Opinion: Letter to the Editor: What Problem is Ban Solving?

To the members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors who recently voted to move forward on a public hearing for a total ban on firearms in public places within Fairfax County, I ask a simple question: what problem is this solving? Does Fairfax County have a gun-crime problem in public places? Can you point to any facts, statistics or non-emotional anecdotes which justifies such a move? Concealed carry permit holders are the most law-abiding demographic in the nation. Over 420,000 Virginians are licensed to carry a concealed weapon, which means on average 1 out of every 20 Virginian passersby could be armed at any given moment except where firearms are foolishly prohibited. One out of every 20 people you pass by is prepared to defend themselves, their families or the people around them, from violent crime.

Your decision to proceed down the path to ban guns in open spaces is nothing but divisive. Americans are passionate about the 2nd Amendment. If you don't like it, there's a process to repeal it. America has enough divisional strife without needlessly adding to it through emotional and fact-less legislation.

County spending and taxes have increased 25 percent over the past five years. I don't know anyone who's salary has increased 25 percent in five years and many of our residents are currently unemployed due to the COVID shutdown. Stores are permanently closing and our future-years tax base is getting wiped out. We're trying to give our kids an education through remote learning, and their physical activity has decreased as sports leagues are shut down. Studies show depression and anxiety are on the rise. Our roads need maintenance, the mass-transit system we partially fund is hemorrhaging money, There's homelessness and an opioid addiction crisis. The Board of Supervisors is needlessly kicking a hornet's nest when it should be concentrating on real, tangible problems that everyone can get behind.

Our county is not lacking in problems, and good, solid leadership would set out a rational, reasonable and affordable plan to solve them together, united as a community.

Matt Rising