Sixty VA lawmakers weigh in on gun crime after Chesapeake tragedy

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Answers ranged from a desire for more gun control to “thoughts and prayers” for the families of the victims affected in recent mass shootings.

VIRGINIA, USA — In light of yet another mass shooting, WUSA9 reached out to all 140 Virginia lawmakers and asked how to prevent further gun violence – here’s what they said.

As Virginia grieves over yet another mass shooting in one of its communities, state leaders are once again discussing how to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.

On Tuesday night, an employee walked into the Chesapeake Walmart before shooting and killing six of his coworkers. The gunman ultimately died by suicide.

The “Gun Violence Archive” determined that incident was the third mass shooting to happen in Virginia in ten days.

On November 18th, police found a mother and her three children shot to death in their Chesterfield home.

One day before, a University of Virginia student opened fire on his classmates inside of bus in Charlottesville. The shooting killed three members of the school’s football team.

WUSA9 decided to reach out to all 140 lawmakers in the Virginia General Assembly, following those high-profile crimes, to get their opinions on what should be done to curb gun violence in the Commonwealth.

We asked assembly members, should lawmakers pass more gun control measures in the upcoming session or not.

Twenty-four of the Virginia Senate’s 40 members provided statements to WUSA9 or commented on the Chesapeake shooting on their social media accounts. Meanwhile, 35 of the Virginia House’s 100 members did the same.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the members’ statements show stark differences in how they would like to fight gun violence in the community. Some are adamant more gun control laws should be passed in the Commonwealth, while others said if someone can figure out how to legislate “evil” out of the “human heart”, they’re “all ears.”

VA Senator Adam Ebbin discusses gun control.

The words “thoughts” and/or “prayers” are used in 23 members’ written statements in the Virginia House and Senate. The word “control”, in reference to gun control, is used in five statements. The word “legislation” comes up in ten statements. While the word “mental”, in reference to mental health, appears in nine statements.

If you would like to see what your lawmaker had to say about gun violence prevention, zoom and click on the map below. When there, click on you location in Virginia to find your corresponding legislator. If no statement is shown, that means the lawmaker did not provide WUSA9 with a statement or they did not comment on the Chesapeake shooting on Twitter or Facebook.

Sixty VA lawmakers weigh in on gun crime after Chesapeake tragedy

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