Northam calls on leaders to stand up to gun violence, bigotry

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Following the news of two more mass shootings over the weekend, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) says more leaders need to take a stand against gun violence and white nationalists. 

Speaking to reporters in Charlottesville, Gov. Northam addressed the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, saying everyone needs to take action. 

“I just hope Americans across this country will stand up and say we can’t tolerate the gun violence,” Northam said, “we’re not going to take this anymore.”

In reference to President Donald Trump’s speech this morning on the incidents, Gov. Northam says President Trump should have stood up against bigotry and hate two years ago. 

Next week will be the anniversary of the Unite the Right Rally, where white nationalists organized in Charlottesville to protest against Confederate monuments being removed. The rally turned deadly. 

“I regret that our president didn’t take the lead on this two years ago, he said these were good individuals. There’s nothing good about people that, that spew hatred and bigotry,” Gov. Northam said. “I heard this morning that he denounced racism and bigotry but I would hope he’d look in the mirror. That’s the first person that needs to start with.”

The police lights are barricades are also bringing back memories from two months ago in Virginia Beach, where 12 people were shot and killed in a city municipal building.

Gov. Northam had called lawmakers back to Richmond for a Special Session on gun violence. Lawmakers were only in the chambers for 90 minutes. Instead of voting or working on the legislation then, Virginia Republicans called on the Virginia State Crime Commission to review the measures as well as the incident in Virginia Beach.

“I regret that they spent less than 90 minutes addressing this, Virginians expect more,” Gov. Northam said. “The crime commission is fine, I applaud them for discussing this, but we’ve had enough studies.”

The spokesperson from House Speaker Kirk Cox’s office, Parker Slaybaugh said in a statement, “Saying that Republicans ended the Special Session and the debate on gun violence after just 90 minutes is nothing more than political rhetoric in an election year…This commission is taking a comprehensive look at protecting our communities by focusing on mental health, firearms and public safety.”

The crime commission is meeting Aug. 19 and 20. You can also submit comments on the legislation by email to comments@vscc.virginia.gov or via postal mail at Virginia State Crime Commission, 1111 East Broad Street, Ste. B036, Richmond, VA 23219. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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