FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2019
202-408-0061 x 1017
Senator Tommy Norment Says It Is “Too Soon” to Talk About Gun Violence; For Thousands of Virginians — It Is Too Late
The Senate Majority Leader’s tone deaf comments reveal how disillusioned leadership in Richmond is on gun violence.
Virginia Beach, VA— Late Friday afternoon, news broke of shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Twelve Virginians were shot & murdered with several more injured. Families lost loved ones and another community in Virginia is grappling with the effects of mass gun violence.
Republican leadership in Richmond in 2019 used its tiny majority once again to derail any efforts to strengthen Virginia’s gun laws. Leader Norment illustrated just how out of touch he is with the political realities around gun violence by issuing the following statement to the Washington Post.
“It is offensive, disrespectful, and tasteless that anyone – including Senator Ebbin and Ms [CSGV Virginia State Director Lori] Haas – would use a tragedy like this to promote a political agenda less than 24 hours after families and an entire community have suffered a loss of this magnitude,”
Leader Norment’s antiquated and inept response to gun violence that it is “too soon” to act or discuss solutions is a typical gun lobby stall tactic and an insult to all those whose lives have been murdered by gun violence. For thousands of Virginia families who have suffered the deaths and injuries from guns due to Norment’s inaction — it is too late.
Here are just a few of those stories where Majority Leader Tommy Norment also thought it was “too soon” and his inaction continues to cost Virginian lives.
January 1, 2004 (Newport News) Jeanette Richardson’s son Patrick McKinley was shot and killed because he asked a group of people to move their car.
April 16th, 2007 (Blacksburg) Peter Read’s daughter Mary was shot and killed while in her classroom at Va Tech. A total of 32 students and staff were murdered that day by a gunman using a semi-automatic handgun and high capacity magazines.
Lori Haas’s daughter Emily was shot and injured while in her classroom at Va Tech. A total of 32 students and staff were murdered that day by a gunman using a semi-automatic handgun and high capacity magazines.
October 4, 2009 (Richmond) Lisette Johnson was shot multiple times by her abusive husband before he shot and killed himself. Lisette lost two liters of blood and nearly lost her life.
February 25, 2014 (Glade Spring) Barbara Harrington’s mother, sister and nephew were shot and killed and her father shot & injured by her estranged brother-in-law early on the morning of February 25th, 2014. Barbara’s sister Kristen had received an Emergency Protective Order which sadly does not require the respondent to surrender his weapons. Kevin Palmer killed his wife, son & mother-in-law armed with a rifle and handgun and police later found an arsenal on the property.
May 17, 2014 (Hampton Roads) Margaret Eaddy’s son Jonathan Coles was shot and killed in a random shooting. She is the founder of Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters (M.O.M.S.A.D).
November 19, 2014 (Hampton Roads) Chnika Clark was shot in the chest by her abusive partner. Miraculously she survived.
August 26, 2015 (Moneta) Andy Parker’s daughter and reporter for WDBJ was shot and killed on live television while doing a news story. The shooter had exhibited threatening behaviors and had been fired from his job. The shooter used a semi-automatic pistol and fired 17 rounds.
October 31, 2015 (Norfolk) Kim Bose’s son Joseph was shot and killed outside a Norfolk apartment while walking with friends.
May 15, 2016 (Hampton) Anita Gonzalez’s 17-year-old son Jermell Hayes was shot and killed in a random shooting.
These individuals have all pleaded with Senator Norment for action and they have been given nothing in return except cheap gestures and excuses. For these Virginia families and the many, many thousands of Virginians who have died from gun violence over the years — it is too late.
This epidemic in the Commonwealth is completely preventable and deserves immediate action. If Senator Norment refuses to do so, he must go. It is time for a gun violence prevention majority in Richmond.