Opinion/Commentary: For Northam, adversity may yet yield opportunity on guns

Opinion/Commentary: For Northam, adversity may yet yield opportunity on guns

Gun Rights

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment talks with gun violence protesters outside his Williamsburg office on June 3, only a few days after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Gov. Ralph Northam called a special session of the General Assembly for July 9 to address gun legislation, but the legislature adjourned with no other action than to send the issue to a state commission for study and to plan to reconvene after the fall election. Richmond Times-Dispatch File Ralph Northam — the bridge of his nose dinged by a runaway bungee cord while recently puttering on his sailboat — knows what it’s like to get roughed up in politics, too. He went through it for several months over the blackface calamity. He went through it for several hours last week over the legislature’s response — non-response — to the May 31 mass slaying in Virginia Beach. Adversity is not without opportunity, however, for the Democratic governor. Take it from Republicans, not all of whom say Northam’s pitch on gun control is a ploy to divert attention from his racial embarrassment. “He’s worked very hard to get out there, to be the face of the commonwealth,” said Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford, one of Northam’s closest friends in the Senate GOP caucus and an occasional fishing buddy. “He’s back at work — full speed ahead.” The fallout over Northam’s 35-year-old medical school yearbook photo is lending new urgency to racial equity, an issue with which Virginia remains uncomfortable, despite its accelerating diversity […]

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