A. Barton Hinkle writes: Baptists do not abide drunkenness, which is why (it has been said) they never recognize one another in the liquor store. In much the same vein, Virginia will not abide gambling.
Gaming and the laying of odds, however, are another matter.
Gambling is a low and dirty act that starts in cupidity and ends in crime, bankruptcy and broken homes—or at least so say its foes, as they have been saying for centuries. As early as 1727, Virginia adopted the Statute of Anne—which rendered gambling debts unenforceable—and in 1744 the colony prohibited gambling in public places altogether.
Such attitudes linger today. Thirty-nine states have some form of casino gambling, but Virginia is not one of them, noted a Washington Post article a little while ago. The story quoted Richard Saslaw, the Democratic leader in the state Senate: “Forty-nine states will have it before we get it,” he said before adding, “maybe 48” — a nod to Utah’s Mormon ways. Small chance, then, that Sen. Louise Lucas’ proposal will win approval. She wants to introduce casino gambling to Hampton Roads.
Yet if gambling as an end in itself is an outrage against decency in the state’s eyes, then wagering as a means to other ends is something else altogether. Thus the state runs a hugely successful lottery. And like all those in the numbers racket, Virginia’s “house” fixes the odds in its own favor: Last year alone, the state raked in nearly half a billion from suckers who played its games of chance and lost.
But the official line denies that this constitutes gambling. It is, rather, government-provided “fun”—and it raises money for the schools! One hundred percent of the state’s proceeds go to Virginia’s K-12 education system, the lottery website notes. (It does not note that this transfer thereby frees up money for lawmakers to spend on other things.)
Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, is in a hospital after being stabbed this morning in his home, the Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting. His son, Gus, died from a gunshot wound.
The events leading up to the shooting and stabbing were unclear, the newspaper was reporting. State Police said troopers arrived at Deeds’ Bath County residence around 7:25 a.m. and remain on scene as they investigate the incident.
Deeds was flown from the scene to the University of Virginia Medical Center and was listed in critical condition. A message left for a university spokeswoman was not immediately returned. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have the misfortune to be familiar with Piers Morgan, the British former tabloid “reporter” and “talent judge” known on this side of the Atlantic as CNN’s most overbearing gun control proselytizer, you won’t be surprised at what he did on Tuesday…
In a real life demonstration of scholar John Lott’s maxim “more guns, less crime,” violent crime has dropped in Virginia as gun ownership has increased.
According to a Fox News report, firearms sales in Virginia were 16 percent higher in 2012 over 2011 and violent crime went down by 5 percent.
Perhaps the significance of this is best seen in the raw numbers: In 2012 licensed gun dealers sold 490,119 guns in their state, while the number of violent crimes for the same time period was 4,378.
Virginia Commonwealth University assistant professor Thomas R. Baker commented on the numbers: “This appears to be additional evidence that more guns don’t necessarily lead to more crime.”