More Craziness: Now “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” Are a Thing

Second amendment sanctuaries across the U.S. Source: Wikipedia

by James A. Bacon

The Campbell County Board of Supervisors has voted to declare the county a “second amendment sanctuary.” It’s not clear from this WDBJ article exactly what that entails, but Wikipedia defines a second-amendment sanctuary as a jurisdiction that does not expend resources to enforce gun control measures perceived to violate the Second Amendment. The movement, which is particularly widespread in the West, is analogous to the “sanctuary city” movement in which local law enforcement refuses to cooperate with federal authorities in detaining illegal immigrants.

“We’re saying you have to defend our second amendment rights,” says James Borland, a member of the board of supervisors, which voted unanimously to pass the measure. WDBJ reports that the “resolution” will be conveyed to the General Assembly, “imploring lawmakers not to back laws that county leaders say target law-abiding gun owners.”

If declaring one’s county a “second amendment sanctuary” consists no more than forwarding a resolution to the state legislature, it’s harmless. If it means that local police and sheriffs cease enforcing locally unpopular gun laws, it is pernicious — just as sanctuary cities are pernicious. The trend of local politicians picking and choosing the laws they will support is extremely unhealthy.

Sanctuary cities across U.S. for illegal aliens.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, Virginia has two “sanctuary cities.” Arlington County will not honor an ICE detainer unless ICE first presents the sheriff’s office with a judicially issued warrant authorizing detention. Fairfax County will not honor an ICE detention at all. In the 2019 session, Governor Ralph Northam vetoed a Republican-sponsored bill that would have banned sanctuary city policies and would have required to notify federal immigrant officials of undocumented immigrants in their custody.

I suppose there is a certain tit-for-tat justice in a county declaring itself a second-amendment sanctuary: If blue jurisdictions declare themselves to be “sanctuaries” against laws and practices they don’t like, so can red jurisdictions.

But this road leads to anarchy. Local governments cannot pick and choose the laws they decide to enforce. Sure, local officials can set law-enforcement priorities, but they cannot unilaterally exempt themselves. First it’s sanctuary cities for immigration detention. Then for gun laws. Then for marijuana distribution. Then for some other drug. Then for abortion. Then for whatever the hell you want.

Americans have created a democratic republic that establishes a set of rules for governance. We agree to abide by the rules and honor the results even if we don’t like the results because we know that the alternative, anarchy, is even worse.

Sadly, a terrible example is being set by the nation’s leaders in Washington, D.C.  Presidential candidate Trump famously declared that he might not honor the election results if he lost to Hillary Clinton. When he won and Clinton lost, Democrats promptly turned the tables. Declaring themselves the “resistance,” Democrats set about systematically undermining his administration by thwarting presidential appointments, unleashing an unprecedented volume of illegal leaks to the media, concocting a Russia-collusion conspiracy theory, and now seeking to impeach Trump over his conduct of foreign policy in the Ukraine. Both sides routinely accuse the other of lying, violating “norms,” and even breaking the law. The level of partisan animosity is terrifying.

Virginians can stand by as this distemper filters down to the conduct of state and local government, or we can combat it. If the United States deteriorates from a nation of laws into an anything-goes cage match, Virginia is our fall-back position. We are still a state of laws. Let’s keep it that way. I can think of few things that are more worth fighting for.

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33 responses to “More Craziness: Now “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” Are a Thing

  1. When I hear the gun control folks get to raving, I always go back to my absolute favorite movie, Casablanca, and the conversation between Rick Blaine and the Gestapo officer. “Can you imagine us in New York?” the Nazi asks, and Blaine advises there are certain parts of New York the Boche might not want to invade. I’m not sure what will be more fun when the time comes to enforce any confiscation scheme – a place like Pittsylvania County or some of the Richmond projects. I don’t like this any better, or any less, than the idea of sanctuary cities. Sauce for the goose, baby. It is a useful reminder that yes we are a nation of laws, but we are also a nation founded upon consent of the governed.

    The “democratic republic” you imagine (and it is imaginary) is seriously restrained by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, protecting against the dangers of democracy. The Second Amendment is not there by some whim. I do not believe that most of the measures being proposed violate the Second Amendment, but it won’t stop with those ideas and there needs to be a stake in the ground at some point.

  2. Campbell County wasn’t the first.
    Tazewell County passed a 2nd Amendment resolution in June, 2018.
    Carroll County in April, 2019.
    From what I hear locally, I expect more to follow.

  3. I think the concept of sanctuary jurisdictions is inconsistent with our Constitution and laws. But sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If cities and counties can shield illegal immigrants including those who have committed crimes, so too can cities and counties shield gun owners.

    I’ve noticed that few people have focused on United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), which is still valid law. Boiled down, SCOTUS held the Second Amendment does not protect firearms that are not “any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense” And, axiomatically, it does protect weapons that are part of “ordinary military equipment.”

    The weapon at issue was a saw-off shotgun.

  4. Not sure how analogous these 2 Sanctuary ideas are … Whether federal or local government has jurisdiction to detain and deport undocumented immigrants is a tricky and unsettled issue, because the U.S. Constitution does not provide a clear answer. Both federal and local government offer arguments to defend their authority. The issue of jurisdiction has been vigorously debated dating back to the Alien Act of 1798, according to WIKI.

    The Second Amendment gun issue is different. The Supreme Court’s most current ruling says that the right to bear arms applies to state and local laws.
    The military/2nd issue was voiced in 4 dissents in that ruling.
    What has also been decided by several Circuit Courts is that carrying concealed weapons is not a right conferred as part of the Second Amendment. Like all our rights …they are not unlimited.

    Regarding the problems with the ‘Rule of Law’ and Congress as it applies to this current President …
    • thwarting presidential appointments …. WHOA! How about the blocking of judicial appointments by the Republicans when Obama was President, going as far as not holding a hearing for his Supreme Court nominee a whole year before the election. McConnell’s handiwork, of which he is exceedingly proud!
    • unleashing an unprecedented volume of illegal leaks to the media, ???? not specific enough to answer
    • concocting a Russia-collusion conspiracy theory, Nothing concocted here. The Mueller investigation ended with Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team indicted or got guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies during their lengthy investigation. Six former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer were charged. Seven of these people (including five of the six former Trump advisers) have pleaded guilty. If you also count investigations that Mueller originated but then referred elsewhere in the Justice Department, you can add a plea deal from one more person to the list.
    • seeking to impeach Trump over his conduct of foreign policy in the Ukraine. Not about foreign policy. It’s about the extortion of an allied government by delaying the delivery of needed weapons, which were paid for with taxpayers monies, until that ally publicly committed to announcing a corruption investigation of a political opponent. Not exactly ‘foreign policy’ … more like dirty tricks.

    Are you really OK with the actions of this President?

    • “Are you really OK with the actions of this President?” In very many cases, no, but I’ll get my chance to decide what to do next in less than a year. So will you.

      I read this whole impeachment push as a clear demonstration Democrats fear they cannot win at the polls. Mistake on their part. The things you list above are all fair campaign issues. Nothing new about putting strings on foreign aid, but I agree that pushing for things to embarrass an opponent is beyond the pale. UKRAINE DIDN’T DO IT. And so far none of the ancillary issues of perjury or evidence destruction, which helped bring down Nixon (properly) and tripped up Clinton (“I did not have sex….”) Trump’s response? Yeah I did it, here’s the transcript…so what do you think I did wrong? Count me among those who want to hear from Eric Ciaramella, the complaining witness (name hidden in MSM, but readily available all over the net.) I won’t glorify him wit the title “whistleblower.”

    • “Six former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer were charged. “

      None of these charges constitute evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. To the contrary, the Mueller report shows a lot of Russians and Americans on the fringes of power trying but failing to establish channels of communication with either Trump (in the case of the Russians) or Putin (in the case of Americans). It was clowns spilling out of tiny cars all around.

      Unprecedented volume of illegal leaks to the media.

      In his book, ‘The Plot Against the President, “Lee Smith documents the leaks from the highest levels of government in mind-numbing detail. It’s hard to name a single collusion-narrative “scoop” in the past two years that wasn’t fed to the media by some anonymous source in a position of power.

      “It’s about the extortion of a foreign government…

      One man’s “extortion” is another man’s “quid pro quo,” which is another man’s hard bargaining. Personally, I regret that Trump failed in getting the Ukrainians to investigate the Clinton/Ukrainian collusion in digging up dirt on Manafort, the role of Crowdstrike in the DNC server business, and the relationships between the Bidens and the Ukrainian gas company. Maybe there’s nothing there. Maybe Republicans are pushing baseless conspiracy theories. But we won’t know unless someone investigates… which apparently will never happen now.

      • Jim, “One man’s “extortion” is another man’s “quid pro quo,” which is another man’s hard bargaining.”
        This issue for impeachment is not ‘hard bargaining’. It is using the federal government’s appropriations, our tax monies, to ‘bargain’ with a foreign power for personal help in his election campaign. First it’s our money. Second it’s a foreign power, and third it’s for personal interests, not the country’s best interests.

        Personally, I think Biden ought to withdraw from the election for several reasons …one of which is that it was inappripriate for Hunter to accept that job sitting on the Board at Burisma for $50,000 a month. Just very bad taste.

      • Now John Solomon documents how the Obama-era ambassador and others in the state department Ukraine office meddled in internal Ukrainian affairs by lobbying for Ukrainian prosecutors to drop certain cases (not just Burysma). It turns out that one of the beneficiaries was a group co-funded by the State Department and financially backed by George Soros, who, incidentally, had announced his desire to invest $1 billion in the country. There is SO MUCH background and context that the mainstream media has not seen fit to tell the American people.

        https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-real-ukraine-controversy-an-activist-u-s-embassy-and-its-adherence-to-the-geneva-convention/

        This Trump impeachment business is so off-topic for Bacon’s Rebellion that I won’t post on it anymore. I shouldn’t have brought it up. This is a blog about Virginia, not Washington, D.C. However, since I opened the subject, others are free to continue commenting on this thread, if they wish to.

    • The dissents in Heller failed even to address the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the events leading thereto or the English Bill of Rights of 1689. These and even earlier laws are the source of the personal right to bear arms, as expressed in the 2nd Amendment. Stevens wrote his dissent as if he had a blank slate. He didn’t. He pretended our early lawmakers didn’t know about English constitutional law. They did.

      Not examining English constitutional and legal history, while trying to understand the 2nd Amendment, is like trying to understand modern civil procedure in our courts without also understanding common law pleading and the courts of equity. Or modern real estate (and estate planning) without first considering medieval English real estate laws. Much of this study was painful and extremely boring but it is the foundation for what we do today. Likewise, it would make no sense for a Japanese law student studying Civil Law not to look to its direct source, the Napoleonic Code.

      Justices Stevens and Breyer failed to address the source of firearm rights and regulations because they could not explain why they did not apply. That’s not good judging; it’s plain-old poor legal work.

      • “Justices Stevens and Breyer failed to address the source of firearm rights and regulations because they could not explain why they did not apply”.

        Interesting …
        I would just like to toss out the idea that the Beyer dissent makes a lot of sense when it says that rights have to be viewed in the balance … that the right to bear arms must be balanced against the government’s compelling interest of preventing crime and providing safety.

        Also, the militia clause seems to be the rationale for the ‘right’ to this English Major … but then we live in a very different society so ‘original intent’, a la Scalia, seems out of place here … and most likely elsewhere too!

  5. “So far, none of the issues” … Correct. The cover-up is what brought down Nixon. This is about the action, not the cover-up even though it does look like there was one.
    The inquiry and the vote is about what are appropriate actions for a President to take. Can a President use the power of his office to invite foreign powers to influence our elections, and especially for the personal assistance of the extortor ? Evidently the Founders were very worried about that. We should be too and in this case, affirming the Constitution means more than leaving the judgment up to an election.

    • If you tell me the Steele Dossier raises the same concerns with you, I’ll give you more credence….Brush it off and you’re just another partisan.

      • It’s my understanding that The material pertaining to the Steele dossier in the Mueller Report has not been released. I don’t know what I think about the Steele dossier but Steele was an individual, not a foreign government official in office at the time he wrote it, so I do not believe it is the same level of egregious behavior.

  6. If you look at the arrest rate for marijuana possession in the City of Charlottesville vs other municipalities in Virginia you’d have to conclude either faulty reporting or that Charlottesville already is a marijuana possession sanctuary city.

  7. Oh Jim … George Soros was busy in Virginia over the last election cycle. He bankrolled the top campaigns of three top prosecutors in Northern Virgina’s Fairfax, Loudoun and Arlington Counties. Two of these Democratic loons used Soros money to “primary” effective incumbent Democratic prosecutors out of office. Soros’ PAC contributed more to the far left candidates than their opponents raised in total. After getting onto the ballot as Democrats these left wing loonies were elected as NoVa Democratic voters were too stupid and ill informed to know what they were voting for. If they were Democrats the got the votes. Take that President Trump!

    Even Democrat Chap Petersen took to the Op Ed section of the Washington Post to decry the situation.

    A perfect storm of Virginia Way incompetence. Republican hucksters who left infinite campaign contributions in place when they could have done something and dumb as stump Democratic voters in NoVa who bought the “mass incarceration in Fairfax County” snake oil. When measured this summer Fairfax County’s crime rate was the lowest for any municipality with over 1m people in the US and its jail population was the lowest in 40 years. Yet Virginia’s corrupt campaign contribution laws coupled with an out-of-state radical billionaire’s willingness to exploit those laws were bolstered by a haughty, arrogant and ignorant Democratic voter base to throw the election to unprepared, inexperienced and radical candidates.

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/11/13/soros-prosecutors-virginia/

  8. If we are talking about how Trumpism has impacted Virginia elections, any analysis of Trump’s public and behind the scenes interaction on the world geo-political stage would feature the facts of his active support for Russia’s interests in Syria, in the Ukraine, and in global oil development. No conservative or liberal need be “stupid” or extreme to recognize what Trumpism has accomplished under the president.

    Adm. Michael V. Hayden, visiting professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, ex-director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and ex-director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009, had this to say of Trump’s involvement with Russia…

    “We have really never seen anything like this. Former acting CIA director Michael Morell says that Putin has cleverly recruited Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation. I’d prefer another term drawn from the arcana of the Soviet era: polezni durak. That’s the useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow, secretly held in contempt, but whose blind support is happily accepted and exploited. That’s a pretty harsh term, and Trump supporters will no doubt be offended. But, frankly, it’s the most benign interpretation of all this that I can come up with right now.”

    • Is it fun to live in a fact vacuum? Here’s the liberal NPR’s take on Trump and Russia:

      https://www.npr.org/2018/07/20/630659379/is-trump-the-toughest-ever-on-russia

        • I read the NY Post. What a load of crap! Obama did not negotiate with Iran by himself – he was working with our allies and our allies wanted the agreement with Iran – you can fault them for making a wrong decision but it was a consensus agreement to go that way and right now – today – they still want that agreement.

          Without it, Iran will do what North Korea is doing which is develop nuclear weaponry. Trump did not stop any of it… he was made a FOOL of … Ditto with Russia – They kiss up to him which he loves and he has no real foreign policy other than what he feels from one day to the next. He rejects his intelligence agencies and the diplomatic corp to boot.

          That’s NOT a “foreign policy” – it’s a strongman operation and you never know what he is going to do next- and he is guided by what he hears on FOX NEWS.

          Anyone who thinks this guy has a handle on Foreign Policy needs his head examined.

          We are one-step from disaster on a lot of these issues – he’s a one man wrecking squad.

          All of our allies have stepped back and cringe at the prospect of what he might do next. That’s our Allies.

          • When your allies are wrong you don’t join them. How many soldiers did the UK send to Vietnam? Wake up Larry, Obama’s foreign policy was hideous. How many drone strikes, Larry? In how many countries? You need to get outside of Fredricksburg for a while and see what is really happening. Iran is, as George Bush said, part of the axis of evil. You don’t negotiate with terrorists. You don’t send terrorists billions of dollars like that blithering idiot Obama did. You strangle them with economic sanctions and use military action as a last resort.

            As far as our “allies” – you’ve lost your mind. Australia? Maybe. The UK? If it suits them. Canada? Probably. After that – forget them. Faux friends who want endless American spending, especially on defense, so they can spend their own money on economic development. The Germans are particularly odious.

            Wimpy Obama gave away the store Larry. Good thing somebody is trying to take it back.

    • Kinda like the charges leveled against John Adams, that he was pro-British, by the apologists for the bloody French Revolution. Who then got us into the War of 1812. Nothing new here, people. Trump’s foreign policy might be appalling, but presidents have wide latitude to make foreign policy. Again, great campaign issue for next year, I agree. His fondness for foreign bad actors weighed heavy on me in 2016.

      • Trump’s foreign policy is good. His comments on foreign policy have been appalling. Somebody needed to unwind that God awful Iranian deal. Somebody needed to confront the Chinese over trade. Somebody needed to get us out of what is sure to become a quagmire in Syria. The Paris accords were conceptually fine but horribly negotiated by the Obama Administration.

        If you want to see appalling foreign policy see Obama, Barak H and Clinton, Hillary R

  9. IF .. I “THINK” that Steve Haner is beating his wife, should we “investigate”?

    If we use that standard – both sides can go from now to eternity calling for “investigations” of thing they THINK – MIGHT be going on.

    just reading the comments here – there’s a whole LOTTA Kool-aid being slurped.

    If the MSM is lying/not believable – then WHO are we listening to that we KNOW is credible?

  10. I’m not sure “listening carefully” is an objective standard… myself especially if what one is “listening to” is coming from a partisan source that you are aligned with on issues.

    And we launch investigations based on what POTUS “thinks” or “believes” ?

  11. In terms of who to believe if you think the MSM is a bunch of lying SOBs – does anyone have a working definition of “conspiracy theory” and any examples of it – or do we believe what others are calling “conspiracy theories”?

    When the POTUS believes the CIA and FBI and the Diplomatic Corps are conspiring against him – and his supporters believe it also…. i.e. they believe the FBI was conspiring against him… okay – if you buy into that – if you believe the stuff coming from the dark recesses of the web – then we all have some real fears… because once we don’t trust these agencies – who do we trust? FOX NEWS?

    • Someone I know well, who swims in that dark sea, considers the past three years nothing short of a coup attempt.

      • “coup attempt” ? yes indeed. This POTUS has all the instincts of a 3rd world dictator – either you are loyal to him or you are a threat to him and that goes for ANYONE who is in the govt – even if they have been there for decades and several other POTUS. If you do not bow down and carry out his wants – you are part of the “deep state”.

        The question is – is he fit to be POTUS – and if he is not then what?

        And the bigger question is – Is our Constitution set up such that it is entirely legal and acceptable for any leader of the US to be essentially like other countries 3rd world strongmen? Does our Constitution enable that and if it does the so called “checks and balances” is no better than these other 3rd world countries “checks and balances”.

        No, I’m not suggesting that if we don’t like him – we should find a reason to get rid of him – i.e. a “coup”. But I AM suggesting that if you look at how he governs and you think about how it would be if our government worked the way he REALLY wants it to – is that good? I’d say only those who admire strongmen type government support that. In other words, we want a leader who will do what he thinks needs to be done without regard to our institutions like Congress or the various Government agencies that basically operate the govt per their Constitutional missions.

        If this guy gets his way- the idea of “career” FBI or CIA or State Dept or EPA or FDA or FCC – it all goes down the tubes because they’ll all be replaced with whoever is loyal no matter what the law or regulation might be. You do what he wants or you get out.

        • AND think about what will happen to international affairs … We have led the world since post WWII and have had 70 years of cooperation with joint decisions made by western states. Will it now be about personal whims and an inability to trust or be trusted anywhere?

  12. “coup attempt” – yep, another one of those phrases I hear from the far right these days… we are surrounded by conspiracies!

  13. On this subject, Steve and I agree.

  14. There’s an important perspective you left out of your article. One that needs to be acknowledged, and it must be part of the conversation.

    Perhaps there are simply too many laws.

    I agree that the basic job of a law enforcement officer is to enforce the laws on the books, but they have the more fundamental responsibility of adhering to the oath they swore. Part of that oath is to uphold the Constitution.

    There’s no question that the vast majority of the gun laws on the books violate the spirit and language of the 2nd Amendment, for anyone knowledgeable about its history. Courts have upheld many of them, but that doesn’t change their unconstitutionality. Court decisions can be and are often reversed.

    A populace surrendering its tools of force has historically led to the slaughter of many of those same people by the governments their tools were surrendered to. It’s a mistake that a People can only make once, and Americans aren’t going to make that mistake, regardless of what “laws” the ruling class imposes.

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