In Virginia, it has been declared legal to carry a loaded weapon into bars, state parks and, now, churches.
Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli has issued an opinion that it is OK to pack heat in the pews or choir as long as the owner has a good reason, namely “personal protection.”
Cuccinelli, who issued his opinion at the request of Del. Mark Cole, a Spotsylvania Republican, has backed up the “good and sufficient reason” part of a state law that otherwise bans guns and knives from churches. The attorney general, however, says that the churches can still ban weapons if they wish.
The opinion follows series of laws and decisions that widely expand the rights of Virginians to pack heat. If one has a concealed weapons permit, it is OK to take your Glock or Colt automatic pistol into a bar, as long as you don’t drink alcohol. Ditto state parks if you don’t imbibe.
Churches, however, seem a bit of a stretch, even for gun-crazed Virginians. For most of the world, houses of worship are thought to be centers of forgiveness and peace. With Cuccinelli’s parsing of words, a churchgoer might have enemies in the congregation who might want to take him out before or after the sermon. I won’t even go into what this means for the centuries-old practice of church sanctuary.
Once more, people like Cuccinelli make the Old Dominion look absurd.