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Letter to the Editor: Kathleen Murphy is Out of Mainstream

McLean resident Anne C. Gruner supports legislation prohibiting disclosure of handgun permit owners' personal information.

To the Editor:

In her recent Patch blog post, Kathleen Murphy chastised Del. Barbara Comstock for supporting a bill that prohibits the clerk of the Circuit Court from disclosing the personal, identifying information of handgun permit holders. But the bill sailed through both houses on a broad bi-partisan basis, passing 76-23 in the House and 32-8 in the Senate. It was widely supported by Democrats in Northern Virginia, including Sens. Barbara Favola, Adam Ebbin, Dave Marsden and Chap Petersen and Dels. David Bulova and Rob Krupicka. Other Democrats who supported it include Luke Torian, Onzlee Ware, Lynwood Lewis, Algie Howell, Joe Johnson, Jeoin Ward and Johnny Joannou. Ralph Northam, who is running for the Democrat nomination for lieutenant governor, voted for the bill, as did the Democrat gubernatorial candidate in 2009, Creigh Deeds. It is clear that not only is Kathleen Murphy out of step with mainstream Virginia, she is to the left of some of the most liberal Democrats in Northern Virginia!

Disclosing the personal information of handgun permit holders is a horrible idea, as representatives of both parties recognized. Just ask the person in New York, whose house was broken into after his address was disclosed and his two handguns (in a safe) were stolen, his two permits taken and his house ransacked. Ask policemen and judges, who routinely anger dangerous criminals and fear for their safety. Moreover, if such information is needed by law enforcement, it is readily available, with no need to release it to the public.

If Ms. Murphy is concerned about the deaths of innocents, why doesn’t she address mental health issues and the grotesque culture of violence promulgated by Hollywood and glorified by the media? A 41-page report, “Youth Violence: What We Need to Know,” includes studies by an advisory committee to the National Science Foundation (NSF) that show that exposure to violent media is a significant risk factor in shootings and also "one of the easiest risk factors to change.” The report also finds that shooters are generally "at the early onset of severe mental illness," or are in its full thrust, and often go undetected or untreated.

Del. Comstock co-patroned HB 1609 that expands mental health treatment for students in higher education institutions and improves coordination among schools, mental health facilities and hospitals. The bill passed overwhelmingly, 99 -0 in the House and 40-0 in the Senate. This is the kind of leadership needed in the General Assembly, not the demagoguery offered by Ms. Murphy.

Anne C. Gruner
McLean

David Benson February 19, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Democratic gubernatorial candidate, not Democrat gubernatorial candidate.
Denise Garbis February 19, 2013 at 01:26 PM
Agree with Ann C. Gruner.
Rob Abbot February 19, 2013 at 09:34 PM
The use of the code word "democrat" as an adjective (instead of the grammatically correct "democratic") is a tip off that Ms. Gruner may have had some editorial assistance in composing her comment. Years ago (think Joe McCarthy) some Republican wordsmith invented this usage, presumably because it rhymes with the word "rat." The persistance of this silly name-calling is annoying, yes, but ultimately harmless, I think. I've often wondered if there is analogous wordplay on the term "Republican." How about "Republicanic"?
Rob Abbot February 19, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Since Delegate Comstock has an A+ rating from the NRA, it's hard for her partisans to argue that she is in the mainstream on gun safety issues. If each of our Republican friends in the Virginia House of Delegates were philosophically devoted to protecting the Second Amendment it would be one thing, but the problem is that Delegates like Barbara Comstock cast their votes on gun issues in lockstep with the Republican Party leadership which is totally committed to the NRA agenda. For example, more than 90% of voters favor universal background checks for gun purchases, yet the Republicans in the House have resisted this commonsense reform for years, and on this issue Delegate Comstock votes with her leadership instead of faithfully representing the views of her constituents.
mary comerford February 20, 2013 at 02:06 AM
GOP Del. Barbara Comstock, a Romney senior advisor, does not represent Northern Virginia. She is in favor of unlimited gun sales, and in favor of concealed weapons in bars and cars. She may sound progressive -- but she votes in lock-step with the Cuccinelli nuts who have made Virginia the laughing stock of the nation!
William Whitesell February 20, 2013 at 02:32 PM
History will not look back with pride on the current "mainstream" in this country on gun issues. Each year, we have more homicides by firearms than the deaths in all the coliseums and arenas in the whole Roman Empire.
Maggie Rheinstein February 21, 2013 at 03:09 PM
While the President and democrats have promoted a comprehensive approach to gun safety, opposition arguments focus almost entirely on any issue but the obvious one - the gun sales that take place in our state with no regulation at all that lead to gun violence that spills over into other states. "Representatives" like Barbara Comstock are voting in the interest of her party and her A+ rating with the NRA, not in the interests of her constituents who want a "well regulated militia" not the free for all that takes place outside gun shows. Instead "Representative" Comstock is the only legislator from Northern Virginia who voted to repeal one gun a month, eliminate the need for fingerprints, restrict gun buybacks and for the Castle Doctrine. I would submit that these votes have an awful lot to say about Comstock's political ambition and party loyalty and nothing to say about how McLean citizens feel about gun safety. Comstock has an affiliation with ALEC which along with the NRA has been responsible for the notorious "Stand your Ground" law in Florida. What more does she have in store for the citizens of McLean? We need a real representative, not a party hack when it comes to these important issues.

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