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She gets credit for proper ear protection.

Following last Friday's mass shooting in Virginia Beach, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday he will call the state legislature into special session to consider several bills aimed at stopping all these GODDAMN shootings. Among the measures Northam wants to sign are a ban of high-capacity magazines and of suppressors (don't call them "silencers" or the gun-humpers will yell at you), both of which were used by the shooter last week. Northam said, "The nation will be watching," and wants lawmakers in the Republican majority to go on the record with their votes on all the bills, not just kill them off in committee.

The AP reports Northam wants the legislature to consider a number of measures, including

a ban on silencers and high-capacity magazines, as well as a broadening of the ability of local governments to prohibit guns in city buildings. The governor said he also wants mandatory, universal background checks before gun purchases; a limit of one handgun purchase per month; and a "red flag" law that would allow authorities to seize weapons from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

"I will be asking for votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers," he said, mocking the usual response to gun violence by supporters of the gun lobby.

The Republican speaker of what normal places would be called the state House or Assembly suggested a special session was just a terrible idea, given that Northam was caught up in that ugly blackface scandal a few months back. Kirk Cox said calling for a special session was "hasty and suspect when considered against the backdrop of the last few months," which the AP says referred to the blackface mess. But considering the ongoing implosion of the National Rifle Association, which is based in Virginia, perhaps Cox thought it was unfair to talk about guns in this difficult and tragic time for Republicans' loved ones.


Instead of trying to keep guns out of the hands of potential killers, which might inconvenience responsible gun humpers who only become killers when they go all irresponsible now and then, Republicans intend to

toughen penalties — including new, mandatory minimum sentences — for those who use guns to commit crimes.

"We believe addressing gun violence starts with holding criminals accountable for their actions, not infringing on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens," he said.

Why yes, surely the prospect of a longer prison sentence would have deterred the Virginia Beach shooter from killing his 12 victims, except for how he was killed in a shootout with police.

With Republicans in control of both houses of the Virginia Lege, the passage of any tighter gun laws in the special session -- which hasn't been scheduled yet, but is likely to be called for later this month -- seems like a long shot, like the kind you'd want a sniper rifle for. But all the seats in the legislature are up for election this fall, and with attitudes on guns starting to shift, even in Virginia, having all the Republicans on record voting against common sense gun laws could help flip control of one or both houses.

That's an especially appealing prospect for Shelly Simonds, who in January 2018 lost a House race in a "tie" that resulted from Republicans insisting a spoiled ballot was really a vote for the R candidate, David Yancey. A random draw tie-breaker then handed the seat to Yancey, keeping Republicans in control of the House of Dillybars.

Simonds told the New York Times,

"I'm absolutely delighted," Ms. Simonds said of the prospect of putting gun control measures up before the entire House of Delegates, including Mr. Yancey, whom she is running against again. "I can't wait to find out how he votes."

Yr Wonkette certainly isn't going to get on any Ralph Northam rehabilitation bandwagon (could we find someone with no blackface photos to primary him in 2021, please, or is that fucking impossible? Update: Several readers point out Virginia governors are limited to a single term, so no need!), but we're all for Dems taking the legislature this fall -- and passing the shit out of some gun laws. Wouldn't that make this session special?

[ AP / NYT]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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