The Great Falls Citizens Association’s planned debate on Oct. 8
with Delegate Barbara Comstock and Kathleen Murphy had to be
cancelled this week when four gun control groups threatened to
demonstrate “before and during” the debate and said they would
“demand” answers to particular gun issues. This debate had been
designed to answer questions that Great Falls citizens had submitted
beforehand. The GFCA debate team made clear that there would
have been a gun question, but that wasn’t good enough for these
single issue groups who wanted to hijack our debate and make it all
about their issue.
So let’s take one of the questions they “demand” to have an answer
on: the public disclosure of concealed carry permit holder information.
Like the newspapers in New York that disclosed all the names
and addresses of concealed carry permit holders last year, these
gun groups want to be able to publish and identify the names and
personal information of everyone who does and does not own a gun.
In other words, they would like robbers, burglars, as well as your
neighbors to know whether you have a gun.
Delegate Comstock’s challenger, Kathleen Murphy, in the only op-
ed she has written throughout the campaign, attacked Del. Barbara
Comstock for supporting the Virginia bill passed this year that
prohibits the clerk of the Circuit Court from disclosing the personal,
identifying information of handgun permit holders. The bill was not
at all controversial and sailed through both houses of the Virginia
General Assembly on a broad bi-partisan basis, passing 76-23 in the
House and 32-8 in the Senate.
Both Democrats and Republicans recognized that disclosing the
personal information of handgun permit holders is a horrible idea.
This bill was largely in response to the situation in New York where
a newspaper published the names of all permit holders. How did
this work out? 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. Ask women who have restraining
orders from violent stalkers or ex-spouses who feel the need for
protection. Moreover—and contrary to what Ms. Murphy and the
gun control groups have claimed—such information, if needed by
law enforcement, is readily available, with no need to release it to the
public. This common sense bill was widely supported by
Democrats in Northern Virginia, including Sens. Barbara Favola
(who represents Great Falls), Adam Ebbin, Dave Marsden and Chap
Petersen and Dels. David Bulova and Rob Krupicka. The bill was also
supported by Democratic lt. governor candidate Ralph Northam and
by the 2009 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds (who
also happens to have an “A” rating from the NRA.) It should be noted
that Kathleen Murphy has supported all of these Democrats and
she did not attack our Senator Barbara Favola or any of these other
Democrats for having the same position on this bill so her cynicism
and hypocrisy, along with those groups supporting her who similarly
only attack Republicans, should be seen for what it is. This kind of
partisan posturing and ill-informed policy knowledge is rampant in
Washington, D.C. but we don’t need it in Richmond.
David J. Brown,