Saturday, February 17, 2018

Priorities in the Wake of the Florida School Shooting

February 17, 2018

Priorities in the Wake of the Florida School Shooting

As the parent of middle and high school-aged children, I will be the first to express my profound sadness and fear in the wake of the school shooting this week in Plantation, Florida.  No parent should ever have to endure that fear and no community should ever have to accept that this happened.  Seventeen people were senselessly murdered.  There is no rhyme, reason or justification for it.

But as so often happens in the wake of these incidents, the leftstream media and the left-leaning folks in the zeitgeist call for gun control – more legislation about who can own guns, who can buy guns, where guns are permitted, etc.  Then come the echoes from the pro-gun side about the Second Amendment and how laws don’t actually prevent determined people from committing crimes.  If you read this blog regularly, it should come as no surprise that I agree with the pro-gun element in this discussion.  Guns don’t kill people, evil intent does.  Guns are simply a tool for evil, just like moving trucks are for radical Islamists who drive into large groups of people. 

Let’s talk about math for a moment.  There are more guns in America than there are people. Setting aside the Second Amendment, it would be impossible to confiscate and destroy all of those guns.  If you make the purchase of the guns more difficult or near impossible, they will still be bought and sold.  So the reality in 2018 is, we need to do more to fortify our schools.  We need to invest in measures to harden those soft targets if we want to prevent this from ever happening again.  Doing so will require money, manpower and above all, commitment. 

“But O’Hanrahan! The government doesn’t have any money!”  Right.  Well, I beg to differ.  In fact, the government has all of the money they ever want or need for any given project.  They simply don’t prioritize things like school safety and security.  The bottom line is, it’s not important to them.

For example, let’s take the Broward County Public School system.  In 2016-17, the budget for the Broward School System was just under $3.7 BILLION dollars… Yes, that’s BILLION with a “B”.  Take a look:



Yet, with all that revenue, the Broward School System ostensibly didn’t allocate much, if at all, to school safety and security.  A quick scan of the budget document (located here: http://www.broward.k12.fl.us/Comptroller/cfo/budget/NEW_PDFS/District%20Budget/District%20Budget%202017.pdf ) indicates no allocation within the budget for safety and/or security.  All that cash and no one can bring themselves to spend a little on student safety?  What does that tell you about the priority of the Broward School System?

In fact, public education is hands-down, far-and-away the single largest portion of any state or local governmental budget.  More than public safety, more than assistance programs, more than any other category.  Bringing it closer to home, here are some of the public school budget numbers from inside the Commonwealth of Virginia:

·        Fairfax Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $2.8 Billion
·        Loudoun Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $2.5 Billion
·        Stafford Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $278 Million
·        Henrico Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget: $469 Million
·        Chesterfield Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $621 Million
·        City of Newport News Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $305 Million
·        Gloucester Co. Public Schools FY 2018 budget:  $65 Million
·        City of Charlottesville Public Schools FY 2018 budget: $81 Million

You get the idea…

Yet in all of these budgets, if safety and security is addressed or funds are allocated, it is a fraction of 1%.  If you want to see what the real priorities are in your government, follow the money.  Less than 1% -- That’s how much the public school system feels about the safety of your children. 

After the tragic shooting in Newtown, CT in December of 2012, I wrote my local school board member and County Board of Supervisors a letter.  I explained my background and expertise in the area of school safety and active killer response for law enforcement.  I told them under no uncertain terms that if they want to make real progress to protecting the children in our County, they need at least 1 full-time police officer stationed in each school because (although I didn’t quote him), Wayne LaPierre was right – The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

My proposal was not only dismissed, but other consequences ensued from me sharing my opinion and expertise with them.  That’s how much they cared about my kids’ safety.  Nothing got done and I was actually reprimanded by my employer.

So leftists can claim the NRA is at fault for their lobbying efforts or for partially bank-rolling pro-gun or pro-Second Amendment candidates, but their contributions are a drop in the bucket compared to the revenue the public school system spends.  And they spend virtually none of it on safety or security. 

Who will hold the public school system accountable for protecting our children?  We entrust them with our kids’ lives every day they leave the safety of our homes and they spend virtually no time or effort to ensure their safety.  It’s inexcusable and it needs to change.

-O’Hanrahan





Thursday, January 11, 2018

Some Early Stinkers in the 2018 General Assembly Session



January 11, 2018

Some Early Stinkers in the 2018 General Assembly Session

Well, the new and not-so-improved Virginia General Assembly (GA) began the 2018 session this week.  And I have to say, from a distance I’m more than a little put-off about the issues some of our new (and old) legislators choose as priority items in the new session.  Unfortunately, these disappointments come from both sides.  I wish I could say that the left has a monopoly on head-scratching, time-wasting bills, but alas, I cannot. 
In case you’re wondering, the website Richmond Sunlight is a pretty good resource for tracking these bills.  They list break-downs of legislator voting records, affiliations, committee records, bill tracking and full bill summaries.  Registered users can comment on bills and submit informal polling about whether or not they think a bill should become law.
I’m in the Richmond area and I’m interested in activities with regard to gun rights, personal protection, protection for children and anything my legislators or those around me are proposing.  So without further adieux, here are some of the real “WTF” bills I found in the early going:

1)               Firearms; civil liability for sale or transfer, background check. (HB273)
Introduced By



Now, keep your seats.  I know it’s totally shocking that two Democrats from NoVa would seek to enhance penalties for the sale of firearms upon the sellers when and if that firearm should be used in a crime.  This bill stinks so bad on so many different levels!  I mean, is it even legal?  That’s like the original (or all past) owners of a car being held civilly liable for any future accidents.  It’s preposterous and stupid and should die a quick death.

2)             Abortion; informed written consent. (HB450)

Introduced By



This gem comes from none other than my neophyte Delegate, Debra Rodman.  Apparently, she doesn’t think that women who are about to undergo a procedure to kill their unborn children should be informed about the procedure by a licensed physician and sign a form stating same.  The irony here:  Rodman is an educator, a professor.  So she seeks to repeal a requirement that women be educated about the abortion they’ve decided to have. 
Maybe leftists don’t have a monopoly on hypocrisy, but they sure do their best to perfect it!  I miss Dr. O’Bannon already!

3)             Killing of police animals; penalty. (HB739)

Introduced By



Now, Let’s see if you can follow this one from Freshman Republican, John McGuire…
He wants it to be a class 5 felony for YOUR dog to “show a reckless disregard” for a police dog, whether on or off duty, through YOUR alleged negligence.  First, off… WHAT?!?  He is proposing that we punish owners for dogs doing what dogs may naturally do?  And how does an investigating agency prove this?  And what if the law enforcement officer is trespassing on my property, am I still on the hook for a class 5 felony should this happen?  I know from where this bill originates, but I won’t bore you with the tale.  Just know, this rarely (if ever) happens and I don’t think we need to make it a serious felony to charge the owner, who arguably has zero control over his animal in any given circumstance, to attack a police dog.  Don’t we have more important things to deal with?

4)             Concealed handgun permits, out-of-state; reciprocity. (HB498)

Introduced By

Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church) with support from 6 copatrons, whose average partisan position is:


OK, did every single Democrat in NoVa and some in Tidewater co-patron this bill? 
Why is it the left despises your right to protect yourself, but they’re OK with other people carrying guns to protect them?  This is a bad one, folks.  If this becomes law, you’ll see a ripple effect in our reciprocity with other states, just like when Mark “I hate guns except when they’re protecting me” Herring tried to do a couple of years ago. 

I wonder, when are we going to recognize the Right to Bear Arms, which is enumerated within the Constitution, just like we recognize other things that are not – like gay marriage?  Every year this issue becomes more and more of a hot-button and I’m worried that with Virginia getting bluer, they’re eventually going to get what they want. 

Meanwhile, the only people who will have guns are the criminals.

My suggestion, tank all of these bills.  Make them die a quick death.  Shoot them in their proverbial heads because they stink on ice.  Each one of these is either a total waste of time, effort, energy and money and/or just plain bad law, and that’s overlooking the obvious disrespect for life in the womb or the individual’s right to protect himself and his family.
Call your Delegate or Senator and tell them these bills suck and they need to vote against them.  Stay informed about this session.  These bills are just a sampling of the BS that’s out there.  I can only imagine what will come about as the session moves along.   

Meanwhile, the murder rate in Richmond is through the roof.  Tolls on the hot lanes in NoVa are astronomical and the traffic is not improving.  Homeless, many of them Veterans, are on seemingly every street corner, begging for change, many of them suffering from mental illness.  Aren’t any of those issues that affect real people worth working on?

Yes, friends, elections do indeed have consequences!

-O’Hanrahan




Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Guest Blog: Please Don’t Vote Graven Craig in the 56th

Guest Blog: Please Don’t Vote Graven Craig in the 56th

Readers:  We’re pleased to bring you our first guest blog on O’Hanrahan is Right. Please read and use the information provided to help decide your vote in the June 13th primary. – O’Hanrahan

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By: E. Frederick Salem, Goochland County

June 7, 2017

Please don’t vote for Graven Craig in the upcoming Republican primary to be the nominee for the open seat in 56th District House of Delegates (HOD).  Why do I feel so strongly about this?  First, the facts:

Graven Craig is a Louisa County-based attorney who frequently defends criminal suspects in matters ranging from DUI to rape and much more.  Criminal defense is an integral part of our justice system, but what’s troubling to me and many in the District is that Mr. Craig fails to mention this in his bid for the nomination.  He and his supporters use terms like “defender of the Constitution”, but what is really at the heart of his position is his stalwart, and even successful defense of perpetrators of some of the most heinous crimes against our most helpless victims: children.  Here are examples of charged (and some convicted) pedophiles that Mr. Craig has gladly defended:

2003: Frank David Miller, Louisa County.  Mr. Miller was initially arrested during an online undercover operation by police in North Carolina.  The authorities in North Carolina were not interested in prosecuting Miller to the fullest extent of the law and since he was a Louisa County resident, he was prosecuted in Louisa by the Virginia Office of the Attorney General.  Mr. Miller was defended by Graven Craig and eventually convicted of multiple counts of soliciting a minor under 18 years old for sex and additional counts of possessing sexually explicit material of a minor. 



2011: Charles Hopkins, Louisa County.  Mr. Hopkins was Charged with one count of use of a communication system to solicit sex from a minor (a real-life victim).  Mr. Craig defended Hopkins and during a motion hearing, convinced the judge to dismiss the charge mid-trial on a legal technicality.  At the time of his arrest, Mr. Hopkins was a volunteer rescue squad member in the community and is still out in the community today.


2011: Joseph Bell, Louisa County.  Mr. Bell was charged with multiple counts of possession of child pornography.  During his interview with police, Bell also admitted to hands-on sexual assault of a toddler child of the married couple with whom he was living.  Bell worked in Charlottesville for a government contractor and held a top-secret clearance at the time of his arrest.  Craig defended him and Bell eventually pleaded guilty.  He may be found on the Virginia Sex Offender Registry (also see below).


2016: John Dale Sprouse, Louisa County.  Mr. Sprouse is charged with multiple hands-on sexual battery offenses against an 10-year old, non-verbal autistic (disabled) victim while transporting the child to/from a special needs school in Richmond (read more here: http://www.nbc12.com/story/32501193/court-documents-describe-abuse-by-louisa-schools-driver-on-student-with-autism ).  Sprouse was employed as a driver for Louisa Co. Public Schools prior to this incident.  Graven Craig has been his defense attorney since the charges were filed.  Additionally, Craig was not at the Goochland County meeting Wednesday, May 24 because he was defending Sprouse in a hearing in Louisa Circuit Court related to these charges.  That’s right, the case is still active and is currently set for trial after the primary.

All of this information is verifiable through publicly-available court records.
So why do I bring this to your attention?  Somebody needs to.  As a relative of one of the past victims that Graven Craig helped set free back into society, I can’t help but wonder how his experience in the courtroom will affect his ability to enact laws that protect our children in the General Assembly, should he be elected.  Was the motivation for taking these cases all about money or was it to obtain some sort of justice for child sex predators?  Either way, I personally can’t stomach someone with questionable motives attempting to get into a position as a law-maker in our district.  Do I think Graven Craig is a bad person?  Not at all.  By all accounts, he’s a good conservative politically.  But I do think he’s made decisions throughout his career that directly affect his ability to serve the public effectively… ALL of the public, including our most innocent, vulnerable and precious asset – our children
As a side note, I’m personally dismayed at many of my local county elected representatives endorsing Mr. Craig.  I can only hope they didn’t consider his track record defending child sex abusers before issuing their endorsements.
I write this not on behalf of any candidate running against Mr. Craig, but on behalf of all of the victims of child sex abuse in our community that have to face their accuser in court.  They are the true heroes and an all-too-often overlooked casualty of a stalwart approach to the defense of child predators.  After all, who else will speak for them? 
Please consider your vote on June 13th carefully.  Thank you.

E. Frederick Salem
Goochland County




Friday, April 28, 2017

What is the "Virginia Freedom Caucus"?

What is the “Virginia Freedom Caucus”?

Do you ever sit back and watch events around you and think to yourself, from where did this all originate?  No, I’m not talking in the existential, metaphysical sense, simply in the microcosm of things and stuff we are exposed to in our daily lives.  Well, I’m inquisitive by nature, so I do it all the time.  Being inquisitive by nature, I want to seek answers to my questions.  Enter: The Virginia Freedom Caucus.

Have you heard of the Virginia Freedom Caucus or VFC?  It seems to be more active on Facebook than anywhere else, operating a closed group, whose members frequently post blogs (such as this one, before I was banned by the moderator), articles, questions, polls, endorsements of candidates, etc.  It is a decidedly conservative group with sometimes unreasonable people dubbing fellow conservatives “cuckservatives” or “liberals” for disagreeing with them.  The VFC has been in operation less than 1 year.

But who is behind the VFC?  The VFC is not a PAC and I can find nowhere they have made political contributions as an entity.  A quick check of their website domain address reveals nothing as it is concealed.  However, the website makes several claims, including that they are a 501(c)(4) not for profit organization.  All such organizations need to be registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) and the IRS.  Here is what is revealed when the registration for the VFC is researched on the SCC website”


As mentioned in a previous article on this blog, Ms. Woods is a conservative activist and staffer for would-be gubernatorial candidate, Corey Stewart.  That fact is validated by VPAP:


The VFC website also openly solicits for monetary donations.  For your convenience, they accept checks, but they state the donations are NOT tax deductible.  Curious…


The address listed in Fredericksburg is the United States Postal Service local branch. 
So what does the VFC do with your donations?  Good question!  According to the IRS (and yes, I know we all loathe the IRS, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist), the parameters for operating a tax-exempt, not-for-profit 501(c)(4) or “social welfare organization” are as follows (highlighted portions are important):


So let’s summarize:  The VFC is a corporation owned by a documented paid staffer for Corey Stewart.  According to the IRS, the VFC cannot directly or indirectly be involved on behalf of or in opposition of any candidate for office.  Ms. Woods owns the VFC, which openly supports Corey Stewart on the VFC web page, Facebook page and other online outlets.  Here are 5 examples in just the first 3 pages of the VFC blog page:


For the record, there don’t appear to be any articles in support of either Ed Gillespie or Frank Wagner for Governor, nor are there any articles supporting Bryce Reeves or Glenn Davis (or any Democrats) for Lieutenant Governor, but there are articles endorsing Jill Vogel.  It would seem the very one-sided support of the VFC is in violation of the IRS guidelines for such organizations.

Furthermore, several contributors, including myself, have been banned from the VFC Facebook page by the moderator(s), of which Ms. Woods is one.  The reason for these bans?  We routinely speak out about our disdain for her boss, Corey Stewart.  That is also a clear violation of the IRS guidelines for social welfare organizations.  Mind you, I don’t care that I’ve been banned.  I just think it’s interesting to note that it's not just disagreeing opinions, there's actually a violation of the law on the part of the VFC page moderator.

So if you choose to donate to the VFC, where does your money go?  The somewhat hidden “Disclaimers” page on the VFC website states, in part, the following:


Again, they would appear to be in clear violation of IRS regulations for such entities.  Furthermore, if the owner of the VFC is a paid Stewart staffer, doesn't that mean she in fact is receiving a financial contribution?

More questions for the VFC:
  • Who is on the VFC Board of Directors and how is the Board elected or appointed?
  • Who manages the money/donations made to the VFC and where that money is expended?
  • Who decides which candidate(s) the VFC endorses or supports?
  • Does Waverly Woods use VFC donations to support the candidates she chooses are worthy of that support?
  • Does Ms. Woods receive payment from the Stewart campaign directly related to her affiliation with the Virginia Freedom Caucus?

Some people affiliated (and not affiliated) with the VFC like to dub certain candidates with whom they do not agree “squishy”.  Well, I dub the VFC “squishy”.  It appears to function in violation of the IRS guidelines for social welfare organizations and I can find no documentation of accountability in funds or decision making, and they pay no taxes on any of the donations they receive.  To be honest, this whole thing sounds like a money-making scheme to me… and it stinks. 

As a final note, if you’d like to complain to the IRS about the Virginia Freedom Caucus’ clear violations of the tax code, you may use this link

Cheers!

UPDATE: As I generally appreciate it when a solution is proposed along with a problem (or in this case an answer posed with regard to many questions), I would be remiss if I didn't point out that there are actually legitimate members of the Freedom Caucus in Virginia.  They would likely appreciate your donation and it would go directly toward furthering the goals of the Freedom Caucus, instead of whatever agenda the business entity cited in this article may choose.  
Here are the contact and donation addresses for each of the Freedom Caucus members in Virginia:

Tom Garrett for Congress (VA-5)
P.O. Box 209
Ruckersville, VA  22968

Friends of Dave Brat, Inc. (VA-7)
P.O. Box 5094
Glen Allen, VA 23058-5094

Morgan Griffith for Congress (VA-9)
P.O. Box 361
Christiansburg, VA  24068

And even if you don't live in the 5th, 7th or 9th districts, I'm sure each of these members would appreciate a donation in support of their efforts.  And no, I don't work for any one of these campaigns. :)

Cheers again!

-O’Hanrahan
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