A Sanctuary Movement We Can All Get Behind
Newly-elected Virginia Governor Ralph Northam barely survived a black-face scandal in the run-up to the November election. Now he has another scandal of his own making, but escaping this time won’t be so easy.
Northam – who also signed a law permitting babies to be killed after they are born – signed a new Democrat gun-control bill that empowers the governor to “take, register, and possibly seize their (Virginia residents) legally obtained weapons.” If folks won’t willingly surrender their AR-15s, government bureaucrats will just take them, using the National Guard if necessary.
Talk about a Lexington-Concord moment! Virginians, with their proud history of support for the Second Amendment, quickly rallied to their version of the Lexington-Concord showdown in their own communities. Over 90% of the counties in Virginia have, in little more than a month, officially declared that they are sanctuary states for the God-given right to keep and bear arms. This means their county law enforcement will not enforce the blatantly unconstitutional gun control laws that come with electing a regressive Democrat over a qualified conservative.
They are daring the governor to repeat the mistake of English General Thomas Gage, who, while he was holed up in Boston in the spring of 1775, sent armed troops (called “Regulars”) to confiscate gunpowder, weapons, and cannon in nearby Concord.
After blitzing their way through ordinary farmer militiamen in Lexington, leaving eight husbands and fathers dead in their wake, the Regulars marched on to Concord. There, at the “rude bridge that arched the flood,” they met 400 militiamen determined to protect their liberties and the right to defend themselves against tyrannical aggression. The Regulars were sent fleeing for their very lives from the North Bridge and barely survived the 20-mile forced march back to Boston, harassed by liberty-loving Americans all the way.
The bottom-up, grassroots Sanctuary Movement in Virginia has prompted 86 of Virginia’s 95 counties to adopt Second Amendment sanctuary status. Three more were added just this week, and fifteen towns have followed suit. All this, mind you, without any visible push from the NRA. This organic movement has now reached Illinois, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and Tennessee.
One sheriff in Virginia has even suggested he may deputize law-abiding gun owners to protect their weapons from confiscation.
The history of Virginia is on their side. In fact, at one point in Virginia’s history, the law required every able-bodied man in the colony to pack heat to church. Yes, you read that right. They would have been breaking the law if they did not carry a gun into church.
The backstory here is that the hostile Indians around them soon figured out that all the colonists, given their commitment to their Christian faith, would be in the same place at the same time every week totally unarmed and defenseless. The native tribes soon began to plan their assaults for 11 a.m. on Sundays. The colonists quickly realized they needed to be prepared to defend themselves should such an attack come virtually without warning.
These Virginia counties have the Constitution on their side. The Second Amendment does not guarantee the right of the militias to keep and bear arms. No, it protects the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” In the colonial era, every male over the age of 16 was automatically considered a member of the militia and required to own a firearm so he could form a “well-regulated” militia with other men when necessary.
(Constitutional militias, by the way, were not self-appointed. They were, and still must be today, under the control and authority of the civil magistrates of the people. Self-appointed militias will irresistibly at some point take the law into their own hands and chaos will result.)
The Tenth Amendment states unambiguously that every power of action not given to the central or federal government in the Constitution is “reserved to the states respectively, or to the people” (emphasis mine). The right to bear arms is not delegated to the states; it is one of the rights that belong directly and foundationally to the people.
Because this is a right that belongs to the people themselves, and not to the states or to the militias, it is a right that is so fundamental, so foundational, that no state, county, or city (Chicago, e.g.) has the moral authority to take it away.
I flatly repudiate the illegal alien sanctuary movement. It exists to flout the Constitution. The Second Amendment sanctuary movement, on the other hand, exists to uphold it. The folks behind this movement are determined to protect what Joseph Story, Supreme Court justice and constitutional historian, called the “palladium” of our liberties – the one right that enables us to protect all the others. Good on ‘em.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)