The shooting at a state government office building in Virginia late Friday afternoon by an employee seeking revenge over being fired from his job is already giving anti-gunners another opportunity to promote their anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment agenda.
DeWayne Craddock, a 40-year-old former engineer with the city’s public utilities department, planned his attack carefully in advance. Police reported that over recent weeks he legally purchased a number of firearms including the .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun and semi-automatic rifle that he used in his attack. He chose the perfect time to commit his crime: late Friday afternoon as the 400-plus employees were leaving the city’s Municipal Center for the weekend. He knew that, even though security detail had recently been beefed up following other recent mass shootings, he could enter the building without difficulty as he still held a security pass.
He also knew that the building was a gun-free zone thanks to Virginia’s state preemption law prohibiting Virginia Beach for enacting gun laws more favorable than those mandated by the state. It was anti-gun Governor Terry McAuliffe who signed an executive order in 2015 banning firearms in all government buildings. Ironically, at that time McAuliffe explained why: “We must take every precaution to protect our citizens and state employees from gun violence. We cannot wait until a tragedy occurs to decide to address it.”
Now he has that tragedy and history will record that it occurred thanks to those gun restrictions. Craddock was free to enter the building armed and intent on inflicting mayhem and murder on as many of his former co-workers as possible because he knew they would be unable to return his fire.
That gave him the opportunity to roam through three floors of his former workplace, fatally shooting 12 of his former workmates and wounding five more before police were able to end his rampage, with extreme prejudice.
The anti-gun rants began almost immediately. Exclaimed Barbara Henley, a member of the Virginia Beach City Council: “We watch it [happening] all over the country. You say, when in the world is this going to stop? You say, when is it going to be our turn? Today it happened to us. It’s really frightful to think it can happen anywhere in this country and at any time. It’s got to stop.”
The state's attorney general, Mark Herring, echoed Henley: "In recent years there have been mass shootings at American elementary schools, colleges, government buildings, offices, concerts, movie theaters, nightclubs, even churches, mosques, and synagogues. We have to do more to stop this kind of violence."
U.S. Representative Elaine Luria (D-Va.), stated that the incident "is more proof Congress must act to prevent gun violence” while the now all but invisible senator from Virginia who was Hillary’s running mate in 2016, Tim Kaine, took advantage of the rampage to promise to "keep pushing for Congress to take action to prevent the daily scourge of gun violence in America."
Anti-gunners now breathlessly await similar demands from various anti-gun groups in response to the shooting, including the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Brady Campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety and Americans for Responsible Solutions. The shooting by a disgruntled employee seeking revenge on his fellow workers on Friday in Virginia Beach is just too rich an opportunity for them to miss.
Photo: AP Images