Some serious gun-related news has broken over the Thanksgiving weekend in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
First, the Virginia legislature has drafted a bill that has the potential to ban all firearms training, along with any self-defense or martial arts instruction.
Senate Bill VA SB64 states:
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
§18.2-433.2. Paramilitary activity prohibited; penalty.
shall be is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony if he:
1. Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder;
2. Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or
3. Assembles with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm, any explosive or incendiary device, or any components or combination thereof.
2. That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment. Pursuant to §30-19.1:4 of the Code of Virginia, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities; therefore, Chapter 854 of the Acts of Assembly of 2019 requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to assign a minimum fiscal impact of $50,000. Pursuant to §30-19.1:4 of the Code of Virginia, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Clause No. 3 is new and was seemingly created to ban activities like the infamous Charlottesville Unite the Right rally.
It would be a felony for a bunch of white supremacists or alt-righters to march with tiki torches.
Theoretically, this could also be used to break up Antifa in Virginia, but as one of my regular readers likes to remind me:
It is not the action being taken by the person that causes offense, it is the political affiliation of the person taking action that causes offense.”
So I have a feeling it won’t be.
What should scare the hell out of all of us is Clause No. 2:
Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder
Reading this as liberally as possible, any firearms, martial arts, or defensive training could be considered a felony.
Most people would think “intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder” means “going out and starting some shit.”
Thinking like a prosecutor, “intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder” could mean “defending yourself against a civil disorder you got caught up in.”
Do you want to be prepared in case you are caught in the middle of a riot or Antifa blocks the traffic on the road you are on? Do you want to be prepared in case you become the victim of mob violence? That’s a felony.
There are a dozen different IDPA stages that I can think of off the top of my head that would be a felony to set up in Virginia if this law passes.
You might have read that on other sites. It gets worse.
Here is part two of the equation, from the Washington Post:
In Virginia, and elsewhere, gun supporters prepare to defy new laws
Families, church groups, hunt clubs and neighbors began arriving two hours early, with hundreds spilling out of the little courthouse and down the hill to the street in the chilly night air.
They were here to demand that the Board of Supervisors declare Amelia County a “Second Amendment sanctuary” where officials will refuse to enforce any new restrictions on gun ownership.
A resistance movement is boiling up in Virginia, where Democrats rode a platform on gun control to historic victories in state elections earlier this month. The uprising is fueled by a deep cultural gulf between rural red areas that had long wielded power in Virginia and the urban and suburban communities that now dominate. Guns are the focus. Behind that, there is a sense that a way of life is being cast aside.
As I said after the Virginia election, it is the new Illinois. The 51% of the population that lives in the two blue bubbles around the state capital and DC are going to stamp their boot in the faces of the 49% of those who live in the rest of the state. Just the way Chicago passes the gun laws for the rest of Illinois.
In the past two weeks, county governments from the central Piedmont to the Appalachian Southwest — Charlotte, Campbell, Carroll, Appomattox, Patrick, Dinwiddie, Pittsylvania, Lee and Giles — have approved resolutions that defy Richmond to come take their guns.
It mirrors a trend that began last year in western parts of the United States, where some law enforcement officials vowed to go to jail rather than enforce firearm restrictions, and has spread eastward. In New Mexico, 25 of 33 counties declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries after the state expanded background checks. In Illinois, nearly two-thirds of its counties have done the same.
The Illinois model is antagonizing people across the country who live in states where one or two blue counties have the population to impose their will on the rest of the state.
“My oath of office is to uphold the Constitution of the United States,” Amelia Sheriff Ricky L. Walker said Wednesday night as he waited for the supervisors to meet in this rural county west of Richmond.
If a judge ordered him to seize someone’s guns under a law he viewed as unconstitutional, Walker said, he wouldn’t do it. “That’s what I hang my hat on,” he said.
Good for him.
Some of the unrest is fanned by gun rights groups, such as the National Rifle Association and the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which have used social media and old-fashioned networking to offer boilerplate language for resolutions. But the movement is speaking to the anxieties of many who are unsettled by a state that has shifted from red to blue with shocking speed.
It’s not a whole state. It’s two or three counties with big cities. This is EXACTLY the same issue that we saw in the 2016 elections. There about two dozen blue cities that made up Hillary’s voters. The rest of American went for Trump.
All of the top leaders in the new Democratic-controlled legislature hail from urban or suburban districts in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and Richmond. The liberal suburbs outside Washington have the largest delegation in the legislature. And the status of lawmakers from rural red parts of the state has never been lower.
So the rural red areas get the boot to the face.
“We need to send a signal to Richmond about Northern Virginia. We don’t want their influence to affect us down here. We’re very different people,” said Clay Scott, a 25-year-old construction project manager whose family has lived in Amelia for generations.
This is why we are heading for CW2.0 at breakneck speed. Large swaths of America don’t want to be ruled by some people that live packed into concrete boxes on top of each other in a city far away who do not even remotely share the same culture or values.
The resolutions rocketing around the Virginia countryside all have similar language. Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League said he drafted one for Amelia to consider, along with about 30 other counties — out of 95 total — also taking it up. The matter was added to the Amelia agenda too late for it to be advertised so, by law, the board cannot vote on it until next month. Yet, a crowd of 300 or more turned out after hearing about it through word of mouth.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Van Cleave said of the outpouring of interest. “Everything has exploded right now. Gun owners are awake.”
A similar resolution that passed Monday in Appomattox County pledged to oppose any efforts to “unconstitutionally restrict” the right to bear arms. It said the county would do this “through legal action, the power of the appropriation of public funds, and the right to petition for redress of grievances, and the direction to the law enforcement and judiciary of Appomattox County to not enforce any unconstitutional law.”
The concept is modeled after the “sanctuary city” stance that some localities have taken in response to federal immigration enforcement efforts. In those cases, local law enforcement officials decline to take voluntary steps to help the federal government detain or deport undocumented immigrants.
And The Washington Post has backed those sanctuary cities to the hilt. Some laws can be violated and some can’t, it just depends on the political alignments of those violating the laws.
“The notion that law enforcement would not follow the law is appalling,” said Lori Haas, a longtime activist with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “I suspect that many of these counties and their elected officials are posturing in front of certain voters.”
Tell me about all the big city police chiefs who refuse to honor ICE detainers? When do they get sent to jail?
But to many residents in Amelia, any kind of gun restriction feels personal. They’ve heard that some proposals would prevent kids under 18 from owning guns and say people who would ban assault weapons don’t understand what they are.
They feel that way because it’s true.
“I live out here in the country; I’m a rural citizen,” Easter said. “We don’t agree with how Fairfax and Newport News and now even Chesterfield have dominated the state.”
He realizes, he said, that people in those places see guns differently — and that he doesn’t understand their circumstances any more than they understand his. But solving their problems shouldn’t mean changing his way of life, he said.
“What goes on in Fairfax can stay in Fairfax,” Easter said. “We just want to live our life the way we have been raised to live.”
That is a sentiment many people across the country can agree with, just change the name to their local population center.
Add the two parts of this together.
I don’t think the change to VA SB64 being filed when it did was a coincidence.
“Assembles with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm, any explosive or incendiary device, or any components or combination thereof”
This is clearly aimed at open carriers who want to demonstrate for gun rights and against Virginia gun control bills.
Every single open carrier who decides to take his AR-15 to a gun-rights rally is going to end up on the ground, in handcuffs, and then become a prohibited person.
This is the ultimate anti-gun 4-D chess, trap.
- Propose a bunch of aggressive gun control laws.
- Get the most chest-thumping gun-owners to commit felonies while protesting said bills and get them banned from life from owning guns.
- Use those arrests and convictions to claim that the gun community is not “law-abiding” and made of a bunch of dangerous criminals justifying the need to pass said gun laws.
VA SB64 is a terrible bill, and if passed into law I know that some gun-rights people will end up becoming prohibited persons because of it.
This is the coming Virginia gunfight, and it’s going to be bad.