Reason in a Time of Emotion

March 25, 2018

When tragedies like the VA Tech and Parkland, Florida mass murders occur, we are all horrified and seek to prevent such things from happening again, but while that emotion is a good motivator, it is a poor way to find solutions.

Legislation born of emotion rarely accomplishes its intended purpose and too often has adverse, unintended consequences. Keep in mind that schools and universities did not become a common location for mass murder until after they were made ‘gun free zones.’

If we are to address the problem of mass murder, we should define what would constitute a solution.

Is marginally reducing the death toll by limiting the efficiency of firearms so that the toll was cut by half a solution? Of course not, so banning certain firearms or magazines is at best mitigation and what we want is a solution. In any case, keep in mind that the worst school shooting, at VA Tech, was accomplished with ordinary handguns and standard magazines. We now know that in the Parkland shooting, only 10 round magazines were used.

But the common factor at VA Tech, and in Parkland, as well as other shootings, was that the eventual mass murderer was known to be dangerous but the steps necessary to protect the public from their madness were not taken.

Both Seung-Hui Cho and Nicholas Cruz, the VA Tech and Parkland murderers, had committed crimes that would have made them ineligible to legally purchase firearms had they been prosecuted, but they were instead referred for mental health treatment, which they walked away from.

Medical privacy laws prevent reporting dangerously mentally ill persons to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system unless they represent an immediate and direct threat, so Cho and Cruz were not reported and were able to legally buy the firearms they used. But there are no privacy laws for felony convictions. Had they been prosecuted, Cho for stalking and Cruz for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, they would have been on the no-buy list.

We can still show compassion for the mentally ill, by making treatment a condition of probation, which would ensure compliance with treatment, but they would not be able to legally purchase firearms.

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TLP Position on 2016 Amendments

October 16, 2016

Proposed Constitutional Amendments 2016

 

Article I – Section 11A Right to Work.

Virginia is by law a ‘Right to Work’ State in that you cannot be required to belong to a union or other collective bargaining organization as a condition of employment. That law protects Virginia workers and companies from monopolistic practices by labor unions while allowing people to voluntarily participate in collective bargaining. That balance has contributed to Virginia’s relative prosperity and economic growth.

However, our ‘right to work’ status could be repealed at any time, with little warning, by the General Assembly and Governor simply by changing the law. Enshrining the Right to Work in a Constitutional Amendment would guarantee the Right to Work unless the Constitution were amended again, which takes a minimum of two years. That higher standard for changing the law requires that such a change be carefully considered and fully debated. Such a guarantee would also assure employers considering locating in Virginia that they can plan their operations here without fear of precipitous change.

The Tidewater Libertarian Party supports this amendment which protects our freedom and helps preserve a free and open market in the labor force.

Article X – Section 6B Property Tax Exemptions

Article X –Section 6A of the Virginia Constitution exempts from taxation the property of 100% disabled military veterans and their spouses, as well as the property of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces killed in the line of duty.

The proposed Amendment to section 6B would allow, but not require, localities to extend similar exemptions to the surviving spouse of certain emergency service workers who die in the line of duty. Localities would have to pass an appropriate ordinance to extend this relief.

The Tidewater Libertarian Party sympathizes with the intent of this measure, but asserts that there are better ways to accomplish this goal. In general, it is bad policy to exempt any group from taxation as that creates a constituency for raising such taxes for others. Taxes, when necessary, should be universally applied.

Localities already have the power to effect such relief by simply providing emergency services personnel with a life insurance policy paid to the surviving spouse as an annuity sufficient to cover property taxes.

This amendment, however well intentioned, is both unwise and unnecessary, and thus the amendment is opposed by the Tidewater Libertarian Party.

We support providing suitable insurance as an alternative.


TLP Position on Restoration of Civil Rights for Felons

May 22, 2016

Restoration of Civil Rights to Felons

Position of the Tidewater Libertarian Party

 

In general, the Tidewater Libertarian Party strongly supports the restoration of Civil Rights, including the right to vote, serve on juries and to keep and bear arms, to those convicted of felonies when they have completed their incarceration and probation, have made restitution to their victims when feasible, and demonstrated rehabilitation.

However, this must be accomplished consistent with the Virginia Constitution and the Rule of Law.

A government which will not be restrained by the Rule of Law is a far greater danger than any felon. Read the rest of this entry »


Upcoming TLP and VBTA event Oct 16

October 13, 2014

RandalO'TooleTownHallChange of location!!   The event will be at the same time, but has been relocated to the Virginia Beach Central Library Auditorium.

 


Battered Tea Party syndrome

March 11, 2014

We are all familiar with the sad tale of battered women who keeping taking their abuser back because they fear they have no place else to go, until eventually, their abuser kills them. It is heartbreaking for Libertarians to watch our friends in the Tea Party and other liberty activist groups in the GOP follow that same dismal path. Read the rest of this entry »


Tidewater Libertarian Party Position on Syrian Issue

September 9, 2013

The Tidewater Libertarian Party has released the following statement:

 

Authority for Military Action

 

Our Constitution vests the Congress with the sole power to authorize acts of war. The form of that authorization is not specified. In 1973, the Congress, recognizing that a more rapid response might in some cases be necessary in the modern world, passed the War Powers Resolution which gives the President authorization to act prior to Congressional action under certain very limited circumstances.

Read the rest of this entry »


No Wasted Votes

September 30, 2012
This year we have an excellent Libertarian Party Presidential candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, but realistically, he is not going to carry Virginia. Worse, Virginia is a battleground state this year, and a significant vote for Johnson could well swing the state, and the Presidency, to Barack Obama.
Still, it is very important that Gary Johnson gets a good share of the vote nationwide if we are to make progress toward the day when we will be competitive. So, what is a Libertarian to do?
Read the rest of this entry »