As Virginians celebrated the Christian holidays leading up to Easter, Governor Ralph Northam signed a sweeping array of 45 bills and proposed amendments.
On Friday, April 10, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed several controversial bills aimed at regulating the ownership of firearms. These bills were considered controversial for a reason, as the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States clearly states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Northam also tried to push through an assault weapons ban but was unsuccessful, as members of his own Democratic caucus voted against advancing the bill in the state senate—a result thanks in part to thousands of Virginians who came together in protest of the bills and Second Amendment regulation.
One of the bills recently advanced is known as a “red flag law,” which allows for police or family members to petition a state court to order the temporary removal of a firearm from an individual who is believed to present a danger to themselves or others around them. The operative word here is “believed,” which is part of the reason why this legislation is such an attack on the Second Amendment and individual rights. Anyone who is simply “thought” to be a concern to those around them, without any evidence, can have their firearm taken away from them and surrendered to the state without due process. This is a dangerous step toward a police state, and a slippery slope into Socialism, without question. Also disconcerting are the other bills signed by Governor Northam, which include requiring background checks on all firearm purchases and increasing penalties in areas where children might be able to access guns.
Individuals who care about the Second Amendment can respond to these attacks on individual liberty by educating people in their social sphere and community. Progressives have fought hard to rewrite history in an attempt to redefine the role of firearms in American life as unwarranted. Rare is the media outlet that shares the news of a law-abiding individual carrying a firearm helping to stop a crime or preventing a more tragic outcome. Regardless of cultural outcry, safely carrying a firearm for self-protection is not a right that comes from the state, but one that is afforded, ultimately, by our Creator. Reasonable people can never allow that right to be taken away.
Even some progressives are beginning to understand the importance of owning a firearm during the COVID-19 crisis. With uncertainty in the economy and cultural instability, people are waking up to the reality that owning a firearm for self-defense isn’t optional. It is becoming a necessity. Moreover, individuals in rural communities can use firearms for hunting, reducing their virus-exposing trips to the grocery store, which can also help protect others in the community.
Despite the Virginia governor’s consistent actions to strip away American liberties, we can hold out hope that they will one day be overturned. President Trump’s traditionalist picks for the Supreme Court have already proven themselves as faithful interpreters of the Constitution.
Valdez, A. C. (2020.). Virginia Gov. Northam Signs Gun Legislation, Will Retry Assault Weapons Ban. Retrieved April 13, 2020, from https://www.kunc.org/post/virginia-gov-northam-signs-gun-legislation-will-retry-assault-weapons-ban#stream/0