When Donald Trump ran for president on a platform of virulent xenophobia, one of the rallying cries he favored was the idea that liberal-minded localities were forming “sanctuary cities” and would not cooperate with federal immigration officials on the prowl for undocumented aliens.
Right-wing Virginia politicians, notably Corey A. Stewart, who led anti-foreign hate raids when he was Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Prince William County, locked onto the idea with a vengeance. Listed as “sanctuary” cities were places like Virginia Beach and Richmond.
The problem was that they were no such cities or counties. True, short-funded police departments tended to stick to their real work – enforcing local and state laws as they should – but there were no formal pronouncements of “sanctuary cities.”
So, it is indeed ironic that the anti-control mob is creating a series of so-called “sanctuary” cities and counties where authorities will refuse to enforce gun control laws. So far, the counties of Appomattox, Campbell, Carroll, Charlotte, Patrick and Pittsylvania have declared themselves ‘Second Amendment Sanctuaries,” reports the Washington Post.
What that really means isn’t exactly clear because no locality, in Virginia or elsewhere, can pick and choose what laws they want to enforce.
The real reason for this, naturally, is that come January, Democrats will control the General Assembly and the chairs of the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. No longer will conservative Republicans be able to shut down any reasonable gun control reform simply by stifling it in committee.
The fact is that most Virginians, certainly those in larger and more sophisticated areas, favor reasonable gun control reform, such as requiring universal background checks before gun purchases and limiting high-capacity magazines on firearms. It is more likely that some measures will now succeed.
What’s curious is that the counties that are now “sanctuaries” only have relatively small numbers of residents who have concealed carry permits, according to NBC News Washington. The largest number is in Patrick County with 16.59%. The lowest is Charlotte County with 9.71%.
Mind you, we’re talking about pistols, not shotguns or rifles used for hunting. The main similarity among the counties is that they are fairly rural areas. I don’t have figures but I doubt they have high assault or murder rates. If there is to be bloodletting, it probably involves a domestic squabble or tiffs among drunken friends in parking lots.
But one can’t change the mentality of many Virginians on guns. Two years ago, I did an opinion piece in The Washington Post asking why so many bearded, mean-looking guys were wandering around the “Unite the Right” rally with assault rifles, magazine pockets, body armor and other instruments of destruction.
That’s because Virginia is one of two-dozen states or so that have open carry laws. These dudes could not have strutted around with their Bushmasters in Maryland which bans bringing firearms to public demonstrations. If you are thinking about bringing your AR-15 or any firearm to a public rally in D.C., you will be arrested.
Now I am sure I am going to get a lot of personal attacks after I post this item. For the record let me say that I do not favor collecting all legal firearms. I have owned a rifle since I was 11 years old. I grew up in part in West Virginia and North Carolina where hunting or target shooting are a big part of life.
I do not need a lecture about what guns can do. I saw plenty when I was a police reporter for two newspapers and as a foreign correspondent for an American magazine.There are currently no comments highlighted.