Loudoun Supervisors Kill Gun Violence Resolution

The Board of Supervisors voted along party lines Tuesday night to table a resolution recognizing June 2 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day, following a long public hearing and very brief discussion among supervisors.

The draft resolution became a political lightning rod after a press release Monday by the Loudoun County Republican Committee attacking the resolution and the organization that would accept it, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Over the weekend before the LCRC press release, county Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) attempted to depoliticize the resolution by removing MDA from resolution, but both supporters and opponents lined up to speak at tonight’s Board of Supervisors meeting nonetheless.

[Read about the lashing out from Republicans here and Randall’s revised resolution here.]

Chris Rankin speaks out against the resolution recognizing National Gun Violence Awareness Day. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
Chris Rankin speaks out against the resolution recognizing National Gun Violence Awareness Day. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

“By supporting these types of resolutions, the board turns groups of citizens that could have common goals, such as the Virginia Citizens Defense League, it turns these groups that could have common goals into groups that work against each other,” Chris Rankin said.

“Firearms do not commit crimes,” said Jeff Traver. “They don’t commit violence. Firearms are instead a reality of our society.”

Other speakers, including a delegation of orange-clad mothers from the Loudoun chapter of MDA, said the resolution wasn’t an attack on gun owners, but rather a recognition of the lives lost to gun violence.

Charles McKeon speaks in favor of the resolution. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
Charles McKeon speaks in favor of the resolution. (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

“Two thirds of our homicide corpses and half of our suicide corpses have gunshot wounds,” said Charles McKeon. “Every year, dozens of our police officers die from gunshot wounds, and every year hundreds more of our police officers become killers.”

“It is the first step so that maybe, just maybe, my grandbabies won’t have to do active shooter drills in school,” said Koren Barwis. “… It is the first step that starts a conversation that goes beyond finger pointing, beyond fear, and beyond name calling.

Supervisor Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) moved to approve the resolution. He said the resolution is about awareness and education, not taking away guns.

He also said the topic is near and dear to his heart—two of his older brothers have been shot, and his eldest brother was shot and killed while on the phone with a relative.

“He was overheard on the phone saying ‘please don’t kill me, my son is right there,’” Saines said. “But the person ended up shooting him anyway, with his son in front of him, my nephew.”

Supervisor Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian). (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)
Supervisor Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian). (Renss Greene/Loudoun Now)

Supervisor Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian) and Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) cut short any further discussion on the dais with a motion to table the resolution indefinitely—a motion on which there is no discussion, only an immediate vote. Volpe said the resolution had become “highly politicized.” Supervisors Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles), Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge), Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin), and Ron A. Meyer Jr. (R-Broad Run) joined Volpe and Buona in tabling the motion. Saines, Randall, and Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) voted against tabling.

rgreene@loudounnow.com
@RenssGreene

4 thoughts on “Loudoun Supervisors Kill Gun Violence Resolution

  • 2016-06-07 at 11:24 pm
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    The public comments period was a sham. The Republicans had scripted the vote ahead of time. Volpe moves to table indefinitely the motion in support of the resolution. Second was instantaneous. Vote along party lines with no discussion. The Republican Party of Loudoun County threw in with a tiny organization from the furthest fringes of politics, Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    It’s the modus operandi of the Republican Party:

    • Ninety percent of the American population endorsed checking the background of every buyer of a gun; but in the Senate of the United States all but four from their party opposed a bill for those background checks. In a democracy their senators defied ninety percent of the people of their own country.

    • Ninety percent of the Virginia population endorsed checking the background of every buyer of a gun at a gun show; but in the Senate of Virginia in the Courts of Justice Committee members from their party opposed a bill for those background checks. In a democracy their state senators defied ninety percent of the people in their own state.

  • 2016-06-08 at 5:06 pm
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    Am I am amazed that this happened??.

    Charles Mc Keon posted “The public comments period was a sham. The Republicans had scripted the vote ahead of time. Volpe moves to table indefinitely the motion in support of the resolution. Second was instantaneous. Vote along party lines with no discussion. The Republican Party of Loudoun County threw in with a tiny organization from the furthest fringes of politics, Virginia Citizens Defense League.

    It’s the modus operandi of the Republican Party:

    • Ninety percent of the American population endorsed checking the background of every buyer of a gun; but in the Senate of the United States all but four from their party opposed a bill for those background checks. In a democracy their senators defied ninety percent of the people of their own country.

    • Ninety percent of the Virginia population endorsed checking the background of every buyer of a gun at a gun show; but in the Senate of Virginia in the Courts of Justice Committee members from their party opposed a bill for those background checks. In a democracy their state senators defied ninety percent of the people in their own state.”

    I agree with every word there are enough guns around for every man woman can child in this country! why??? A while ago the NRA was in favor of background checks but recently not so much. The first President Bush resigned from the NRA. The NRA owns the Republican party and block every effort made by President Obama to make sure that guns stay out of the hands of those who should have not have them(e.g. those on the NO FLY list). Insanity!!!!

  • 2016-06-09 at 8:31 am
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    Hysterics aside, tell us precisely what you know about the “no fly list” Mr. Mifflin?

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