Talk about gun control has been non-stop in Virginia since the Virginia Beach municipal massacre took place on Friday June 1, 2019.
Although the perpetrator of this atrocity went through the gun control hoops that all law-abiding gun owners must go through, this was not enough to stop him from committing the heinous act of killing 12 people.
Nevertheless, many have still called for stiffer firearms restrictions. Gun control proponents nearly got their wish when Virginia Governor Ralph Northam called a special session of General Assembly to address the topic of gun control. Thankfully, grassroots gun rights activists were able to stop these gun control schemes in their tracks as Republican leadership discarded these proposals.
Virginia gun owners can breathe a sigh of relief — for now.
But other gun owners in Virginia did not take their chances during the Special Session. Instead, Carroll County in Southwest Virginia decided to declare itself a gun rights sanctuary. According to a report from The Roanoke Times, Carroll County supervisor approved a resolution in April condemning the “slippery slope of restrictions on … Second Amendment rights” in both Virginia and the United States. The resolution declared the county a “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
Gun rights sanctuaries have become one of the most interesting national trends in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting in 2018. Many blue states were victims to the deluge of gun control that followed this shooting. In response, gun rights activists turned to unconventional tactics at the local level to thwart future gun control efforts.
The Roanoke Times highlighted the western portion of this new gun rights sanctuary trend:
Most gun-rights “sanctuaries” are in the Midwest or West. The states of Kansas, Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska are gun-rights “sanctuaries.” So are a majority of counties in Illinois, New Mexico and Washington, with Colorado not far behind.
Additionally, this movement has spread eastward.
Besides Carroll County, only a handful of localities east of the Mississippi — in North Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Maine and New York — have declared themselves gun-rights sanctuaries.
For advocates of localism, this nascent gun rights sanctuary push is a breath of fresh air. Conventional activist tactics have yielded lackluster results for pro-gun activists, and in some cases, traditional activist models don’t work in rabidly anti-gun states like California.
So, it’s a matter of mixing things up and pursuing different avenues for political change.
When the federal government and state governments won’t respond to activist pressure, setting your sights on municipal governments is a must.