Doug Wilder talks about life, opinions in new book

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In the office of Doug Wilder, the first African American to be elected governor in this country, you’ll find reminders on the walls of the historic life he’s led. Meetings with international leaders, and pictures with Democrats and Republicans alike.

Many of those experiences and his opinions, are detailed in a new book, “Son of Virginia,” paying homage to a line used by Wilder during his inaugural address.

“Virginia has been in the forefront of so much, and it’s produced so much that I really do feel that I am a product of that,” said Wilder.

“I have nothing against gun ownership, but how many do you need?” questioned Wilder.

Wilder’s book came out last Thursday, the same day as the shootings in Oregon. While the president and presidential candidates have come out in past week discussing gun rights and gun control, the same issue was tackled by Wilder back in the early 90s during his term as governor. One of Wilder’s landmark pieces of legislation was passing the one gun a month law, which was later repealed during the Bob McDonnell administration.

“I have nothing against gun ownership, but how many do you need?” questioned Wilder.

While Wilder has supported the president, he has also criticized him for his lack of leadership on the issue.

“Where was the president when we needed him on gun control?” said Wilder.

Wilder says the president and lawmakers need to do less talking and deliver more action. Wilder says blaming the NRA, based here in Virginia, was no excuse for not getting something passed.

“I was able to get one gun a month passed in Virginia. Did anyone ever ask me how?” said Wilder.

Wilder also addressed the recent controversial comments made by Republican candidate Ben Carson, who blamed the victims for not charging the gunman.

“I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” Carson said during an interview about what he would do if faced by a shooter like the one in Oregon. “I would say, ‘hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me but he can’t get us all.'”

“Where was the president when we needed him on gun control?” said Wilder.

“That language doesn’t support anything, so to waste time even debating that in my judgment a waste of time and I’m too old to waste time.”

You can watch our entire interview with Wilder below.

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