Virginia Governor Ralph Northam
(Photo by Wikipedia Commons)

Not long ago, Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans for a special session to consider new gun laws in the Old Dominion State. Since then, he has scheduled this session for July 9, 2019. He wants the legislature to consider several gun proposals, including statewide universal background checks, a red flag law and a reinstitution one handgun a month purchase limit. However, the Virginia Governor recently admitted these laws wouldn’t have prevented the Virginia Beach shooting.

Northam did this during a question and answer session at the annual Virginia Boys State session, according to The Roanoke Times. He had planned to discuss education, planning for the future and the importance of not doing drugs. The students attending the event, however, had other ideas. They brought up how gun control laws don’t address the mental issues surrounding gun violence.

One student asked Northam how his proposals would have prevented the Virginia Beach shooting. Northam countered by discussing suppressors, but eventually conceded they wouldn’t have prevented this attack. Still, he insisted that his proposed legislation would have helped, without going into details. This includes how universal background checks would have helped since the shooter went through a background check to purchase his guns.

Boys State Representatives Push Mental Health

The elected governor of the student delegation, Linroy Dasilva from Newport News, made mental health in regard to gun ownership a major issue at the conference that creates a mock government and even proposes legislation.

“We can’t just stand by and not do anything because there’s something wrong with these people mentally,” Dasilva said.

The Governor of Virginia traditionally makes an appearance at the Virginia Boys State Conference. Northam also admitted that mental health is one of the issues surrounding gun violence, but stood firm in his belief in his gun control proposals.

Most of the laws being pushed have actually been considered by the legislature in previous sessions. None of the bills passed, and have little chance of passing during the special session. Republicans currently control both houses by a single vote.

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