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‘Virginia’s and America’s much-too-lax firearms environment’

Stephen Paddock’s Las Vegas assault rifle killing spree has again highlighted the dangers of Virginia’s and America’s much-too-lax firearms environment.  Virginians know the dangers of high-powered weapons having experienced snipers Malvo and Muhammad and the Virginia Tech massacre.  Some of us have been steadily, but unsuccessfully, trying to pass reasonable firearms violence prevention laws in Virginia for years.

For example, after Jared Loughner’s 2011 attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, I cosponsored legislation to prohibit the sale of firearm ammunition magazines that hold more than 20 bullets.  The legislature has rejected the bill every year since.

In 2015, a Fairfax attorney told me about a client he defended in a mental commitment proceeding in which his client was found to be a danger to himself or others.  Virginia law prohibits these people from obtaining a concealed weapon permit or possessing a firearm, but the law does not prohibit the possession of ammunition.  I tried to prohibit mentally-incapacitated people from purchasing or possessing ammunition, but the legislature struck it down. (more…)

Mayetta Scartz

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Mayetta (Kimble) Scartz died peacefully at home on Tuesday October 3rd. She was born in Hundred, WV in 1923, the youngest child of John S. and Grace B. Kimble. She was preceded in death by her husband of fifty eight years, Dr. Albert C. Scartz and Grandson Daniel L. Scartz. She is survived by her Son Larry N. Scartz Sr. and wife Rita, grandchildren; Larry (Buddy) Scartz II and wife Barbara, Thomas Scartz, Jennifer Hoffman, Tiffany Scartz and her husband David Williams, Six Great Grandchildren; Katie Arey and husband Nick, Jennifer Hatton and husband Blair, Brittany Kisslan, Larry N. Scartz III (Neil), Caroline Hoffman and Grace Hoffman, Four great-great grandchildren; Josephine, Anna Belle, Everett and Joshua, and lastly her faithful furry companion named Barrack. Since she had 4 siblings and Albert had 12, she was blessed to have many nieces and nephews that she both cherished and loved dearly. Her work life began as a maid, then a WWII factory worker, and later the director of special education for Arlington County, Virginia. She and her husband Albert spent their retirement years traveling the world. She was an active member of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution). She could trace her American family ancestry back to 1659 in Baltimore. She further traced her English ancestry to the twelfth century. Because both she and Albert were lifelong public school teachers, Mayetta would want any expression of sympathy to a contribution to a high school scholarship fund. An example could be the Hundred, WV High School Scholarship fund in Hundred WV. The address being the Hundred-Littleton Alumni Association % Carol Roberts, PO Box 247, Littleton, WV 26581. We are planning two memorial services, the first being at Occoquan Bible Church 3700 Old Bridge Rd., Woodbridge, VA 22192 at 7:00 PM Wednesday evening October 11th. Then at Oak Forest Church, St. Cloud, WV on Saturday October 14th at 11:00 AM with lunch at her family farm immediately afterward.

Ernest Clinton Plaugher "Tootie"

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Ernest Clinton Plaugher, “Tootie”, age 77, passed away on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at his home in Front Royal, VA.

He was born on August 25, 1940 in Arlington, VA to the late Emanuel and Effie Elizabeth (Gordon) Plaugher.

Even though he was small in stature, he was bigger than life. I always admired his quiet authority, his funny sense of humor and all the tricks he played on everyone. He would do almost anything for anyone. He was so much to so many. Father, son, brother, grand and great grandfather, friend, mechanic, carpenter, hunting partner…He will be missed.

Predeceased by his parents; loving wife: Edith Louise Plaugher and one brother: Peter Paul Plaugher

Survivors include his loving children: Elaine Lee, Marlene Eskridge and husband William; and Clinton Plaugher and wife Crystal; grandchildren: Katelyn and Matthew Gozzard, Brittanie Lacy and Kevin Varela; Brooke Lacy and Brandon Eskridge; Andrew Seskey and Brie De’Leo, Micheala Eskridge, and Madison Murphy; great grandchildren: Kaydence Eskridge, Kevin Varela and Eliana Varela; one brother: Clyde Plaugher and wife Diane; three sisters: MaryLee Seymour and husband Paul, Alice Rodway and Martha Williams and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, October 8, 2017 from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM at Pierce Funeral Home, 9609 Center Street, Manassas, VA where services will take place at 2:00 PM. A reception will follow directly after services at his son Clinton’s Home, 6241 Stonewall Jackson Highway, Front Royal, VA 22630. Graveside services will be held on Monday, October 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM at National Memorial Park, Falls Church, VA.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to: MediHome Health/Hospice, 9625 Surveyor Court, Suite 230, Manassas, VA 20110 in loving memory of Ernest C. Plaugher.

Condolences may be sent to:

Wade Calvin Smith

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Wade “Calvin” Smith, 88, of Broad Run passed away at his home on Thursday, October 5, 2017, surrounded by family.

Calvin loved his family, his country and was loved by many. He served his country in the U.S. Air Force and was a hard worker, always smiling and happy. He had a quick wit and was an incredible man, always thinking about his next project, always eager to pass along family traditions and work on the land that he loved. His life-long dedication and love to his wife, Joyce, who predeceased him, was genuine.

He is survived by a son, Henry C. Smith (Lesley), a daughter, Julia Smith Soukenik (Gregory); grandchildren William M. Curtis, Jr. (Nichole), Amy Curtis, Christopher Smith and Matthew Smith, a great grandson William M. “Trey” Curtis, III, the love of his life for the last 5 years. He is also survived by his special nephews, Andrew Smith, Bruce Smith, Kevin Smith and Travis Smith.

A service will be held at 10:00 a.m, Wednesday, October 11, at Pierce Funeral Home. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Stonewall Memory Gardens.