Are 216 Guns Enough?

I know I am supposed to feel safer. The more guns there are, the safer I am, right?

Well, I don’t feel safer. I feel more at risk, as Virginia lawmakers repeal a law that was intended for Virginia to stop being a gun center of the South.

The law, a prime project of then Governor Doug Wilder, limits handgun purchases to one per month. The bill has been on the books since 1993; that means that handgun buyers have been able to purchase 216 guns in that time. I hope that is enough.

Now, as I understand it, they will be able to purchase that many each year. Or more. Oh sure, they will have to be checked and that is good.

But who needs all these guns?

And there is more. One bill that advanced easily to a final Senate passage as early as today would eliminate the right of local governments to require that applicants for concealed handgun permits submit fingerprints. Another restricts the questions that may be asked of firearm purchasers.

I don’t know what Jesus would make of all this gun mania. But I do know he said to love our enemies. I don’t remember him advocating killing them.

I am glad police have firearms, all that they need. And the military, too. I know that contradicts Jesus. But at least they have to be trained and follow rules and be accountable for how they use their weapons.

I don’t have the same confidence about all these gun buyers.

I don’t know about you, but I know I am nervous, maybe even a little scared. I don’t want us to return to the days when, in the words of Delegate Joe Morrissey, “we were the gun capital of the South.”

Oh, boy.

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