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Del. Ken Plum: Recent Wins Call for Another

by Del. Ken Plum July 9, 2015 at 11:00 am 37 Comments

Del. Ken Plum/File photoI continue to celebrate the human rights victories we have had recently in marriage equality, health care and housing.

I voted against Virginia’s marriage amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman when it came before the General Assembly and campaigned against it in the referendum; voters in my district voted against it. Now it is history! All Virginians can marry. Now we need to work against LGBT discrimination in other parts of our society.

With the Affordable Care Act being found constitutional, we need to move forward in fully implementing it in Virginia by expanding Medicaid coverage to the working poor. A key benefit of accepting federal Medicaid dollars is that it would free up state funds for programs we currently are unable to fund adequately like mental health and education. As many as 400,000 Virginians could be helped as we accept back into the state tax monies Virginians have paid into the system.

The Supreme Court’s ruling interpreting the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that housing discrimination doesn’t have to be intentional to be illegal protects vulnerable populations. These advances remind us that we need to stay the course on other issues like gun violence and the Second Amendment.

A study recently released by the Harvard School of Public Health found that between 1982 and late 2011 mass shootings occurred about every 200 days. After Sept. 2011, however, the rate of mass shootings increased to one every 64 days.

Prior to the 1980s mass murders had rarely occurred. Since Columbine and Virginia Tech, the rate of terrorism by mass murderers using guns has accelerated.

A timeline in a recent issue of Mother Jones dramatically shows the increased frequency of mass shootings. (Mass Shootings) Since the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, there have been more than two dozen slaughters using guns. I join President Obama in wondering what kind of nation we have become and when we are going to insist that political leaders do something about gun violence.

Recent Supreme Court rulings in other areas convince me that commonsense gun safety measures can be enacted into law and pass any constitutional challenge. As Thomas Jefferson once wrote in words that are inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial, “institutions must advance also to keep pace with the time.” A militia of armed citizens is not required for our times.

Trying to enact legislation to keep guns out of the hands of violent or mentally ill people is not an attack on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. Bills are being introduced in the Congress and in the General Assembly that would put the Second Amendment freedom in perspective with the public’s safety.

I will continue introducing bills for universal background checks. Insist that your elected representatives support these bills. If there are those who would want to take the resulting laws to the Supreme Court, let’s go. Our recent victories call for another!

Ken Plum represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. His opinion does not represent Reston Now.

  • Ming the Merciless

    “Moderates” who suffer from the delusion that Leftists can be appeased can learn from this column. Give the Left what the want, and they will not shut up, go away, and leave you alone. No indeed. When they get what they want today, then tomorrow they are back again, even more stridently demanding something else.

    Never, never, never concede anything to the Left. They are never satisfied, and they will never stop. They will be a boot stamping on your face, forever.

    I hope that conservatives have also learned the futility of voting Republican “because Supreme Court”.

    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      I thought we were taught this as a child from the book “Give a mouse a cookie.”

      • Cluster Tycoon

        Cabrini Green 1978, put it behind you. We can evolve as a unit.

    • Chuck Morningwood

      “Moderates” who suffer from the delusion that RIGHTISTS can be
      appeased can learn from this column. Give the RIGHT what theY want, and
      they will not shut up, go away, and leave you alone. No indeed. When
      they get what they want today, then tomorrow they are back again, even
      more stridently demanding something else.

      Never, never, never concede anything to the RIGHT. They are never satisfied, and they will never stop. They will be a boot stamping on your face, forever.

      I hope that conservatives have also learned the futility of voting Republican “because Supreme Court”. (This much is true. In fact, the RIGHT should continue to push Fundamentalist positions and candidates because that has worked so well for them in the past.)

      • Ming the Merciless

        ^ A classic example of the Left projecting its own infantilisms onto the Right.

        When was the last time the Right got anything it wanted? They can’t even be left alone, which is the main thing they want.

        • Chuck Morningwood

          Well, for one, they got the “Personal Mandate” in the PPACA. That piece of legislation was supposed to be a “Single Payer” system. They got almost $300B in Tax Cuts as part of the 2009 Stimulus package. And I’m sure that I can find plenty of things the right got if we go back to the Bush II administration, most of which helped crater the economy.

          Now, however, the right doesn’t get anything it wants because of the “Take no prisoners approach” of the Fundamentalist wingnuts of the GOP, known as the Tea Party. For some reason, to these people, “Compromise” and “Decorum” are a four-letter words. Until recently, they were the minority party, which usually means either (1) cooperation through compromise or (2) obstructionism. This last run, “Obstructionism” seems to be the Fundies favorite tactic.

      • Delsin Rowe

        Did you feel clever when “creating” this reply?

  • Emmanuel Goldstein

    Why do you hate the 2nd amendment?

  • Mike M

    Julius Caesar took a look at the constitution of the Roman Republic and declared similarly, ” A Republic is not required for our times.”

    So, how about we let every faction decide just which Constitutional freedoms we no longer need. Eh?

    I look at what Ken writes and I think we need an armed militia now more than ever! Ken, it’s not about keeping in check Indian war parties; it’s about the government. It’s about Central Government uber alles types, like you.

    • Cluster Tycoon

      Your quote is totally taken out of context. Caesar was one of the best leaders ever produced by mankind, your argument is weak.

      As for the freedom to spray bullets I think the people responded and they said NO. Maybe a case where the Nimbys are right.

      • Mike M

        Caesar was a tyrant. Even if he weren’t, sometimes, by luck o the draw, you get a government that suspends your rights and they AREN’T so effective and need to be removed. The Roman Senate didn’t know guns. But they were packing nonetheless come the Ides of March.

        • Cluster Tycoon

          Quite frankly I am more worried about parking meters coming to Reston.

          Get some coins ready, pal.

          • Mike M

            Quite frankly, I believe you.

          • Delsin Rowe

            And getting mugged while you feed the meter?

        • Ming the Merciless

          The Left likes tyrants. The Left has to impose tyranny because their ideas are unnatural, unworkable, and false.

  • Emmanuel Goldstein

    Ken, how will these proposed measures resolve the black-on-black homicide in Democratic havens like Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore?

    • Cluster Tycoon

      And if his answer is correct – Ken for President?

      • Emmanuel Goldstein

        I’d like to know his answer. Section 8 housing and tons of government handouts sure hasn’t fixed it. Gun free school zones haven’t helped. And giving people “room to riot” didn’t help

        • Mike M

          Hey, Goldstein, I’ll take that one. I think you know he would say MORE and BETTER section 8 housing and MORE handouts. The message is consistent, no matter the lack of results. And Einstein said something about that behavior pattern, no?

          • Ming the Merciless

            You betcha. The Left’s answer to any problem caused by government is MORE MONEY and MORE GOVERNMENT.

            That’s part of the reason why we are where we are now.

          • Mike M

            Sounds like we need a massive stimulus package, Ming! The last one obviously wasn’t big enough.

            Two truly whacky images from the news I will never forget are:
            1) The Taliban machine gunning a giant Buddhist sculpture that had been cut into a cliff many hundreds of years ago. This was before 9-11. They later tried grenades and artillery. Took them weeks to succeed.
            2) John Kerry talking up Obama’s first stimulus with dramatic pumping gestures, saying, “Gotta prime the pump, prime the pump, prime the pump!”

            Some times you can just smell the deeper madness!

        • .


    • UStifosi .

      Ken and the Left are clueless on how to solve inner city issues. What’s funny are the minorities in the inner city that keep voting the Dems in office as there lives implode, Ask and you shall receive….

  • Cluster Tycoon

    The numbers don’t lie, guns are for dummies. Especially in a country where 1 in 4 is mentally disturbed. Also bad news for the right wing technocrats, all attempts to develop a trigger mechanism that has the frontal lobes baked into the release have so far failed.

    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      Go take a stroll down Ward 8 at 11 PM with your shiny IPhone out and see if your tune changes. Or take a ride on METRO on 4th of July. Or go anywhere in Baltimore, South Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Inglewood, etc

      • Cluster Tycoon

        I ve been to some of these places and in all honesty a gun would not make me feel safer, in fact the opposite is true. The first line of defense should be conflict resolution and I have been able to demonstrate that skill on more than one occassion. In all cases walk away and don’t confront. Good luck and safe travels, US and beyond.

        • Mike M

          See you at the Reston Library. Apparently, you are the one who gets confronted over there.

          • Cluster Tycoon

            1 in 4. Confirmed.

  • Mike M

    Ken, here is another Jefferson quote for you:

    “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”

    • Ricky Spanish

      “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. …. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

      Thomas Jefferson

  • Stanley R. Perlmutter

    You can keep us safe Ken? How long do you think greek policemen will work for IOU’s and maintain order once Europe pulls the plug on them? Big daddy Fed in the hole for 18 trillion, states of Illinois and California on the verge of being our own Greece, or should I say Puerto Rico?
    No thanks, I will protect myself.

    • Mike M

      On behalf of our illustrious leftist leader, I’d like to say, “OUCH!”

  • UStifosi .

    Doesn’t Ken already own a gun

  • MJay

    What kind of solution is it to simply conduct background checks at gun shows? It’s not like criminals are buying their guns at the show. Plum’s solution just sounds nice but does nothing tangible. Plum must know this, so it is apparent that his goal is to chip and chip away at this right until it is virtually impossible to actually buy or possess a firearm. As for Plum’s wish that this go to court, it already has, his side lost.

    • Mike M

      He is trying to make his unknowing and purely emotional constituents feel good.

  • shagga

    How about you focus on common sense immigration (ie: enforce the current laws) or how about some common sense spending that doesn’t require tax increases to pay for your failed social programs?

    • bronn

      “Common sense” means doing what Ken wants, no matter how crazy it is.


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