Virginia drivers can already get a state-issued license plate to show their support for the National Rifle Association, but a push for a “Stop Gun Violence” specialty plate took a contentious turn this week in the House of Delegates.
“We’re the snowflakes,” said Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, the plate’s sponsor. “But these guys see ‘gun violence’ on anything and they go ballistic.”
During floor debate Thursday, Gilbert said Simon was trying to make a political point that goes beyond “a little ol’ license plate bill.”
“It is him trying to build a narrative that gun violence is somehow different from regular violence,” Gilbert said, asking Simon why the license plate couldn’t raise awareness of violence generally.
So…you want a plate which says “stop violence”? Apparently Mr. Gilbert didn’t notice that he himself made a distinction between gun violence and “regular” violence. Perhaps republican assholes could get together and put out a degrees of violence pamphlet, assigning points or something. At least that waste of time would prevent them from doing harm for a while. The fact of the matter is that gun violence is indeed different. You can kill a whole lot of people very quickly with a gun. If nothing else, I’d think being able to kill cops with guns might have given these assholes pause, but no. As an aside, Mr. Simon deserves a smack for his word play.
The legislation filed to create the anti-gun violence plate would’ve imposed a standard $10 plate fee. But Republicans argued it should cost $25, the rate for revenue-generating plates that raise money for a social cause.
Republicans argued that cause should be mental health, prompting Simon to accuse the GOP of hijacking the plate’s message.
“To buy into the myth that this is a mental health problem and that these license plates ought to be used to solve a mental health problem unfairly stigmatizes people living with mental illness,” Simon said. “It unfairly characterizes it.”
Oh yes, it perpetuates stigma, and it’s a very unfair, malicious, and lazy conclusion that so many people run to and take refuge in, whenever there’s another major shooting. Othering is terribly convenient for those who refuse to pay attention to the problem staring them in the face.
Simon said he filed the bill on behalf of a constituent, 65-year-old retired microbiologist Carol Luten, who gathered the 450 prepaid applications required before the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will consider issuing a specialty plate. That constituent’s concerns go well beyond the mass shootings that draw headlines and focus more on everyday gun violence, such as children dying because an adult left a firearm unattended, Simon said.
“The people putting this plate in ought to have a say about what that plate means and where the funds from it go,” Simon said.
Simon suggested the money from the plate could go toward domestic violence prevention, but Republicans voted to direct the money to mental health on a 50-48 party-line vote.
Of course they did. Nothing like sticking to their narrative that guns are just harmless instruments.
The two House Republicans currently running for Congress — Dels. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, and Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper — voted against the plate.
“Obviously none of us support gun violence,” Freitas said. “The issue that I think a lot of us have is this idea of putting the focus on an instrument as opposed to a focus on the crime.”
Right, you want to focus on the crime. The problem there being…the fucking crime. By the time you’re focusing on that, at least one person is dead. Some of us find value in trying to make it a hell of a lot more difficult for someone to commit murder. For every brand of ugly immorality, you can count on republicans. Bet they are all “good” christians, too.
The full story is at Richmond.com.