The Patriot Post® · Virginia's Model for Both Sides of Gun Debate
Like all would-be tyrants, as soon as Virginia Democrats took power following the last election, they began an all-out assault on the right to keep and bear arms, unleashing a package of gun-control measures intended to strip Virginians of their right to defend themselves.
The newest proposed measures include a ban on “assault weapons” such as the AR-15 and AK-47 rifles, magazines holding more than 12 rounds, and sound suppressors (“silencers”). That bill passed the House of Delegates yesterday.
As a means of reducing mass shootings, such measures are worthless. According to the FBI, in 2018, just 297 of the 6,603 gun-related murders (4%) nationwide involved a rifle of any kind. In fact, knives (1,604) and fists/kicking (656) were used to kill far more often.
The “progressive” obsession with the AR-15 is rooted in abject ignorance of all things gun related. Though they refer to AR-15s as “assault weapons” and “weapons of war,” they are neither.
“AR” stands for “ArmaLite Rifle,” after the company that designed it. Furthermore, the Department of Defense defines an assault rifle as a “selective fire” rifle that can alternate between semi- (one shot fired per trigger pull) and full-auto (continuous fire). The AR-15 is semiautomatic, firing a .223 (or 5.56) round, which is smaller and less powerful than many hunting rifles. If we ban AR-15s, why not all hunting rifles and handguns? They are functionally equivalent.
Gun grabbers claim the AR-15 is especially “dangerous and unusual,” attempting to get around the Supreme Court ruling in DC v. Heller, which found the Second Amendment protects weapons “in common use by law-abiding citizens.” But the AR-15 is the very definition of “common use” — more than 15 million AR-style rifles are currently in the hands of American citizens, and more than a million more are sold each year. In fact, one in five new firearms sold in the U.S. is an AR-style rifle.
Yet far from America turning into the Wild West, as anti-gun hysterics claim, America has become more peaceful with the proliferation of firearms. Gun crimes fell to historic lows after the expiration of the 1994 ban on “assault weapons.”
In reality, full-auto weapons have been effectively banned for civilian use since the National Firearms Act of 1934, and there have been only two deaths by full-auto weapons in the last 40 years.
But in the grand scheme of things, this is all just semantics and details. The Constitution protects our right to keep and bear arms, period, regardless of arguments and statistics.
Yet Socialist Democrats reject the meaning of “shall not be infringed.” For decades, Democrats have sought to erode or eliminate this most fundamental of human and American rights. They couch their assaults in terms like “public safety” and “commonsense gun control,” insisting that no one needs certain types of weapons for hunting and sport shooting. Untrue, but irrelevant. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting and everything to do with providing a firm check against the rise of tyrannical government.
In 1787, Thomas Jefferson warned of the dangers of conspiring men and asked, “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. … The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Is it any surprise the state seal for Virginia is an image of a robed Virtus (Virtue) standing, spear in hand, over the body of Tyranny? The state motto is “Sic semper tyrannis,” meaning “Thus always to tyrants.”
Jefferson was a native of Virginia, and it seems many of his fellow Virginians still have the fire of Liberty, and resistance to tyranny, burning in their breasts, judging by the 22,000 gun owners protesting at the state capitol recently. Or the fact that 141 counties and cities have declared themselves “gun sanctuaries.”
After the announcement of the proposed gun-control laws, Virginia gun sales nearly doubled, with nearly 70,000 gun background checks in a single month. Gun owners continue to show up at rallies, chanting “We will not comply!”
Gun owners are by nature peaceful and law-abiding. They seek peace, but are prepared to defend themselves and their families, whether from armed intruders or a tyrannical government. That is a fact that Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam and the Democrats in the state legislature would do well to remember.