• 81°

But who pays for it and how?

 

I was taught early on in life that you get nothing for free – there is always a cost to everything. That cost might be in money or it might be in loss of freedom or security. At any rate, we should always ask – what is the real cost to me and my family?

Recently, a poll was released that concluded that a majority of Virginians want legislation that would require cleaner air, as we all do. However, the poll was based on what the questions were and how they were asked. If the question on clean air was: Do you believe the General Assembly should have cleaner air by ending the use of coal and/or natural gas and instead rely on solar and wind, many would answer yes.

However, if the question was preceded with the statement that currently we do not have the capacity to produce all the power we use with renewable resources, would you be willing to:

Pay two or three times more to receive the power needed to change over to renewables?

Would you be able to not drive to work but a couple of days a week?

Would you accept that you would not be able to heat your house above 60 degrees or cool it below 85?

Who believes that the majority would respond yes? Those who ask the questions know they wouldn’t, therefore, they limit the information they provide. They simply want you to respond the way they believe.

The same is true with the issue of guns. Often pollsters ask simplistic questions such as, “Should someone be able to buy an assault rifle or should they be able to have access to high round ammunition magazines?” They do not define what they mean by an assault rifle. They may even refer to automatic weapons that are currently restricted. They might forget to mention that an ammo magazine that holds seven rounds meets their standard of “high capacity.”

They might ask, “Should people who are mentally ill or are criminals be allowed to buy guns without background checks?” They don’t mention that it has been Virginia state law for almost 30 years that for someone to legally buy a gun in Virginia, the seller must run a background check. Those who cannot pass that check, either for criminal or mental reasons, are not allowed to make a purchase. By chance, it should be noted that those criminals are never investigated for their attempted buy.

Pollsters use the term “universal background checks” as if that is possible. It would effectively add those who buy guns at gun shows but that’s all. Those who go to gun shows rarely are the problem. It should concern everyone that the real problem is not someone who legally bought a gun but rather goes on the street to buy a stolen gun from the trunk of a car. In what world does one live in to believe that those who sell and buy guns illegally are going to delay the sale to ask the state police to do a background check? The only “universal checks” would be of law-abiding citizens; the evil doers would not be affected in the slightest.

Other gun issues that have arisen, such as trigger activators that can be made at home or bought on the internet, are impossible to regulate. Likewise, shifting the onus on law abiding citizens makes no sense as in the case where one becomes a criminal if they don’t realize theirs was stolen. The same is true if you tried to train the next generation how to handle and use a firearm safely.

The majority is not satisfied with your safety and freedom. They also want you to help pay for college education for those who are in Virginia illegally while those who live in 49 other states don’t get that benefit. They expect you to pay five cents for every plastic bag you use, but I often see them drinking water out of a plastic bottle, which is a far greater environmental problem than a paper or thin plastic bag.

As is often said at Memorial Day ceremonies, “Our Freedom is never free.”

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Charlotte in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.