You’ve probably seen the commercials for Las Vegas featuring the tag line: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” They usually come with a wink and a nod to some behavior which may not be particularly innocent — and this gets a smile from most people.
But what has been happening in the state of Virginia recently has produced anything but smiles from gun owners. That’s not just within the state but also across the nation. Why? Because, unlike the Las Vegas slogan suggests, what happens in Virginia — at least when it comes to gun laws — is unlikely to stay in Virginia.
Big Names, Big Dollars
After anti-gun billionaires Michael Bloomberg and George Soros poured millions of dollars into the 2019 election, Democrats were able to flip the state legislature. Even former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder, disgraced in the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal, had a hand in the election.
After leaving office, Holder joined Bloomberg in attempting to rewrite electoral maps around the country to favor Democrats. Award-winning journalist Kimberly Strassel of The Wall Street Journal notes that there is an even simpler (sinister?) explanation for what happened in Virginia.
She describes the Democrat strategy as follows:
“They will redraw Virginia’s legislative district lines after next year’s census. The Old Dominion was already moving left, [but] the redistricting power likely cements Democratic dominance over Virginia for the next 10 years.”
Even more ominously, Strassel added:
“Virginia’s election was the first test of the electoral piece of Mr. Holder’s strategy, and it will now serve as the model by which Democrats attempt to gain redistricting power in 11 other key states next year .”
In other words, what happens in Virginia will most certainly not stay in Virginia. And this is bad news for those of us who value our freedoms.
How Bad Is It?
Well, the Virginia proposals have so incensed county officials that more than 90 percent openly declared their jurisdictions to be Second Amendment sanctuaries. Even the overwhelming majority of county sheriffs have stated they would not enforce the new laws on the grounds that they are unconstitutional.
Despite this pushback and a truly massive rally for Second Amendment rights at the state capitol on January 20 — with an estimated 20,000 participants from across the nation — the newly elected Democrats pushed through their new anti-Second Amendment proposals.
Knock, Knock … Who’s There?
Even more disturbing was Gov. Ralph Northam’s request for $4.8 million to pay for his newly commissioned 18-member enforcement team — the sole purpose being to “enforce the new assault weapons ban.” It doesn’t take much imagination to envision this “team” at your front door, demanding that you turn over your now-illegal firearm.
Even more disturbing is that Northam asked for an additional $2 million to enforce his other proposals, including universal background checks, a one-gun-per-month restriction and extreme-risk legislation (the so-called “red flag” laws that allow confiscation of firearms without due process).
Local Second Amendment advocate groups, such as the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), have alerted members, asking them to attend town halls and other governmental gatherings. They plan to demand that officials state their positions if the governor attempts to enforce these new laws.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. But one thing is certain: The anti-self-defense forces are not backing down. Given the stakes, neither should we.
About John Caile
John Caile, contributing writer for USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine, has more than 35 years of experience in concealed carry training and practical handgun shooting skills. As communications director for the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee, John was instrumental in passing Minnesota’s landmark concealed carry permit law. Certified through the NRA as an instructor of Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Home Firearm Safety and Personal Protection in the Home, John continues his lifelong activism for gun owners and their rights in Palm Coast, Florida. He has appeared on national talk radio and network and public television and is frequently published in the press.