There’s little doubt many folks across Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley want their Second Amendment rights protected. And they are willing to take matters into their own hands, via the power of petition, to assure this transpires.
In no less than 22 of 95 of the commonwealth’s counties — Appomattox, Campbell, Charlotte, Pittsylvania, and Carroll included — petitions have been roundly circulated in an effort to stave off Gov. Northam’s gun-control initiative.
Here in Frederick County, a Change.org petition accumulated more than 5,000 signatures — we are a county of roughly 86,000 — and about 100 people are expected to take their cause to the Board of Supervisors meeting next Wednesday.
The intent, said one gun-owner? “Send a message” that Americans’ gun rights are not to be trifled with.
Further up the Valley, it is said that 4,000 people showed up in Shenandoah County to express their concern. These are serious numbers for locales not heavily populated.
In the wake of the Virginia Beach shootings earlier this year, Mr. Northam felt moved personally and politically to, as they say, “do something.” Republicans, still barely dominant in the Legislature, narrowly thwarted the governor in a specially called session to address the issue. Now Mr. Northam’s Democrats control both houses — hence one of their first moves was to eliminate the work provision as a requirement for receiving Medicaid.
Expect more of the same, especially when it comes to guns. Among the prescriptions Mr.Northam has presented include: doing background checks on all gun sales; banning high-voltage weapons as well as bump stocks and silencers; reinstating Virginia’s erstwhile law allowing but one purchase of a handgun per month; requiring that lost and stolen firearms be reported to police within 24 hours; creating an Extreme Risk Protective Order to separate a person from his guns over a certain period; prohibiting anyone subject to final protective orders from having firearms; and providing localities the wherewithal to enact gun laws stricter than state law.
We have no doubt Mr. Northam advances these solutions with the best of intentions, but the question still remains whether any of these panaceas will prevent any of the violence at which they are directed.
Perhaps the converse is true — that the resolutions signed by so many will never stand up to a legal challenge. Frederick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Chuck DeHaven does not think they will, referring to the petitions as “feel-good, knee-jerk reactions.”
But Mr. DeHaven also said something else bordering on the contradictory. He did admit the response to the petitions truly reflected the county’s mindset toward guns.
So what is it, Mr. Chairman, a “feel-good, knee-jerk reaction,” or the genuine expression of a people who fear their cherished rights are endangered? It can’t be both.