“At least three, no wait…five, actually six officers have been shot so far.”

Virginia Delegate candidate Mark Levine was providing a running commentary in an online, social media driven effort to solicit campaign funds, using the shootout and the officers injuries as fodder for his campaign cannon, blasting out requests for contributions to help him and other Democrats get elected in Virginia in hopes of enacting gun control.

His Facebook post, in its entirety, reads (complete with spelling errors):

“I’d be willing to lay money that the shooter(s) is/are using the kinds of mass-killing military-style assault weapons that I am trying to ban in Virginia. Since they kill humans quickly and well (but are not as good for hunting or self defense), they are the preferred weapons for mass murderers nationwide.

Virginia Republicans insist that we must allow terrorists, criminals, and gangs to have easy access to these weapons of war. They insist that Virginia voters support this and oppose background checks which would separate law-abiding gun owners from criminals.

And Virginia Republicans have said in no uncertain terms they will take NO action to reduce gun violence in Virginia until after Virginia voters go to the polls in November. That’s why they refused ANY discussion on ANY measure to stop gun violence and ended the session our Governor called which was devoted to this one issue.

Are Republicans right that Virginia voters prefer massacres over restrictions on criminals and terrorists?

Are Republicans right that we should just get used to gun violence and daily massacres?

I don’t think so. I refuse to accept that massacres should be normal in America.

What do you think?

If you agree with me that the vastly increasing rate of gun violence should never be normalized, will you contribute to help Democrats flip the Virginia Legislature? For every dollar donated today up to $10,000, I will give $2 from my campaign to a Democratic candidate who supports universal background checks and an assault weapons ban.

Go here to contribute: http://markfordelegate.com/donate

And if you’re complaining that I’m seeking to “politicize” the tragedy, I assure you that ONLY politics can stop the next one. Only a new General Assembly can write the laws that have been shown time and time again to dramatically reduce the killing.

Virginia police BEG for these gun laws year after year. Pleae contribute what you can. If you personally want to make a difference and reduce gun violence in Virginia and across the nation (where, evein in other states, many victims in the Northeast are killed by easily-purchased guns), here’s your chance to make a difference.”

He was immediately called out by people who ACTUALLY know what they’re talking about on social media:

Creative wording Mr. Delegate. You ARE in fact a Delegate in Virginia, right? Are you familiar with the Virginia Code § 18.2-308.2? It is, in fact, unlawful for a felon to purchase, possess, or transport firearms. AND it is already unlawful under § 18.2-308.2:1 to sell to felons. You should look it up. I wouldn’t want you to publicly embarrass yourself by passing false or disingenuous information.

But while we’re at it, would you please define, in detail, a “mass-killing military-style assault weapon”?

Standing by for your response. But I don’t think you will. You’ll probably just delete my comment. At which point I will simply post screenshots of my post on your page.

Once again, we see a politician politicizing the suffering of people that are in a fight for their life. While all the officers were treated and released, Levine was certainly trying to capitalize on a scenario that could have turned out much worse for the initial hostages, the Philadelphia Police Department and innocent bystanders.

Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans?  It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans.  Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice.  Check it out today.

The Delegate had no way of knowing the condition of the officers wounded by today’s gunfire, but despite what the outcome might be, Levine was certainly wanting to cash in on other peoples suffering.

Nowhere in his social media ramblings did he offer prayers for those injured.

Nowhere did he say that he supports the cops and their efforts to keep their community safe.

Nowhere did he recognize the extreme danger our law enforcement officers face every day, the often-overwhelming sacrifice that they make, and the impact that all that leaves on them for many years after.

Earlier on Tuesday, we learned that another officer has taken his own life in New York, as police discovered the deceased body of an off-duty cop Tuesday morning. He becomes the eighth NYPD officer this year to commit suicide.  

Sources said that the off-duty Bronx officer, a 7-year veteran of the force, left a note before taking his own life at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Police say the officer died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was just 35-years-old.  Then on Wednesday, we lost our ninth NYPD officer to suicide.

The traumatic impacts of a life lived serving your community takes a toll on many. The fact that we have elected officials who so blatantly disregard the struggles and burdens that our emergency responders carry with them does nothing to help encourage our officers and remind them that their community supports them.

The social media backlash Levine faced was significant. While there are only 79 comments, the bulk of them reflect the same disgust that I and many of you share over the fact that Mark Levine is a vile human being who is more concerned with political grandstanding while the families of 6 of Philadelphia’s finest received phone calls today that potentially led them to ask the question, “will my loved one make it home?”

</sarcasm on> Well done Mark. Well done. </sarcasm off> 

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