Democratic Hopeful for Congressional Seat Talks Guns

Charlotte Moore

In early March she was still collecting the signatures needed in order to get on the June 12th primary ballot to run against fellow Democrats Peter Volosin and Sergio Coppola. Volosin is a Roanoke based planning consultant, Coppola is an IT professional in Harrisonburg. It is the first attempt at running for political office for both. Moore was twice elected to the County Board of Supervisors before losing a bid for a third term in 2016. (Republicans will select their candidate at a May convention)

A gun owner herself Moore says, “There are so many different issues on this topic.” She then recalled how her parents taught about values and respecting others – values that led children away from traits like bullying and violence. Moore says it’s not the same today.
“So that’s one part of the problem . . . The world has just changed so much. There’s so much violence and so much hatred.”  As for her stance, Moore wants to see loopholes in background checks closed, with more information entered into a database that could be accessed by gun dealers.

She also wants to see the Clinton-era ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammo magazines that expired during the George W. Bush years go back into effect. “I would like to add bump stocks to that also,” said Moore, referring to the accessory that helped turn a rifle into a semi-automatic for the shooter in Las Vegas last fall; he killed more than 50 and wounded 500 from a hotel room window.

Moore is already participating in forums as she seeks signatures to get on the primary ballot; she says many have concerns about “teachers and [other] people having weapons.” Arming teachers has been proposed by President Trump and others as a way to help keep schools safer after Parkland – an idea opposed by teachers unions at this point.  “A hot topic right now.” Coppola now says he wants to find a “middle ground” that includes keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill; no official word from Volosin on his stance to date.

Moore says a majority at these public forums agree with her on the assault weapon ban, limiting magazine sizes and outlawing bump stocks, something President Trump also says he supports. As for improving the database with information on those seeking to purchase guns, including mental health history if there is any, “we need to make sure that happens. There’s a lot of information either not being inputted – or the gun dealers aren’t receiving it.”

Students from Parkland and many others around the country have mobilized after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, calling for real change on access to guns. “When we put weapons above our children and our citizens … as gun owners we need to put our citizens first.”

As for the National Rifle Association, Moore just answers “absolutely,” when asked if she would like the NRA to come around on what she calls common sense gun legislation.

She sees how difficult the issue might be – for anyone who wins the seat now held by retiring 6th District Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte. “It’s reading into the Constitution. Do we change [it] or do we abide by the Constitution? It’s a very complex topic.”

Gene Marrano

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