Proposed Laws Wouldn’t Negate 2nd Amendment

Jan. 6, 2020 Editor, The News-Gazette:

Though it has been nearly a month, I continue to ruminate on the Dec. 9 Board of Supervisors meeting regarding the symbolic “gun sanctuary” resolution.

As I said that evening, I am grateful to the state of Virginia for common sense safety laws regulating the registration and operation of automobiles and to our police for keeping us safe by enforcing these laws. I would be equally grateful for any common sense firearms laws that may be enacted by our state legislature. My overwhelming feeling about that meeting is one of sadness for my well-meaning Rockbridge County neighbors who have been scared by the gun lobby into believing some very frightening scenarios.

When the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, ordinary citizens had access to the same firearms as soldiers. Times have changed. With our strong participatory democracy, it is extremely unlikely that the government would attempt a repressive crackdown, or go door to door collecting guns from responsible owners. But, if it did, any weapons (even illegal ones) that could be garnered by a “well regulated militia” of citizens, would be useless against the advanced technology and massive firepower of the military. The proposed laws would not negate the Second Amendment, and would continue to allow gun owners to more than adequately defend themselves against criminals.

Finally, I would like to correct another misconception that was mentioned repeatedly at the meeting. There seems to be a widespread belief that one goal of proposed gun regulations is to turn those who refuse to comply into felons, thus taking away their right to vote and eroding their political power. The problem with this conspiracy theory is that on April 22, 2016, Governor McAuliffe issued an executive order granting voting rights to every convicted felon in the state, who has been released from prison, is on parole or on probation.

I hope and trust that, as the smoke clears and actual legislation is enacted, the good citizens of Rock-bridge County will feel less threatened and more at ease with the changes they may bring.


Rockbridge County

The News-Gazette

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