Some on the left are angry, if not apoplectic, that conservatives are turning the tables on them and co-opting one of their own tactics against liberal policies. But turnabout, as they say, is fair play: Self-styled “progressives,” it seems, aren’t the only ones who can unilaterally decide which laws they will or will not enforce and/or comply with.
Across the country, a growing number of county sheriffs and other law enforcement officials, as well as other city and county officials, are announcing their refusal to enforce unduly restrictive gun laws that they believe run afoul of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. They’re declaring their jurisdictions “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
If liberal “sanctuary” cities, counties and even states defiantly refuse to cooperate fully with federal immigration laws with respect to the detention and deportation of illegal aliens, then their objections should fall on deaf ears when other towns, cities and counties won’t go along when liberal governors and Democrat-controlled legislatures enact strict gun-control measures.
Even in purple states such as Colorado and in blue ones, such as New Mexico and Illinois, dozens of counties are defying Democratic governors and legislatures and telling them they won’t aid and abet the would-be gun grabbers in their efforts to “unconstitutionally restrict” the right to bear arms.
Closer to home, at least 10 counties across the central Piedmont and Appalachian Southwest regions of Virginia have already embraced the Second Amendment sanctuary movement. Led by the outgoing chairman of its Board of Supervisors, conservative activist Corey Stewart, Prince William County in increasingly blue Northern Virginia is poised to join their ranks. Dozens of other Virginia counties are reportedly looking at adopting the resolution, model language for which was drafted and circulated by Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
These counties’ actions should fire a warning shot across the bow of the incoming Virginia General Assembly. Democrats are set next month to take over control of the legislature for the first time in more than a generation, and they likely will be prodded by anti-gun extremists to overreach and pass gun-control laws that will risk infringing Second Amendment rights.
They should resist that impulse, but Democratic lawmakers will surely feel obligated to do so as a “thank-you card” for the gobs of campaign cash that billionaire gun-grabber-in-chief Michael Bloomberg invested in Virginia’s off-off-year legislative elections last month.
Likely measures include universal background checks, limits on the numbers and types of guns that can be purchased, and a so-called “red flag” law that would empower authorities to pre-emptively seize firearms from those deemed a threat to themselves or others.
The liberal editorial board of The Washington Post in a fit of pique decried the actions of Virginia’s Second Amendment sanctuary counties in a Nov. 30 editorial, “Virginia’s gun lobby wants to be above the law,” hysterically likening the movement to “vigilantism” and “frontier justice.”
In this cockeyed view, the “gun lobby” includes elected county sheriffs and boards of supervisors in Appomattox, Charlotte, Campbell, Carroll, Dinwiddie, Giles, Lee, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Roanoke counties. It would also include Carroll, Cecil and Harford counties in Maryland, as well as 25 of the 33 counties in New Mexico and nearly two-thirds of the counties in Illinois. Even on the Left Coast, large swaths of Washington and Oregon are Second Amendment sanctuaries. Are we really to believe that they are all run by “vigilantes” imposing “frontier justice?”
To the contrary, typical is the resolution adopted Nov. 18 in Appomattox County. It commits officials to fight “through legal action, the power of the appropriation of public funds, and the right to petition for redress of grievances, and the direction of the law enforcement and judiciary of [the county] to not enforce any unconstitutional law.”
Some gun grabbers are dismissing the Second Amendment sanctuary movement as largely “symbolic” or “posturing,” and a spokeswoman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence was quoted as saying, “The notion that law enforcement would not follow the law is appalling.”
But that’s at best selective indignation, to the extent that they aren’t equally appalled by those illegal-alien sanctuaries. Nor do we recall liberals finding it “appalling” when President Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, or Virginia state Attorney General Mark Herring unilaterally refused to enforce federal and state laws banning same-sex marriage before it was legalized by fiat by five robed judicial autocrats.
While it’s not customary for us to endorse civil disobedience per se, in this case, what’s good for the illegal-immigration goose is good for the gun-rights gander.