Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A coffee shop situation recalled in a Reston Patch blog post drew hundreds of comments from readers. Here's what Oakton Patch and other Patch readers said.
Over the weekend, Patch ran a piece asking readers for comments on a coffee shop situation in Reston. Within 36 hours of publication, the Patch post had received more than 400 comments. The original situation was detailed in a blog post on Reston Patch—a man walked into a coffee shop with an openly-carried gun, and some women who frequent the coffee shop were uncomfortable with the way the man conducted himself. Oakton Patch readers weighed in and here, we’re rounding up some of their comments. What do you think about what your neighbors are saying? Comment below, or head back to the original post from Sunday and add to the discussion going there. An Oakton Patch reader named Phil wrote:“An automobile in a suburban setting has many …
Friday, February 15, 2013
Access to guns, mental health covered in Virginia rep's report by the National Science Foundation — topics he says need to stay part of the conversation.
Days after President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to call on Congress and the country to act on gun control, U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) has released a report that examines driving forces behind mass shootings, including violent media and mental health issues — topics absent from the president's address, Wolf said. The 41-page report, “Youth Violence: What We Need to Know,” includes several studies compiled by an advisory committee to the National Science Foundation (NSF). It will come before a U.S. House subcommittee later this spring. Among the study's findings: exposure to violent media is a significant risk factor in shootings, but also "one of the easiest risk factors to change,” the report says. Its suggestions…
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Vice President holds panel with Sen. Tim Kaine and other leaders on gun safety, gun laws, expanding mental health.
Saturday, January 26
By Katherine Johnson and Mechelle Hankerson, Capital News Service Vice President Joe Biden held a round-table discussion about gun violence Friday at Virginia Commonwealth University, saying “we cannot remain silent” on the issue. The discussion was closed to the public, but in remarks outside the panel he said the group reached a “broad consensus” that certain parties should be denied access to guns. They include convicted felons, those guilty of domestic violence and those who are legally found to not be capable because of mental capacity. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Jim Cole joined Biden for the discussion. Virginia officials …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
State Sen. Janet Howell was a sponsor of bill that would demand background checks at gun shows.
A Virginia Senate bill co-sponsored by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) that would close the "gun-show loophole" allowing people to purchase firearms at gun shows without a background check died in committee Wednesday. The committee voted 8-7 to stop SB 1001 from going forward. Howell, whose district includes Tysons Corner and parts of Vienna and Oakton, had touted the bill in several town halls even before the session began, trying to garner public scupport. Tighter gun control laws were also a cause she took on in last year's session. Lawmakers were were unable to work out an acceptable compromise, even after Sen. William Stanley (R-Franklin County) said last week he would work with Sens. Henry Marsh (D-Richmond) and Don McEachin (D-Henrico…
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Educators don't support arming teachers or principals, but would welcome more trained, armed School Resource Officers "if money was no issue."
A group of educators from one of Fairfax County's largest teachers' unions says it doesn't want guns in schools, according to a survey released Thursday morning by the union, which goes on to say security personnel "can help address a portion of the issue (of school security), but they cannot fix the entire problem." The results come after nearly 500 members of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers responded to a survey on school safety and security — in an effort to make teachers' voices a larger part of state and nationwide conversations about gun control and schools, according to the federation's president, Steve Greenburg "The issue of guns being brought to schools and the issue of making our schools more secure is a complex effort…
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Thursday meeting at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax aims to start community conversation.
An Oakton church will hold a meeting this week to gather input on gun violence. A group of residents at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax on Hunter Mill Road is inviting friends, neighbors and concerned citizens to talk on a local level about the national conversations about gun violence that have grown from the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. It's "an opportunity to meet and talk with your fellow citizens as a launching pad for taking action to end gun violence," an organizer wrote in an announcement posted on Oakton Patch. "While the federal government is finally primed to take action, it is vital that local evidence of support be organized to push for new policies that finally end this source…
Monday, January 14, 2013
Group charged with evaluating school safety says it'll focus on experts and fact, not emotion.
Monday, January 14
By Whitney Spicer, Capital News Service Members of Gov. Bob McDonnell’s School and Campus Safety Task Force vowed Monday their recommendations on keeping Virginia’s schools safe would be based on fact and not emotion. The task force – charged with evaluating the safety of schools and campuses throughout the state – was assembled by McDonnell in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last month in Newtown, Conn. “I thought in the wake of that terrible tragedy, it would be prudent to get all of our leading experts from all disciplines together to gather around a table or two, and talk about what can we do better,” McDonnell said. After a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary, some …
Friday, January 11, 2013
Members tasked with reviewing, making recommendations about safety in Virginia schools.
A state task force designed to review school safety procedures and make recommendations for any improvements at Virginia's schools -- created in the wake of the December shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn -- is set to begin next week, after Gov. Bob McDonnell named 45 people to the group Wednesday. Shortly after the shootings, which left 26 students and educators dead, Gov. Bob McDonnell issued Executive Order 56 establishing a multidisciplinary task force to review school and campus safety. In addition to several state legislators, law enforcement officials and mental health and safety experts, the task force also includes k through 12 and university-level educators and administrators, two students and the father of a …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
In light of Sandy Hook shootings and ahead of Virginia General Assembly kickoff this week, union turns to members to get opinion on guns in schools and what safe schools should look like.
In the weeks since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., politicians and advocacy groups have issued recommendations for how schools can try to prevent the tragedy — which killed 26 students and school employees — from happening again. A voice so far largely absent from those discussions in Fairfax and Northern Virginia: teachers. One of Fairfax County's largest teachers unions is hoping to change that, launching Tuesday a security and schools survey asking its 4,265 members about the use of guns in schools, where the system could use extra security personnel, how safe schools are now and how to make them safer, among other topics. "What I see more and more of is politicians posturing up and taking positions …
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
House of Delegates speaker says review likely to come on laws restricting gun ownership for the mentally ill.
House of Delegates Speaker William Howell (R-Stafford) told WTOP he expects the 2013 General Assembly to review restrictions on gun ownership for the mentally ill and proposals for increased school security. He also said Connecticut has stricter gun laws than Virginia. But "it goes way beyond gun control," Howell said, referring to the killings at Sandy Hook. The General Assembly meets for 30 days in odd-numbered years, with an option to extend annual sessions for a maximum of 30 days, according to the General Assembly website. This year's session begins on January 9. Related Stories on Gun Control and School Security: Virginia Educators Rebut Governor's Interest in School Staff Carrying Weapons NRA Calls for 'Armed Security' Around …