Almost 600 gun rights activists swarmed the Virginia General Assembly Building and Capital Square grounds on Martin Luther King Day to lobby legislators and rally for expanded gun rights. The annual lobby event was organized by the Virginia citizens Defense League (VCDL).
VCDL was buoyed by last week’s rejection of anti-gun bills by the House of Delegates. But all eyes are now on tomorrow’s special election for a state Senator to represent the 33d District in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.
VCDL President Philip Van Cleave urged his members rallying in Capital Square to help get out vote in the 33d District because
the “winner will decide control of the Senate,” and thus the makeup of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee which determines whether gun bills live or die.
If a pro-gun bill reaches the Senate floor, it will usually pass as most Senators, including many Democrat Senators, usually vote pro-gun. But the party that controls the Senate controls who is on each committee, including the Courts of Justice Committee. If Democrat Senator Richard “Dick” Saslaw (D- Fairfax County) is the majority leader of the Senate, he is expected to stack the Court’s of Justice Committee with enough anti-gun Democrats to prevent all pro-gun legislation from reaching the Senate Floor.
As all of Virginia waits for the 33d District to vote, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning that remains in effect from 7 am to 11 pm EST on Tuesday 21 January, as voters head to the polls. The candidates consist of John Whitbeck (R) who stated today on WMAL news radio that he supports Second Amendment rights, Jennifer Wexton (D) who, according to WMAL news radio, has rented a room on the a home in the 33d District so that in case she wins the election she can say she lives in the 33d District, and Joe May (I) who lost his House of Delegate seat earlier this year during the primary election.
Update: 10:08 PM, 21 January 2014: Jennifer Wexton appears to have won the race with 52.7% of the total vote.