Sometime we country bumpkins have fun taking shots at Northern Virginia.
The people who live there are not really part of the Old Dominion, we like to imagine.
Most of the place is paved with shopping centers. Northern Virginia is so crowded you can’t really hunt deer.
A house in Prince William County easily costs three to four times what you would pay in Vinton. And once you stupidly paid that much, you couldn’t drive anywhere, because the traffic jams are unreal.
If you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of the Metro, it means you paid 6 times as much a place in Vinton.
Now there‘s a new reason for us to look down our noses at NoVa. There are some hideously stupid people up there.
As evidence, I offer state Del. Jackson Miller, R-Manassas. He’s an ex-police officer and real estate agent who proudly sponsored the most ridiculous law in the Virginia General Assembly this year.
It’s almost as dumb as the 1971 resolution in the Texas legislature honoring Albert DeSalvo for his unconventional efforts at population control. (He was the Boston Strangler. That resolution was an April Fool’s prank. The dimwits in the Texas House passed it unanimously.)
Miller’s effort has become known as the concealed-carry-of-machine guns bill. It would expand the list of weapons that may be concealed by any Virginia permit holder from handguns to “any lawful weapon.”
If you have a federal license, machine guns are lawful. Thus, you could carry one concealed if you had a concealed weapons permit, which in certain respects is easier to get than a Virginia driver’s license.
Because of the General Assembly’s action last year, under Miller’s bill you could even carry your concealed machine gun into bars. It would be the ultimate personal security device in a roomful of angry drunks.
Last week, a House subcommittee declined to approve this legislation, after state police gently noted the implications gave them some heartburn. It was instead referred to the State Crime Commission for “further study.”
I called Miller Friday to find out more about the bill and left a message. I also e-mailed him. Here’s the e-mail:
“I’m going to write a column next week about HB 2386, which would have allowed concealed carry (with a permit) of any lawful weapon, and I have a few questions about it.
“Recently the bill has been portrayed as concealed-carry-of-machine-guns legislation. Was that your intention in sponsoring it? If not, can you tell me what the purpose was?
“Was this an issue that constituents from your district brought to your attention?
“If the answer is yes, can you tell me how many constituents?
“If the answer is no, can you tell me who did bring it to your attention?
“Thank you in advance for the answers.”
He didn’t reply to those softballs.
But it almost doesn’t matter what the answers are. Any way you cut it, the bill is indefensible.
If Miller argued he meant to legalize only concealed switchblades or brass knuckles, it means he drafted a bill with a hole so big an asteroid could fly through it.
In the legislature, they call these “unintended consequences,” and they’re universally frowned upon. It’s like writing a law in favor of aspirin that unintentionally legalizes heroin. Oops.
If Miller said he did it to legalize the concealed carry of machine guns, that looks even worse. That means he’s crazy.
And if he did it just to get some attention, that means he wasted his time (and taxpayers’ money) on a silly issue rather than focusing on much more important ones. Which makes him a clown.
We shall find out later this year if we need to expand this criticism to a majority of voters in Miller’s district, which includes not only Manassas but parts of Prince William County.
They’re the ones who voted him into office in 2007 and re-elected him in 2009. He’ll be on the ballot again in November.
Will they re-elect a guy who’s either an idiot, crazy or a clown?
Maybe. There’s no shortage of each in Richmond.