- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In the Virgin Islands — the government’s coming for your guns.

The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands signed an emergency order allowing the adjutant general to seize private properties needed for national protection from Hurricane Irma fallout — including privately owned firearms, ammunition and explosives. Specifically, the governor, the independent Kenneth Mapp, told A.G. Deborah Howell in the order to “take whatever actions she considers necessary” to keep law and order in the face of Hurricane Irma.

And apparently, that means taking guns from lawful owners to give to the National Guard.

Look at this language in the order, obtained by the Daily Caller: “[Howell is] authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission.”

How does this seizure make sense?

Beats me. It’s not as if the National Guard outmanned the number of citizens. In other words, taking guns out of the hands of lawful owners to put into the hands of a select few actually tells the would-be thugs, robbers and rascals of the island — hey, see that house over there? Its owner is unarmed. Go ahead and steal away.

Ditto to business owners, where the real pillaging takes place during times of weather-related unrest and chaos.

But in addition to the pragmatic side — the recognition that many lawful gun owners are better than few, when it comes to maintaining peace and security — there’s that whole constitutional matter.

The National Rifle Association, in fact, has jumped into action mode and threatened a lawsuit.

“People need the ability to protect themselves during times of natural disaster,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, Fox News reported. “This dangerous order violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts their lives at risk.”

Quite right. There is no constitutional provision that allows for Second Amendment rights to be suspended in the face of predicted adversity — in the midst of a national weather disaster.

There’s no Second Amendment Weather Clause.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin tried to impose a similar government grab in 2005, during Hurricane Katrina. And the NRA sued then, as well. And a few short months later, as Fox noted, Congress passed the 2006 Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act, aimed at preventing governments from seizing privately owned weapons during times of emergency.

But Congress shouldn’t even have to consider such legislation. America already has a law allowing private citizens to own weapons. It’s called — once again — the Second Amendment.

It’s not government’s right to grant guns to citizens, or take them away. The right to self-protection is a God-given right. And only in the minds of elitists would it be rational to think the government would have a greater interest in protecting a private citizen from harm than that very citizen would. In other words: Private gun owners don’t need the government to save them. They can do it themselves.

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