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Cuccinelli, gun rights advocates rally in Richmond

Rosalind Helderman

More than 100 gun rights advocates, many of them wearing handguns on their hips, rallied in Capital Square in Richmond today, urging expansion of gun rights in Virginia and beyond.

Members of the crowd sported orange stickers that read "Guns Save Lives." A few held yellow "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden flags that have become associated with the Tea Party movement.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli addressed the crowd, praising them for their efforts on behalf of guns rights. Standing on a makeshift speaking platform, he opened with a joke: "We've been in office less than three months. It's been kind of boring."

"Okay," he conceded, "Not so much."

Cuccinelli has quickly become of the nation's best-known advocates for conservative activism, with pending lawsuits against the federal government over health care and the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases, and his presence at the gun rally had drawn a bank of television cameras. Cuccinelli told the crowd that no one in Virginia should be surprised by his stands.

"Anyone who watches what we're doing in office in the first three months, who paid attention during our campaign, shouldn't be surprised at all. We talked very clearly about reining in government power. We talked very clearly about being aggressive in protecting the Constitution, as it was written. What a concept," he said.

"And that's all we've done, in suing the EPA, in suing over the health-care bill: Exactly what we said we were going to do. As clear and blunt as we were last year about choosing this course, if you vote for Ken Cuccinelli, this is the course you get. And we got more votes for attorney general than any one in the history of Virginia."
"Virginians support protecting the constitution aggressively," he concluded.

Other speakers praised the Virginia General Assembly for passing a bill to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry their guns in restaurants that serve alcohol, provided they do not drink.
But the leadership of the Democratic-controlled state Senate came in for criticism for creating a special committee to kill 15 other pieces of gun-related legislation. Philip Van Cleve with the Virginia Citizen Defense League called on rally participants to replace the "anti-Constitution, anti-freedom, anti-gun" leadership of the state Senate.

One crowd member not impressed: Lori Haas, a gun control advocate whose daughter Emily was injured in the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. Haas often attends such events, standing silently in the crowd. She called the gun rights lobbyists a "small, loud interest group" that pushes state lawmakers to positions that most Virginians oppose.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  April 12, 2010; 4:17 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

So, VA Tech is a distant memory and the VA AG, who is pandering to the right wing kooks, thinks it is OK to have guns everywhere. I guess his next initiative will be to allow elementary school kids to bring Daddy's guns to school. Is there no sanity in Virginia???

Posted by: kinsman_bob | April 12, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Even Wyatt Earp in Dodge City banned guns because of all the mayhem they caused. People just have to learn it for themselves.

Posted by: jgluke | April 12, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Today, given what I heard and saw regarding the Gov. and AG of Virginia, I have to say Virginia impresses me as being one of the strangest states gone bad (very bad)I have yet to see. Unfortunately these two are just getting going and it can only get worse. When Virginians and the rest of the country can no longer tolerate these hacks let us not forget it was the teabaggers that brought this disaster upon us. One lump or two? Party on Garth!

Posted by: hoser3 | April 12, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Cuccinelli is a greater disaster than I thought he would be.

Posted by: esch | April 12, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Proud Gun Owner and Concealed Permit Holder.
You liberals can all go jump in the lake. If you don't like Virginia, go live in Maryland.

Posted by: AlbyVA | April 13, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

"One crowd member not impressed: Lori Haas, a gun control advocate whose daughter Emily was injured in the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings"

The VA Tech shootings was not caused by lax gun laws but by lax mental health laws. If Cho had been entered into the State's data base as having mental problem, the instant check would have prevented him from LEGALLY buying a gun.
Hopefully she stands there with an open mind, she may learn that focusing on an object rather than the people who misuse an object is the wrong way to make society safer.

"She called the gun rights lobbyists a "small, loud interest group" that pushes state lawmakers to positions that most Virginians oppose. "

I can say the same thing by the anti-gun crowd. One person (Lori Haas) out of 100.

Posted by: ahashburn | April 13, 2010 4:33 AM | Report abuse

Outstanding! This is one reason both the AG and the Governor were voted in by landslides.

Posted by: paperregister | April 13, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Wait...so you mean criminals purchase their guns in legal gun sales with background checks? Wow... I did not know that. Also, in all of the cities that have banned guns the crime has gone up, not gone down. What does that say? That means that when the citizens do not have a means to protect themselves, that there are more criminals on the streets, because in most cases the police are not going to be able to arrive on the scene very fast in every situation. Would you recommend that I carry a police officer on my hip to protect my life?

Saying that banning guns prevents crimes is like saying that the Ft. Hood massacre situation shows that we need more control. My father was in the army military service for about 20 years before he retired. He served overseas in Desert Storm, and in the more recent tours. Those people who protect and defend our rights overseas, living away from their families for extended amounts of time, did not have the 'right' to protect themselves nor their families, once here in the United States. That situation shows that if those men and women had had access to guns they would have been able to stop this massacre.

Posted by: ekevans | April 13, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Wait...so you mean criminals purchase their guns in legal gun sales with background checks? Wow... I did not know that. Also, in all of the cities that have banned guns the crime has gone up, not gone down. What does that say? That means that when the citizens do not have a means to protect themselves, that there are more criminals on the streets, because in most cases the police are not going to be able to arrive on the scene very fast in every situation. Would you recommend that I carry a police officer on my hip to protect my life?

Saying that banning guns prevents crimes is like saying that the Ft. Hood massacre situation shows that we need more control. My father was in the army military service for about 20 years before he retired. He served overseas in Desert Storm, and in the more recent tours. Those people who protect and defend our rights overseas, living away from their families for extended amounts of time, did not have the 'right' to protect themselves nor their families, once here in the United States. That situation shows that if those men and women had had access to guns they would have been able to stop this massacre.

Posted by: ekevans | April 13, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

While he is out advocating for guns, he's missing the opportunity to affect REAL change and help families like the Wyatt's.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/13/AR2010041302445.html?hpid=dynamiclead

Posted by: Libramom | April 13, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

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