The Democrats now in charge of making laws in Virginia might want to take a moment to talk to the men and women who enforce them.
And if that conversation includes lawmen like Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan, it just might open a few eyes.
Vaughan was one of thousands of pro-Second Amendment demonstrators on hand in the Old Dominion capital of Richmond on Monday to protest against proposed laws infringing on gun rights — but he was far from the usual protester.
As the chief law enforcement officer of a county far to the west of Richmond’s Capitol Square, Vaughan has a perspective not many in the crowd could share.
He would be in charge of enforcing the new laws in his jurisdiction — and from what Vaughan told reporters Monday, that wasn’t going to happen.
“If the bills go through as proposed, they will not be enforced. They’re unconstitutional,” Vaughan told Benny Johnson, chief creative officer of the conservative group Turning Point USA.
“We swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Virginia, and that’s what we’ll do,” he said.
Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan:
“If the bills go through as proposed, they will not be enforced. They are unconstitutional.” pic.twitter.com/Id6hsyWt8j
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 20, 2020
Vaughan didn’t specify what bills he was referring to, but there has been plenty of anti-gun action in Richmond already.
On Jan. 13, as The Washington Post reported, the state Senate Judiciary Committee approved bills that “would require background checks on all firearms purchases, allow law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from individuals deemed a risk to themselves or others, let localities ban weapons from certain events and government buildings, and cap handgun purchases at one per month.”
In a Reuters report from the Richmond rally, Vaughan had a message similar to what he’d told Turning Point USA.
“Some of these bills being proposed are just unconstitutional, and we will not enforce them,” Vaughan said.
“As a sheriff, I am the last line of defense between law-abiding gun owners and the politicians who want to take away their rights,” he said.
That might seem like a self-evident truth to many Americans, but in a time when Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives rammed through two articles of impeachment against a duly elected President Donald Trump on laughably amorphous grounds, the sentiment was more than welcome.
And when Democrats in states like Virginia are attempting to use their legislative power to assail American rights, Vaughan’s words were as bracing as Monday’s January weather in the east.
Judging by the response on social media, Vaughan has plenty of support.
@GraysonSheriff is a TRUE PATRIOT willing to stand for the US constitution & Va Constitution & against a Tyrant Governor/AG @GovernorVA @MarkHerringVA claiming they will order @VSPPIO to investigate Sheriffs & county officials for not enforcing their illegal laws. VA is in Crisis
— Jonathan (@JH4089) January 20, 2020
God bless these sheriffs, who are literally fighting against Tyranny in the state of Virginia
— Kris (@MamaBearKrissie) January 20, 2020
I hope he doesn’t get in trouble with the fascist Democrat run VA government
— 🇺🇸 QuidProJoe (@Quid_Pro_Joe00) January 20, 2020
I live here in Virginia…this gives me a little hope
— Craig Daliessio (@Craig_Daliessio) January 20, 2020
According to the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Grayson County is one of 136 Virginia jurisdictions that have pre-emptively declared themselves “sanctuaries” of Second Amendment rights amid the looming prospect of gun control laws emanating from the Democratic-controlled legislature and governor’s office.
The gun rights advocates’ tactic mimics the “sanctuary” policies of liberal jurisdictions that shelter illegal immigrants in defiance of federal law.
The key difference, however, is that the Second Amendment “sanctuaries” are upholding the constitutional rights of American citizens.
Illegal immigrant “sanctuaries” are doing almost exactly the opposite — violating federal laws to support questionable or non-existent rights of non-citizens, potentially violent criminals, who actually are actually breaking the law by being in the country in the first place.
It might seem like a simple thing, but the men and women who make laws in places like Virginia’s capital really ought to talk to the men and women who are charged with enforcing them.
It could be an eye-opening experience.
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