|Action||Promulgation of new regulation banning concealed firearms in executive branch agency offices|
|Comment Period||Ends 1/27/2016|
The proposed regulation is a terrible idea. It may have been proposed with the best of intentions but it is seriously misguided. To imply that this is to prevent "workplace violence", as paragraph 1VAC30-105-20 A does, is laughable on its face as it can only encourage just that.
No one who enters a state office with the intent of shooting someone will be deterred by this regulation but rather the reverse: they will be encouraged by the knowledge that their target(s) will be unable to defend themselves. If the Governor, as an employer, chooses to make his employees giveup their right to defend themselves as a condition of their employement, fine, but he must also consider the wishes of his customers - those he serves! - as to whether or not they wish to make themselves defenseless. This regulation would force anyone who seeks a drivers' license, seeks to pay taxes, dumps trash in a landfill, visits a park, visits a highway rest area, or even perhaps adopt a pet, etc. an easy target against their will.
Just a reminder: The state does not rule its citizens, it serves them. One of its fundamental purposes is to ensure, or at least to promote and support, the safety and security of its citizens. This regulation violates that fundamental purpose by seeking to deny anyone doing business with the state the ability to defend themselves while, at the same time, issuing an open invitation to anyone who seeks to do those citizens harm by guaranteeing them a soft target.
"Gun free zones" are magnets for those who wish to harm others: terrorists, murders, and those who wish to commit "workplace violence". All they do is guarantee that those criminals will have an easy path to their goal. They sound good in campaign ads aimed at the misinformed and gullible but, in practice, they are antitheitcal to public safety.
It is likely that the Governor knows full well that the public he swore to serve do not support this regulation or there would have been a more public call for comment. The very fact that this has only been brought into the light of public review by watchdog organizations rather than by the Governor himself indicates that greater public involvement in the discussion of this proposed usupation of their rights is required. The Governor should announce this proposal publicly, invite public comment, and extend the review window by 30 days to be sure he hears the views of as many of his constituents as possible. Surely he wants to fulfill his oath to be "faithful and impartial"? To "support the Constitution of Virginia", including Article I Section 13; to wit, "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed"?