90% of Virginia’s Counties Are Gun Sanctuaries

I am tempted to say that the Democrats’ pre-ordained, 100% partisan impeachment vote is the bottom story in today’s news. But that might be a slight overstatement, so I am grateful to my Power Line partners who have the patience to delve into something so boring and insignificant.

While impeachment might not be at the very bottom, there were any number of more important news stories today, like this one: Uprising: 90% of Virginia counties become gun ‘sanctuaries,’ expanding movement to nine states.

Virginia has been trending blue, especially after last month’s election, and the Democrats have gotten cocky. Recently they have talked about conducting house-to-house searches to confiscate gun owners’ legally purchased firearms. The reaction, while predictable, is encouraging:

Stirred awake by Democratic proposals to take, register, and possibly seize their legally obtained weapons, Virginia gun owners in just 43 days have pushed 90% of the state’s counties to become gun “sanctuaries,” the latest three on Monday night.

Since the Nov. 5 election that gave Democrats control of Richmond, an “organic,” pro-gun movement has prompted the governments of 86 of Virginia’s 95 counties, as well as 15 towns and cities, to adopt some type of sanctuary language, putting Gov. Ralph Northam and other liberals on notice that their gun control plans aren’t welcome.

The Democrats have been promoting sanctuary cities, counties and even states for years, in an effort to frustrate the enforcement of federal immigration laws. It is odd how Democrats never seem to anticipate that their own tactics might be used against them. Of course, to be fair, until recently they rarely were. Republicans were too high-minded.

Local groups, notably the Virginia Citizens Defense League, have led the campaign that has brought thousands of gun-rights advocates to county board meetings.

It has also become the national model for the movement that has now reached Illinois, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and Tennessee. Illinois is credited with starting the movement.

It remains to be seen how effective such sanctuary efforts will be:

Proponents warn, however, that the resolutions do not provide legal protection against gun control measures.

Just as the Democrats’ immigration “sanctuaries” do not provide legal protection against federal immigration law. As a practical matter, though, it is difficult to enforce laws when a local government’s law enforcement agencies are not just disengaged, but hostile.

The Democrats have died on this hill more than once before. It seems obvious that, to stick with the case at hand, their riling up Virginia’s gun owners will hurt them politically and will serve no tangible goal. So why do they do it?

Maybe they are true believers. Maybe they honestly think that if we add two or three more gun regulations to the thousands that already exist, violence will magically wither away, despite all evidence to the contrary. But despite my low opinion of liberals, I don’t think they are that dumb. I think, rather, that most of them hate the sort of people who own firearms, and simply want to harass and delegitimize them. I don’t think there is any more noble objective in view, which is why the gun sanctuary movement has taken off with lightning speed.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.