Democrats in Manassas Park, VA: A Closer Look at Gun Control

When journalist Hal Pal's campaign director, Luisa Guerra, was asked about his stance on weapons, she said the issue didn't “resonate with voters”. But if Democrats take control of the Virginia state legislature on Tuesday, they will have unified power in this southern state for the first time in a generation. This will give them the opportunity to enact stricter gun laws, expand the rights of L, G, B, T and Q., and increase the state's minimum wage. The Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) operates under the Virginia Democratic Party's State Partial Plan.

During the last legislative session, they protested as concerned citizens in Richmond against Virginia's ratification of the equal rights amendment (the bill didn't succeed, but Democrats could revive it next year). The suburbs are now the nation's political battleground, as white, college-educated voters have leaned toward the Democratic Party and residents with greater racial and economic diversity have been settling in. In the Democrat-led legislature, several attempts to curb the campaign finance system by limiting contribution amounts or limiting corporate donations have failed, despite being a popular topic among progressives. On the subject of immigrants' rights, legislators approved bills that expanded driver's privilege cards, state tuition and financial assistance to undocumented immigrants living in Virginia.

For the past two years, Democrats have maintained deep divisions over electric utility reform. When it comes to gun control, Democrats have lobbied for bans in places such as government buildings, parks, and at events such as rallies and political protests. Before obtaining a majority, Democrats made it clear that they wanted to pass stricter laws to prevent potentially dangerous people from accessing firearms and to allow firearms to be banned in more public places. Terry McAuliffe has said that “money in politics isn't bad or good”. Some members of the more progressive wing of the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives unsuccessfully pressured their colleagues to go further. Democrats also established a series of new civil rights protections, making it easier to file discrimination lawsuits of all kinds in state courts with the Virginia Securities Act and explicitly prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations.

In higher education, Democrats met one of their top priorities: free community college for low- and middle-income students. The race for control of Virginia's legislature is an important one for Democrats as it could help determine whether they have unified power in the state. It could also give them an opportunity to enact stricter gun laws and expand civil rights protections for all citizens. With unified power comes great responsibility and Democrats must ensure that they are taking all necessary steps to protect their constituents while also respecting their rights.

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