Washington Gadfly

Liberals Whine That Tim Kaine Supported Tighter Gun Control?

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Evan Gahr Investigative Journalist
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The standard liberal line from Barack Obama on down is that they only want sensible gun control regulation, not confiscation.

But Hillary Clinton’s newly-selected running mate Tim Kaine is now taking flak from race activists for supporting some very sensible gun control measures that, unlike many other restrictions, actually decreased crime.

Reuters reports race activists are complaining that as Richmond mayor from 1998 to 2001 Tim Kaine strongly supported “Project Exile,” which allowed local federal prosecutors to treat illegal possession of guns as a federal rather than state offense, which requires longer prison terms. Under Project Exile convicted felons caught with an illegal gun automatically received five years in the federal penitentiary.

The program, supported by both the NRA and gun control groups, was enacted when Richmond had one of the highest homicide rates in the country. Within 10 months the city’s firearms homicide rate decreased by 41 percent.

Who could argue with any of that? Liberals who consider the incarceration of black criminals inherently racist. Civil rights lawyer Nicole Lee griped to Reuters that, “Project Exile broke black families. This is not a benign thing to be for. These measures were not used against white kids in the suburbs with guns, they were used against black kids in the cities.”

Sam Sinyangwe of the Black Lives Matters group Campaign Zero, said, “To select somebody like [Kaie] is not a sign of good leadership potential in a president.”

Activist groups are also beating the drums for Kaine to renounce Project Exile — later supplanted by a state initiative called Virginia Exile — much the same way Hillary Clinton this April renounced her support the 1994 Crime Bill.

Kevin Ring, vice president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, said Kaine needs to “evolve” on the issue to satisfy black voters. “There are some that will be bothered,” he contnended. “There will be questions.”

And only one acceptable answer.