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Votes

Open Letter to Jennie Golden

Letter to the Editor

To Ms. Golden:

As a mother who lives in Burke I wanted to thank you for the two letters you recently mailed to me. You bring up several very important issues in your husband's campaign to represent us in the Virginia House of Delegates. However, Jennie, you are either really confused or deliberately misstating the facts about your husband, Michael Golden's (R), and his opponent David Marsden's (D) positions on issues important to us as mothers. Let's look at these positions so we can clear things up for all the voters.

One issue that I care deeply about is the safety of our children while they are at school. You say in your letter that, "I am shocked and appalled to hear that Dave Marsden is claiming that my husband wants young children to go to school carrying concealed guns. Jennie, I have read all of Mr. Marsden's materials and spoken to him personally on this issue and I have never heard or seen him say that Michael Golden wants "young children" to bring guns to school.

What Marsden has said is that your husband supports allowing "people" to bring guns into schools. Currently, Virginia law prohibits the carrying of firearms in courthouses, schools (during session), churches and other places of worship during services. The law also prohibits concealed carry permit holders from bringing concealed weapons in bars and restaurants.

In response to a 2005 candidates survey done by the Virginia Citizen's Defense League (VCDL), your husband Michael Golden says that he will support legislation to "allow concealed handgun permit holders to have a gun on their person while on school grounds." In answer to another survey question, Mr. Golden says he will support legislation "which would eliminate all requirements to pay fees and register gun owners and simply allow law-abiding citizens to carry firearms openly or concealed for any reason."

So, Jennie, the only interpretation that I can take from your husband's responses to this survey and his mailed materials is that he does, in fact, support allowing people to bring guns onto school property.

I speak for myself and other members of our organization when I tell you that the majority of parents do not believe that allowing people to bring guns to school protects our children. It certainly will not "protect our children from another Columbine-style attack" as Michael Golden claims in a mailed brochure to my home.

Guns do not belong in schools, churches, courthouses, bars or restaurants. This law makes sense. Let's keep it that way. Finally, as one mother to another, let's tell voters the truth.

Go to the VCDL Web site to view survey results: www.vcdl.org/surveys/SurveyResults_2005_Statewide.html

Terry Hartnett

President

Million Mom March, Northern Virginia Chapter

Burke