Vir­ginia’s at­tack on the Sec­ond Amend­ment

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Opinion -

Vir­ginia Gov­er­nor Ralph Northam apol­o­gized for his med­i­cal school black­face stunt, but he will have much more to apol­o­gize for if he signs into law a bill that at­tacks Vir­ginia cit­i­zens’ Sec­ond Amend­ment rights. The mea­sure is Se­nate Bill 16, which would ban “assault” firearms and cer­tain firearm mag­a­zines. Since Democrats have seized con­trol of Vir­ginia’s Gen­eral As­sem­bly, they are likely to push hard for strict gun con­trol laws.

Those laws will have zero im­pact on Vir­ginia’s crim­i­nals and a heavy im­pact on Vir­ginia’s law-abid­ing cit­i­zens who own, or in­tend to own, au­to­matic weapons for hunt­ing or their pro­tec­tion. As a friend once ex­plained to me, “I carry a gun be­cause I can’t carry a cop.”

I am proud of my fel­low

Vir­gini­ans’ re­sponse to the at­tack on their Sec­ond Amend­ment rights. Firearm own­ers in the state have joined with sher­iffs to form Sec­ond Amend­ment sanc­tu­ary coun­ties. That means lo­cal au­thor­i­ties will be re­quired to pro­tect Sec­ond Amend­ment rights in the face of any at­tempt by Vir­ginia’s Gen­eral As­sem­bly to ab­ro­gate those rights. Eighty-six coun­ties — over 90% — in the Vir­ginia com­mon­wealth have adopted Sec­ond Amend­ment sanc­tu­ary res­o­lu­tions. Spot­syl­va­nia County’s board of su­per­vi­sors voted unan­i­mously to ap­prove a res­o­lu­tion declar­ing that county po­lice will not en­force state-level gun laws that vi­o­late Sec­ond Amend­ment rights.

Sher­iff Chad Cub­bage said, “Be it be known that the Page Sher­iff hereby de­clares Page County, Vir­ginia,

as a ‘Sec­ond Amend­ment Sanc­tu­ary,’ and that the Page County Sher­iff hereby de­clares its in­tent to op­pose any in­fringe­ment on the right of law-abid­ing cit­i­zens to keep and bear arms.”

Culpeper County Sher­iff Scott Jenk­ins made a vow dur­ing a board of su­per­vi­sors meet­ing, where the board unan­i­mously agreed to de­clare the county a Sec­ond Amend­ment con­sti­tu­tional county, to “prop­erly screen and dep­u­tize thou­sands of our law-abid­ing cit­i­zens to pro­tect their con­sti­tu­tional right to own firearms.”

In an at­tempt to ap­pease cit­i­zen re­sis­tance, Northam sug­gested there would be a ban on only the sales of semi-au­to­matic ri­fles. He would al­low gun own­ers to keep their cur­rent AR-15s and sim­i­lar ri­fles as long as they reg­is­tered them. Oth­er­wise, they must sur­ren­der the ri­fles. I’d urge Vir­gini­ans not to fall for the regis­tra­tion trick.

Know­ing who owns what weapons is the first step to con­fis­ca­tion. Gov­er­nor Northam fur­ther warned, “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 con­se­quences, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it.” Some Demo­cratic law­mak­ers on Capi­tol Hill say that lo­cal po­lice who do not en­force gun con­trol laws should face pros­e­cu­tion and even threats of the use of the Na­tional Guard.

Vir­gini­ans must heed the words and cap­ture the spirit of their two most distin­guished cit­i­zens, Thomas Jef­fer­son and James Madi­son, who wrote the Ken­tucky and Vir­ginia Res­o­lu­tions. These res­o­lu­tions re­ferred to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment but are just as ap­pli­ca­ble to state gov­ern­ments in prin­ci­ple. They said: “Re­solved, That the sev­eral States com­pos­ing the United States of Amer­ica, are not united on the prin­ci­ple of un­lim­ited sub­mis­sion to their Gen­eral Gov­ern­ment … and when­so­ever the Gen­eral Gov­ern­ment as­sumes un­del­e­gated pow­ers, its acts are unau­thor­i­ta­tive, void, and of no force.”

Too many Amer­i­cans view the Sec­ond Amend­ment as grant­ing Amer­i­cans the right to own firearms to go hunt­ing and for self-pro­tec­tion. But the framers of our Con­sti­tu­tion had no such in­tent in mind. James Madi­son, in Fed­er­al­ist Pa­per No. 46 wrote that the Con­sti­tu­tion pre­serves “the ad­van­tage of be­ing armed, which the Amer­i­cans pos­sess over the peo­ple of al­most ev­ery other na­tion … (where) the gov­ern­ments are afraid to trust the peo­ple with arms.”

Thomas Jef­fer­son wrote: “What coun­try can pre­serve its lib­er­ties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their peo­ple pre­serve the spirit of re­sis­tance? Let them take arms.” Sim­i­lar quo­ta­tions about our founders’ de­sire for Amer­i­cans to be armed against the pos­si­ble abuses of gov­ern­ment can be found at https://wal­terewil­liams. com/quo­ta­tions/arms/

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