Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Oppose Prohibition of Firearms on City Property

To the members of the Alexandria City Council: As a gun owner with a Concealed Handgun Permit (“CHP”) and native of Alexandria, I believe that your proposed anti-gun ordinance will infringe upon my freedoms. What right does the City of Alexandria have to take away the right of self-defense? Gun rights are human rights. Gun rights are women's rights. The right to self-defense is especially important right now, as lawless looters and criminals assault bystanders and damage and burn buildings in Virginia and across the nation. The City does not have the right to completely ban law-abiding citizens from possessing guns in government buildings, parks, recreation and community centers, and at permitted events and adjoining streets (hereinafter referred to as “City Property”) as proposed in Chapter 3 of Title 2 of the Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia (Section 2-3-5) “Prohibition of Firearms on City Property.” Meanwhile, firearms are allowed in National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and other lands owned by the Federal government.

As a preliminary matter, the City rushed this ordinance through during a pandemic without sufficient public hearings or meetings. It is also not supported by data. When asked on June 11 and 12, respectively, the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office and Police Department could not produce any statistics on:

(1) The number of crimes committed by CHP holders; or

(2) How this ordinance will prevent any crimes on City Property. The City has no record of crimes, arrests, or convictions for acts committed by CHP holders on City Property. Thus, the City is targeting a group that is crime-free and statistically helpful in preventing crime and violence while neglecting the rise of violent crime in Alexandria, specifically on City Property.

I frequent Alexandria parks and trails and am struck by how the City callously ignored that a man went on a shooting rampage at the Eugene Simpson ballfield when he tried to murder Congressman Steve Scalise, Senator Rand Paul, and others in their group on June 14, 2017. Average citizens do not have Special Agent Police details to protect themselves. Not everybody can wait for the Alexandria Police Department and Sherriff to handle this extremely dangerous criminal. Indeed, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul told MSNBC:

“Everybody probably would have died except for the fact that the Capitol Hill police were there, and the only reason they were there was because we had a member of [House] leadership on our team.”

Under the proposed ordinance, ordinary citizens would have no protection from the gunman or other criminals on City Property.

Vote AGAINST Chapter 3 of Title 2 of the Code of the City of Alexandria, Virginia (Section 2-3-5) “Prohibition of Firearms on City Property.”

Guns Save Lives!

Lisa A. Kilday Esq.


Ed. note: This letter has been edited for length.

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