Governor Ralph Northam today issued the following statement regarding the deadly mass shootings that killed at least 31 in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
“Once again, dozens of lives have been shattered by gun violence. Pam and I grieve with the communities and the families of those killed and injured in El Paso and Dayton.
“Two months ago, after twelve people were killed and four people were injured in a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, I called a special session of the General Assembly because gun violence is an emergency, felt across our communities daily.
“I asked legislators for more than just their thoughts and prayers. I asked them for votes and laws–votes to pass commonsense gun legislation, laws that will keep gun violence from killing more innocent people in our schools, office buildings, churches, stores, movie theaters, and synagogues.
“Our proposals were so commonsense that this week even the President of the United States proposed passing some of them, such as background checks and an extreme risk protective order. Yet Republicans in the General Assembly refused to even come to the table, leaving the special session after just 90 minutes.
“This loss of life to guns–more than 1,000 Virginians last year–will continue until we take action. Lawmakers can choose to return to the special session any time, and it is my hope they will do so to immediately to pass the commonsense background checks and extreme risk protective orders backed by the president.
“The time to save lives is now.”