A tale of two Virginias

Published 6:56 pm Friday, January 24, 2020

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To the Editor:

It is amazing to read the news concerning new legal proposals coming out of Virginia. From proposed gun-control laws — which, by the way, counter the Virginia state constitution: Article 1, Section 13 — to a proposal to award Virginia’s electoral votes to the presidential ticket that receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (SB 399, which runs exactly opposite of the founder’s intention of the electoral college); another to remove the requirement of a photo ID to vote (SB 65); and last but not least, a proposal to classify as a misdemeanor anyone who dissents or criticizes the governor or other state officials (HB 1627, which is blatantly anti -First Amendment).

Has the cuckoo flown over the nest? The cow jumped over the moon? Probably not, but certainly the Virginia Democrat platform and those who advance these proposals seem to be flapping their wings and sizing up the moon. These proposals are not only ludicrous, but also fly in the face of an overwhelming majority of Virginia citizens outside the northeast corner of the state. We have become and are two separate Virginias. The northeast corner mentioned is populated in general by transplants or those who work for our massive general government in Washington. Outside of a few areas elsewhere in the state, the lifestyle and beliefs of these two areas could not be further apart.

Virginia has become what the United States would be if not for the electoral college. The state is run by the northeast corner. We saw evidence of what a fraction of the state’s citizens feel about proposed gun laws this past Monday while we know many more who feel the same watched from home. What did the leadership do the very next day? They continued with their anti-gun legislation. Are they concerned for the whole state or a financial few? You decide, though the tale of two Virginias will only become more intense as time moves on.

Jonathan Varnell

Elm City, North Carolina

Native of Southampton County

[Editor’s note: House Bill 1627, as summarized on Virginia’s online legislative information system, states that “certain crimes relating to threats and harassment may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the victim is the Governor, Governor-elect, Lieutenant Governor, Lieutenant Governor-elect, Attorney General, or Attorney General-elect, a member or employee of the General Assembly, a justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, or a judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. In addition, threats to damage property may be prosecuted in the City of Richmond if the property is owned by the Commonwealth and located in the Capitol District.”]