By: Peter Suciu
Had former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe won the closely watched gubernatorial race in the Old Dominion State, it could have been bad for gun owners across the United States. Very bad. McAuliffe, who served as the state’s governor from 2014 to 2018, has long claimed to be a hunter and owner of several shotguns.
Yet, much like President Joe Biden – another reported "shotgun owner" – McAuliffe has shown his support for universal background checks for all gun sales and transfers. He supported a renewal of the state's one-a-month limit on handgun purchases, called for a ban on so-called “assault weapons” in the state, and said he'd seek to require a "waiting period" to purchase a gun, as well as implement a "permit-to-purchase" law.
As with many opponents of the Second Amendment, McAuliffe argued these measures would reduce crime and said it would somehow keep Virginians safe.
The NRA warned in advance of the election, "As common sense would dictate, McAuliffe's proposals are ineffectual because criminals don't bother to follow the law when acquiring firearms. Background checks, waiting periods, and permits to purchase don't stop criminals from stealing firearms, getting them on the black market, or getting them from straw purchasers."
McAuliffe, like Biden and other lawmakers, continues to maintain the misguided belief that Americans want these laws. Law-abiding gun owners don't want these laws, and these politicians should look at the record number of firearms sold last year, especially guns sold to first-time buyers. A lot of those new gun owners were women, minorities, and young people. The demand for ammunition this year, including in Virginia, should have been seen as another warning sign that opponents to the Second Amendment ignore.
"Old Dominion gun owners were not about to allow anti-gun Democrats enjoy another two years of power after what happened in January 2020," Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Chairman Alan Gottlieb said in a statement on Wednesday. "They knew what Terry McAuliffe's return to Richmond would mean for their Second Amendment rights. His party's politics of attacking gun owners, and their outrageous record of eroding gun rights brought gun owners to the polls to say enough is enough.
"What is most gratifying was to see savvy gun rights voters ignore the despicable last-minute ad buy by desperate Democrats to suppress the gun vote by painting Republican Glenn Youngkin as an anti-gunner, when it is their own candidate who has a deplorable record on gun rights," added Gottlieb.
Fortunately, gun owners in Virginia have been spared – at least for now – from such efforts to erode their Second Amendment rights. While it is true that McAuliffe ran a bad campaign, there is no denying that gun owners did what gun owners across the country need to do in every election: VOTE!
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.