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Should stalkers, domestic abusers, and sexual batterers be allowed to buy and own guns? For several Republicans on the Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee, the answer is a resounding NO, followed by a YES, then a WHOOPS, then NO again:


On Monday, Favola’s bill [to prohibit gun possession for anyone convicted in the state of stalking, assault and battery, or sexual battery of a family member or household member] failed on a 10-5 vote.

But confusion followed the vote because the committee chairman, Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City, announced that the measure had passed. He was listed as voting against the bill, when video of the hearing showed him voting in support.

Angered and surprised, gun control advocates cried foul. The ensuing brouhaha persuaded Norment to let Favola present her bill to the committee at its meeting Wednesday.

The bill made good use of this Lazarus treatment, passing the second vote 10-4 in an amended form that lets the stalkers, domestic abusers and sexual batterers have their guns back after a year if they ask real nice and pretend to find Jesus probably, instead of a five-year wait in the original. Oh, there he is, hey Jesus! Can I have my gun back now, it's been a YEAR FORFUCKSAKE! Oh, why certainly young man, just don't let me catch you battering anyone sexually, you rascal *WINK*!

Anyway! What the hell happened with this vote?! That's five NO votes that switched to YES and one NO who either abstained or was waylaid by brigands ahorse between votes. And apparently Norment, the committee chairman, and several other GOP members, voted for a "nearly identical" bill last session.

So, was it really just a mistake in recording the vote? If so, how often does that happen? Seems like a pretty big issue if the person that writes this stuff down -- a clerk maybe? -- is just like "Shit, what was that one, fail? Let's see, gun control bill, Virginia Senate ... gotta be fail. Let's go with 10-5, BOOK IT!"

On the other hand, if it wasn't a mistake, and the Republican members are trying to thread some kind of bizarre needle by acting in the voice vote like they approved the bill but secretly voting no ... well, that would be lame and cowardly! Or maybe it just so happened that fully ONE THIRD of all the members of this committee made the same mistake on the same bill and voted the opposite of what they intended, and had no idea until gun control groups started yelling at them. If so, same questions as above: How often does that happen? Should someone do a hearing on this?

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And let's not forget the four senators who voted against this bill twice:

The only Senators on the Courts of Justice committee to vote against SB 943 were Ben Chafin (R-38th), Bryce Reeves (R-17th), Thomas Garrett (R-22nd) and Mark Obenshain (R-26th).

And then there's this guy waiting for the bill if it advances to the full Senate:

That impartial journalist person is so nice, what the hell is wrong with her!? She could have fact checked him into next week, boom pow FACTS right in the Twittah!

It's worth noting that the House version of this bill, HB 2085, was killed yesterday in the Virginia House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. Apparently they were on a real roll:

The panel also rejected proposals that would have made it a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly authorize a child age 4 or younger to use a firearm and that would have prohibited the sale or transfer of more than three large-capacity magazines.

If only those broadly popular gun bills had been four-year-old wife-beating peeping toms, maybe they could have defended themselves under current Virginia law. Tragic.

[Richmond Times-Dispatch / csgv.org / Augusta Free Press/ h/t Andrew]

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John McCain died last year without ever being president.

He was supposed to be president. He was beloved by the media, hailed as a statesman-like old white guy who could appeal to most people, especially all those people "in the middle" who we all assume just don't really think too hard about things. He lost the presidency to a black man named Barack Obama, who half the country thought was a socialist.

Bob Dole. Al Gore. John Kerry. John McCain. Mitt Romney. America has left a bloody trail of boring-ass, "statesman-like" white guys who were "supposed" to be president. They were supported, in a milquetoast fashion, by people who assumed that they were generally unobjectionable enough for all those "other" people to vote for. And they all lost to the kind of candidates they were never supposed to lose to.

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