The Washington Post

hed here

In one aisle, a boy of about 13 picks up a bolt-action hunting rifle with a scope. “Look dad,” he says. “This one can go to 1,000 yards,” he says.

Green Top, with its familiar green-roofed building on U.S. 1 just north of Richmond, has been a landmark since 1947. Later this year, though, the store will move about a mile away to a big box formerly occupied by Gander Mountain Co. Both sites are not far from another big gun dealer, Bass Pro Shops.

The two chain stores are noteworthy these days. James Holmes, who allegedly shot and killed 12 and wounded 59 in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater, bought his weapons at outlets of Gander Mountain and Bass Pro Shops.

At Gander Mountain, Holmes picked up a Smith and Wesson .233 semi-automatic rifle and a .40 caliber Glock handgun. At Bass Pro Shops, he got a Remington shotgun and another Glock handgun. He allegedly carried three firearms, along with bullets he bought on the Internet, into a midnight showing of “Dark Knight Rises” while wearing bizarre, combat-looking regalia.

In Virginia, with its many square miles of excellent hunting land, the gun culture is very strong. Still, the Colorado killings are drawing strangely little comment here. It’s even stranger to realize that the theater killings still don’t match the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, which ended with the shooter and 32 others dead.

The Virginia Tech terror lurked in the background on Feb. 28, when Gov. Robert F. McDonnell signed into law a repeal of 1993 statute that limited the purchase of more than one handgun every 30 days. The law had been a signature bill for former Gov. Doug Wilder, who was incensed that Virginia had been funneling illegal firearms into large northern cities.

Conservative forces and Second Amendment activists had lobbied for years to get rid of the ban. Families of Virginia Tech victims begged McDonnell not to go along with the General Assembly. Before McDonnell signed the repeal into law, his staff dutifully alerted reporters. But the usually talkative McDonnell made no statement. As is the case now, the silence was maintained.

Peter Galuszka blogs at Bacon’s Rebellion. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Play Videos
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
The rise and fall of baseball cards
How to keep your child safe in the water
Play Videos
'Did you fall from heaven?': D.C.'s pick-up lines
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
How to get organized for back to school
How to buy a car via e-mail
The signature drink of New Orleans