The Great Gun Debate
Why are Democrats going after guns and why are Republicans trying to make their local governments do something about it?
Article I, Section 13, of the Virginia Constitution, states 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; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”
You can’t take people’s guns away if Virginia is still a Commonwealth loyal to its Constitution. This pretty much removes the threat of any legislation the Democrats propose that threaten to remove our rights to own weapons for the purpose of defense and a free state. Any court in the Commonwealth loyal to its purpose to uphold the Constitution will squelch all such legislation.
Democrats are also, bizarrely, threatening to impose “Red Flag Laws.” Red Flag Laws are clearly unconstitutional. Article I, Section 11, states that “no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” You cannot deprive a citizen of their guns, nor their right to bear arms unless they have been convicted, by a jury of their peers, of a felony. So, again, the Democrats, regardless of how much the New York fascist Bloomberg spends in the Commonwealth, simply cannot do what they seem to be advertising.
Which begs the question: Why are Republicans throwing tantrums before their local Boards of Supervisors and demanding they pass resolutions that aren’t worth the time, effort, and paper they are written on? The answer is: Republicans no longer believe that the Virginia Constitution matters in Virginia. When I ask myself why this might be, I can only conclude that it is because Democrats, in the act of proposing this legislation, are in fact assuming that the Virginia Constitution is a tome of meaningless, historical dust.
I suppose Republicans figure that if Democrats are so confident that our Constitution means nothing, then maybe “nothing” is exactly what it means!
Is this what led Republicans to the ridiculous “2nd Amendment Sanctuary County” movement thingy? The Commonwealth of Virginia abides by the “Dillon Rule,” which states that local governments aren’t sovereign and are, in fact, a creation of and a dependent of the Commonwealth of Virginia itself.
Your local governments can’t create “sanctuaries” where they refuse to do what the General Assembly tells them to do. Your local governments simply cannot disobey.
To prove my point, let’s perform a simple thought experiment. Let’s say that Hanover County passes a resolution stating that it will not enforce any gun laws it doesn’t like, regardless of what the General Assembly and the Governor have done. Let’s say this upsets the General Assembly.
In Hanover County, the county forks over $86.6 million in funding toward Hanover County Schools. The Commonwealth of Virginia forks over $89.7 million in funding toward Hanover County Schools. Let’s say that Hanover tells the Commonwealth of Virginia that they can shove their gun laws where the sun doesn’t shine and then the Commonwealth of Virginia tells Hanover that they can forget the $89.7 million in school funding.
Who do you think would blink first?
Is this thought experiment painting a pretty particular picture?
If the Democrats pass unconstitutional laws, then it is the job of the courts, not the counties, to stop them. I am worried that Republicans supporting these sanctuary resolutions believe that if the Democrats pass these unconstitutional laws that these county resolutions will protect their rights. They will not protect anyone’s rights.
If the courts don’t protect our rights, the counties are powerless to help. There is absolutely nothing they can do. If the Commonwealth comes for your guns, you only have two choices. Comply with their demands, or not. End of story. Everything else is fantasy.