Those who reside on the political left here in the Commonwealth of Virginia have been touting Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s proposed gun reform package like they tout everything that would make it harder for people to enjoy their Second Amendment rights.
“Common sense proposals,” they say. “An excellent starting point for debate.” My favorites revolve around the phrase, “how could anyone oppose this?” Prepare thy pearls for clutching.
The superb Steven Gutkowski with the Free Beacon fairly eviscerates the “moderate” proposals by showing that the Governor (like so many other gun-grabbers) is offering an unserious solution to a largely non-existent problem.
One section would ban the “sale, purchase, possession, and transport” of undefined “assault firearms” including “any firearm that is equipped with a magazine that holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.”
Couple of things here. First, this vague description covers more than half of the firearms sold in Virginia. This is a very IMmoderate proposal. Gutkowski points out,
“The only defining characteristic they’ve released thus far is any firearm “equipped” with a magazine that holds 10 or more rounds. That’s nearly every semi-automatic handgun and rifle sold in the state. The vast majority come standard with magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.”
Secondly, note the word “possession.” There is no mention of grandfathering for the millions of such guns that are already in circulation and are being used legally by law-abiding people. There is also no mention of compensation. Gutkowski says, “The governor’s office refused to return my calls or answer my questions on the proposed ban so there’s no more details on what the actual legislation will look like or how Democrats would enforce such a law.”
In true Democratic fashion, the niggling details of such restrictions are less important than getting the restrictions in place. Think, “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.”
How sorry is this? Gutkowski observes that it would be the most radical set of gun restrictions in the United States. Even more restrictive than California, which at least features a grandfather clause.
The good news is that both houses of the Virginia General Assembly are controlled by Republicans, so the chances of onerous gun restrictions being passed in the Old Dominion is next-to-zero. But we shouldn’t have to cross our fingers and rely on legislative composition to keep unconstitutional measures from gaining a foothold.
It may very well be that Governor Northam does not *really* want to confiscate the vast majority of guns in the state of Virginia. But his legislative proposals offer NO assurances that such a thing would not be legal, if adopted. Since he is offering a silly and unserious proposal about guns, I am forced to look negatively upon anything else he proposes. People constantly assure me that “no one wants to take your guns away.” If that is truly the case, then proposals like these would never be offered. Not even in jest.
And I will repeat the mantra I utter when asked about issues like this. ALWAYS err on the side of “too much” freedom. If you’re wrong, you can go back and fix things. If you choose “too little” freedom, and you’re wrong…you’re out of luck.