Democrats retook the Virginia legislature in this November’s off-year elections. Since they also hold the governorship — unbelievably still with Ralph Northam, the blackface aficionado with interesting ideas regarding when babies can be aborted — that means there’s basically going to be something akin to Black Friday shopping for liberal wish-list items.
First on the list: gun control measures. At the very least, it appears Old Dominion is moving toward universal background checks, a “red flag” law that would allow guns to be taken without due process based on a report and — but of course — a ban on so-called assault weapons.”
This will present some logistical problems; while Virginia has been trending blue for some time, it’s clearly a divided state where swaths of red surround blue pockets in the state’s urban areas.
And it’s not like those red parts of Virginia haven’t seen this coming: According to the Washington Examiner, over 75 counties have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” meaning law enforcement there won’t enforce state laws deemed to violate the Second Amendment.
Well, that puts everyone at quite a loggerheads, doesn’t it? This is something that could be handled delicately by the state government in Richmond; it could try to figure out how to enforce laws that aren’t universally popular in a state where there’s clearly a wide gulf when it comes to people’s opinions on guns.
Or, you know, they could have state officials threaten to bring out the National Guard; that too.
In statements to the Examiner that might have come out better if they had any filter between their brain and mouth, two state Democrats basically said, “Look at us: we’re the captains now.”
“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 of locales that don’t enforce any potential state law on gun control.
“And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law,” he said. “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.” [Emphasis mine.]
Yes, there’s nothing that’s going to make sure Virginia holds on to that Democratic majority quite like sending out National Guard troops to enforce state laws that are profoundly unpopular in much of the state. And it’s going to be so mediagenic, too.
Of course, if you don’t agree the laws are constitutional, you could just resign.
“I would hope they either resign in good conscience, because they cannot uphold the law which they are sworn to uphold, or they’re prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath,” Democratic Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly said.
“The law is the law,” he said. “If that becomes the law, you don’t have a choice, not if you’re a sworn officer of the law.”
Now, these are just two Democrats, but this also underscores how tin-eared this push for gun control is.
Consider McEachin’s statement that, if these Second Amendment sanctuaries don’t bow to the state government in Richmond, “counties’ attorney’s offices are not going to have the money to prosecute because their prosecutions are going to go down.”
Basically, what he’s saying is that to enforce gun laws — which have no basis in actually stopping gun crime — what they’re willing to do is make it impossible for local attorneys to prosecute crime and thus make these counties more dangerous. Nice work. I’m sure there’s no way this could possibly boomerang back and hit liberals in the face.
Furthermore, “the law is the law” isn’t quite the rhetoric you should be pushing when your party has gained control of both the legislature and the governor’s mansion for the first time in decades and you want to convince fence-sitting voters that you’re the best choice.
And it’s not like this was the rhetoric they were using during the campaign, one conservative Virginia delegate pointed out.
“Democrats said ‘nobody wants to take your guns’ and then, literally, the moment the election was over, they drafted bills that amount to gun confiscation. People realize just how extreme the left has gotten on gun control,” Republican Del. Nick Frietas, a congressional candidate, said.
But the Democrats are convinced this is all just fear-mongering by the right and will have no effect on how whatever laws they pass will be enforced.
“The resolutions that are being passed are being ginned up by the gun lobby to try to scare people. What we’re talking about here are laws that will make our communities and our streets safer,” Virginia’s Democratic attorney general, Mark Herring, told WTVR-TV.
“We’re talking about universal background checks,” he said, “finally, maybe, Virginia will pass universal background checks to make sure that people who are dangerous, who are criminals and who aren’t permitted to buy guns, won’t be able to buy guns.
“So, when Virginia passes these gun safety laws that they will be followed.”
Good luck with that. When you have counties passing Second Amendment sanctuary laws and meetings where “citizens overflowed into the hallway,” as per the Examiner, this isn’t going to end with chastened obeisance by gun owners.
When people are talking about calling out the National Guard, what you have is already a fantastically bad idea on the cusp of turning a lot worse.
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