Cartoon 2nd Amendment resolutions

Virginia’s latest high-profile fatal shooting occurred on Thanksgiving, when Richmond fire Lt. Ashley Nicole Berry, a 33-year-old mother of three, was killed while trying to shield her 5-year-old son from gunfire.  

Police say the intended target was not Berry but rather an apartment next to the Hopewell, Va., home she and her boy were visiting for the holiday. They were leaving when the shots rang out, making them two more victims caught in the crossfire of gun violence, a scourge of our time. 

In the time since Virginia’s Thanksgiving Day shooting, shootings with multiple victims have made headlines, including two on Navy bases at Pearl Harbor and in Pensacola, Florida. 

Does the answer to such violence lie in reshaping gun laws? That’s the question at the heart of debate currently roiling Virginia as Democrats prepare to take control of the state government for the first time in more than two decades. Campaigning this past fall, Democrats promised they’d pass “commonsense gun control measures” if voters gave them the majority in the General Assembly.  

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has been discussing a handful of bills since the May 31 Virginia Beach mass shooting: mandating universal background checks for gun purchases; allowing judges to remove weapons from those deemed dangerous to themselves or others and reinstating Virginia’s previous one-handgun-a-month rule – all measures that had been defeated in previous years by a handful of GOP lawmakers in legislative subcommittees. 

But in an example of our state’s dysfunction in dealing with gun violence, a special session on gun safety in July was called off after just 90 minutes, costing taxpayers about $45,000 while accomplishing nothing. 

Now, our state is dealing with yet another symptom of governing dysfunction: the rise of the “Second Amendment sanctuary” movement. So far, about 70 Virginia localities have passed varying resolutions, most of which declare themselves “sanctuaries” from local enforcement of whatever new gun regulations are approved in Richmond. 

Already, Attorney General Mark Herring (D) has declared the “Second Amendment sanctuary” declarations functionally meaningless. They are merely statements of opposition by  some residents to new gun regulations but in no way prevent a “sanctuary” county’s residents from having to comply with the law. 

On Monday, Northam told reporters he won’t back any gun regulations deemed unconstitutional.  

“I hear people out there saying that they don’t want law enforcement to enforce unconstitutional laws. Well we’re not going to propose or pass any unconstitutional laws,” he said. “So that’s something we should all agree on.” 

The governor’s suggestion – that there must be “something we all agree on”  – is perhaps Virginia’s greatest challenge. That’s why the gun-rights resolution the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors will consider this week is deserving of positive attention. Unlike most approved around the state, Fauquier’s resolution skips the word “sanctuary” altogether – suggesting the county will make no attempt to pressure local law enforcement to not enforce the law – and instead offers a positive contribution to the conversation.  

As is their proper role, the Fauquier supervisors are using the resolution to ask state legislators to pursue new laws they believe will make the county safer -- stiffer penalties for adults who allow children unsafe access to guns, waiving the sales tax on gun safes and locks and providing more state funding for mental health services. 

By comparison, the resolution initially proposed by the Prince William Board of Supervisors is disappointing. The measure makes the empty promise of declaring the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary” while offering no input on proposed gun-safety bills. Given the board already passed a 2020 legislative agenda that makes no mention of gun regulations, the resolution is also political theater, amounting to little more than a spectacle forced by outgoing board Chairman Corey Stewart, R-At Large, a political provocateur who once auctioned off an AR-15 as a campaign stunt.

At Tuesday's meeting, the Prince William board passed a more tempered resolution declaring the Prince William a "constitutional county." That's fine, but one has to question the effect. Hasn't the county always followed the state and U.S. constitutions?

If the sanctuary resolution had passed, incoming Chair-elect Ann Wheeler (D) promised to repeal it soon after the new Democratic-majority board takes office in January. It's not clear what Wheeler and the new board will do now. There would seem little need to repeal a "constitutional county" resolution.

The debate about gun violence and proposed gun regulations will follow Virginia into the new year. It’s past time we put the political grandstanding behind us and work in good faith toward bipartisan solutions. 

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(10) comments

Louf

The left is always looking for ways to undermine the Constitution to fit their agenda. They are not looking out for our welfare. They are looking to consolidate power and place the populace unable to defend ourselves to their tyranny. When was the last time you've seen any newspaper declare any Sanctuary city or state for Illegals being against the law? The media cannot be trusted and neither can our government.

Catharpin411

The out of touch Governor and his entire senior team (Lt Gov and Atty Gen'l) have their own issues to deal with as they each display an appalling lack of good sense. But leave that to the voters on whether or not VA likes having such people around (perhaps they will carry that swath of land from Hampton through NOVA and get elected while discounting the balance of VA. I am tired of reading about leaders and governments from making grand statements against things without offering up positive solutions. Gun violence is real...2nd Amendment rights is real can we get off our high horse and leave our demands in our collective back pockets. Start with a full review of the gun laws currently on the books and dump the ones that aren't/cant be enforced...enforce the ones we should and THEN figure out where the holes are. Start with background checks at gun shows, enforce background checks with all internet sales and ask for ID for all ammo sales regardless of where the ammo is bought. Don't set VA ups as a state forcing a new Lexington and Concord over gun buy out (it isn't buy back since "you" didn't sell it to me in the 1st place), don't Big Brother us and don't knock on our doors with lame demands. There are some smart people out there and neither side will get all that they want, so politicians grow up and figure it out. Yes, I know you elected Socialist Democrats got a TON of MONEY from Sorros and Bloomberg so pushing THEIR agenda is on the front burner but here's a novel idea...push OUR agenda!

Jim McCarthy

Second amendment sanctuary fever is not just not practical, it’s dangerous. A few sheriffs have vowed to support the fever by refusing to execute lawful court orders. Some counties have sought to include commonwealth attorneys in this fever conspiracy to agree not to prosecute gun law violations. This is nothing more than nullification leading to chaos, anarchy, and the end of the rule of law. Every county or jurisdiction that declares itself to be a second amendment sanctuary should be required by state law to post signage to that effect on roads leading into and out of the jurisdiction. State law should require real estate brokers and other sellers to notify prospective purchasers that the property is in a second amendment sanctuary.

weouchere

Get a grip Jim. We all know these proclamations are mostly ceremonial. But you have to admit, the rhetoric coming from a lot of libtards would seem to go against the 2nd amendment. Did you call for the same signage for sanctuary cites and counties for illegal immigrants?

Jim McCarthy

Sure! Great idea. Signs for immigrant sanctuaries should be posted.

zcxnissan

Just as political as sanctuary cities, counties, and states.

OBLUE

[thumbup]

Omarndc72

"Navy bases at Pearl Harbor and in Pensacola, Florida. " Those were terrorist attacks. If the base officers were armed maybe it could of been stopped. Democrats want sanctuary for illegals but not for citizens. Unreal.

OBLUE

[thumbup]

Kevin Raymond

Hey

Hey omarndc….who gave you the authority to speak for Democrats? Maybe we don't want you!!!!!

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