Letter to the Editor: Keep Campaign Positive

Letter to the Editor: Keep Campaign Positive

While it is satisfying to me as a progressive to see a promising slate of six candidates on the ballot, it has been hard to decide who I should vote for, I still have two disappointments in the campaign.

First, while all admit (in one forum I attended) that global warming is a problem, in all the postal mail I have received, only one has even mentioned it, and then almost as an afterthought. This is not the attention the most serious crisis ever to be faced by humankind needs.

Until today (June 1), unless I missed it, the campaign, based on postal mail has been generally positive. But today Alison Friedman's flyer attacked state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, coincidentally, just days after the Washington Post endorsed Wexton. The attack was based on Wexton's votes on gun control. I think the picture drawn is one-sided.

One bill that I followed closely involved a compromise that she helped design (not in collusion with the NRA, I am certain, and I question the unsupported "in secret" allegation) in order to get the delegates and senators to approve positive measures, including the removal of guns and denial of the right to purchase them from those who were in crisis or had been abusive to others. (It's been a while, I don't remember with precision, and haven't time to look it up.) That bill was going nowhere until Wexton proposed expanded reciprocity of concealed carry rights to states that had weaker restrictions on ownership than Virginia.

Alison Friedman's flyer ignores the positive gain and, I think exaggerates the negative. The organizations quoted as decrying the compromise, also exaggerate the damage and ignore the good. How was the old law enforced? I talked to various people who might have an answer. We don't have border guards, or checkpoints. A violator would be caught only if an encounter with law enforcement occurred. Not likely. In my view the restrictive reciprocity was ineffective, and giving it up was not measurably increasing danger to Virginians.

Refusal to compromise is a road to nowhere. Senator Wexton understands this and made positive progress in gun control, making Virginians safer, contrary to Friedman's flyer.

Let us keep the campaign positive. And I want to hear more ideas about addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

Stephen Vandivere