Hold Your Hosses, Partner

Back off, boys!

by James A. Bacon

Democrats are submitting a slew of gun-control bills for consideration in the 2020 General Assembly session. Given that the session doesn’t begin until next month, it goes without saying that none have been passed yet. So, it’s impossible to say what gun-related legislation will emerge.

But that’s not stopping gun-rights groups from reacting to what they think might happen. A Second Amendment Sanctuary county, Tazewell County, is forming a “militia” to defend gun rights. Within hours of the news getting out about the militia, the county was flooded from emails from people across Virginia, including military veterans and law-enforcement offices, wanting to join, according to Law Enforcement Today (LET). (The publication is down at the moment due to online attacks, so I refer readers to the Independent Sentinel, which published its own post based on the LET article.) 

Last week U.S. Rep. Don McEachin, D-Richmond, suggested that the state might withhold state funds from localities declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries. That’s what prompted the idea of a militia. Stated Tazewell administrator Eric Young:

Our position is that Article I, Section 13, of the Constitution of Virginia, reserves the right to ‘order’ militia to the localities. Therefore, counties, not the state, determine what types of arms may be carried in their territory and by whom. So, we are ‘ordering’ the militia by making sure everyone can own a weapon.

Adds the Independent Sentinel: “If anyone tries to remove a sheriff who refuses to enforce unjust laws, the state officials will be faced with a lawful militia composed of citizens who reside in the state.”

Bacon’s bottom line: OK, people, this is getting absolutely out of control. This is crazy talk! Where is the emotional energy from this inflammatory rhetoric  coming from? Is the Second Amendment issue becoming a proxy war for those who love and hate Donald Trump?

News flash to gun rights people: The more of this radical stuff you do, the more you inspire General Assembly liberals and progressives to stick it to you by passing even stronger gun-control measures.

News flash to McEachin and like-minded brethren: Cease and desist from talk of cutting off state funds and mobilizing the National Guard. You’re not supporting the voices of moderation in Trump Country, you’re goading the militants. Perhaps that’s what you want. Perhaps you’d be happy to push Virginia to the brink of civil war. Just remember who has the guns — them, not you!