Law-abiding citizens don’t get to pick just when trouble might strike. That’s something the bad guys do. We’re forced to just deal with what’s there, which means it’s wise to be prepared for trouble anywhere we go. That includes the courthouse.
In Norfolk, VA, there’s a fight brewing over whether firearms should be allowed in the courthouse, though.
After months of stumbling, gun rights advocates in Norfolk have finally amassed enough signatures to force the City Council to hold hearings on their request for the city to keep allowing guns in city-owned buildings.
Called the Norfolk Second Amendment Preservation Coalition, the group gathered more than 2,600 petition signatures on Election Day, forcing the city’s hand and mandating a public discussion.
Given the political makeup of the council and what members have said about gun laws, the push is nearly certain to fail. Assuming that happens, advocates will try to gather more signatures to put the issue before voters through a ballot referendum, though it’s not clear when that would happen.
Even if it makes it on the ballot — advocates would need 4,000 signatures for that — the proposal would seem to be a long shot in a heavily Democratic city where supporters of gun control typically win elections by huge margins.
Then again, maybe not. Norfolk is also a military town and military members tend to be pro-gun. Sure, most of them are registered to vote elsewhere, but considering how easily one can spend an entire naval career in Norfolk, some might be willing to re-register.
Plus, with millions of new gun owners nationwide, at least some of them are Democrats who are starting to wake up to the importance of their gun rights.
It’s not the slam dunk that it might have been in past years.
And really, there are cases to be made as to why it’s colossally stupid to ban law-abiding citizens with carry permits from taking their guns in courthouses and other public buildings. For one thing, rules alone won’t ensure compliance by those who actually are a threat. We learned that with the Virginia Beach shooting several years ago.
For another, you’re putting law-abiding citizens at risk, even if you can ensure that absolutely no one is entering these buildings with a firearm. How? Easy. They have to be disarmed too and from the building. That represents a vulnerability that criminals can exploit because they know these individuals are disarmed.
Think about it. We just had a mayor of a city note that a shooting took place in a gun-free zone, though he somehow thought the failure to comply with that bit was more important than complying with laws against shooting people. Gun-free zones are criminal empowerment zones.
More and more, though, I suspect people are waking up to that fact. I wouldn’t be too sure that the pro-gun forces in Norfolk can’t muster enough votes to make a real difference. This is a different world than it was just a couple of years ago, after all.