During a recent episode of Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. I asked for your take on the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement I’ve been writing about so much recently. While a lot of my focus has been on Virginia, where I live and where the movement has simply caught fire since the statewide elections in early November, the movement is quickly spreading around the country. I could spend my days doing nothing but writing up stories of counties adopting the resolutions if I wanted, and I really wouldn’t be in any danger of running out of material or having a slow news day.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a supporter of this movement, and I’m fairly certain most of the readers are as well, but I still wanted to get your opinion about the movement and where you think it’s headed.

Rich wrote in from a rural Virginia county that’s currently looking at a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution. He says there’s a county supervisor there who’s made four arguments against adopting the measure.

  • “this is not a local issue (BoS does not have authority),”
  •  “gun bans are not unconstitutional, as they’ve been upheld elsewhere,”
  • “this will be misinterpreted by the citizens”
  • “it would upset folks and drive more people to the liberal side.”

As Rich writes;

Each of those is wrong, but we have to engage the guy as he’s in a seat of power. The authority argument has some merit, but what do you do when the State gov’t behaves illegally? His advice to me was “go engage with the legislature” which of course would be ineffective. As I write this, I’m not sure if the topic will be on the agenda next week, and understand that they are re-writing the draft to something he can sign on to so he does not have to be the lone dissenter. Of the other Supervisors, one is very supportive, and the others somewhat. As you may know, the county votes 80% Republican and is a rural county.

My core argument is “do you believe in individual rights?” If so, I draw a line from there to gun ownership and back. If you can say no to gun ownership then all other rights are void. Of course the “beer and cigarettes” arguments are true, and also “you don’t need an urban assault vehicle.” But when talking with my liberal friends it’s a real challenge to just create engagement without emotion. “Guns save lives” falls on deaf ears.

I have to say, I don’t like the fact that the supervisors are trying to water down the resolution so one supervisor doesn’t have to be the lone dissenting vote. Let him dissent if that’s what he truly believes is right. Sure, it’ll likely cost him votes, and may even cost him his seat in the next election, but if that’s what he believes is right then that’s how he should vote. Or, he can tell himself that he was elected to represent the people, and if there’s a clear mandate from his constituents, he can vote in favor of the resolution even though he might personally object. I’d hate to see the resolution watered down to meaninglessness, especially because the resolutions that I’ve seen in Virginia are completely unobjectionable.

In another email, a woman named Linda said she’s in favor of the the movement, as long as politicians don’t use it to promise their support and then fail to deliver. She wonders, however, why it’s even necessary.

We the people have a God given right to defend ourselves.  People such as myself and those who live in very rural areas need guns for protection, not only from bad people, but from wild animals such as wild hogs.  I was walking my dogs one afternoon when they jumped a wild hog and I came face to face with it.  That day I did not have anything for protection with me.  My dogs defended me and two got hurt pretty bad which had to be take to the vet to be sewn up.  The hog could have just as well attacked ME instead of my dogs that day.

In my rural area I’m more concerned about semi-feral human beings than feral hogs, but I get Linda’s concern. As I talk to a lot of rural Virginians about the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement, I’ve been hearing a lot of folks say things that remind me of the tagline from those FarmersOnly.com commercials; “city folks just don’t get it.” There’s a real belief that suburbanites in Fairfax County and urbanites in Richmond and Virginia Beach just don’t understand rural Virginia, and having lived in the northern D.C. suburbs for eight years, and in rural Virginia for seven years now, I think they’re mostly right. More importantly, there are a lot of residents who don’t want to understand, or even think much about rural Virginia or the people who live there. I’m sure Virginia isn’t unique in that respect, but it’s also important to note that the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement isn’t just a rural phenomenon. Montgomery County, Texas became a Second Amendment Sanctuary this week, and half a million people call that county home.

Rick, who describes himself as a Texan and an avid outdoorsman, wrote in to say he sees a bright future for the movement, and he’s looking to get involved himself.

We will see it grow in Virginia. After most of my life in Texas, as well as eight years in Wyoming, I have sold my property in Texas and moved with my wife to her home state of Georgia. Here we are already involved in the 2A fight, just seven months after leaving Texas. I encourage more municipalities and counties to go the Sanctuary 2A route! As a Veteran I can assure that most people on the “Grab Your Guns” side have no clue what a real military weapon is.

There are really two reasons why counties around the country are introducing these resolutions. In states like Texas and Florida, it’s a preventative measure to send a message about future gun control laws. In states like New Mexico, Colorado, and Virginia, it’s a defensive measure to hopefully mitigate the worst infringements that are being crafted by anti-gun lawmakers. I think it’s more symbolic when it’s a preventative rather than a defensive measure, but I still think it’s a good idea to get local officials on the record in support of the right to keep and bear arms. Good luck with your activism, Rick!

Thanks to all those who wrote in to sound off on Second Amendment sanctuaries, and I’m sure we’ll be doing this again. After all, this is a movement that’s just getting started, and I believe its biggest days are still ahead.