A political battle royal is about to erupt in Virginia, where billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund essentially bought November’s election for anti-gun Democrats, but all of his wealth can’t buy them out of the trouble that appears to be looming.
As Larry Keane, vice president and general counsel at the National Shooting Sports Foundation put it succinctly in Ammoland Friday, “The mask is off.” And he was just warming up.
“It was never about public safety,” Keane wrote in reaction to gun control-related legislation just introduced in Richmond. “It was never about safer communities. Gov. Ralph Northam and his fellow gun-control Democrats pushing for dispossession of lawfully owned firearms aren’t doing this to make Virginia better. They’re doing this as a naked power grab.”
As reported by the Washington Examiner, “Virginia’s pop-up gun sanctuary movement has turned its attention to fighting the governor’s call for a $4.8 million, 18-officer team to enforce his proposed ‘assault weapons’ ban.
“Two key groups issued an alert this week to push gun owners to four budget hearings Thursday around the state, asking them to quiz state legislators if they will vote to ban or confiscate weapons,” the story added.
Fox News picks it up nicely from there, reporting that the Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America got gun owners fired up. Fox reported gun sales are up, pointing to one gun store where firearms sales have climbed 200 percent since Democrats gained control of the legislature.
While Democrats may think they can now get away with anything, that’s the sort of arrogance that often costs politicians their jobs. The Second Amendment Sanctuary movement that has so far captured 87 Virginia counties is only the beginning of what could become a political earthquake because that movement has spread across the national landscape. American gun owners can be a lethargic bunch, but when they witness the demagoguery that quickly rose up among Democrats in Virginia, and the same sort of anti-gun extremism at work in Washington, Oregon, California and elsewhere, they wake up fast.
In Virginia, this is not lost on Republicans who have suddenly found themselves in the minority. Fox News quoted Virginia Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican, who stated, “We must be focused on making it more difficult for criminals to access firearms and addressing the behavior behind these instances of mass violence instead of infringing our American constitutional rights.”
Social media has been heating up since before the holidays, and with legislative sessions about to open across most states, normally disinterested gun owners have been turning into Second Amendment grassroots activists in bunches. Out in Washington, for example, the grassroots movement to push repeal of gun control Initiative 1639 may have fallen short, but it appears to have been just “Round 1” as the group pushing the repeal effort was re-born Friday morning as “The Washington 2020 Legislative Action Group” with more than 4,700 members that could grow into an army by November. Over the next two months, this group could make an impact in Olympia.
What is happening now in Virginia could become a nightmare for would-be president Bloomberg. He may learn that weaponizing his wealth in a war on the Second Amendment could backfire horribly as embattled gun owners get out of their easy chairs and off their sofas, to become a political nightmare.
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