Tensions Are Rising in Richmond Over Gun Control

Feb 23, 2018

Democratic Delegate Mark Levine of Alexandria. Levine sent out an email to his newsletter subscribers that accuses Republicans of allowing the massacre of children. GOP leaders struck back by voting down one of Levine's bills.
Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

The gun debate in Richmond is heating up, and it’s spreading to other business at the General Assembly that has nothing to do with guns.

How to Commit Mass Murder. That was the title of an email Democratic Delegate Mark Levine of Alexandria sent to his newsletter subscribers, accusing Republicans of allowing the massacre of children. Republicans responded by killing a bill Levine introduced to help a museum in his district. Senator Bryce Reeves of Fredericksburg.

“You’ve taken some action in the last few days to demonize some folks on the other side of the aisle, and I think they took that rather personally and I think that’s why you’re back here.”

When Democrats wanted to debate the bill, Chairman Reeves shut them down.

“Mr. Chairman?”

“Guys, we’re done. I just want to get out of here.”

Levine says he was just trying to help a museum in his district submit paperwork to the state more efficiently.

“I strongly disagree with the Republicans on gun policy on issues from bump stocks to universal background checks to domestic violence. This bill had nothing to do with gun policy."

A matching Senate bill has already been approved. So the demise of his bill won’t end up harming the museum.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.