Pardon the pun, but Second Amendment activists in Virginia have been “up in arms” since Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam was sworn into office, along with enough Democrats in the House and Senate to take majorities in both chambers. Northam ran partly on a platform of very strict gun control, and it’s happening at almost breakneck speed.
Friday, lawmakers in the House passed seven new gun control bills in less than 90 minutes.
According to the Washington Post, the measures are designed to:
- Enact universal background checks on private gun sales.
- Require an owner to report the loss or theft of a firearm within 24 hours.
- Give local governments the authority to enact gun laws of their own, such as banning weapons in public buildings.
- Create a “red flag” law, or extreme risk protective order, under which authorities can temporarily seize firearms from someone deemed a threat to themselves or others.
- Limit handgun purchases to one per month, a policy that had been in effect in Virginia until 2012.
- Tighten the law prohibiting access to firearms for someone subject to a protective order.
- Make it a felony to “recklessly” leave a firearm within reach of anyone age 18 or younger, up from the current age of 14.
The bills still have to go through the Senate, which has been working on its own versions. Not everything is expected to pass – and one major bill, a proposed ban on so-called “assault weapons,” hasn’t made it out of committee, as lawmakers try to figure out what firearms qualify, and how the ban would be implemented.
But you can be sure, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And with Democrats in Virginia at least, there’s a will.
All of this happened less than two weeks after 22,000 gun rights activists marched in protest in Richmond. A nice display, and sadly for the media who were looking for headlines, it was also peaceful.
But the reality is, there are no longer enough Second Amendment supporters in Virginia anymore. Or they haven’t been coming out to vote lately. After all, Hillary Clinton won the state with 55 percent in 2016.
The last time the Commonwealth of Virginia had a Democrat majority was 1993. Virginia was a solidly red state. But in the intervening years, the population has changed significantly, particularly in the northern part of the state.
Loudon and Fairfax counties are now part of the “commuter belt” for Washington D.C.
Writing for the National Review last November, Matthew Continetti noted "Fairfax County has grown from 800,000 people to 1.1 million. The percentage of foreign-born residents has gone from 16 percent in 1990 to 31 percent in 2018. The number of Hispanics has more than doubled from 6 percent to 16 percent. The number of Asians has almost tripled from 8 percent to 20 percent. The median home price has gone from $225,000 to $535,000."
"The population of Loudon County has exploded from 86,000 people in the 1980s to 407,000. The percentage of foreign-born residents has gone from 6 percent to 24 percent. A county population that was 3 percent Hispanic and 2 percent Asian is 14 percent Hispanic and 20 percent Asian."
Do the changing demographics in Virginia – and elsewhere across the nation – signal the beginning of the end for the Second Amendment? The media would have you believe it so. But then again, it’s the same media that predicted a landslide win for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
But the fact of the matter is, no matter how big or small the population is in various segments, if voters don’t come out and vote, they are guaranteed to have zero impact on the outcome. Gun rights activists in Virginia are now learning that elections have consequences.