The capture of Virginia’s legislature by Democrats, who also command the executive branch, has unleashed a spate of bills to criminalize millions of law-abiding gun owners and send them to the penitentiary. The most radical proposal, Senate Bill 16, would make it a felony to possess an ordinary semiautomatic rifle with harmless features like an adjustable shoulder stock, a flare launcher, and a muzzle device to reduce kick.
Reflecting trends in states as diverse as Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, and Washington, where politicians have declared a war against gun owners, about half of Virginia’s counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries. County governments and elected sheriffs pledge not to enforce unconstitutional diktats that violate the right to keep and bear arms.
Sanctuary places are the darling of “progressive” jurisdictions determined to hide and harbor criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities. Progressives now accuse officials of being “vigilantes” for seeking to protect American citizens from imprisonment for exercising their constitutional rights.
Spearheading the war on Virginia gun owners is Gov. Ralph Northam, best known for his gig in blackface or Klan attire, and for calmly endorsing post-delivery abortion, that is, infanticide. To divert attention from the backlash, he is moving to criminalize all sorts of innocent conduct that has been lawful in the Commonwealth since Jamestown was settled in 1607.
It’s as if “the Redcoats are coming” again.
Northam’s counterpart in 1774 was Lord Dunmore, the last royal governor, who took measures to disarm “disloyal” Virginians led by Patrick Henry. The patriots were arming and organizing themselves into independent companies to protect their rights.