They’re telling us it’s about public safety, that Virginia must have strict California and New York-style gun control to make our communities safer.
Do not believe them. The mask is off. It was never about public safety. It was never about safer communities. Gov. Ralph Northam and his fellow gun control Democrats pushing for dispossession of lawfully owned firearms aren’t doing this to make Virginia better. They’re doing this as a naked power grab.
The latest legislation pre-filed for the upcoming 2020 session is proof. Democrat Delegate Lee Carter of Manassas sponsored HB 67, which would apply to any law enforcement official, noting that those who “willfully refuses to perform the duties of his employment,” will be terminated and ineligible for future law enforcement employment for another year.
The bill was filed just days after Gov. Ralph Northam warned against the more than 100 counties and municipalities that already adopted Second Amendment or Constitutional sanctuary resolutions. Northam offered a veiled threat that any law enforcement agency that doesn’t get on board with enforcing his gun grab would see their funding or authority revoked. “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,” Northam told reporters.
It all centers on the gun control Gov. Northam promised. He said if he could get the legislature to flip from a very narrowly held Republican lead in both the House of Delegates and state Senate to Democrat, he could force through draconian gun control. Anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg dumped $2.5 million and the statehouse is now narrowly Democrat, with a 21 to 19 majority in the state Senate and 55 of 100 seats in the House of Delegates.
Turn Them In
That’s hardly landslide territory, but enough that Democratic State Sen. Richard L. Saslaw pre-filed SB 16, to prohibit the sale, transfer and possession of so-called “assault firearms” and certain standard magazines. Violating the measure would be a state felony. That means to avoid running afoul of the law, law abiding citizens who currently own these firearms would need to get rid of them or surrender them to the government.
Gov. Northam tried to quell the uproar as sanctuary county resolutions passed county-by-county. His spokesperson said the governor would include a “grandfather clause” that includes a “requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period.”
No one could blame Virginians for not trusting the governor. Registering their legally owned firearms would give the state government a database of where they need to go to confiscate them later. That’s not exactly conspiracy theory thinking. Gov. Northam previously said outright confiscation was on the table when he told reporters in November, “That’s something I’m working [on] with our secretary of public safety.”
Electorate Speaks, Politicians Threaten
Now, the governor is scrambling. The electorate is up on arms, quite literally, and his gun control allies aren’t allaying fears. They’re stoking serious constitutional concerns. Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring dismissed the legal standing of Second Amendment referendums, but in doing so dismissed the will of the people taking part in the democratic process and voicing displeasure with their government. He downplayed the legislation as just simple background checks, but demanded, “So, when Virginia passes these gun safety laws that they will be followed, they will be enforced.”
Democratic Congressman Donald McEachin wasn’t helping. He suggested Gov. Northam call out the Virginia National Guard to enforce the ill-received gun restrictions. He somehow forgot two things. Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms noted that if Gov. Northam were to do it, he’d be the first sitting “governor to use the National Guard to prevent the exercise of a constitutional right since Orval Faubus called out the Guard in Arkansas to keep black students out of a Little Rock high school.”
He’d also be turning Virginians against their fellow citizens, many of whom, are undoubtedly gun owners, ironically carrying actual assault rifles to disarm owners of legally owned modern sporting rifles.
This push for gun control in the Old Dominion isn’t about making the Commonwealth safer. The anti-gun rhetoric and attack on Constitutionally protected American rights are pushing Virginians to an untenable choice. Virginians are being forced to choose between exercising their rights and protecting themselves and their families or surrendering their freedoms at the end of a gun. It’s ironic, for a state that has the motto of “Sic Semper Tyrannus,” or thus always to tyrants.