Ellen Arthur, the Democratic Party nominee for the House of Delegates seat in the 24th District, is tired of deferring to those who get defensive when the talk after a mass shooting turns to ideas for how to implement sensible gun control measures.
“Gun rights do not trump life rights, and that is what it has come to. Do not remain silent on this issue. Speak out for the dead, speak out for the maimed, speak out for sensible gun laws,” said Arthur, who is challenging Republican incumbent Ben Cline in the 24th.
Arthur, a gun owner, said she was traveling through Augusta County Thursday night “when I heard the news that a Staunton 19-year-old male had shot a 19-year-old female and then shot and killed himself.”
“Within minutes, I heard the newscast of the Umpqua Community College shootings in Oregon,” said Arthur, who noted how quickly the discussion of the mass shooting in Oregon turned into a debate about whether it’s guns or mental health that is the root cause of the mass shooting phenomenon.
“We have always had mentally ill people. Every region in every country in the world has always had such people and always will. But what we have in this country, that turns this illness into murder and mayhem, is the availability of guns: enough guns for every adult and child in this country. No other nation in the world has the statistics we do for gun deaths,” said Arthur, who supports gun laws that would include the registration of all firearms, similar to the registration of vehicles.
This registration would require a license to operate the firearm, and would keep track of all sales and transfers.
Arthur believes that under such a system, it would be less inconvenient to own a gun than to own a car.
“We are all guilty of promoting more gun deaths if we just continue to shake our heads and offer only condolences and prayers to the relatives of the murdered and maimed,” Arthur said.
– Story by Chris Graham