I first heard about Tim Anderson on December 9th of this year, at the Buckingham County supervisors meeting where a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution was approved. I was having a conversation with the woman sitting next to me, and she asked me if I had seen this Facebook video from an attorney about the movement that had been getting a lot of attention. When I told her I hadn’t, she pulled out her phone and showed it to me.
What I saw was an affable, calm, and insightful commentary on the movement and what citizens needed to be doing, what bills were really concerning the attorney, and who voters should be contacting. It was good stuff, and in the weeks since, Tim Anderson’s videos have only become more popular.
Tim and I have been talking off and on for a couple of weeks now, and I’m really pleased he could spend some time with me today to talk about the state of the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement in Virginia, how the movement is already impacting proposed legislation, and where we go from here.
Anderson reserves his harshest criticisms for Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who has declared that any new gun control laws will be enforced and followed, though he’s yet to explain how that’s going to work out, exactly. As Anderson notes, Herring himself has declined to defend a law he decided was unconstitutional, and has praised prosecutors for not enforcing some of the state’s drug laws because he doesn’t agree with them. Given the example set by Herring, why shouldn’t we be surprised to see county sheriffs and commonwealth’s attorneys follow his lead when it comes to the enforcement of gun control laws they view as unconstitutional?
Anderson is also concerned that Antifa-types might try to cause trouble at Lobby Day on January 20th, and correctly notes that, no matter who provokes it, any violence is likely to be blamed on gun owners and Second Amendment supporters. Whether we like it or not, we’re in the middle of a persuasion campaign, and we have multiple audiences we need to be engaged with; politicians who represent parts of the state that have adopted these Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions, Democrats in deep-blue cities who are planning on voting for gun control laws even though they’ll have a disproportionate impact on young minority males in urban areas, and Virginia voters who haven’t fully thought through the gun control bills they support.
This isn’t a “gun rights” movement, it’s a civil rights movement, and we’re only in the beginning stages. While we’re taking our stand, we also need to be growing our ranks and building as big and broad a movement as we can.
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