in yet another example of the privileged majority feigning minority victimhood, gun owners in rural communities nationwide are buying into the so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” movement. This despite the fact that:
• There are more guns than people in the United States.
• More than 45% of the world’s civilian firearms are owned by Americans.
• Even as 2019 saw a record number of mass shootings — more than 400 — Congress continues to ignore the issue of gun safety.
• The most recent substantial federal law regarding firearms — signed by President George W. Bush in 2005 — protected gun manufacturers from being sued by victims of gun violence.
Still, just the suggestion of something as mildly inconvenient — and widely popular — as, say, universal background checks for gun purchases elicits howls of opposition and, now, arguments for special protections for gun owners.
Actually, my main argument against universal background checks isn’t that they’re unconstitutional, it’s that they’re completely ineffective at reducing violent crime or even increasing the number of background checks performed. In order to even attempt to be effective, universal background check laws need a gun registry, and that’s where the constitutionality of the law comes in to play for me. I live in a state where anti-gun lawmakers just tried to turn me into a felon for keeping my AR-15, and then told me I’d be allowed to keep it as long as I registered it with the state police. I don’t think it’s crazy to believe that these same lawmakers would love to use a list of gun owners to eventually confiscate their firearms, or at least declare them felons for continuing to own them.
The Dispatch‘s editorial board is really steamed that West Mannheim Township, Pennsylvania will be considering a Second Amendment Sanctuary ordinance on Tuesday that states no town funds will be used to “interfere with a gun owner’s rights” (in the words of a Dispatch reporter). The editorial board calls it a “vague and troubling broad assertion.”
It’s also legally suspect. Local ordinances do not supersede state and federal laws, regardless of a municipality’s opinion of the overriding legislation. Legal experts say the sanctuary ordinances have no chance of holding up in court.
As such, the gun sanctuary movement is little more than an overreaction to calls for much-needed measures to curb the nation’s unceasing incidents of gun violence.
Defenders say it puts local lawmakers on record as supporting gun ownership, but that’s a superfluous position in a nation where the right to bear arms is ensconced in the Constitution, is under no threat and has not even been meaningfully curbed in decades. In actuality, it is a symbolic show of defiance to common-sense calls for reasonable gun control.
Declaring rural municipalities sanctuaries for gun owners in America is something akin to declaring Lincoln Financial Field a sanctuary for Eagles fans: It’s self-evident, it’s pointless, and it carries neither legal weight nor moral authority.
West Manheim Township supervisors should ponder this before casting their votes on Tuesday. They can identify their township as a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” but what they would actually be declaring sanctuary from is common sense.
Buried in that word salad of outrage is the real reason the editors have so much hatred for the Second Amendment Sanctuary ordinance they say means absolutely nothing. It’s a show of defiance to their agenda. That’s what they can’t stand.
Oh, they themselves love to #Resist. The editorial board was all in favor of impeaching Donald Trump, for instance, even though it was never going to go anywhere in the Senate. That symbolic exercise was a desperately needed act of defiance to the Trump administration, or so the editors claim, but refusing to spend any taxpayer dollars to enforce unconstitutional gun laws is a deplorable act of defiance.
The same people who’ve been yelling about resistance since Donald Trump got elected are the first ones to demand compliance when they’re in charge. Defiance is a one way street for them, not an act of cultural disobedience that is a part of our national DNA. Despite their claims, the editors of the York Dispatch are not issuing their opinion on Second Amendment Sanctuaries from some lofty moral high ground. Instead, they are wallowing in the muck and mire of partisanship and despotism, unable to grant their ideological opponents the same right to resistance that they reserve for themselves.