‘Let Us Provide Our Own Security’: Virginia Beach Manager Petitions for Guns at Work

The Daily Signal | 7/3/2019 | Staff
marisha (Posted by) Level 3
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Vincent Smith wasn’t in the office when a fellow Virginia Beach city employee opened fire there, ultimately killing 12 and wounding five in the carnage five weeks ago.

After getting notice of the shooting that afternoon in Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, Smith, 49, raced to the nearby emergency operations center, where he helped out until late in the night.

Law - Enforcement - Minutes - Report - May

It was soon clear that although law enforcement arrived within two minutes of the report May 31 of an active shooter, the gunman had been able to move through offices and fire at fellow city employees without being confronted by another firearm.

Now, Smith, the city’s division manager for construction services, is taking action in hopes of preventing such a situation from occurring again.

Policy - Employees - Something - Smith - Virginia

“Their policy failed, and it failed their employees, and we’ve got to do something different,” Smith said of Virginia Beach officials in a phone interview Monday with The Daily Signal. “I’ll take it all the way to the Legislature if I have to.”

Bringing back a petition he started over three years ago to allow city employees to carry a concealed firearm at work, Smith so far has garnered support from almost 5,000 of Virginia Beach’s estimated 450,000 residents, many of them fellow city employees.

Petition - Signees - Construction - Project - Manager

Among the petition’s original 260 signees was construction project manager Herbert Snelling, the only person to lose his life in the shooting who wasn’t a city worker. His family described Snelling, 57, as a gun rights activist and a man “who loved Jesus deeply.”

Smith’s petition seeks to overturn a city policy that prevents the resort city’s 6,000 employees from carrying a concealed handgun in the workplace.

Petition - Smith - Zones - Places - America

In his petition, Smith calls such gun-free zones “some of the most dangerous and vulnerable places in America.”

“There’s no law against ordinary citizens owning...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Daily Signal
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