Virginia is ground zero for policy differences between Democrats and Republicans, particularly heading into a presidential election year.
The party of the left won control of the state legislature in 2019 and they have control of the governor’s mansion — albeit with Ralph Northam, who’s really not as much a governor at this point so much as he is an affront to political morals and a human joke machine.
Elections have consequences, alas, and one of the consequences of the 2019 elections in Virginia is that gun control is one of the first things on the Democrats’ agenda.
This isn’t a curious choice — they campaigned on it, after all, and it’s one of their biggest strengths in the D.C.-adjacent suburbs where they draw much of their support from — but it is a contentious one.
So contentious, one prominent Virginian says, that “civil disobedience” might be required to stop any potential gun grab.
In an interview on Todd Starnes’ radio show Monday, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. said the new slate of gun control regulations would cause gun owners to revolt.
“I’m pretty sure I’m going to call for civil disobedience if the Democrats go through with this,” Falwell said.
Falwell said he thought Democrats didn’t quite know what they were dealing with in terms of opposition to the push for gun confiscation.
“You don’t mess with people’s guns in this part of the state,” Falwell said.
“They [Democrats] don’t know what they’ve gotten into and they’re going to find out the hard way, I’m afraid.”
Actually, I would beg to differ. Before a single piece of legislation was passed — and largely before the Democrats were able to take advantage of their newly won majority in the state legislature — over 100 counties and municipalities in the commonwealth had designated themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” according to The Roanoke Times.
The tag is essentially a declaration that the counties won’t enforce gun control laws passed at the state level that they feel violate the Constitution.
And make no mistake, there’s an awful lot of laws the Democrats want to pass.
“The Northam administration and Democratic leaders are pushing eight proposals, including banning assault weapons (defined as any semi-automatic rifle or pistol with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds), reinstating the state’s repealed one-handgun-a-month law, requiring background checks for firearm transfers (with some exceptions) and creating a procedure for courts to temporarily ban people from possessing firearms if there are clear signs they pose a danger to themselves or others,” The Times reported.
“Some of the proposals have broad support, according to polls. Democrats campaigned on the promise of gun control and taking on the gun lobby.”
Broad support isn’t wide support, however, particularly when you’re talking about an “assault weapons” ban that includes anything, it seems, larger than this day-and-age’s pea-shooter.
In a relatively large state for the eastern half of the country, almost 80 percent of Virginia’s counties had become Second Amendment sanctuaries by mid-December, about a month and change past the election.
It’s difficult to rule an entire state that way, particularly when the majority of the pro-gun control movement seemed to be in blue pockets around Washington, D.C., Richmond and Norfolk.
But, hey, you know what’s a great idea when you’ve got a geographical cleft in terms of political support? Threats of calling the National Guard on people who don’t acquiesce to new gun control policies!
“They certainly risk funding, because if the sheriff’s department is not going to enforce the law, they’re going to lose money. The counties’ attorney’s offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down,” Democratic Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin said in December regarding municipalities that had become Second Amendment sanctuaries.
“And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law,” he added. “That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.”
These laws aren’t just about taking people’s “assault weapons,” either. They’re about ensuring that Virginians are kept safe by, um, having gun ranges owned by the state.
One of the new bills circulating around the Virginia statehouse, HB 567, would require ranges with less than 50 employees or where less than 90 percent of the people who use it are police or federal law enforcement to be owned by the state or the federal government.
If they fall under the latter category, the gun range must keep “a log of each user’s name, phone number, address, and the law-enforcement agency where such user is employed, and … the indoor shooting range verifies each user’s identity and address by requiring all users to present a government-issued photo-identification card.”
There’s your new Virginia, folks.
If we’re talking about calling the National Guard, it’s probably time to cool things off.
That won’t happen.
The Democrats, it seems, aren’t willing to wait for voters or the Constitution to agree with them.
If that’s the case, civil disobedience may be the best — indeed, only — option for Virginia’s conservatives.
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