When he ran for governor in 2001, Democrat Mark Warner’s outreach efforts to sportsmen and gun-owners kept the politically muscular National Rifle Association on the sidelines. And he has enjoyed favorable ratings from the NRA ever since.
But in the aftermath of Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Warner said he is ready to support “rational gun control.”
“Enough is enough,” Warner said today in an interview at Richmond television station WTVR. “I’m the father of three daughters and they all said this weekend, ‘Dad, . . . how can this go on? And I, like I think most of us, realize that there are ways to get to rational gun control. There are ways to grapple with the obvious challenges of mental illness.”
Warner said there are “reasonable people in both parties and an overwhelming majority of gun owners who believe that we’ve got to put stricter rules on the books.”
Warner said the time to debate the specifics will come later, but added: “it is time for this kind of senseless violence to end.”
“There won’t be one perfect law that’s going to stop a crazy person from doing evil things,” Warner said. “But when we have close to 30,000 killings a year from all types of gun violence, even if we save a few lives, we make progress and I can answer my daughters with a better answer than I gave them on Friday night.”
– Michael Sluss