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irginia state senator Adam Ebbin, co-chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, talks with Rachel Maddow about the challenge of overcoming Republican obstruction of gun safety legislation and whether a special session called by the governor in the wake of the deadly Virginia Beach shooting could sway the politics of the issue.

When Adam Ebbin, the first openly gay Virginia state lawmaker, arrived in Richmond 16 years ago, he looked around at the hundreds of staffers working in the Capitol and realized he didn’t know a single one who was gay.

Ebbin (D-Alexandria) said aspiring campaign workers from marginalized groups should think big.

“A lot of times, people from different groups don’t see every field as open” because they don’t see people like themselves, Ebbin said. But, he added, campaigns need workers who represent the “rich experience” of the community.

Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who chairs a gun safety caucus, planned to attend the 10 a.m. news conference in Richmond.

“Every time there’s a tragedy, people talk about whether this law or that law could have prevented it,” Ebbin said. “We’ve got to take an approach where we at least try . . . for a more comprehensive approach rather than just react to one piece of this.”

He has backed measures, all failed, that would promote safe storage of guns, prevent children from getting access to weapons and make all sales subject to background checks.

“We are just trying to promote a culture of responsible gun ownership. We are not trying to take away everyone’s guns,” Ebbin said.

Each year, Democrats propose multiple gun-control measures, such as strengthening background checks, limiting handgun purchases to one per month and allowing localities to regulate guns in public buildings.
They call these “common-sense” measures to save lives.

Each year, Republican majorities in one or both chambers of the legislature vote them down, usually in committee. Republican legislators say their goal is never to infringe on people’s second amendment rights. 
Virginia attack is latest of 568 mass shootings in two years in US

“There’s been no tragedy that has got the [Republican] majority to think twice and consider reasonable efforts,” said Adam Ebbin, a Democrat from Alexandria, who sponsored SB 1748 and is co-chair of the group Gun Violence Prevention Caucus.

State Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, applauded Herring's stance on legalization. Since 2015, Ebbin has carried legislation intended to decriminalize possession, but the bills have all failed.

"I appreciate his leadership," Ebbin said. "I think by virtue of his office ... this adds momentum to what is already moving in the right direction."

In early May, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Corrections seeking to end the practice of prolonged solitary confinement in the commonwealth.

The class-action lawsuit was submitted on behalf of inmates held in solitary at Red Onion and Wallens Ridge, two supermax state prisons in Southwest Virginia.

The Virginia House of Delegates voted 70-30 and the Senate voted 30-10 on Northam’s budget amendment on Senate Bill 1613, which eliminate the suspensions.

Virginia Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-30) introduced the bill this session.

“I applaud Gov. Northam for bringing this measure before the entire General Assembly for a vote. Unwarranted license suspension disproportionately impacts the most economically disadvantaged Virginians without making our communities safer,” Ebbin said. “Virginians rely on driving to access education, childcare, health care and employment, taking away that resource for nonpayment of a fee is cruel and illogical.” 

State Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who sponsored the $1.5 million increase that the General Assembly approved in February, said he applauded Northam’s latest effort , but the money still falls far short of what’s needed.

“I’m concerned that if we don’t keep pushing ahead in a big way, this won’t get ramped up any further,” he said. If Democrats win control of the General Assembly in November, he added, “I’m very hopeful . . . there will be more in the trust fund. But it won’t just happen by wishing for it.”


"Google should know better than to provide a platform to those targeting young LGBTQ people with false, destructive messages. I urge Google to refuse to be complicit in spreading hate and follow Apple, Amazon, Microsoft to remove the 'ex-gay' app from store" said Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin

The effort to halt the suspensions has the support of a broad coalition that includes groups such as the Legal Aid Justice Center and the Virginia Poverty Law Center, Prison Fellowship and Americans for Prosperity, a group that backs conservative and libertarian causes.

Legal Aid Justice Center Executive Director Angela Ciolfi said the organization is “hopeful that the General Assembly will seize this critical opportunity to end this unconstitutional practice.”