Observations

J.R.’s written observations on politics, public policy, and society.

Value discussion, but remember reactionary gun control is not the best response to a mass shooting

The rush to gun regulation in the aftermath of gun violence is exactly why we have a Bill of Rights.

Virginia House Republicans Have A Second Chance on Medicaid Expansion

Now is not the time to play the political odds: There are way too many uncertainties in the federal Medicaid debate for us to think it is responsible to spin the roulette wheel with Virginia’s fiscal future.

Who’s Watching the Traffic Camera Companies?

Red light and traffic cameras have been pitched to the public as a way to more accurately police intersections, improve public safety, and save money. While this may still possibly be true, a couple of camera companies look like they might be running into issues here in the commonwealth.

Buffalo Soldiers Honored by Senate

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia was one of several U.S. Senators to applaud the heroism of the “Buffalo Soldiers” in honor of Black History Month:

In celebration of the achievements and contributions that African-Americans have made as part of Black History Month, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner cosponsored a bipartisan resolution to honor the “Buffalo Soldiers,” African-American soldiers who served in the United States Army following the Civil War and made invaluable contributions to the fabric of our nation’s history.

Following the conclusion of the Civil War, the United States Army allowed African-Americans to serve in segregated units. Two of these units, the 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry, produced the “Buffalo Soldiers.” The soldiers received their nickname from Native Americans as a testament to their fearlessness in battle. In spite of being allocated inadequate resources and facing prejudice, the Buffalo Soldiers earned more Congressional Medals of Honor and had the lowest desertion rate of any unit in the Army. Five of those Medal of Honor recipients hailed from Virginia – Isaiah Mays (Carters Bridge, Va), Fitz Lee (Dinwiddie County, Va), Henry Johnson (Boydton, Va), Clinton Greaves (Madison County, Va), and Benjamin Brown (Spotsylvania County, Va).

“These brave Americans were among the first to answer the call to service at a time when African-Americans frankly weren’t treated as full members of our society,” said Warner. “We owe a debt of gratitude to the Buffalo Soldiers, and this resolution is an important way to honor their service to the United States.”

We certainly live in a unique time, not a month ago Warner wrote this, along with Senator Tim Kaine and Congressman Rob Wittman with relevance to the newly recognized Virginia tribes:

“While these six Virginia Indian tribes were formally recognized by the British and the Commonwealth of Virginia, they were not able to attain formal recognition status by the United States government for decades. Many of the tribes’ official documents were destroyed in the burning of Virginia’s courthouses during the Civil War, and the remnants of their records were lost through the passage of a Virginia law, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which almost erased the identities of these tribes. Now, after many years, these individuals have the opportunity to fully reclaim their heritage and take advantage of a designation that has been withheld from them for far too long.”

Both actions deserving, but a bit ironic how far times have come since the bloody battles of the past.

Blacks Denied Conventional Mortgages More Often

This report should make blacks angry. But not the way I fear it might be construed.