Common sense on gun reforms

For the record, Gov. Ralph Northam is proposing the following common-sense legislation to curb gun violence:

» Legislation requiring that any person selling, renting, trading or transferring a firearm must first obtain the results of a background check before completing the transaction. For the record, which supervisors oppose background checks?

» Legislation banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers. For the record, which supervisors believe these weapons have any place in an American home?

» Legislation to reinstate Virginia’s successful law allowing only one handgun purchase within a 30-day period. For the record, which supervisors endorse facilitating the black market on gun re-selling?

» Legislation requiring that lost and stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours. For the record, which supervisors oppose reporting stolen firearms?

» Legislation creating an Extreme Risk Protective Order, allowing law enforcement and the courts to temporarily separate a person from firearms if the person exhibits dangerous behavior that presents an immediate threat to self or others. For the record, which supervisors want a mentally ill person to have access to a firearm?

» Legislation enhancing the punishment for allowing access to loaded, unsecured firearm by a child from a Class 3 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. The bill also raises the age of the child from 14 to 18. For the record, which supervisors believe allowing a child access to a load gun is equivalent to possessing 200 milligrams of codeine?

In their attempt to placate a small but vocal special interest group, area boards of supervisors have foolishly opposed meaningful laws that can help curb this nation’s epidemic of gun violence. They should be ashamed. We don’t have to live like this — and our children don’t have to die like this.

MARTHA COUSINS

Forest

Stand firm, City Council

This is an open letter to city leadership urging them to not support the Second Amendment petition to make Lynchburg a “sanctuary city for guns.” This is a largely symbolic petition as the resolution will be overridden by state laws.

I support the Second Amendment and the use of guns for safety and recreational purposes. However, we have an epidemic of gun violence in this nation. It would be irresponsible and send the wrong message to our community and the world at large if Lynchburg, even symbolically, supports this misguided petition.

Earlier this year, a 17-year old teenager shot and killed an E.C. Glass senior and critically wounded another teenager over a gun sale gone awry as reported in The News & Advance on Dec. 11. Guns should not be this easy to obtain. In this day and age, we should be able to keep the Second Amendment while making it difficult for guns to fall into dangerous hands.

According to a recent Roanoke College poll cited by this newspaper on Dec. 5, nearly 84 percent of Virginians support universal background checks for firearm purchases, over 57 percent support bans on assault weapons and 76 percent support extreme risk protection orders to protect family members. We should also support efforts by federal, state and local law enforcement to reduce the high number of lost and stolen guns that are trafficked in Virginia, rather than work against these measures.

City leadership should stand with the majority of Virginians on this issue and work on more pressing concerns than this partisan symbolic petition that will likely tear our community apart if it goes any further.

NIRO RASANAYAGAM

Lynchburg

Congress’ oversight duty

All elected officials swear to protect and defend the laws and Constitution of the United States.

The Republican men and women of the United States Senate and House of Representatives do not seem to be honoring their oaths with nearly the enthusiasm that many of my fellow local citizens seem to have concerning gun rights sanctuary areas.

This concerns me, as the issue of duty and oversight is far more important.

I view the separation of the three branches of government and the Congressional oversight of the executive to be the most important concepts of our Constitution.

If Congress is neutered in its ability to have effective oversight of the president, what is left is a dictatorship.

When Donald Trump is long gone, what kind of government will be left? Does that agree with what you want?

TOM WHEATON

Roseland

The fate of downtown

Another Main Street small business is closing its doors while the city administration dithers. Huge amounts of money are allotted for sidewalks, walking trail extensions and inlaid brick circles at street intersections while no consideration is given to possible tax relief or other financial considerations for those business adversely affected by the downtown construction.

Business closures have already undone much of the splendid progress made in invigorating downtown. It appears that City Council will continue to fiddle as downtown burns.

Shame!

MICHAEL CONNOLLY

Lynchburg

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