When it comes to West Virginia politics, nothing surprises me. Well, that was until Gov. Jim Justice and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. invited Virginia counties that are against proposed gun laws to secede and become part of the Mountain State.

Without having done any polling, I’m pretty confident that Democrats taking control of our state sparked some outrage in other states. There was a time, however, when Democrat was “the” party of West Virginia.

I was born and raised in West Virginia and remained there until I was almost 49. Democrats were in control when I headed to Virginia.

The tide turned in 2016 when Donald Trump rolled through the Mountain State to victory. At the time, coal miners wanted to believe the industry could be revived (still hasn’t happened), so they put their trust in Trump.

So, let’s get back to the secession proposal.

With a Republican-led Legislature (House of Delegates and Senate) in Charleston and Falwell leading a university based in Lynchburg, Justice and Liberty’s leader put out the welcome mat for Virginians, especially those with concerns about the Second Amendment and pro-lifers.

I am not anti-gun. As I’ve written before, I grew up in a house with handguns and rifles. My father was a decorated marksman in the military.

Yet, the discussion about making Virginia safer merits our attention. Too many innocent children are being killed.

Contact your senators and delegates, as well as the governor, with your opinions.

Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I try to look toward compromise.

It seems Frederick County found its way onto the radar, but apparently there was no enthusiasm for becoming part of West Virginia.

Having worked at The Winchester Star for three years before arriving in Hanover County, I’m very familiar with Frederick County.

I don’t see any benefit for that county to head into West Virginia territory.

I’ll admit West Virginia was an OK place to grow up -- but that has changed significantly.

Crime, drug use, unemployment, illiteracy. I could go on regarding the sad aspects of life in West Virginia.

The reality is that Virginia is a better state with development and opportunities. As a matter of fact, Hanover County is a shining example of those positives.

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