Virginia Governor Calls for Gun Control after Shooting

Jun 14, 2017


An Alexandria, Va. police officer tapes off an area near the YMCA after a shooting in Alexandria.
Credit Alex Brandon / AP

The shooting in Alexandria is opening yet another discussion about guns in Virginia. How available are they? And what can be done to keep them from getting into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

 Michael Pope has the story.


It didn’t take Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe long after the shooting in Alexandria to start talking about gun control. He raised it during a press conference at the scene of the crime, and then again during a telephone conversation with CNN.


“This gentleman who started shooting up at a ballfield where people were having practice for a charity event, obviously this man should never have been in possession of a firearm," said McAuliffe.

Phillip Van Cleave at the Virginia Citizens Defense League agrees this man probably should never have been in possession of a gun. But he disagrees about the remedy. Van Cleave says passing another law is not going to solve the problem. 


“And that’s the fool’s errand that the governor wants to send people on so frequently is thinking that you can do something to keep them from getting guns, passing some law," Van Cleave says. "We’ve already got 20,000 laws. It doesn’t stop them. Another law isn't going to change that.”


This debate about guns is not over. This most recent shooting is likely to prompt another round of soul searching and questions for candidates. Just where do they stand on background checks for unlicensed dealers? And what kind of laws need to be passed — or should any laws be passed — to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them? 

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