We’ve been covering a lot of bad bills here at Bearing Arms over the past few weeks, but there are plenty of good bills moving through various state legislatures as well. In fact, South Dakota may be making a bid to the most 2A-friendly state in the nation with a a number of pro-Second Amendment bills and resolutions making their way through the legislature, including a measure that would allow county employees to lawfully carry in county courthouses.

Several more gun bills filed so far this year would exempt firearms from sales taxes; repeal restrictions on guns while driving motorcycles, off-road vehicles and snowmobiles; and extend the authorization period for qualifying people who give notice of their intent to carry a concealed pistol in the Capitol. A non-binding resolution invites responsible gun owners from Virginia – where gun-control bills are being debated – to move to South Dakota.

Now, unlike what’s happening in West Virginia, where lawmakers including Gov. Jim Justice are encouraging Virginia counties to vote themselves out of the state and be annexed by their neighbor, the resolution offered up in South Dakota simply encourages Virginians to move while extolling the virtues of the state.

WHEREAS, we the people of South Dakota recognize that, in other states, such basic rights are under assault by governmental bodies more intent on infringing upon the freedom of their citizens than protecting and preserving it:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Ninety-Fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that we the people of South Dakota invite the responsible gunowners of the Commonwealth of Virginia to consider relocating to the 40th state where, in the shadow of Mount Rushmore, America’s shrine of democracy, we will welcome you to experience our bustling cities and endless prairies, share in our crystal clear waters, play on our majestic hills, marvel at our unparalleled beauty and bounty, and absorb all that is our boundless wonder, and more importantly we will welcome you to live under the banner of unwavering support for the most precious rights and freedoms guaranteed to all by and through the United States Constitution and the Constitution of this state; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the secretary of the Senate arrange for copies of this resolution to be forwarded to the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the president pro tempore of the Senate of Virginia, the speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, and the editor of the Richmond Times Dispatch for publication.

I especially like the part about sending the resolution to Governor Ralph Northam and the Democrats in charge of the House and Senate.

South Dakota has encouraged companies in the firearms industry to move for several years now, with some success. There’s no reason why a campaign targeting gun owners to move couldn’t work as well. However, if these lawmakers are really serious, they’re going to need a real effort, not just a symbolic resolution. It all starts with a good slogan, and here are a few suggestions:

  • South Dakota Is For Freedom Lovers
  • Our Name’s South Dakota, But You Can Call Us West West Virginia
  • South Dakota: Ralph Northam Can’t Hurt You Here

They might also consider changing the name of Sioux Falls to PewPew Falls, as well as investigating what it would take to turn the Mitchell Corn Palace into the world’s largest indoor range made out of corn.

Okay, they might not need to go that far, but in all honesty they really might be able to attract some Virginians to the area with the right marketing. Not me, however. I’d love to visit, but I’m staying and fighting at least through the 2021 election cycle.

I love my farm, I love my neighbors, and honestly, I love the state of Virginia. Over the almost 16 years I’ve lived here I’ve visited most of the state’s 95 counties, from Lee County and the Cumberland Gap in the westernmost reaches of the state to the still waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the 17th century towns dotting Virginia’s Northern Neck, and I’ve fallen in love with the natural beauty of the state in a way I never did growing up in Oklahoma. Virginia is such a beautiful and diverse state full of incredible promise and a lot of wonderful people. I don’t want to leave, and I won’t unless or until the dolts in Richmond make it uninhabitable. If and when that happens, however, South Dakota will likely be on my short list, along with (Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Texas), and then we’ll talk about the Corn Palace.