When it comes to gun control, Democrats are like Lucy holding and simultaneously trying to kick her own football. For the true believers in Virginia, the next off-year election is always going to be the one that hinges on gun control and returns Democrats to a level of power they haven't enjoyed since the issue of the day was finally allowing blacks to vote.
The Democrat's last attempt to exploit tragedy and make gun control relevant was in 2015, and the results were dismal. Now in 2019 Democrats are going to try again as Gov. Ralph "Blackface" Northam tries to get out from under his personal cloud of scandal and become relevant again.
Northam's political credibility was destroyed when a college yearbook photo of him either covered in blackface or dressed in Klan robes surfaced. Northam has never been viewed as a smooth political operator and his Responsibility Hokey-Pokey in the aftermath didn't help matters.
First, he was in the picture. Then he was out. Then Northam shook it all about and admitted he had worn blackface when he entered a Michael Jackson contest. How denying he wore blackface in a yearbook photo, but admitting he did so later made a difference remains a mystery to me.
Northam refused demands from his own party to resign and instead resorted to the first refuge of a scoundrel - race baiting.
He pledged to devote the remainder of his single term in office to 'racial reconciliation.' One would think in a state that elected a black governor in 1990 and twice voted for Obama the races were pretty much reconciled, but ginning up imaginary racial grievances was Northam's only hope for survival.
Then in an irony of ironies it looked like Northam's career was saved by a black man!
A disgruntled city engineer or the verge of being fired or a model employee known for his sunny disposition - accounts differ according whether you plan to sue the city or you're a city bureaucrat trying to avoid a lawsuit - killed 12 people in a Virginia Beach shooting inside a municipal building.
Northam pounced. He called a special session of the legislature and threw his support behind a laundry list of gun control measures:
"Universal" background checks; "assault rifle" bans, scary accessory bans; requiring gun owners to report theft or loss within 24 hours; "Red-flag" law; Prohibiting guns for individuals subject to a final protective order; reviving an ineffective law that limited handgun purchases to one-per-month; and allowing cities and counties to create a confusing patchwork of gun hysteria laws the legislature refused to pass.
It was the usual collection of don't work and won't work. Even our Kloset Klansman governor admitted this gun-grabbing dog's breakfast wouldn't have prevented the Virginia Beach shooting. That attack occurred in a building that was already a "Gun-Free Zone."
Democrats conducted a series of carefully controlled show trials, excuse me, town hall meetings leading up to the session to generate favorable Opposition Media news coverage and raise public awareness. They were looking forward a special session of fiery speeches and showboating politicians.
Northam could hardly wait for news conferences that would not include any questions about how to remove shoe polish and what thread-count sheet makes the best hood.
Anti-gun advocates even invited Andy Parker the out-of-control gun control advocate. Parker is the father of a TV reporter who was gunned down by a disgruntled homosexual black former co-worker in a high-profile shooting in 2015. Parker made gun control commercials for Democrats and afterwards threatened to assault a legislator who failed to send a condolence note and called other members "cowards."
That resulted in the discussion going from 'Do we need more gun-buyer background checks', to 'do we need more gun spokesman background checks?'
On July 9th the special session convened and 90 minutes later the General Assembly voted to adjourn until after the November election. A shocked Northam - seeing his chance for relevance leaving town with the delegates - told the Washington Post, "I expected them to do what their constituents elected them to do - discuss issues and take votes."
The WoePost immediately teed up the football. "The gun issue is likely to supercharge what is already shaping up to be a pivotal election year in Virginia... Democrats, who are hoping to take control of both chambers for the first time in more than 20 years, wasted no time Tuesday in embracing gun control as a rallying cry for their base."
It's hard not to gloat, but my favorite part of the coverage came when the House of Delegates voted to adjourn. In the gallery an angry male shouted, "Gutless bastards!" The Post had it as an anonymous, anguished cry, but my money is on Andy Parker.
Copyright 2019 Michael Shannon, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times." He can be reached at [email protected]