With the help of a donation from Westminster, thirty-seven people, including nine members of our congregation, took a bus to Richmond on January 15, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, to attend a rally and visit legislators at the Virginia General Assembly. The group included members of the Charlottesville Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention, the League of Women Voters, the Presbytery of the James, and members of several Charlottesville faith communities. The rally near the Capitol featured rousing talks by our new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, as well as moving accounts from children who had lost an innocent parent from senseless gun violence. Two of our group drove earlier in the day to attend and speak at a meeting of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee, in order to support stronger legal restraints to prevent gun violence. After the rally we visited Senator Creigh Deeds and aides to Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegates Rob Bell, David Toscano, and Steve Landes. We also left messages at the offices of Senators Norment, Saslaw, and Favola. The conversations were productive and informative, despite apparently changing few minds. It is hard to imagine, however, that the large number in our contingent (thanks to the bus!) did not make an impression and plant a seed. We left with renewed commitment to work for better laws.
This was a joint effort by many people. We appreciate so much Westminster’s willingness to join the work on behalf of sensible gun laws.