The op-ed columns on the Aug. 11 opinion page of the Culpeper Star-Exponent were a celebration of just a few of incumbent Del. Nick Freitas’s inadequacies.

He’s “mad” because his laxity, sense of entitlement and failure to follow instructions mean that he didn’t get on the ballot for November and will have to attempt a write-in campaign.

There are 245 Republican, Democratic and other candidates running for the Virginia General Assembly. Only three screwed up: Freitas, another Republican, and a Democrat. The other two were able to correct their mistakes to the state Election Board’s satisfaction.

Culpeper Star-Exponent columnist Tim Cotton—sometime Democrat, sometime Whig, sometime Jill Stein enthusiast, now the “national director of operations” of the Alliance Party, whatever that is—continues with the lame excuses in his column ("State Board of Election’s motivations are suspect in ruling on Freitas candidacy"). Cotton did have a Freitas sign in his yard in 2017, not surprisingly.

But the absolute worst of Freitas’s offenses are his egregious, callous and irresponsible opinions published on the same day that The Washington Post’s special section “The Lives Lost—Mass Shootings in America,” highlighted the continuing slaughter of innocents in Virginia and all across the country, in the aftermath of El Paso, Dayton and Virginia Beach.

His prescription ("Prevent violence by working together and defending the rights of gun owners") for doing something about gun violence is to do nothing except worship the Second Amendment and arm citizens to the teeth with weapons worthy of war, including those violent, impulsive and angry men (usually starting their careers abusing women) who are getting their hands on guns, despite the current laws on the books.

He asserts that “reliable estimates” find that between 500,000 and 3,000,000 Americans protect themselves with their guns annually. He provides no documentation. Those are not “reliable estimates”—they are, in fact, lies propagated by the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers to keep gun and ammo sales booming.

Despite Hollywood movies, towns across the real Old West had plenty of strict regulations against carrying firearms within town or city limits.

Touting his military service as expertise is duplicitous. There are plenty of us combat vets who have rifles, pistols and shotguns, but don’t feel the need to carry them around. They scare people when they’re open-carried. And pulling a concealed pistol in an active-shooter situation is likely to get you killed by the police.

This gun-totin’ “cowboy,” who tried to take a loaded pistol onto an airplane at Washington Dulles International Airport, needs to be retired before he does any more damage.

Ann Ridgeway is the one to do it. She deserves your support, and your vote in November.

Mike McClary

Culpeper

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