Every Local TV Story Should Feature Billy

City workers in Huntington, WV cut down a tree that was a hazard due to limbs breaking off. Unfortunately, the tree didn’t fall where they wanted it to go. The full story is here at WSAZ.

That was sad for the young lady whose Fiat 500 was destroyed. However, out of this comes a new hero of local TV news. That hero is Billy Tatum. You can hear why is the excerpt that has gone viral on Twitter.

Don’t you just know every local TV reporter who wants to make it to the big time wishes they had Billy Tatum in their highlight reel.

In case you have trouble with West Virginia accents, here is what Billy had to say.

“It sounded like a beer can getting flattened,” Tatum said. “It just was ‘crunch.’ I hate to say it, but it was kind of cool, you know? What guy doesn’t like destruction. That’s why we go to demolition derbies, but hey, the bottom line is that’s that girl’s new car, and she can’t get to school now.”

Earl Ray Says No To Constitutional Carry In The Mountaineer State

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D-WV) vetoed SB 347 this morning it was in the interest of public safety. SB 347 which passed both houses of the West Virginia legislature by overwhelming majorities. The bill would have made the state the fifth to adopt constitutional carry. While open carry is legal without a permit, concealed carry permits require mandated training and cost $105.

From Tomblin’s press release:

“Throughout my career, I have strongly supported the Second Amendment, as demonstrated by my repeated endorsements and high grades from the National Rifle Association. However, I must also be responsive to the apprehension of law enforcement officers from across the state, who have concerns about the bill as it relates to the safety of their fellow officers. It also would eliminate the required gun safety training courses for those applying for a concealed carry permit. In light of these concerns and in the interest of public safety for all West Virginians, I have vetoed Senate Bill 347.”

Another politician who had received high grades from the NRA at one time, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), was already under fire for his opposition to SB 347 in which he said West Virginians believed in “gunsense”. That is one of the code words popular with Shannon Watts and the Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors. The Firearms Policy Coalition said that Manchin who claims to be a Life member of the NRA needs to be booted from the organization. As Sebastian noted today, he’s not sure West Virginians much care for Manchin and we’ll find out for sure in 2018.

The West Virginia Citizen’s Defense League hasn’t not commented publicly on the veto yet and are still considering their options. However, their Facebook page has a very active comment thread on it. It appears that a veto override will require a special session of the legislature.

Legislators on both sides of the aisle are indicating that they will vote in favor of the bill when it comes up again.

Del. Rupie Phillips (D-Logan, 24) supported the legislation in the House of Delegates and promised to do so again.

“We spent a lot of time on this issue and I hate that we’re going to have to spend time again on it at the beginning of next year’s session,” Phillips said.

Meanwhile, Del. Mike Folk (R-Berkeley, 63) has said the bill will come up again in the next session. He also dismissed the supposed concern that it would put law enforcement at risk.

He dismissed claims that it would have put law enforcement officers at risk. “They assume (already) that every person is armed, so the safety issue is not a good argument,” Folk said.

He is promising to bring the proposal up again during next year’s Regular Legislative Session.

“We’ll do it again next year and we’ll make sure we do it early enough that he can veto it next year and the same thing that happened with the pain capable bill will happen with this bill,” Folk said, referencing this year’s legislative override of Gov. Tomblin’s veto of the bill that would have banned abortions in West Virginia after 20 weeks.

Given the overwhelming majorities in favor of the bill, 71-29 in the House and 30-4 in the Senate, I think it is a safe bet that when it comes up again, it will pass.

The Topic That Dare Not Speak Its Name

With apologies to Oscar Wilde, for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) there is a topic that dare not speak its name. That topic is gun control and the Second Amendment.

Sen. Manchin gave an interview to The Journal of Martinsburg, WV that was published on Sunday. At the top of the interview was the following editor’s note:

Editor’s note: This question and answer session was permitted under the condition that The Journal would not ask questions regarding gun control legislation or the Second Amendment, as requested by the senator’s staff.

Given that Manchin was elected to a full six-year term in 2012 and won’t be up for re-election until 2018, I find this all rather strange. You must wonder what the good Senator has to hide.

His staff is now denying that they made the topic off-limits. They just said he wouldn’t answer questions on gun control or the Second Amendment.

The way I see it is that it is irrelevant whether the topic was off-limits or that Manchin would just refuse to answer the question. He still is hiding. He’s backtracked a good deal from the earlier positions he took in January. If I were a resident of West by God Virginia, I’d be demanding answers as a constituent to just where Manchin stands now on gun control. He owes his constituents an honest answer and it looks like he is doing everything in his power to avoid doing that.

H/T Instapundit

Two Gun Rights Lawsuits Filed In West Virginia

The West Virginia Citizens Defense League (WVCDL) filed two lawsuits in Federal court on Monday challenging restrictions on firearms in four West Virginia cities.

The first lawsuit, WVCDL et al v. City of Charleston et al, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. This lawsuit challenges the ban on carrying firearms on city-owned property in the cities of Charleston, South Charleston, and Dunbar. It also challenges the City of Charleston’s 3-day waiting period for the purchase of a handgun alown with the city’s one handgun per month rationing scheme. Named in the lawsuit are the cities along with their respective mayors and chiefs of police.

The second lawsuit, WVCDL v. City of Martinsburg et al, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.This suit challenges a City of Martinsburg ordinance prohibiting the carrying of firearms in city-owned buildings. Named in the suit are the City of Martinsburg, its mayor, city manager, and chief of police.

The WVCDL’s attorney, Jim Mullins of Beckley, has this to say about the lawsuits to the Charleston Gazette:

“No criminal or deranged lunatic is going to be deterred from committing a crime on public property by the prospect of a whopping 30 extra days in jail for violating a municipal ordinance prohibiting guns on city property,” Mullins, a Beckley attorney, said in a prepared statement.

“Neither will a criminal wait while his intended victim goes through the three-day waiting period Charleston imposes on buying a handgun,” he said. “And if you happened to have bought a handgun recently and it was stolen? Well, that same criminal also won’t wait for you to become eligible to purchase another handgun under Charleston’s one handgun per month rationing ordinance.”

The mayor of South Charleston, Frank Mullens, said his city attorneys would examine the ordinance and Federal law and implied they would change them if needed. Mayor Danny Jones of Charleston was more defiant about his city’s ordinances:

“If it’s illegal for us to do it [ban guns on city property], then it’s illegal for the state Capitol to do it, it’s illegal for the county courts and it’s illegal for the federal courts to do it,” Jones said. “I think we should be able to restrict firearms on our own property.”

He went on to add that he didn’t feel his city’s handgun purchase restrictions were unreasonable saying people can still buy guns.

According to the Charleston Gazette, the restrictions in Charleston, passed in 1993, were a reaction to the drug trade in the city during the 1980s and 1990s. An unintended consequence of the strict gun laws and bans in New York City and other large cities was that a flood of drugs were introduced to West Virginia by drug dealers from those cities seeking guns. Drugs were traded for guns or sold for cash to buy guns through straw purchases.

The complaint against Charleston, South Charleston, and Dunbar can be found here while the complaint against Martinsburg is found here.