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      01-05-2020, 05:13 PM   #23
Ric in RVA
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An Attorney in Virginia that I follow. Great thought process.


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To the Honorable Delegates and Senators of the Virginia General Assembly:

I am writing this letter in the hopes of inspiring debate and conversation regarding the pre-filed 2020 bills currently before you. As you know there are several hundreds of bills already pre-filed, and while I have read most, commenting on each one would result in a 100-page email, which I would not expect any of you to read.

However, if I may, there are many categories of bills that I would like to provoke honest and reasonable debate on the effects of the proposed changes, and if you are on a subcommittee that works some of these bills, or ultimately are asked to vote on something later this year, I hope you find this email helpful in engaging your thought process.

VOTING:

There are three main themes this year in the pre-filed bills. (1) – Repealing Voter Identification; (2) – How We Vote for the President – (3) – How candidates are nominated to the general election.

Voter ID: Most of the themes of the voter identification target repealing the current law that requires voters to present a valid government issued ID when they vote. Bills such as HB19 allow someone to present themselves at a polling booth with nothing more than a utility bill to prove who they are. Please be mindful that having a valid photo identification protects the integrity of our electoral process and for those who cannot afford to obtain a government issued photo identification, such identification is provided free of charge [i]through the board of elections. By removing the photo identification requirements of voters to prove who they are and where they live at time of voting, would do nothing more than open our elections to actors who would attempt to falsify the identity of a registered voter. While voter identification has become a Republican v. Democrat favorite boxing match, is having a photo identification to vote truly divesting anyone in 2020 from voting? Does requiring someone to identify who they are prior to voting protect the integrity of the system? What is the true benefit to society for the majority of these bills?

The Electoral College: The National Popular Vote Compact is a faction of states, 15 so far, comprising of 193 Electoral Votes that agrees that whomever candidate for President wins the national popular vote, will win the Electoral Votes of the compact. Once the Compact reaches 270 Electors, the gang of states will 100% set the national standard on who elects the president, which would entirely be based on the national popular vote. HB177/HB199 and other bills propose to enter Virginia into the Compact. This type of Compact is exactly what the founding fathers did not want to see happen. In his own words, James Madison writes In Federalist Paper 10[ii]:

“AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction….By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

…. and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other.

A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State.”

If James Madison were alive today, to see that states have created the National Popular Vote Compact, he would clearly advocate against it. It is not right, not just nor is it constitutionally valid for a faction of states, to collectively come together and agree on how to vote for President. Do not allow Virginia to enter into this agreement. This is wrong for America and wrong for Virginia.

Candidates for High Office: HB360 and other bills proposes to have open primaries for candidates at every major state office and every federal office (other than President). The purpose of this is to “promote more moderate candidates”. States that have allowed this, such as California, however, have not seen such results, and in fact, in many elections in California, these results primarily result in candidates in a general election that are of the same party. Simply look at the results in 2018. US Senate Race – Dianne Feinstein v. Kevin de Leon – both democrats. California 27th, 44thcongressional districts were both Democrats. Further, even Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy, bitter rivals on both sides of the aisle, agree that Jungle primaries are a disaster. [iii] Our current system, of party-based primaries, allows the voters of each party to select their candidates. There is no need to “reform” this system.

FIREARMS:

The theme of the 2020 assembly is further regulation and laws dealing with gun control. The three basic themes are: 1. Universal Background Checks; 2. Restrictions/Prohibitions of Ownership of Certain Weapons/Magazines; 3. Red Flag Laws

Universal Background Checks: More simply stated, is that any firearm transfer will require a background check. Consumers have three primary ways to acquire firearms currently. 1. Through retail purchase from an FFL (to include out of state transfers), which requires a background check. 2. Through private party sale between residents of the same state which does not require a background check. 3. Through gift/inheritance which does not require a background check. Universal Background Checks target 2 and 3 by requiring anyone purchasing a firearm to undergo a background check. Doing so will increase the costs of private party/gift transactions, while the benefit would be to insure someone prohibited does not get a firearm. However, there is little evidence that individuals who lawfully acquire firearms, and for this sentence, lawfully means without a background check between private parties, actually commit crimes. Most studies rightfully conclude that 80% of all gun related crimes occur by those illegally purchasing firearms. [iv] Translate that into real numbers in Virginia. Approximately 1000 people die each year from firearms, with 65% being suicide. [v] That means, annually 350 people die each year from homicides involving a firearm, of which, 20% are caused by lawful purchased gun owners. That is 70 people a year. Is this a gun crisis warranting immediate attention of the legislature? Or is there some other agenda?

Prohibited Firearms/High Capacity Magazines: Will banning a class of firearms or magazine capacity make a material difference in Virginia? Using the VSCC report, 4% of all homicides involving a firearm involve a rifle.[vi] That is 14 people per year in the Commonwealth, of which we cannot determine what “type” of rifle. However, stating 100% (for the sake of argument) of all rifle homicides were caused by AR15’s, is that cause to make something illegal? Is this a true state emergency? Turning to suicides, magazine capacity makes no difference. One shot and its over. Magazine capacity has no basis to suicide gun deaths. The vast majority of individuals committing suicide do so with a handgun. There is a false narrative about gun violence being perpetrated by an agenda driven ideology that certain rifles and certain handguns are the gravamen of societal ills and eliminating them will be the cure for our culture. SB16 proposes to make semi-automatic rifles illegal to possess. This could and likely would criminalize hundreds of thousands of lawful gun owners in Virginia to address possibly 14 individuals who misused these firearms.

Red Flag Laws: As proposed, SB240 allows the police to execute a search warrant on someone who poses a substantial risk of harm to himself or someone else. The mechanism allows a magistrate to issue the warrant, the police come in and collect the firearms and then the respondent has a court hearing within 14 days following which a judge can extend the order for up to 180 days. Please think about this. If someone is a substantial risk to themselves or others, how does removing firearms change that equation? Is there no other way to kill oneself or others? In Virginia we currently have a process called Temporary Detention Orders. If someone is a substantial risk to themselves or others, the police may arrest the person, bring the person to a psychiatric facility for evaluation followed by a detention hearing 72 hours later. This separates the person from their firearms. Following the commitment hearing, if the individual is released, that is based on a medical expert opinion and a judicial hearing and the person can return to their firearms. If that person is ordered to stay in the facility at the commitment hearing, they lose their firearm rights for life (assuming an appeals court does not reverse the commitment ruling) until a judge restores them. Based on our current system, red flag laws do nothing more than we already have, and in fact will make someone in a mental health crisis likely worse. There is also substantial risk of abuse for someone who may have an anti-gun agenda to misuse this process to divest lawful gun owners of firearms. Ask yourself this, when voting on this law, if your loved one was in a mental health crisis would you obtain a red flag law, divesting them of their firearms but leaving them to themselves to harm in other ways or obtain a temporary detention order so the person is evaluated and treated on an emergency basis? There is no need for red flag laws in Virginia.

ABORTION/CHILD RIGHTS:

There has been bills lodged in 2019 and now in 2020 which attempt to deregulate abortion to the most extreme level. For instance, SB21 allows for a pregnant minor to obtain an abortion without parental consent and without judicial involvement. SB104 allows a minor over 14 to decide to get a vaccination. Bills like this are an attack on the natural role of a parent to make decisions for their children. If a parent is making a decision that is not in the best interest of a child, allow the judicial process to intervene. Shifting primary health care decisions to a minor, who may not even old enough to drive, is wrong. A minor should never have 100% say in health care decisions. If they do, then why do we regulate anything? Should a law not be enacted that says if a minor poses the same comprehension level as an adult for the risks/benefits of owning a firearm then they shall be allowed to purchase one? Children are children. Parents are parents. The state is the state. Each have their roles. The identified pre-filed bills, and others that are likely to be proposed, should not allow the state to usurp the role of the parent without at least a judicial officer acting as a gate keeper to such a decision and only if the parent is acting in such a way that causes material harm to the child.

MINIMUM WAGE:

Many bills propose to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.00 or up to $15.00 per hour. The false narrative in this country on this subject is that if we inflate wages prices will stay the same. I have an economics background, and in a few sentences let me explain how this is not true taking the most-simple example: If McDonald’s charges $2 for a cheeseburger they do so on this equation: Costs + Profit = Price. When costs increase, and profit stays the same, prices will increase. To combat this, places like McDonald’s are finding ways to cut labor from the costs equation in anticipate of higher labor costs. Go into any McDonald’s and you will find computers to order from. Already minimal jobs are being eliminated. More will come. By raising minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10 per hour we will see across the board increases to commodity pricing. Therefore, the higher dollars earned by the minimally paid workers will be worth LESS than they are currently. Raising the minimum wage will hurt exactly who you are hoping to help.


What can be done that can improve our lives through laws on these subjects?

Four Ideas:

Voting: No excuse absentee voting. Many bills address this but not in this way. By allowing someone to vote at a registrar office 30 days in advance would solve many problems for people that just can’t vote on election day. Provide free public transportation vouchers to anyone who cannot afford to get to their voter registrars’ office. Require the board of elections to be open from 7am-7pm, 7 days a week for the 30 days before an election. Allowing people to vote on weekends will greatly improve the ability to engage more voters, which I am 100% in favor of regardless of their political ideology. A program like this could see 40% voter turnout to 80% turnout. Is that not what we all want?

Firearms: Truly identify the problem. It is not a particular firearm nor magazine size. It is due to criminal firearm ownership. Create a Virginia State Police Task Force that is fully funded to identify, arrest and prosecute criminals with firearms under the current laws. When 80% of all gun related crimes are caused by criminals who illegally purchased firearms, there is little benefit to continue to create laws that effect only lawful owners of firearms, and even further benefit to then criminalize lawful owners with new laws.

Abortion/Child Rights: Create a streamlined policy for the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, with priority docketing, for a child or health care provider to file any petition for judicial review that effects the health decisions a parent is making using the best interest of a child standard and similar to how the judicial abortion override works. If a parent is making bad decisions, and those decisions are materially affecting the health, safety or welfare of a child, let a judge weigh in on that. Allow due process to both sides.

Minimum Wage: Stop focusing on this. Focus on engaging the single mother who has 2 children and is completely on government assistance. She is on that assistance because, at $7.25/hr with no benefits she cannot work 40 hours a week, pay for housing, food and insurance for her family. She will not be able to do so at $10/hr either. How you engage that mother back into the workforce, is to incentivize the free market to offer childcare on site for corporations with tax subsidizes. Train her so that she has a marketable skill that will earn a wage she can live on. Eliminate Section 8 housing vouchers, and instead give the mother a monthly housing allowance to subsidize her housing costs for her to live where she wants, not just with a landlord willing to accept Section 8 vouchers offers. Use these subsidizes on a sliding scale of income. As her income increases, her subsidizes decrease. Through encouragement of the free market, you can pull someone off of government assistance and plug them into the productive, tax paying workforce. Investing in those that have determined it’s a “better deal” to be in the welfare state then the free market state is the true path to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By investing in people, you will be the champion regardless of what letter follows your name in the voting booth

May Almighty God anoint each of you with wisdom and courage to make decisions this session that will be just, honorable and right for this Commonwealth. I implore you to think independently and make decisions that are based in reason and thoughtful deliberation,

Sincerely,

Timothy Anderson















[i] https://www.elections.virginia.gov/…/EL…
[ii] https://www.congress.gov/…/The+Federali…
[iii] https://www.theatlantic.com/…/c…/561689/
[iv] https://www.nationalreview.com/…/study…/
[v] https://www.virginiamercury.com/…/the-…/
[vi] http://vscc.virginia.gov/OCME%20VDH%20G…
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      01-05-2020, 06:57 PM   #24
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Fort Worth Police Chief urged officers to wear their uniform when attending church. To me not a terribly good idea. ..for obvious reasons.
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      01-16-2020, 01:38 PM   #25
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Fort Worth Police Chief urged officers to wear their uniform when attending church. To me not a terribly good idea. ..for obvious reasons.
Honestly not obvious to me.
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      01-16-2020, 01:50 PM   #26
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While this is a fairly good letter, if real, this has to be the worst writing attorney I have ever seen. So many typos. Doesn't he have a paralegal or spellcheck?
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      01-16-2020, 02:59 PM   #27
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The state just declares emergency. Things are heating up.
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      01-16-2020, 03:08 PM   #28
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The state just declares emergency. Things are heating up.
Not really - I live on the border.

The SOE was done to prevent protesters against the gun legislation from CCW'ing during the protest.

While I don't agree with it - it isn't the 'world is ending' that many of the pro-2A crowd is making it to be.

The actual legislation being proposed is horrific - but this specific SOE isn't really an issue.
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      01-17-2020, 09:22 PM   #29
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Dems don't trust people with "Rights". The Party of Slavery did not vote for a single civil rights law til the middle 60's,
When the southern democrats switched to republicans.
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      01-18-2020, 08:35 AM   #30
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When the southern democrats switched to republicans.
You have a poor grasp of American History my friend.
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      01-20-2020, 12:56 PM   #31
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Watching this VA rally gives me hope for the future.

Tree of liberty is thirsty.
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      01-20-2020, 01:01 PM   #32
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Things are certainly changing with all these craps happening. I am glad at least some of them are waking up to the reality.
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      01-20-2020, 01:40 PM   #33
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Virginia, a state I lived in some years back during service. Never would have thought it would turn into what it has. Sad
floods of federal civil service employees, lobbyists and lawyers occupying the northern counties of Virginia opposite DC, they all vote Dem because its in their financial interest to do so. ignore all the sanctimonious woke-ness, it's all about the Benjamins.
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      01-20-2020, 02:07 PM   #34
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      01-20-2020, 02:45 PM   #35
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floods of federal civil service employees, lobbyists and lawyers occupying the northern counties of Virginia opposite DC, they all vote Dem because its in their financial interest to do so. ignore all the sanctimonious woke-ness, it's all about the Benjamins.
Yup, nail on head
Breaking News! No body was shot today at the dem assault on the 2nd Amendment protest today.
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      01-21-2020, 03:01 AM   #36
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Just seen pics of Richmond demo no problems there and was impressed as I'm sure my gun club will be at the arms being carried though outside the demo area.The M82 in particular carried by a chap from Buffalo is one piece of bad a55 kit.
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      01-21-2020, 08:17 AM   #37
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Just seen pics of Richmond demo no problems there and was impressed as I'm sure my gun club will be at the arms being carried though outside the demo area.The M82 in particular carried by a chap from Buffalo is one piece of bad a55 kit.
My favorite was the guy who brought a full size guillotine.

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      01-21-2020, 08:37 AM   #38
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So, these proposed changes read like a state-level Brady Bill. That about right?

The Brady Bill was such a resounding success I can see why VA would be in a hurry to copy it.
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      01-21-2020, 09:17 AM   #39
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      01-21-2020, 02:33 PM   #40
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Was anyone advocating for the sharing of cake, as well?
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      01-21-2020, 06:46 PM   #41
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      01-21-2020, 06:49 PM   #42
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Was anyone advocating for the sharing of cake, as well?
Anglo will like this one MK==>
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      02-14-2020, 10:48 AM   #43
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Oh boy
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