"The topic is especially sensitive in an election year when all 140 seats in the legislature are on the November ballot," Schneider notes. "Republicans are nursing two-seat majorities in both the Senate and the House of Delegates, and Democrats are hoping to inspire bigger-than-usual turnout to change the balance of power."
AP notes, "Friday's shooting has been Northam's first major test since a scandal over a racist photo in his medical school yearbook nearly drove him from office four months ago. . . .Republicans have previously rejected Northam's gun control bills out of hand," but House Majority Leader Tommy Norment told Williamsburg's Virginia Gazette, "I think there ought to be a meaningful discussion legislatively and in the community about gun control."