Courtesy of RushLimbaugh.comNRA Commentator Colion Noir adds another voice to those who believe Americans should not lose their rights simply because their names may be similar to a possible terrorist. The late U. S. Senator Ted Kennedy and Congressman John Lewis, ended up being stopped at airports because their names were similar to people who were actually being watched by the government.
The release of the policies last week triggered a lengthy review process that could include several rounds of public comment, but the McAuliffe administration will make the final call, leaving little doubt the rules could become permanent.Gun owners are encouraged to click here and sign up for an email that will allow you to comment as soon as the proposed regulations are printed in the Virginia Register of Regulations.
University of Baltimore Professor Suggests Gun Manufacturers Pay for Security Measures at Public Buildings
Pro-gun advocates seem to support better mental health screening and therapy, enhanced training in the use of firearms, and better and safer methods of storing weapons. These suggestions are directed toward the saner and law-abiding people of our society. But the anti-gun-control advocates have no solution to the gunman, either motivated by malice or suffering from a major mental illness, who walks into a crowded movie theater and opens fire on the crowd.
Then there are those who dislike the suggestion of installing access controls (the range of security measures used to monitor and prevent unwarranted entry into a room, floor, building, etc.) at vulnerable locations, like our college and university campuses, improving the methods and technology to detect and deter individuals who may open fire on the defenseless public.Ross then runs through a litany of reasons why people oppose such increased controlled access. The bottom line is, he thinks that gun manufacturers should have to pay the cost of installing these measures, and having to do so would induce them to finally agree to the various gun control proposals that have floated around for years:
In the end, once the gun manufacturers — wholesalers and retailers — and the pro-gun lobby realize how much money they are spending on access control, perhaps they will take the wider issue of gun control more seriously and consider the ways that the American public gets access to guns, how many they can own and how to better monitor their use.I keep thinking about how Virginia's crime rate is at it lowest level in decades, at the same time gun sales have increased over 100% since 2006, and wonder why these people can't see that maybe instead of infringing on our rights, they actually get serious about targeting criminals.
Polling on the question of whether someone owns a gun is rather tricky however as Dean Weingarten wrote recently on Ammoland.com which was later picked up by NRABlog.com. Weingarten uses a Zogby Analytic poll from February of this year to show that a large percentage of the public believes it is not the business of pollsters whether or not a gun is in the home:
QUESTION: “If a national pollster asked you if you owned a firearm, would you determine to tell him or her the truth or would you feel it was none of their business?”Gallup recently released a poll showing that gun ownership had declined from polls they had taken in an earlier time period. That number is inconsistent with the number of firearms that have been sold since President Obama took residency, but the difference can be answered by the Zogby Analytic question above. The poll indicates maintaining anonymity is a contributing factor
- 36% of Americans feel it is none of the pollster’s business and that includes 35% of current gun owners 47% of Republicans and 42% of Independents
In those states that track the number of legal gun owners, the number of gun owners have increased dramatically in the last five years. In Massachusetts, the number of gun owners has increased 66% in the last five years; In Illinois, the number has increased about 75%, from a little over 1 million in 2010, to 1.8 million in 2015.Weingarten concludes while the actual number will likely remain unknown, it is between one third and one half of the population. With that in mind, it's up to us to make sure that those gun owners understand how important it is to understand the politics of the issue and to understand just what the term "commonsense gun safety" really means to their ability to continue to own and use firearms.
Sorovell stuck closer to the gun ban lobby's talking points in concluding his article than did The Trace. Sorovell said Northern Virginia no longer agrees with the NRA's position and the rest of the state is not far behind. At least The Trace admitted the focus on gun control did not appear to increase Democrat turn out in the City of Richmond, which is what has the gun ban lobby scratching its head. The only thing the gun ban lobby has to hang its hat is they spent $1.5 million to hold a district that gave Barack Obama 62% of the vote in 2012 and was already occupied by an NRA-PVF "D" rated Democrat.
Breaking: In Powhattan --- numbers from the phone -- @gecker got 2,205 @GlenSturtevant 7,315. That's all 13 precints #va10— Joe St. George (@JoeStGeorge) November 4, 2015 Because of the large number of votes cast in Powhatan, and the amount of time it took to report the totals, Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw told the Washington Post that Democrats had hopes that outcome would be reversed due to "irregularities." Gecker has yet to concede the race and sent staff to Powhatan to examine the returns. Sturtevant ended up with 73.8 percent of the vote in Powhatan where turnout was boosted by tightly contested local races.
In the other race that Bloomberg invested heavily, his chosen candidate won. Everytown immediately went to Twitter to claim victory, but was quickly reminded that spending over $2 million to hold a seat already held by an anti-gun Senator, while losing the bigger battle of flipping control of the state senate, was not a victory.
NRA defeated in their own backyard.— Everytown (@Everytown) November 4, 2015
You lost big in Virginia! https://t.co/myedo4KXST— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) November 4, 2015So, who is the real winner in last night's election? In the short term, the GOP, and gun owners, because Governor Terry McAuliffe got nothing for all of the money he spent from his PAC and that he convinced Bloomberg to spend to help him flip the Senate. We can thank the gun owners in Powhatan County for that.
“Amazing Powhatan turnout. Definitely Bloomberg backlash,” longtime Democratic political operative Paul Goldman said in a text message.And as the Richmond Times Dispatch editorialized about Powhatan gun owners part in the Gecker loss:
The Democrat made a massive mistake when he accepted campaign swag from an interest group affiliated with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who seeks tougher gun control laws. Gecker might have lost anyway, but the Bloomberg intervention gave Powhatan voters a reason to rise up in indignation. Sturtevant also received funds from outsider sources but the Bloomberg connection vividly cast Gecker on the wrong side of an issue of vital concern to Powhatan’s citizenry. A campaign focused on guns redounded to Gecker’s despair. This is not a surprise.From a gun owner perspective, we still can't override a McAuliffe veto of good 2nd Amendment related bills. And, as Brian Schoeneman wrote in his election post mortem on Bearing Drift, regarding the GOP, maintaining the staus quo is not really something to be popping the corks over.
We maintained the status quo. That’s it. In every seat that was held by the GOP, we won. In every seat held by the Democrats, we lost. A few of those State Senate seats were open seat races (whether through retirement or the primarying of an incumbent Republican), but they were also in heavily partisan areas, where the non-incumbent party had only a slight chance to pull off an upset (for example, the 8th, 11th, 12th, 29th, and 36th).
The two most competitive challenger races – at least by media standards – were the Nancy Dye/John Edwards battle in the 21st District, and the Frank Wagner/Gary McCollum battle in the 7th District. Neither of the challengers came close to unseating the incumbent, with both Edwards and Wagner winning by approximately 8 points.
Maintaining the status quo in the Senate was a must win, and we won it. But we gained no ground, and the millions poured into the Commonwealth by outside groups didn’t have an overall impact on the final outcome. In the two races they targeted, they went 1-1. The only people really pleased with that outcome should be the TV stations in Richmond and Northern Virginia.Gun owners were challenged this election and with the exception of one race (remember the gun ban lobby originally targeted four seats) we won. Everytown and the national gun ban politicians are already trying to spin that one race as a major victory, which was expected. This election was a wake-up call to gun owners. Hopefully we heeded it and are prepared for war in 2016. That campaign starts today.
I had the opportunity to speak with NRANews Cam and Company host Cam Edwards about Tuesday's results:
The FBI’s National Instant Background Check System processed 1,976,759 firearms related checks in October. That is a 373,290 increase in checks over last year and a new record for the month. It also makes October the sixth consecutive month to see a record number of checks.
Since every purchase of a new gun in the United States requires a background check the metric is considered a reliable proxy for how many overall gun sales there have been, even though the number does not represent a one to one calculation for gun sales. The federal government and most states do not require background checks on gun sales made between private parties. Additionally, some states request FBI background checks on their citizens who apply for gun carry permits.
So far in 2015 the FBI has performed 17,584,346 firearms related checks. Currently, 2015 is on pace to beat 2013’s record 21,09,273 checks.
When Kenneth Herman visits his daughter’s school, the handgun holstered to his right hip is visible to anyone. And that has caused him problems.
School officials have denied Mr. Herman access to school buildings, asked him to wait in the principal’s office and called the Sheriff’s Department on him. So Mr. Herman, a paramedic who grew up in this semirural community 85 miles northwest of Detroit, sued Clio Area Schools for the right to carry his weapon openly on school grounds, and in August he won the case. The district has appealed. Now his dispute with the school district has become part of a statewide debate over guns in schools that has exposed a rare split among firearm owners. It pits proponents of widespread open carry like Mr. Herman against other gun owners who believe concealed weapons are more appropriate in some settings. The two sides are divided over legislation introduced by Republicans in the State Senate that would allow people with the proper permits to carry concealed weapons at schools, but would ban open carry there. The measure could come up for a vote before the end of the year. The Times notes that Mr. Herman and other open-carry proponents oppose the legislation, and that they have formed an alliance with gun ban activists who oppose the legislation because they do not want any weapons carried on school grounds, openly or concealed.
State-level gun owners’ groups have come down on both sides of the issue. Michigan Open Carry, which publishes a guide on how to legally carry a gun in schools, is campaigning against the legislation. The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners — another prominent pro-gun group, whose board of directors includes Mr. Meekhof and another Republican sponsor of the legislation — supports the legislation. On political battles over gun laws, concealed-carry and open-carry groups are in agreement “99 times out of 100,” Mr. Meekhof said. But the debate over his bills reveals how the two camps sometimes embrace conflicting views on displaying firearms in public. Michigan Open Carry advocates the visible carrying of holstered handguns, similar to what an on-duty police officer might wear. Its members cite a variety of reasons — practical, legal and symbolic — for choosing to display their guns in public.Regarding that reference to "symbolic" I go back to what Master Firearms Trainer Massad Ayoob wrote on the topic of open carry.
A few years ago, Mark Walters hosted a three-way debate on the topic on his show “Armed American Radio.” The “pro” speaker came, IIRC, from Georgia Carry. The “anti-open carry” speaker was a cop from the Midwest who, though generally pro-armed citizen, thought open carry was counterproductive to both the public peace and the Second Amendment cause. I took the middle ground, which I still hold. One the one hand, I would like for every state to allow any citizen who has a clean record and hasn’t been adjudicated mentally incompetent to be allowed to open carry a holstered, loaded handgun. First, because there are some jurisdictions where if the wind blows your coat open and reveals the gun you are legally carrying concealed, a genuinely frightened citizen or vindictive anti-gunner can combine with an anti-gun prosecutor to create a perfect storm of criminal charges for illegal open carry. Second, because if a good person suddenly becomes a stalking victim or the target of death threats, I don’t want them to have to wait up to 90 days (gun-friendly Florida) or six months (the time it takes before a new resident can even apply for a concealed carry permit in California, which for the most part is decidedly non-gun-friendly). But on the other hand, I don’t think we win any friends for gun owners’ civil rights by flaunting deadly weapons in the face of a general public conditioned to fear guns and their owners by generations of anti-gun media and political prejudice.He followed up that piece with this:
Gun-banners will never convert most who read this blog, and we who support a responsibly armed citizenry will never win over the Pelosis and Bloombergs of the world. The battleground lies with the vast majority of people who are in the middle on this polarized issue. I am old enough to remember when Massachusetts and California each held a referendum on whether possession of handguns should be banned in their states. Neither state had a majority of gun owners in the voting pool, but in each case our side won the referendum, because “the people on the fence” didn’t want to go that far.
Doing things that alarm those people in the middle will do nothing to help the pro-gun side. Fear is the key ingredient that creates hatred. Doing things that put the general public in fear will cause more people to hate us, and anyone who seriously thinks flaunting rifles around schools in cities and suburbs will somehow acclimate the public to an acceptance of armed citizens is simply delusional.The fastest way for us to loose our rights is to let the antis divide us and have us fighting among ourselves. It seems they may have found a way to start that process in Michigan.
Over the past 10 years, the United States has seen a complete reversal of public opinion on same-sex marriage — from opposition to support. This month, a Gallup poll press release was headlined, “Americans’ Desire for Stricter Gun Laws Up Sharply.”
The turning point on guns came in 2013, when the Senate filibustered a bill that would have closed the “gun show loophole” and mandated background checks for all gun purchases. About 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks. After the Senate bill failed, public support for stricter gun laws shot up to 58 percent from 44 percent a year earlier.
In the case of same-sex marriage, the shift of opinion was driven by personal experience. More and more Americans say they know someone — a relative, a friend, a coworker — who is openly gay. The shift on guns is being driven by mounting outrage over the country’s inability to keep guns out of the hands of deranged individuals.Schneider doesn't mention the CNN Poll that came out at the same time as the Gallup Poll had a different result, or that the Gallup result while higher than a year ago, is still slightly lower than in December 2012, immediately after the Newtown school shootings. And, this is just on a question related to laws pertaining to the sale of firearms. An overwhelming majority still oppose bans on handguns.
Another problem in Schneider's reasoning is there is another Gallup Poll released around the same time that indicated a majority of respondents think the Democratic Party position on gun control is out of the mainstream. Schneider did mention the demographic shift that Professor Adam Winkler discussed in his Washington Post Op/Ed. That narrative goes that because women, Blacks, and Latinos overwhelmingly support gun control, the NRA's, and by extension, gun owners, days are number. Forbes contributor Frank Miniter is the latest to push back against that notion:
Even a Google search would show Winkler that the USA Today, hardly a pro-gun group, has reported that a large and growing percentage of women are now carrying handguns. The USA Today found that in Tennessee women hold “30% of almost 193,000 handgun-carry permits in effect at the end of 2013,” in Washington state, “100,000 of 451,000 concealed-carry permit holders are women” and in Florida “women were 22% of concealed weapon license holders as of May 31, up from 15% in 2004.”
After looking into these demographic changes the NSSF found that an “increase in female customers is not the only trend to which the industry is responding. Urban areas are beginning to see a significant uptick in legal gun ownership, which is slowly putting the original idea of the stereotypical gun owner to rest.”
The NRA has also begun challenging these demographics by running television ads featuring minorities and others who live in urban areas. The one that grabbed me is of a grandmotherly looking black woman who says, “I live in a government high-rise. Gang bangers and drug dealers walk down our halls everyday…. The police can’t keep us safe… But the Housing Authority told me if I bought a gun to protect myself they’d throw me to the streets. If I’m not free because of my address today what makes you think you’ll be free tomorrow. I marched for Martin Luther King at Selma. I know my rights. Now I have my gun. I am the National Rifle Association of America and I’m freedom’s safest place.”You don't have to take the decidedly pro-rights Miniter's word for it though. Look at this Today Show segment by Ronan Farrow to see that the old white guy narrative is changing. That's not to say everything is roses. Gun owners need to continue reaching out to minorities and women to bring them into the community of gun owners so the next generation is just as protective of our rights as we are.
With less than 48 hours before the polls open in one of Virginia’s most expensive and tightly contested Senate races ever, Democrat Daniel A. Gecker joined hands with Gov. Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner at a rally in Chesterfield County, while Republican Glen H. Sturtevant knocked on doors in Richmond’s Museum District. McAuliffe capped a barnstorming tour of the state on behalf of Democratic Senate candidates Sunday in a joint appearance with Warner to boost voter turnout for Gecker, 59, a two-term member of the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors, and potentially give Democrats control of a nearly evenly split state Senate. “We need one seat, and Dan Gecker is that seat,” the governor shouted to a cheering crowd of volunteers and state Democratic party leaders at Gecker’s field office off Buford Road in Chesterfield.When Gecker spoke, he took the opportunity to say what issues he would push if elected, and he made sure to mention gun control.
Also during this final weekend, anyone listening to radio probably heard ads for or against Gecker and Sturtevant (I heard an ad paid for by NRA-PVF during the Rush Limbaugh program on Friday). In addition to the NRA-PVF radio warning of Bloomberg trying to buy the Virginia State Senate, Citizens for Responsible Solutions, the Gabby Giffords gun ban group had also bought $40,000 in radio time promoting Gecker.
Money has flooded the 10th District in the last couple of weeks. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the largest outside expenditure in a State Senate race had been $250,000 on behalf of then-Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis, R-Fairfax, in 2007. This year, four candidates have exceeded that amount, with Gecker and Democrat Jeremy McPike, who is battling Republican Hal Parrish for the seat open in the 29th Senate District being the largest beneficiaries.
But the stakes are much higher for gun owners this year than in 2007. The large expenditures for a single issue is being used as a test case. From the Times-Dispatch article referenced above:
“It’s kind of a test case on how the gun issue plays out in a competitive district,” said Robert D. Holsworth, a longtime political commentator on state and Richmond-area politics.Holsworth continued later in the article:
Holsworth isn’t sure how the issue will affect Tuesday’s election in the 10th District. “Is this really going to help Dan Gecker, particularly with moderate suburbanites?” he asked. “On the other hand, does this spending backfire on him?”
But he added, “We’ve not seen this debated this way in the Richmond area” since then-Gov. L. Douglas Wilder teamed with then-U.S. Attorney Richard Cullen to get legislation passed in 1993 that restricted purchases of handguns to one a month. The assembly subsequently repealed the law in 2012 under then-Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Beyond next week’s outcome, Holsworth wondered, “How is this going to play in the national election? How is it going to play in Virginia in the presidential election?”I spoke with someone associated with the Chesterfield County GOP over the weekend and he said he is hearing that voters on both sides are being turned off by the flood of ads and mailers and saying they are just going to stay home and not vote. Turnout will be key. Every gun owner in the 10th and 20th Districts need to go to the polls tomorrow and vote for Glen Sturtevant (10th) and Hal Parrish (29th). We don't want Bloomberg buying Virginia's State Senate.
The campaign is also asking you to show your support of Glen on your social media accounts! They supporters to help counteract some of the negative ads being bankrolled by Bloomberg. Grassroots support is worth more than big donations from out-of-state liberals. The Sturtevant Campaign would like supporters to download the Facebook cover photo below and post it on your account today!
To find out other ways you can help in the final days of the campaign, contact Tim Lagerman at 570-898-3160, or email him at [email protected].
If you live near the Richmond area, and can spare some time between now and November 3rd, please contact Tim Lagerman by email at [email protected] or by phone at 570-898-3160.
According to Fairfax County email records obtained by Bearing Drift under a Freedom of Information Act request, School Board member Janie Strauss relayed news of the store’s opening to Foust at 10:28 AM on Sep. 25th. Shortly thereafter, Foust began investigating the store’s legality.
That evening, at 7:38 PM, John Foust emailed an issue briefing to local Democratic leaders, summarizing his research into the legality of the store’s placement and Fairfax County’s prior approval of its non-Residential Use Permit (RUP).
“The reviewer did not give anyone notice that a gun store was moving into McLean, but it also appears they did not know,” Foust explained in his briefing. “However, from a zoning standpoint, they would have issued the non-rup whether they knew it was guns or not because they have to.” The store’s non-RUP had been issued two weeks earlier in accordance with zoning classification C-8, which broadly permits “retail sales” – the correct classification for a gun store. As Foust explained, the permit was granted because the county lacked any legal basis to deny its issuance.
“State law pretty much prohibits the county from regulating guns,” said Foust, as he attached a verbatim copy of Va. Code § 15.2-915 in the group email to Democratic leaders.
On the day before the store’s opening, John Foust knew the county lacked legal options, but he didn’t let that stop his re-election campaign from exploiting the situation for political gain.
“I will join you at the protest,” Foust closed, as he began preparing for the morning’s political fray.
From the beginning, Foust repeatedly and personally attacked the store’s owners and landlord, stating, among his other attacks, that they lacked “decency and respect” while calling them “antagonistic to our community.”
Meanwhile, Foust’s supporters wasted no time in following the antagonistic example he set. One supporter, Victoria Manoogian, organized a boycott of the landlord’s business – not the gun store – while posting the landlord’s home address on the Internet, opening the door for harassment.According to Bearing Drift, Foust was facing heavy criticism in his re-election campaign for not delivering funds for traffic congestion relief and public education. He needed something that would allow him to distract from those issues in the last month of the campaign and the NOVA Firearms store move provided just what he needed.
It's some pretty damning information uncovered by Bearing Drift complete with copies of emails so read the entire story.
“Some of you are watching certain television stations or listening to certain radio programs, please do not believe this notion that somehow I’m out to take everyone’s guns away,” he told the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“Every time a mass shootings happens, one of the saddest ironies is suddenly the purchase of guns and ammunition jumps up because folks scared into thinking that, ‘Obama’s gonna use this as an excuse to take away our Second Amendment rights,’” he added. “Nobody’s doing that."
"We’re talking about common-sense measures to make criminals don’t get them, to make sure background checks work, to make sure that we’re protecting ourselves.”He went on to claim that his proposals would protect the lives of law enforcement and held up Chicago's gun laws as the reason that national laws should be tightened, but did not mention that Chicago is one of America's most dangerous cities even though it has some of the nations most restrictive gun laws. Obama and the gun ban lobby counter that most of the guns used in crime in the windy city come from out of state. But a quick look at ATF trace data indicates that is simply not true. Illinois is the largest source state for firearms used in a crime and traced in Illinois. Even when you add up all of the other states, about half of the firearms traced originally came from Illinois.
Obama also included what has become his standard line about gun sales:
“It is easier for a lot of young people in this city, and in a lot of your communities, to buy a gun than buy a book,” he said. “It is easier in some communities to find a gun than to find fresh vegetables in a supermarket. That’s a fact.” The NRA immediately responded to Obama's remarks with this video from Wayne LaPierre:
Leaders of nine national law enforcement groups made the call at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police conference the day before hundreds of police chiefs and sheriffs are to hear from President Obama, who has vowed to be more forceful in his push to bolster U.S. gun laws.
The coalition called on Congress to specifically expand background checks to cover all gun purchases. It also asked Congress to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to ensure that all states and federal agencies include disqualifying records in the system.
The coalition also called for increasing the current time that the FBI has to complete a background check before a sale is automatically completed.
Currently, background checks only cover gun purchases made through licensed gun deals, not private sales or purchases made at a gun show.Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy claims that the spike in his city's crime rate is due to the "easy access to guns." But that is not what FBI Director James Comey told those gathered at the IACP conference yesterday. From NPR:
....Well, he's doubling down on this notion that he's already floated before in smaller venues that there's - really is what's called a YouTube effect. This is something police chiefs and police talk about quite a bit since Ferguson - this feeling of being under scrutiny that if you make a wrong move or a move that looks wrong, it'll end up as a viral video, and you're going to lose your career - that that fear is driving police to look past potential problems, to not get out of their cars as much and not have the kind of contact they need in communities that good police work depends on.
And here's the contentious thing that he raised. He believes that there's no other explanation that he can see for the current spike in violent crime in big cities around this country. The overall crime rate doesn't necessarily seem to be going up, but big cities are seeing spikes in violent crime - places like Chicago, where I am right now. And he thinks it's the only real explanation here for this simultaneous rise in crime.Don't look for Obama to talk out the "Ferguson Affect" in his remarks to IACP today.
The survey finds that 46 percent say new laws to reduce gun violence should be a bigger priority, while 47 percent say it's more important to protect the right to own firearms. This marks a shift away from gun laws since April 2013, when Democrats' push for increased background checks fell short in the aftermath of the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.; back then, a 52 percent majority said new laws should be a priority.It will be interesting to see if the views of Virginia voters are similar to those of the people polled on November third. Bloomberg has invested heavily in two suburban districts (10th and 29th) hoping to turn the State Senate. While a small majority of people (52 %) in urban areas say new gun laws should be a bigger priority than protecting Second Amendment rights, that number dips to 45 percent in suburban areas. The poll shows women are 13 percentage points more likely to prioritize new gun laws than men. With that in mind, it is probably a good move on the part of the Glen Sturtevant (10th District) campaign to use women in their response to the Bloomberg ads. The new Sturtevant ad also mentions mental health.
VSSA urges all gun owners in the 10th District to contact the NRA-ILA campaign field rep, Tim Lagerman ([email protected] or by phone 570-898-3160) to find out how you can help in the final two weeks of the campaign.
The retirement of Republican John Watkins opens the seat in the 10th District, which includes Powhatan as well as portions of Chesterfield and Richmond. We endorse Republican Glen Sturtevant who appears likely to embody the thoughtful independence that defined Watkins’ exceptional career. Sturtevant, a member of Richmond’s School Board, belongs to the GOP’s reform wing and stands in the philosophical mainstream. He supports changes to make merit the basis for judicial selection, would restrain governmental overreach and understands the role Virginia can play in national energy policy. His principal opponent, Democrat Dan Gecker, has served ably on Chesterfield’s Board of Supervisors and would prove a diligent senator. A close call was made easier when an outside group led by Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, decided to drop $700,000 into an effort to boost Gecker, whom it considers an ally in its pursuit of anti-gun laws. Voters in the 10th seem unlikely to embrace the cause or approve of outsiders meddling in their politics. Gecker would have enhanced his reputation if he scorned the dubious help. Marleen Durfee’s independent candidacy adds an outside voice to one of the state’s most competitive races. The results in the 10th could determine partisan control of the Senate. This stands as central Virginia’s most compelling assembly campaign in several cycles. Sturtevant would bring to the Senate the intellectual curiosity and temperamental moderation the GOP needs.I have wondered if Bloomberg and McAuliffe overreached with the amount of money that was dropped into the 10th and 29th districts. The Times Dispatch thinks so. We'll see on November 3rd.