Not dissimilar from yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and his team of gun control enthusiasts are eyeing controversial new gun control legislation in the state which could have the potential to result in abuses of rights, abuses of power, and potentially violence in enforcing these laws. Not surprisingly, the result has been panic. Not exactly the chaotic frenzy one might expect to transpire when they find the room around them burning, but panic nonetheless.
For many people in Virginia, the response has been one of the largest and most rapid mobilizations of peaceful armed resistance we have witnessed in world history. Over 90% of Virginia’s counties have now officially declared themselves 2nd amendment sanctuary counties, and National Review’s Robert Verbruggen notes that several of these counties are currently represented in the state senate by (probably rather uncomfortable) Democrat lawmakers. While the counties are officially bound to uphold state law, there is also a valid argument on the table that the supreme law of the land is the United States Constitution, and that any law made by a state that violates this primary document can be nullified by the citizens, by way of the 10th amendment. (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”)
Promises by local law enforcement to refuse execution of these new laws have been met with threats by Northam to call upon the National Guard. He plans to use the Guard as an enforcement mechanism, to exercise supremacy, and to evict public officials from office that refuse to enforce the new laws. The response? In Tazewell County, a resolution was passed that not only makes the county a 2nd amendment sanctuary, but additionally declares that a militia is being “ordered” to assure that (according to Law Enforcement Today); “. . . if anyone from the state tries to remove the Sheriff from their office because they refuse to enforce unjust laws, those state officials will be faced with a lawful militia composed of citizens from within the state.” (12/16/2019)
The movement to initiate sanctuary status for the second amendment has also caught fire around the country in states like Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, Texas, and most recently in Ohio where several counties have begun exploring the possibility of asserting themselves as constitutionally protected from Governor Mike DeWine’s proposals. According to Reason Magazine, over 19 states now have localities that have adopted some resolution declaring sanctuary status.
And now tonight, as we turn our eyes back to Virginia, a state of emergency is being declared. According to Northam, it is necessary due to “credible threats” of violence as law abiding armed citizens plan to show up in mass to protest the actions of their government, against their consent.
So that brings us to a question: If you yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater and create an emergency, is it you fault for initiating the panic, or the fault of the people who are just trying to protect themselves from being burned?