Concealed Weapons in Bars Passes VA Senate

Sen. Emmett W. Hanger said the law kept citizens from enjoying such restaurants as Red Lobster. Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple responded she never felt threatened at Red Lobster.
Sen. Emmett W. Hanger said the law kept citizens from enjoying such restaurants as Red Lobster. Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple responded she never felt threatened at Red Lobster.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch: (by Jim Nolan)

The Virginia Senate today cleared the way for Virginians to be allowed to carry concealed guns in cars and bars.

In a 22-18 vote, senators approved Senate Bill 334, which would allow people with concealed gun permits to carry their firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol.

Six Democrats joined 16 Republicans to pass the legislation, which had passed the General assembly last year but was vetoed by then-Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.

Senators also passed legislation that would allow Virginians who do not hold concealed gun carry permits to transport their handguns in a locked glove compartment or container in their car. The vote on Senate Bill 408 was 24-16, with six Democrats joining 18 Republicans to support the bill.

Both bills now head to the House of Delegates, which is likely to pass them. If the measures clear the House, Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to sign the bills into law.

The legislation allowing concealed guns in bars prohibits any concealed gun carrier from drinking alcohol while armed.

Currently gun owners may bring their weapons into restaurants, provided the guns are clearly visible. They can also carry concealed weapons into restaurants that do not serve alcohol. Restaurant owners, however, have the right to exclude guns or weapons of any kind from their establishments.

All of us can think of reasons why drunks and alcohol don’t mix. However, is that what this is really about? What are the compelling reasons for people to carry concealed in a bar? Should those people be forbidden to consume alcohol also?

An Issue of Fairness

Last year, pro life groups petitioned the State of Virginia for a pro-life license plate.  It passed, and the governor signed the bill into law.  $15 of the yearly fee goes to Heartbeat International. 

This year pro-choice groups, spearheaded by Virginia Planned Parenthood, are attempting to have a pro-choice license plate.  The plate will say: “Trust Women/Respect Choice”.

$15 of the annual fee after the first thousand was to go to Planned Parenthood for prevention, health screening, HPV vaccine, etc.  NO MONEY WAS TO GO TOWARDS ABORTION. 

Yesterday, HB 1108 was amended to divert the money to the Virginia Pregnant Womens Support Fund.  This fund, according to Richmond Sunshine, supports  the following:

Pregnant Women Support Act.As a routine component of prenatal care, every licensed practitioner who renders prenatal care shall provide information and support services to patients receiving a positive test diagnosis for Down Syndrome or other prenatally diagnosed conditions. This bill also creates the Virginia Pregnant Women Support Fund as a special nonreverting fund to be administered by the Board of Health to support women and families who are facing an unplanned pregnancy.

According to Lake Wylie Pilot:

Opponents, including the state’s attorney general and governor, say they oppose diverting money from plate fees to Planned Parenthood offices – not necessarily the plates themselves.

A state Senate committee heard testimony on the bill Thursday and could vote on it this week. The full legislature’s approval and the governor’s signature are needed for the plates to be sold.

Last year, Virginia became the 23rd state to approve the “Choose Life” plate. 

The money should go to Planned Parenthood as the bill’s sponsor intended. How dare Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15) attempt to funnel pro-choice money to any cause other than the one intended? This move is just another attempt to control what Virginians think. No one is being forced to buy that plate. The money comes from the person buying the plate, not tax payer money. That’s the rub.

Those who truly oppose abortion should know that preventing the need for it in the first place is the best way to do away with it.  Shame on those who divert money away from Planned Parenthood.  

This legislative  end run appears to be a left handed way of inhibiting free speech. If one group gets to have a license plate with part of its funds designated as they choose, shouldn’t the other group have equal choice?

“Good People Trapped in a Dysfunctional System” … Evan Bayh

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Yesterday’s bomb shell announcement by Evan Bayh sent ripples through both political parties.  For the Democrats, it spelled yet another questionable seat up for grabs since Bayh was some 20 points ahead in polls.  For the Republicans, the announcement meant greater potential to pick up yet another seat in the mid term election. 

Neither party should be setting off fireworks.  Bayh had the following to say, according to the Guardian:

“There is too much partisanship and not enough progress – too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving. Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples’ business is not being done,” he said.

He further added according to MSNBC:

“There’s just too much brain-dead partisanship,” Bayh said in a nationally broadcast interview Tuesday. He said the public will continue to harbor hostile feelings toward Congress “until we change this town.” He also said that “the extremes of both parties have to be willing to accept compromises.”

Bayh denied an interest in running for president in 2012 either as a Democrat or independent. Asked on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ if there were any chance he would run, Bayh said, “None, whatsoever.”

But he also said the American people could deliver “a shock” to Congress by voting many incumbents out if the institution doesn’t curb its divisiveness. Bayh said voters could simply decide they want to vote out people they believe are too partisan and said Congress should change its rules of operation “so that sensible people can get the job done.”

Republicans shouldn’t be cheering.  

Republicans saw a more partisan motivation in Bayh’s departure.


“The fact of the matter is Senator Evan Bayh and moderate Democrats across the country are running for the hills because they sold out their constituents and don’t want to face them at the ballot box,” Michael Steele, chairman of the national Republican Party, said in a written statement.



Michael Steele doesn’t get it either.  He should because he will get kicked to the curb fairly soon by his own party.  Another person who doesn’t get it is Scott Brown, still basking in the after-glow.  He has served his purpose which was snagging the ‘Kennedy seat.’  He too will either need to go radical or get kicked to the curb. 

Actually both parties should start taking a good look in the mirror.  The rancor, stubbornness, the nastiness are so excessive now I have to keep the news off during the day.  Moderate Democrats and Moderate Republicans are being drowned out by extremists in both parties.  Bayh is right.  Why do something you don’t have to do.  He comes from a political family.  His father, Birch Bayh had a long, distinguished political career.  Evan Bayh has always been seen as a moderate who could work with both sides of the aisle. 

There is no room for discussion when ideas and idealogy are so politicized.  Those who attempt to reach out and take a moderate position are savaged and vilified by the extremists.  Good for Bayh.   I wish him well.

JFK Love Letters Go on the Auction Block

Love letters that chronicle the love affair of then Senator JFK and Swedish beauty Gunilla Von Post go on sale at auction today starting at $25,000.  Kennedy and Von Post met on the French Riviera when he was a senator engaged to be married to Jackie and she was 21.  The 2 danced the night away. 

Both returned to their normal lives but kept up a steamy correspondence.  JFK planned a cruise that involved Ms. Von Post but injured his back and was out of commission for several months.  Not surprisingly, the affair lasted after Kennedy was married to Jackie.  According to the New York Daily News:

The pair met on the French Riviera in the summer of 1953. At the time, he was 36, 15 years her senior. In a letter from June 28, 1954, just after he was married, Kennedy wrote to von Post “I might get a boat and sail around the Mediterranean for two weeks – with you as crew.”

Those plans went south when Kennedy injured his back. Kennedy wrote to von Post when he was recuperating in Manhattan.

“I am still in the hospital after two months. I was terribly disappointed that at the last moment I was not able to come to Europe, especially when you were going to be in Paris and we could have had such a good time … ”

He wrote that he was going to see her without fail if she wasn’t “all settled down” by then.

In the same letter, he writes at the end: “Is there any chance you will be coming to the U.S.?”

The now 78-year-old Post first revealed the affair in a 1997 book. She also gave an interview to ABC News’ 20/20 that year, describing how her heart went “boom boom boom boom” when she was with Kennedy.

“I was very happy to hear from him, but I said ‘he’s a married man,'” she told “20/20.”

The very next year, however, the two got together again in an old castle in Sweden.

“I borrowed him for a week, a beautiful week that no one can take away from me,” she told “20/20.”

Kennedy’s final letter to von Post is dated August, 1955. In it, he waxes wistful about the affair.

“I just got word today – that my wife and sister are coming here. It will all be complicated the way I feel now – my Swedish Flicka. All I have done is sit in the sun and look and the Ocean and think of Gunilla … All Love, Jack.”

The letters are expected to bring in more than $100,000.  Meanwhile, it is hard to keep with with the picadillos of JFK.  Was the press ignorant of his infidelities and womanizing or did they know and just keep quiet?  What would motivate the press to keep quiet about something like this and the many, many other instances of our former president being a horn dog? 

I am not sure I will ever understand this powerful family.  At a time when people’s moral behavior was much more carefully scrutinized than it is today, a senator, soon to be president has affair after affair.  Today, in an almost anything goes society, one little affair such as this one can ruin one’s political career.  The irony does not escape me.  I don’t think Kennedy could ever be elected today because he appeared to have been a sexual predator.  He would be going to sexual addiction rehab right along with a certain famous golfer.

Virginia Concealed-carry Permit Questions

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Concealed-carry permit questions

The application for a Virginia concealed-carry permit asks several mental-health-related questions:

Have you ever been committed to the custody of the commissioner of mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse services?
Have you been acquitted by reason of insanity, adjudicated legally incompetent, mentally incapacitated or adjudicated an incapacitated person by a court of Virginia or any other court?

Have you been involuntarily admitted to a facility or ordered to mandatory outpatient treatment, or were you the subject of a temporary detention order . . . who later agreed to voluntary admission?

Have you received mental-health treatment or substance-abuse treatment in a residential setting within the five years prior to the date of this application?

Are these questions fair?  What back ups are there to make sure that people are being truthful?  What prevents them from lying?  Is this the honor system? 

If Virginia is going to be relaxing its hand gun laws, what should the state do to ensure that guns are being bought by responsible people rather than by unstable people?

Does having a conceal-carry permit prevent a person from being limited to one hand gun purchase every 30 days?

VA State Police Gun/handgun laws