One of the many tactics anti-gunners push is to pain gun control opponents as unreasonable. That’s not overly difficult, I’m afraid. Not because we’re unreasonable so much as a complicit media routinely dismisses our concerns as irrelevant.
Recently, I came across an op-ed that claimed “reasonable” control, if such a thing exists (hint: It doesn’t), was nothing for us to fear in the least.
And fear is exactly the word. It’s practically an article of faith for gun lovers that the government is coming for their guns. The National Rifle Association and other gun groups, and the politicians in those groups’ pockets, have told them just that for years.
First, they banned guns from the state capitol building. (That’s such a radical idea that our gun-friendly Legislature here in Charleston has had a similar ban in place for years, and added metal detectors and X-ray machines to help enforce the ban in 2016.)
That’s not quite what happened.
What occurred was the governor declaring a state of emergency because people who disagreed with him decided to protest. He used that as justification to ban guns from the state capitol building in a way that went against the letter of the law. Then a complicit court upheld the ban despite the plain meaning of the law in question.
Let’s not pretend this was a legislative act. It was an executive degree, one that also may portend Northam’s endgame when it comes to guns within the state of Virginia.
So yeah, there are grounds to get worked up.
Virginia legislators have also moved a few gun control bills. One would require background checks for all gun purchases, including those between private individuals. One would let local governments ban guns at events like county fairs. One would stop people from buying more than one handgun a month.
Nothing there that would stop people from buying, or keeping, guns.
First, rights delayed are rights denied. Handgun rationing has never been shown to have any impact on crime. It’s nothing but a way to inhibit law-abiding citizens from buying guns and nothing more.
Universal background checks are problematic on many levels, including the fact that they often interfere with gifting a gun to someone, passing down a family heirloom, or even loaning a firearm to someone who might temporarily be at risk.
These laws may not stop people from buying guns, but they do interfere with the purchase of firearms and, as I said, a right delayed is a right denied.
But there is one measure being pushed — a so-called “red flag” law — that allows family members, friends or police to ask that someone’s guns be taken away temporarily if that person poses a danger to themselves or others.
A judge would have to approve the request, so you couldn’t call up the police and have your neighbor’s guns taken away just because he keeps parking in your space.
No, but this is glossing over the lack of due process. The judge never speaks to the accused before issuing a ruling. After that, the accused has to basically prove his own innocence in order to have his guns returned. Further, there’s practically nothing to stop these measures from being used maliciously, like one woman tried to do in Colorado.
So a neighbor might not be able to call the cops to take away someone’s guns, but they can describe themselves as a friend to a judge and get those guns taken, all because of a parking spot.
Plus, let’s be honest. If this was all Virginia was going to push, it would be enough for us to take issue with, but it won’t.
There will be more gun control laws coming down the pipe in the coming months and years. Each one erodes our rights just a bit more. While I have no doubt this writer would rightly decry any attempt to erode people’s voting rights or right to free speech, gun rights are just as sacred and worthy of protection.
Anti-gunners routinely make arguments that appear to be predicated on the idea that so long as you have access to a single firearm, your right to keep and bear arms are intact. Yet by that reasoning, possessing a tongue is sufficient enough protection of your free speech rights.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
So even the most seemingly innocuous is something to be fought vigorously because each bit will be used to justify the next bit. There’s plenty to fear for Virginians because the loss of even one tiny bit of their rights will lead to more and more infringements down the road.