama’s] speech.” He said he wanted to get his thoughts straight for the Republican’s response and he was making notes. There was no advanced copy of the President’s speech said Cantor.
Sen. Smith & Sen. Cuccinelli
When Bolling spoke he told those gathered that he recognized the political implications of the Virginia and New Jersey elections. He admitted that as Lt. Governor he would have been the logical next choice to run for Governor and plans to run for governor in the future. Instead of “fighting with each other” Bolling believed that their team effort had a better chance of winning.
He then went on to attack his Democratic opponent Judy Wagner for fiscal mismanagement as past Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
McDonnell reitered the importance of protecting individual liberties. He promised to create jobs by promoting entrepreneurial “free market” ideas.
After rapping things up at the Salem Civic Center the candidates arrived at the Republican booth at Olde Salem Days. They spent time with the media, supporters, and shook hands with the peak-time crowd that had gathered by 10:00 AM.