Henrico County VA

Bill would let professors carry guns

Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas has proposed a bill that would allow full-time faculty members to carry guns on college campuses. House Bill 91 would ban policies by public institutions of higher education that prohibit full-time faculty members with Virginia concealed handgun permits from packing heat.

The Republican lawmaker’s rationale is that faculty members with guns could deter violence on campus. However, others believe the measure could backfire.

“I do not think the bill should be passed, but not because I am anti-gun,” said John Aughenbaugh, a political science professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “My concern is how would the policy be implemented and specifically how would we ensure that all faculty members carrying concealed weapons have the necessary training to use
firearms properly.”

Most college campuses have policies restricting firearms.

Aughenbaugh said proponents of firearms on campus believe such a policy would reduce tragic events, such as the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. However, Aughenbaugh said he’s not convinced.

“We do not know if having more firearms, especially without the requisite training and limitations, would increase the number of shootings on college campuses,” he said.

Some students are concerned about HB 91 and the effect it could have on campus life.

“Initially, it would make me feel a little nervous knowing that there is possibly a loaded gun in the classroom,” said Zachary LaRoche, an international studies major at VCU.

“Rationally, I would not feel that my life is in danger. I think I would actually feel safer knowing that a certified concealed weapons user was in the room.”

Marshall’s bill is awaiting action by the House of Delegates Militia, Police and Public Safety Committee.

To track or comment on House Bill 91, visit the Richmond Sunlight website: http://www.richmondsunlight.com/bill/2012/hb91
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HandsOn Day set for Oct. 17

HandsOn Day 2015, which will feature 1200 volunteers serving more than 65 nonprofits in Greater Richmond, will take place Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among the projects in Henrico or surrounding communities that need volunteers are: installing GardenFest lights Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, distribution center assistance at Feedmore, pumpkin carving with residents at SupportOne, work and play at Housing Families First, paint for independence at Heart Havens, spruce up the shelter and clean sweep at Harbor House at Safe Harbor, pinwheel project at REAP and Kidney Walk prep at National Kidney Foundation Serving VA. > Read more.

Online tool helps identify best native plants for pollinators

Virginians who want to plant beneficial plants for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds have a new resource at their fingertips. The online Virginia Native Plant Finder now lets users search for native plant species that benefit pollinators. The tool, which is managed by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, is free and easy to use; searches can be completed on desktops, tablets or smartphones.

Native plants are those that grow where they evolved; they have traits that enable them to adapt to local conditions. The Virginia Native Plant Finder lets users create their own custom native plant lists by selecting from dropdown menus. > Read more.

Growlers to Go opens in Short Pump; opening celebration Oct. 15

Growlers to Go has opened its second area location – in Short Pump, next to Trader Joe's.

Unlike the flagship store on the Boulevard in Richmond, this location is equipped with a Tasting Room, offering customers the opportunity to drink pints or tasting wheels as well as order snacks on premises. > Read more.


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