The center of the national gun debate today isn't Eminem's new album, but the State of Virginia. To make a long story rather short, gun-rights supporters have created Second Amendment "sanctuary counties" where the right to keep and bear arms is honored by officials leading those counties, going against direct orders from Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.
For context, Northam is the same governor who admitted to appearing in a college year book photo as either in blackface or as the Ku Klux Klan. He didn't admit to which.
This is also the same Gov. Northam who, on radio, seemed rather at peace with infanticide if a baby survived an abortion and the mother still didn't want the squirming child. In his defense, this same Ralph Northam did suggest the baby should be made comfortable while doctor and mom decided whether or not to kill it. Isn't he just a sweetie pie?
But I digress. Virginia's gun battles have sparked many opinions across our great nation, including this one from the Washington Examiner titled, "Gun control is foolish, but 'Second Amendment sanctuaries' are an affront to rule of law." In it, writer Brad Polumbo, in my opinion now, demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Second Amendment and the history of the United States. (Let me be clear, I'm simply rebutting the idea put forth in the op-ed. This is neither an attack against Polumbo or the Examiner.)
Polumbo begins his article stating he's a gun-rights kind of guy. He also disagrees with how Virginia's Democrats are going about this entire messy process. So far, so good.
But the proper response to anti-gun bills is to challenge them in court and punish their sponsors at the ballot box — not descend into lawlessness and anarchy, as "Second Amendment sanctuaries" threaten to do.
Hmm. And what, pray tell, is the kind of lawlessness and anarchy to which Polumbo is so opposed?
Essentially, some of these localities are openly saying they'll take arms against the state government before allowing laws they disagree with to take effect.
Seriously? This is madness.
The government taking people's guns is tyranny. A primary reason for the Second Amendment is to prevent government tyranny. In fact, the entire reason the United States exists, as a nation, was first to flee various tyrannical governments in Europe, but to then fight the tyranny of British rule.
But we needn't read historical tomes about the birth of the United States, nor the various documents and philosophies on which it is founded. Let's instead read the Second Amendment. "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Question for those who disagree with the actions of gun-supporters in Virginia: What does "Militia" mean to you? What about "security of a free State"? What about the "right to keep and bear arms" as it relates to "being necessary" to that free state's security?
Now, I'm no historical scholar, but, humble brag, I do pride myself on my ability to read a full sentence. When I read the entire Second Amendment, from start to finish, what I see is the American people have the right to keep and bear arms in order to keep a free state. What I see the Democrats doing in Virginia is attempting to limit that right to keep and bear arms for what I must assume is to run rampant with that pesky "free state" malarkey.
Simpler: people carrying guns = free state. People disarmed = state does what it wants. See also countries throughout history that have barred its citizens from personal means of defense. Like Venezuela, Hong Kong, Germany, etc.
The op-ed continues, stating gun-rights advocates need to follow the court and judicial process essentially to set precedents, to allow the courts to fight back the encroaching Virginia government run by Democrats. That if these gun measures Democrats in Virginia are imposing are unconstitutional, then surely the courts will see them as such and roll them back. Were the people to take matters into their own hands, we the people would set our own bad precedents in laws going forward.
That belief isn't completely wrong, but the examples and reasoning are. The example provided is Roe v. Wade. Were we ever to overturn Roe, what would stop the blue states from having abortion sanctuaries?
After all, in their minds, however incorrect we feel they may be, liberals view abortion as a constitutional right the same way conservatives view the Second Amendment.
Yes, the left does view abortion as a constitutional right. View is the keyword. Abortion isn't a right, there is no mention in the Constitution or the Declaration for a woman's right to "seek the termination of her fetus." The Second Amendment is a constitutional right, placed conveniently in the Bill of Rights, in chronological order. It is smack dab in between Amendment One and Amendment Three. The numerical system, am I right?
This fight isn't about views or opinions, but what is versus what isn't. Liberals believe they have a right to kill a baby. They're wrong. But there is a right to keep and bear arms.
Let me make it even simpler: Why should the American people trust the political and court system to find for a right they already have, in the same political system led by people who say they don't have the right they actually have? Therein lies the frustration and conundrum of "But why not just wait for the government to fix what the government is attempting to break?"
The problem with "Second Amendment sanctuaries," however well-intentioned they may be, comes down to their impact on the rule of law. Supporters of gun rights, among which I firmly count myself, should take our fight to the public, to the ballot box, and to the court system — but never let it descend into lawlessness.
But keeping guns ensures the government doesn't descend into lawlessness. The U.S. government operates at the consent of the governed, not the other way around. If any of the states tried limiting the First Amendment, would we wait for the court system to work it out? Would we not pen op-eds, write stories, or spread the word publicly? Would we be content to take our fight to the ballot box? Or would we actively push back against a tyrannical government to keep our God-given rights?
I think the latter. Tyranny should be resisted. The Founding Fathers gave us a leg up by ensuring the people kept the power over government. Both with the First Amendment, by saying and writing what we need to say without government reprisal, and with the Second Amendment, having the means to fight back against a government descending into tyranny.