Judiciary hearing online

Watch Judiciary Committee hearing

On thing very apparent is that the Democrats don’t know their own rules, but fortunately they are letting Tommy Norment guide them.


39 thoughts on “Judiciary hearing online

    1. You didn’t watch the hearing, did you.

      Without Norment to straighten things out they would have been voting on bills with outstanding proposed amendments not voted on, making the whole process invalid.

      I realize the Democrats have been out of power a long time and haven’t run a committee for a decade, it is to their credit that they accepted Norment’s experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course they accept Norment’s advice and experience. He is not the enemy.

        Unlike the Republicans who consider Democrats the enemy rather than the political opposition.

        There is a difference. The enemy is ISIS.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Well, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

    Sens Petersen and Surovell made changes to the One-gun-a-month and Universal Background check bills that made them elss abusive. Neither bill will do any good but they were reduced from potential traps to inconveniences. As originally submitted, if I let my son-in-law take my rifle to our range on our property to shoot and didn’t accompany him, it would have been a felony if I didn’t get a background check first and another when he returned it. Surovell, a former prosecutor picked that up and changed the wording from “transfer” to “sale” and eliminated a lot of unintended consequences.

    But the Red Flag law is packed with flaws and is probably unconstitutional as is, but was sent to the floor to be fixed there instead of holding it for a week to fix it in committee, even though the majority admitted it needs fixing.

    SB16 was not on the docket but Saslaw was allowed to pull it from consideration, a rope-a-dope to let the House version take the heat.

    None of the measures will help anything. the local option law may well lead to tragedy, but everything was aimed at lawful gun owners and nothing does a thing to impede criminals

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds to me like the process, which you seemed to ignore when the bills were pre-filed, is working exactly as I said it would.

      Committees don’t always have to do the fixing. It is actually better, IMHO, to have the GA, all of it, involved in the fixing. It makes it more likely that the bill can be rewritten to 1) be constitutional, and b) pass in a bipartisan manner.


  2. @Tabor

    One-gun-a-month does nothing to impede criminals? Common sense says that it will at least make it marginally more difficult and more expense for someone to acquire a gun illegally. As you have pointed out, straw purchases are rarely prosecuted. So, this law would make them just a little more difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had one-gun-a-month for a decade and it had no impact at all on crime in Northeastern states or in Virginia.

      What do they say about doing the same thing and expecting different results?


      1. No impact at all? You are making a claim you cannot support. We have no way of knowing what the impact was but my statement is true – if you can only buy one gun a month it makes it more difficult to make money selling Virginia-sourced guns on the streets.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. You should have listened to the hearing. Obershain provided the statistics, there was no impact on the availability of guns in NY, NJ or PA. There was no impact on crime.

          It doesn’t really matter if a criminal’s gun was sourced in VA or another state, a Glock purchased in Kentucky or Tennessee is no different from one purchased in VA.

          No public good was accomplished, only an inconvenience for some VA citizens.


          1. @Tabor

            No public good was accomplished? You keep saying that without any evidence. Your argument is totally specious. Nobody has ever claimed that most of the guns used by criminals in those cities come from Virginia or even a significant percentage. And sure, being a small part of the problem means the impact is not to be found in statistics. The original bill was passed in response to anecdotal evidence from law enforcement that many VA-sourced guns were being used by criminals. If criminals find it a little harder to get a gun that IS a public good. Of course, if one source of illegal weapons dries up criminals will turn to others. Which, by-the-way, is a very good argument for a national one-gun-per month law since Virginia acting alone is undermined by Kentucky or Tennessee.

            There is no good reason for this state to facilitate such gun transactions. A legitimate and compelling reason for purchasing more than one gun a month is almost non-existent. This “inconvenience” you are concerned with is almost entirely imaginary.


          2. Well, at least you concede that the measure produced no measurable public good. That’s a start.

            Now, if there is no measurable good, I refer you to the example I gave Mr Green. Demanding that Gay citizens declare their sexual preference when checking into a hotel would also produce no measurable public good. So, why subject citizens to such a humiliating requirement for no gain?

            When you restrict a citizen in making a legal purchase of a second handgun, for whatever reason, you are accusing him of being a part of a criminal enterprise to supply firearms to proscribed persons. They do not deserve that humiliation or curtailment of their rights either.

            But you don’t see gun owners as human beings, because anyone who does not live their life as you dictate, you see as sub-human and worthy of scorn. Perhaps you would be happier if gun owners were required to wear a yellow star sewn onto their clothing so they could be recognized?


          3. @Tabor

            “When you restrict a citizen in making a legal purchase of a second handgun, for whatever reason, you are accusing him of being a part of a criminal enterprise . . .”

            That is pure nonsense. Such a law asks decent people to put up with a minor inconvenience in order to make it a little more difficult for criminals to get guns illegally. Frankly, your talk of being humiliated is laughable.


    2. You really have a “common sense” problem. Common sense is just the name we give to unexamined assumptions and prejudices. “Because I say so” in effect.

      Evidence based analysis says differently. First, while Virginia was the largest source of OUT OF STATE guns in NY and NJ, they were never equal to in-state sources. Our one-gun-a-month experiment did not reduce crime in NY, NJ or PA, or materially affect the availability of handguns there, it only changed their supply chain slightly.

      It is just another example of where “common sense” does not stand up to analysis.


        1. Your problem is that YOU DON’T struggle with “common sense,” you accept your prejudices as fact with no examination.

          As Richard Feynman warned, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”


          1. @Tabor

            “you accept your prejudices as fact with no examination.”

            Uh, no. But I do frequently challenge the bullshit – both factually and logically – which is your stock in trade on many subjects. You are a veritable fountain of “alternative facts” and provide them without hesitation or shame if they buttress your preferences.

            But, yes, I will confess that I sometimes offer opinions that are very different than yours or find yours to be laughable derivatives of preconceived ideas or political agendas. I remember laughing at your claim that a shotgun in the hands of a maniac intent on shooting up a church full of people was more dangerous that an AR-15 equipped with a hundred round magazine and a bump stock. I also remember you singing this same tune about my “un-examined prejudices” on that occasion because I did not buy the silly analysis you offered to support your opinion about the relative dangers of those two weapons – an opinion driven by your desire to resist the banning of such over-powered weapons and not by anything remotely similar to “common sense.”


          2. Well, thanks for confirming exactly what I had to say. You are the one with a real “common sense” problem if not having any is a problem. No amount of technical argle bargle or silly assumptions is going to make a sporting shotgun more dangerous in a crowded church than a machine gun firing more than 5 rounds a second.


          3. Says the man with no experience with either.

            That’s the point, with absolutely no real world knowledge, you think your TV fueled impressions must be fact and no amount of actual fact will change your mind.

            You have fooled yourself and it was easy.


          4. @Tabor
            As I have shared before, I got my first .22 when I was 10. And, as a teen I was a frequent hunter using a sport shotgun. I still own two long guns. I admit to no experience with a tricked-out bump-stocked assault rifle but it does not take such experience to understand the difference between 2 shotgun blasts in six seconds versus 30-50 assault rifle bullets being fired into a church congregation in those same six seconds.

            That you say the former is the more deadly is all I need to say to impugn everything you have to say on the subject of guns. Your expertise is clearly subservient to you politics and emotions as is whatever common sense you can lay claim to.


          5. I know I already explained this before, so either you didn’t read last time or you are just rejecting reason.

            In the Texas church shooting, the shooter fired twice and killed both targets. That was a bit slow, as he switched targets on his second shot. He saw the second victim drawing a handgun, but he got it tangled in his jacket, so the shooter shot him instead of his first choice, losing time. At 6 seconds he was shot. but had he just shot targets of opportunity he easily could have shot 4 in that time.

            An AR with a bump stock can be fired two ways, in short bursts of 4 or 5 shots or continuously, in which case he would have gotten off no more than 20 rounds in bursts before he was shot.

            If he fired in bursts, aiming the first shot of each burst, the result would be no different than the shotgun. A drum magazine would be irrelevant as he only had time for 20 shots.

            If he fired continuously, he would get off 30 rounds, but very few shots would find a target. Bump stocks work by collapsing against a spring so the trigger is pulled by the finger as it returns by spring action. That makes the distance between the fore grip and hand grip change continuously while you are firing, making precise control impossible.

            If he was able to hold between the planes of the seats and tops of heads the vital areas on the people there would still have only occupied about 10% of the space, meaning 3 or 4 hits. Further, with good medical care, you might survive a shot in the vital area from an AR but you most certainly would not survive a shotgun blast to the same area at that range.

            If you don’t like spatial reasoning, consider experience. The Vegas shooter fired 1100 rounds over a 10 minute period into a much more densely packed crowd of standing people. He killed 58 and wounded 413. That’s 10 seconds and 19 rounds per fatality.

            Either way, at the church shooting range, the shotgun remained more lethal.


          6. You just can’t help yourself can you? Your “analysis” to prove nonsense is FULL of holes.

            For starters you assume that the bullets fired from the AR-15 would go in random directions. They wouldn’t. If this fellow could point a shotgun he could also point an assault weapon. Sure they are hard to keep on target but it can be done and the targets were not 490 yards away but 10 to 20 feet. Secondly, you deliberately underestimate the rate of fire of the bump-stocked AR-15. It is closer to 10 than to 5 meaning nearly 60 rounds could be fired in six seconds – not 30. Third, you ignore the extra energy of each AR-15 round and pretend that church furniture will protect people from death or injury. Fourth you ignore the ability of each AR-15 round to kill or wound more than one person. All the way across the hall. The Las Vegas comparison is not meaningful. The 10 minute period meant that during most of that time many people had a chance to run or seek cover. And, the range was about 490 yards – not 20 feet. Your math argument ignores the fact that there was a death or injury from 43% of the rounds fired.

            What motivates all this baloney. Clearly you do not want to see AR-15s, oversized magazines and bump stocks banned so you want to pretend they are no worse than a shotgun. And you resist this common sense restriction while citing a case where a maniac killed 58 people using these tools. Something he could not begin to do with a sport shotgun. You cannot make this stuff up.


          7. This is getting pretty deep in speculation.

            Of course shots will be directed rather than random, but only so much, Remember, only 6 seconds were available.

            The rate of fire for an AR with a bump stock varies a good bit. Off-the-shelf ARs with .233 ammo run about 500-600 RPM, using military rated 5.56 ammo will get it up to 700 RPM due to higher gas pressure, Hobbyists who tune the gas system, use a lightweight bolt, and the high pressure ammo have gotten them up to 1400 RPM. Skill level and a light touch on the trigger makes a difference too.

            So what? If the guy is shooting in bursts, rate doesn’t much matter, but it doesn’t matter much if he is sweeping either. You can only sweep across targets so fast and time is going to run out long before ammo. If sweeping from person A to B, who cares how many rounds pass between them? There’s still a lot of empty space in between. And it’s not like you’re sprinkling them with a garden hose, it’s more like trying to sign your name on a wall with a jackhammer. You aren’t going to track between targets that fast.

            You might actually be able to make more hits firing semi-auto or in bursts and aiming the shots.

            BTW, at Las Vegas, the shooter used several rifles, discarding them as they overheated.

            I don’t care about bump stocks, they are just ammo wasting toys.

            But what really made the difference in that church wasn’t the kind of firearm the shooter had, it was that he only had 6 seconds. Someone(actually several someones) already there was armed.


          8. I will end with my original comment which unleashed your torrent of nonsense . . .
            Thank God this maniac could not afford an AR-15 with a over-sized magazine and a bump stock.


          9. Better thank Texas that it allowed citizens to be armed in that church. Whatever weapon the shooter had, what prevented a slaughter was that he only had 6 seconds to use it,


          10. @Tabor

            Better thank Texas?

            Uh, no. If they had not passed that foolish law then a church such as the one where the attack took place with plenty of security minded volunteers could, and probably would, have established a metal detecting security checkpoint to keep ALL guns out, including shotguns.


          11. There are over 300,000 churches in the US, Do you have any concept of the cost and difficulty of protecting them with metal detectors and still meet fire codes? Or how long it would take for people to enter?

            Even then, if the shooter had it in for that particular congregation, he could wait for them in the parking lot or if he just wanted to kill people, there are always restaurants and theaters.

            You would have to convert the whole country into a prison.


        1. They don’t, and even if they did, it still just a procurement problem. You need only recruit more straw purchasers.

          At best you might raise the street price of a handgun by 10% or so. And since to be a Gangsta you must have one, they will pay any price, as it is literally death not to have one. Same for someone bent on suicide by cop, there is not obstacle you can raise they won’t overcome because they have nothing to lose and no long range plan.

          You might make things difficult enough to deter someone simply wanting to defend themselves from a low probability threat, but you cannot deter criminals and madmen with anything short of death.

          So, again, you harass good people for no effect on bad people.


          1. “You might make things difficult enough to deter someone simply wanting to defend themselves from a low probability threat”…

            Why would anyone need to purchase more than one gun? Period, or a month, if all they want to do is defend themselves from a low probability threat? If a you need more than one gun to protect yourself from a low probability threat, it isn’t.

            And how is it harassment of anyone to limit purchase to one a month? It isn’t. It’s not even an inconvenience.


          2. Why more then 1 per month? Replacement of stolen firearms. Thieves often return to a previously successful location.

            However, since I have a CHP, it would not apply to me personally, but not all law abiding owners have CHPs


          3. As I wrote, it could have been worse. The one-handgun-a-month restriction is not a huge tragedy, but it is a useless inconvenience for good people already proven to be of no use.

            Like so many of these proposed bills, they seem more of a poke in the eye of lawful gun owners just for spite.

            If we required gay people to disclose their sexual preference when they rented a hotel room, it would not be all that big an inconvenience, but would it be OK?


          4. If that’s what you took from what I wrote, you’re projecting.

            I chose that example specifically because it is so offensive to any decent person, but you see no problem with equally unreasonable demands on lawful gun owners because the burden imposed is not all that high.

            One-handgun-a-month is similarly not all that big a burden, but there is also no more reason for it than forcing an unnecessary disclosure of sexual preference.

            The point is that NO BURDEN on lawful gun owners is justified and decent people ought to be just as offended by the government imposing them.


          5. You wrote it. You don’t like my interpretation. Tough. I notice you didn’t deny it, just accused me of “projecting”. You don’t like your own words used against you. Be more careful in your choice of analogies.

            I am still waiting for a legitimate, common sense answer as to why anyone, looking for protection from a “low priority threat” would need to purchase more than one gun a month. A responsible owner will not allow his or her gun to be stolen. Especially in a one month period. If that does happen, then maybe that individual isn’t as responsible as they think.


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