Anti-gun leftists have long maintained that the Second Amendment only references a militia’s right to bear arms. So when your state proposes onerous gun-control laws, accompanied by an unofficial threat to use the National Guard to enforce them, what do you do?
If you’re a group of smart patriots, you form a militia.
This is exactly what’s happening in Virginia, according to Law Enforcement Today, as post-election Democrat dominance is causing many Old Dominion residents to take their state’s motto, Sic Semper Tyrannis (Thus ever to tyrants), more seriously.
As the Independent Sentinel reports:
Tazewell County, Virginia, is forming a militia to defend the Constitution and, specifically, the Second Amendment, in the now-deep blue state. Within hours, they were flooded with emails from people across the state who wanted to join. These included military veterans, officers, and other patriotic Americans.
…Over 76 counties out of 95, 9 of 38 independent cities, and 13 towns have already declared themselves gun sanctuaries. Tazewell is not only a sanctuary, but it’s also going to be the home of the militia.
It’s a clever parry. Again, leftists’ own past statements acknowledge a militia’s right to firearm ownership. This is clear in the Second Amendment, too, which reads, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The Constitution of Virginia echoes this, mind you, with its Article I, Section 13 stating, “That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
The current proposed infringement is extreme, too. As The New American (TNA) reported last month, “In the wake of the Democrat takeover of Virginia, the newly empowered Left is unapologetic about plans to disarm residents of the Old Dominion” (Good “One America News” summary of the situation below).
Aside from working to ban new AR-15 sporting guns — our nation’s most popular rifle — and establish “red flag” laws, “Virginia Democrats have put forth a bill that would strengthen current state law against ‘paramilitary’ activity by criminalizing assemblies of persons with firearms,” wrote TNA December 2.
The offending language of Senate Bill No. 64 establishes that a person is “guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony” if he assembles “with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm, any explosive or incendiary device, or any components or combination thereof.”
“The threat of SB 64 to defenders of the Second Amendment is the uncertainty of how ‘intent’ would be decided,” wrote TNA.
Yet this is an old story. Politicians’ vaguely worded bills sometimes reflect incompetence, but there also can be method to the madness: Legislation can be thus crafted purposely in the knowledge that the ambiguities will then be settled in court — often by activist judges who’ll apply the most statist, liberty-squelching interpretation.
This allows cowardly politicians to effect policy by judicial-fiat proxy, enabling them to advance an unpopular agenda without taking responsibility for it and incurring voter wrath at election time. “Hey, the courts have ruled! It’s out of our hands!” is the idea.
But “cowardly” does not describe Tazewell County, wherein votes “for the militia were unanimous among 200 citizens,” the Sentinel also reported. “They had three attorneys check their declarations which included a ban on funding any law enforcement department that infringed on citizens’ rights to bear arms.”
Speaking of funding, a state government threat to withhold it from Second Amendment “sanctuary” counties prompted Tazewell’s actions. But that’s not all about which sanctuary counties have to worry. “Rep. Gerald Connelly, D-Fairfax County, has called for sheriffs and deputies who refuse to enforce any new gun laws to be ‘prosecuted for failure to fulfill their oath,’” reports the Roanoke Times.
And “Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Richmond, has … suggested that the governor call out the National Guard to enforce the law,” the paper continues. Them’s fightin’ words, as is said, that certainly stir the pot. As the Times put it, “If Connelly and McEachin were firefighters, they’d apparently show up at a house fire with a tanker full of gasoline.”
Mindful of these poltroonish politician pyromaniacs, Tazewell isn’t the only county seeking to confront Richmond’s tyranny with brains rather than brawn. Earlier this month, Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins said that while he won’t disregard “duly passed” laws, he will deputize every law-abiding resident in his jurisdiction to protect their Second Amendment rights (video below).
In explaining why he’d choose a lawful remedy instead of just defying Richmond law, Jenkins said that “elections have consequences.” This is true, and one consequence now is that the Old Dominion State may want to reconsider its famous tourist slogan, “Virginia is for lovers.” ’Cause with the empowering of its leftists, love is one thing that, increasingly, is in short supply.
Image: ronniechua via iStock / Getty Images Plus
Selwyn Duke (@SelwynDuke) has written for The New American for more than a decade. He has also written for The Hill, Observer, The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, American Thinker, and many other print and online publications. In addition, he has contributed to college textbooks published by Gale-Cengage Learning, has appeared on television, and is a frequent guest on radio.