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Benefits of Living in Virginia

I have lived in Virginia all my life and – no offense to any other state – I don’t think I would want to live anywhere else. There are a lot of characteristics about Virginia that are extremely beneficial to its citizens. I have listed ten of them below.

1. Virginians are not offended by Christianity. Large portions of people who live in Virginia actually attend church at times other than Easter and on occasions other than weddings and funerals. Religion in Virginia is not just a ritual that’s estranged from the other parts of one’s life. It’s okay to say Merry Christmas, have a prayer before a meal at a company social gathering, and speak openly about one’s faith in Virginia. Non-Christians in Virginia understand this and are tolerant of the state’s majority religion – even in places other than houses of worship and private homes.

2. Virginia is a right-to-work state. I am so thankful that no one is Virginia is ever forced to join a union as a condition of employment. Virginians are free to join and form unions, but they are also free to tell unions to stay away from their place of employment and to decline union membership when the majority of their co-workers invite one in.

3. Virginia is one of only a handful of states that offers both mountains and beaches. And they are never more than a couple of hours apart, assuming normal traffic conditions. One could easily split a single day in Virginia – especially during the summer – between the mountains and the beach.

4. Virginia has a moderate climate that allows one to experience all four seasons. Although Virginia has the occasional tornado, hurricane, flood, wildfire, and minor earthquake, it is not known for extreme weather conditions. Compared to many other states, very few people are killed or injured in Virginia as a result of natural disasters.

5. Virginia is an East Coast state without East Coast values. Being practically in the middle of the East Coast of the U.S. puts Virginia in close proximity to all the “action.” Virginia is not far from two of the major hubs of activity in the U.S.: Washington, DC and New York City. The former is within a three-hour drive from the majority of locales in Virginia, and the latter is no more than seven hours away from most Virginia venues. However, Virginia has stayed true to its gentile values and has never adopted those the East Coast is notorious for, such as rudeness and “fast” living.

6. Virginia is a low-tax state. Of the states that have an income tax and a sales tax, Virginia boasts some of the lowest rates. And Virginia’s taxes on gasoline and cigarettes are some of the lowest in the country. Now, granted, those who believe in the concept of a paternalistic state and the use of taxes for the purposes of behavior modification won’t see this in a positive light. However, the majority of Virginians are libertarian enough to not buy into that garbage. Virginia is also business-friendly with very low business taxes. It’s no wonder Virginia maintains low unemployment numbers, compared to the rest of the country.

7. Virginia actually takes the Second Amendment seriously. What a novel concept, huh? It is a state that allows its law-abiding citizens to buy, possess, and carry guns without undue encumbrance. Of course, Virginia is regularly excoriated for its “loose” gun laws by gun-hating pontificators from the elitist media, but who cares about their drivel?

Virginia utilizes instant background checks for gun purchases so people with clean records don’t have to wait forever to be approved to buy firearms. Virginia also has a provision for qualifying applicants to legally carry concealed weapons. However, convicted felons had better not get caught with a gun in Virginia, especially close to schools or playgrounds. Doing so will get them long prison sentences, and rightfully so.

8. Virginia is full of history. From Colonial Williamsburg to Revolutionary War sites to Civil War battlegrounds, the state offers a plethora of living history. It has made tourism one of Virginia’s top industries. Tourists and history buffs alike find Virginia to be an almost inexhaustible source of delight. It is also a preferred location for filmmakers shooting history-based films and historical documentaries.

9. Contrary to popular belief, Virginia is politically diverse. While the largest geographical portion of the state (comprised of suburbs, small towns, and rural areas) leans conservative, that is offset by Northern Virginia and urban areas like Hampton Roads and Richmond, which to trend more liberal and progressive. Virginia’s delegations in the House of Representative and in its state legislature are split almost right down the middle between Democrats and Republicans.

While the state began 2009 with two Democratic senators in Washington, they only recently replaced two Republicans. Although Virginia voted Republican in every presidential election from 1968 to 2004 (breaking that streak by going for Obama in November), every one of its governors since 1977 has been selected from the opposite party of the one occupying the White House. Clearly, Virginia is not dominated by one political party or the other.

10. Virginia respects individual property rights. It is not a regulation-crazy state. It utilizes eminent domain very sparingly. Virginia enacts zoning laws and building codes that are reasonable and based on common sense. Beyond that, it does not try to tell its citizens what they can and can’t do with and on their own property. And it does not kowtow to radical environmentalists who value the rights of animals and trees more than those of people.

Now, if only Virginia had a major league sports franchise, it would be almost heaven.