DAYBREAK DAILY: Va. state senator enlists Hokies for gun control

ABC7 WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with highs in the low 80s, possible afternoon thunderstorm.

‘GOOD MORNING WASHINGTON’: Among the stories – Continuing coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings; Congress and gun control; much more, beginning at 4:30 a.m.

GUN CONTROL AND VIRGINIA: With help from Hokies, per the Virginian-Pilot, “On the six-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech mass shooting Tuesday, Norfolk’s Ralph Northam offered a sweeping plan to address gun violence through an array of policy changes ranging from mental health reforms and tighter gun controls to a crackdown on violent video games. Northam, a Democratic state senator running for lieutenant governor, announced a Web-driven effort and partnership with Tech families to generate support for an online petition urging Virginia leaders to support an assault weapon ban and universal background checks in Virginia.”

MEANWHILE: A different tack is heard, per the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “On the sixth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shootings, members of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday made their push for a bipartisan proposal (with the vote expected today) that would expand background checks for firearms purchases. Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said the measure, sponsored by Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has been one of the top priorities of the victims of the 2007 massacre.

“Those families, which have talked with me repeatedly, said that, for gosh sakes, let’s at least make sure that if a tragic event takes place on a college campus somewhere in America, that there are ways that we can learn from those tragedies,” Warner said on the Senate floor as several former Virginia Tech students and faculty members watched from the galleries.”

AND THIS: Revealing reality, per the New York Times, “The want ads posted by the anonymous buyer on, a sprawling free classified ads Web site for guns, telegraphed urgency.

“Feb. 20: “Got 250 cash for a good handgun something.reliable.”
“Feb. 27: “I got 200 250 cashlooking for a good handgun please let me know what u got.”
“Feb. 28: “Looking to buy some 9 mm ammo and not at a crazy price.”

“The intentions and background of the prospective buyer were hidden, as is customary on such sites. The person posting these ads, however, left a phone number, enabling The New York Times to trace them to their source: Omar Roman-Martinez, 29, of Colorado Springs, who has a pair of felony convictions for burglary and another for motor vehicle theft, as well as a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction — all of which bar him from having guns. Yet he was so determined he even offered to trade a tablet computer or a vintage Pepsi machine for firearms.”

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS: New details, per the Boston Globe, “Investigators combing through the scene of the deadly Boston Marathon terrorist attack have recovered a circuit board that they believe was used to detonate the bombs, according to an official briefed on the investigation. Investigators have also recovered components of the bombs, enabling them to determine that they consisted of two 6-liter pressure cookers packed with nails, ball bearings, and other metal. The makeshift bombs were placed in black duffel bags, the official said.”

‘SOMEONE KNOWS WHO DID THIS’: Of a plea for help, per the Boston Herald, “Tight-lipped federal investigators — under mounting pressure to catch the Boston Marathon bomber — tipped their hand and released details of what they’ve found amid the bloody Boylston Street wreckage in hopes of shaking loose a crucial break that will help crack the case. “The person who did this is someone’s friend, neighbor or relative,” FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Richard DesLauriers said. “Someone knows who did this. The cooperation of the community will play a crucial role in the investigation.”

IMMIGRATION REFORM: Not so fast, per the Washington Post, “Leading Capitol Hill opponents of a Senate proposal to overhaul the nation’s immigration system are coalescing around a strategy to kill the bill by delaying the legislative process as long as possible, providing time to offer “poison pill” amendments aimed at breaking apart the fragile bipartisan group that developed the plan, according to lawmakers and legislative aides. The tactics, used successfully by opponents of an immigration bill during a 2007 debate in the Senate, are part of an effort to exploit public fissures over core components of the comprehensive legislation introduced Tuesday by eight lawmakers who spent months negotiating the details.”

POLITICO PLAY: "President Barack Obama promised to make immigration reform his top priority after the election. But twice in the last five months, unimaginable acts of violence rattled the country — first in Newtown, Conn. and then in Boston — splintering Washington’s attention among immigration, gun control and now terrorism."

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EXTRA CAUTION: Of a local run, per ABC7 – WJLA, “Security is being stepped up for runners competing in the George Washington Parkway Classic Sunday. A lot of the event's participants plan on hitting the pavement in memory of the three lives lost, as well as the countless others injured, in the Boston Marathon bombing. James Whiteside of Arlington is one of those runners. "It just tugs at you so many different ways, because it seems so surreal," Whiteside said.”

ON HER OWN: Ex-Dem steps out in Frederick, per Gazette.Net, “Former city Mayor Jennifer Dougherty has collected the required signatures to be on the November ballot as likely the first-ever independent mayoral candidate in Frederick. . . Dougherty, a former Democrat, was mayor of Frederick from 2001 to 2005, and ran again in 2009, but lost in the primary. She is owner of Magoo’s Pub & Eatery in downtown Frederick.”

ACCOUNTING: Numbers don’t add up, per the Washington Examiner, “Montgomery County is facing a potential budget gap of about $300 million in fiscal 2015, thanks partly to large employee pay raises and hard-to-predict tax revenues, county officials warned Tuesday. Preliminary data show funding for county agencies would need to drop by 4.9 percent in fiscal 2015, or more than $300 million. County Council Staff Director Stephen Farber told council members that part of the shortfall is connected to the county's projected loss of revenue from the federal sequestration and a slowly growing county tax base that has not reached its prerecession level.”

MARYLAND MULLS A CHALLENGE: Whatever, per the Washington Times, “The Maryland State Board of Elections confirmed Tuesday that it is reviewing paperwork for a petition to put sweeping firearms legislation on the 2014 ballot, a day before a Maryland state delegate plans to announce progress in an effort to challenge the recently passed gun laws. Online organization the same group that spearheaded the referendum effort against the Dream Act, gay marriage and redistricting last year submitted the paperwork last week.”

SPORTS, BRIEFLY: Nationals lose 8-2 against Miami; Caps beat Toronto 5-1.

D.C. EAGLES: Check them out, per DCist, “National Geographic has set up a livestream of two bald eagles watching over their recently hatched chicks high in a tree on the grounds of the Metropolitan Police Department's Academy in Southeast D.C. According to National Geographic, the idea belonged to D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.”

TRENDING ON ABC7 FACEBOOK: A Montgomery County lawyer and landlord was accused of installing a secret camera in a smoke alarm of a room he rented to a young woman. Police found hours of video of her most private moments on Van Dusen’s computer. Now he faces a maximum of 18 months for his admitted crimes.

NEWSTALK: 10 a.m., NewsChannel 8.

--Skip Wood