Virginia’s Governor Comes Out Forcefully For Gun Control In Wake Of Yet Another Mass Shooting

America had to reset its “Days since last mass shooting” clock yet again, this time after a gunman opened fire on a Virginia news crew doing a live television interview. And while this attack was particularly shocking because it unfolded right in front of the camera lens, it’s just one more tragedy in a year that has had more days with a mass shooting than without. I’m fed up. You’re fed up. And, thankfully, it seems Virginia’s Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe is fed up too.

In the wake of the shooting, McAuliffe didn’t hold back in his condemnation in the sickening gun culture that pervades our society. Speaking with the Washington Post, McAuliffe said the time is long overdue to get stronger gun control laws on the books.

“What a tragedy, he said. “We just finished a family vacation standing literally on the dock area, where we rented out boats. Such a beautiful site.”

“There are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns,” he said. “That  is why I’ve long advocated for background checks. … We’ve got, in America, we’ve got to come together. There’s too much gun violence in the United States of America.”

The sense of frustration you get from McAuliffe is palpable and understandable. He’s spent years trying to protect his state from guns, and has been stymied by NRA-backed conservative lawmakers at every turn. In a state that was already victim to a massacre at Virginia Tech less than a decade ago, restricting guns has proven to be almost impossible. The gun lobby is too well-financed and too well-entrenched. How bad is it? Consider this: Just this year Virginia Republicans killed a bill that simply banned people convicted of domestic violence from getting guns. Apparently the gun nut’s reading of a 2nd Amendment’s “well-regulated militia” includes those convicted of beating their spouse.

Equally ineffective: Prayers.

Right on cue, Republican candidates – most of whom pander to gun rights activists – came out of the woodwork to send “prayers” to the families of the victims in Virginia.

Looking back at a guy like Cruz’s track record on guns and it’s difficult not to respond with an impassioned “screw you” to the Texas senator. Adding to this, the fact that Cruz basically has a stock script for what to tweet when there is another mass murder and it’s impossible.

Screw you.

And for a guy who considers himself “pro-life,” Huckabee’s stance on guns is bafflingly out-of-sync. The only way you could get him to come out against guns is if they were used in abortions.

Naturally, the gun enthusiasts came out in full force after the Virginia shooting to claim McAuliffe was “politicizing” the tragedy. They demanded that McAuliffe, and everyone else, abstain from talking about guns so soon after one was used to murder people. But considering how often guns kill people in America, when is the right time? We are a nation that goes from mourning period to mourning period, and if recent statistics on gun deaths are considered, it’s not getting better with time.

So is it too soon for McAuliffe to be calling for stricter gun control? Unfortunately, these deaths prove it can never be soon enough. For Republicans, the “victim” is always the gun. Mass shootings mean a time to pray and then move on. From Democrats, we need to demand more. President Obama has already remarked that lack of progress on gun control is his major regret as president. McAuliffe likely feels the same. This needs to end. It’s now or never.

Feature image via Kate Wellington/Flickr