The people of Virginia are engaged in a war with their state government to save the Second Amendment – and if the governor takes one Democrat lawmaker’s suggestion, that reference to a war could become reality rather than hyperbole.
In the last election, Virginia Democrats won majorities in both houses of the state legislature. Governor Ralph Northam wasted no time in announcing his intent to refile eight already failed gun control bills in the hopes that, with his party now holding the coveted power trifecta, he will be signing them into law soon. In defiance of this clear anti-gun movement in the state government, towns and municipalities across Virginia are being declared Second Amendment sanctuaries.
But the state isn’t backing down.
The Tyranny of the Majority
If successful, Northam’s new laws will forbid any firearms sale, private or otherwise, without the successful completion of a background check. It will ban certain dangerous weapons – though safe weapons, whatever those are, would presumably be exempt. Since this includes a so-called assault weapons ban, one can assume that anything that looks like an AR-15 or AK-47 is a dangerous weapon, and anything that looks like a traditional hunting rifle is not dangerous. And, of course, no more than one firearm may be bought by any person in a 30-day period.
He would also add extreme-risk protective orders, allowing the courts and police to confiscate a person’s weapons without even a criminal charge, never mind conviction. That isn’t all these bills would do, and one might rightly assume that once these eight become law, more would follow.
The Danger of Liberty
On Dec. 8, Liberty Nation’s legal affairs editor Scott D. Cosenza, Esq. – a Virginia resident familiar with the fight for firearm freedom in his state – explained that gun owners have “responded swiftly and intensely to the coming onslaught against their rights.” At the time of Cosenza’s article, 40 counties and independent cities in Virginia had passed Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions.
That number has jumped to 93 – though it could easily be higher as you read this. It seems that each time a new story appears on the Second Amendment struggle in Virginia, the number of sanctuaries rises.
The governor hinted at “consequences” on Dec. 11, but he didn’t specify what those might be. At the time, the sanctuary count was around 70. Northam said there would be no retaliation against these jurisdictions, but he intends to pass stricter gun control regardless – and he intends to see it enforced.
“If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books then there are going to be some consequences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it,” the governor said.
While Northam didn’t go into specifics on how he would enforce the law, another Democrat has a couple of ideas. State Representative A. Donald McEachin of Virginia’s fourth district suggested withholding state funds from the sanctuary communities.
One might wonder why it is wrong for the federal government to withhold funding from immigration sanctuary cities and states but okay for Virginia to treat Second Amendment sanctuaries the same. Yet despite the glaring hypocrisy, this was not the most outrageous thing McEachin had to say.
He also suggested Northam might have to “nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law.”
Knowing that the number of sanctuaries continues to grow, it is clear that the threat of deploying troops didn’t deter the people of these towns and cities, who have grown weary of the Democrats’ so-called common sense.
The Irony of ‘Common Sense’
Will Northam mobilize the guard to enforce state gun control laws? Would the guard follow those orders? These questions must have weighed heavily on the minds of many a Virginian, as the Adjutant General of the state released a statement Dec. 13, saying that there had been no order given and that they would not speculate about laws not passed yet.
Like Northam, the guard is waiting to cross that bridge if and when it comes to it. This should be no surprise. Those in the military are forbidden to declare a stance on a political issue that might appear to represent the military as a whole. The Adjutant General of Virginia saying that he’s chomping at the bit to disarm the citizenry or that he would refuse the order would violate that rule – especially since the laws have not even been passed. Such a display could easily be taken as either advocating for or against the legislation.
But that is likely little comfort to those worried that soldiers might soon be playing gun police in their towns. What should comfort them, though, is that McEachin misspoke when he said “nationalize.” The governor can mobilize the guard, but he can’t nationalize it – that’s the president’s job. A prime example of this is when Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus sent the National Guard to prevent black students from entering Little Rock’s Central High School in 1954. President Dwight Eisenhower, in his role as commander in chief, nationalized the state’s guard and changed its orders from barring those students to protecting them.
Should Northam send the National Guard to enforce his strict gun control in Second Amendment sanctuaries, it’s entirely possible President Trump will change those orders.
The irony is that the Democrats don’t seem to see that their “common sense” measures, from restricting who is allowed to have what guns to threatening to send in troops to overcome towns and cities that refuse to comply with those laws, are precisely the reason for the Second Amendment. The Founders were concerned that the government might eventually compel obedience to tyrannical laws by force of violence, and so they tried to guarantee that the right of the people to keep and bear arms would not be infringed.
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