Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 41 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Do These Second Amendment “Resolutions” Have Any Teeth And Are They Legal?

BY Herschel Smith
23 hours, 9 minutes ago

Via Virginia reporter Mack, this bit of interesting analysis.

But do these resolutions have any teeth?

The short answer is: Not really. If local officials refuse to enforce the new state laws, they themselves would be breaking the law. Since most wouldn’t do that, the measure is really just symbolic.

[ … ]

The term “sanctuary cities” might remind some of similar efforts taken on the issue of immigration enforcement — cities that said they would not do the government’s bidding when it came to pursuing undocumented immigrants.

But there are key differences between those and the current situation, said Richard Schragger, a law professor at the University of Virginia. States and localities have the option to cooperate with federal immigration laws because the Constitution limits the ways the feds can force locals to enforce federal law.

But if a local official refuses to follow state law, that becomes more of a problem, he said.

Police officers do have discretion when it comes to certain laws. Little could be done legally, for example, in a situation where a cop pulls someone over and finds they have a gun they’re not allowed to have and decides not to do anything about it.

But local officials then open themselves up to contempt charges and police officers to individual liability, Schragger said. Say the officer doesn’t confiscate a gun that’s supposed to be under a new law, and then someone gets killed with the same weapon. The officer could become liable.

This is all a pregnant bit of prose and requires some unpacking.  Richard Schragger, a law professor at the University of Virginia, has misled the reporter and the readers.  It’s all quite a bit more complicated than that, and he knows it.

His analysis is similar in import to the one today by a member of the Virginia legislature, David Toscano, written at Slate.

Conservatives have railed for years against so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, criticizing localities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration policies they deem heartless and ineffective. In the past year, however, some conservative lawmakers have taken a page from the progressive playbook, employing sanctuary imagery in opposition to gun safety legislation they deem to be an unconstitutional restriction of their rights under the Second Amendment.

The two approaches are classic cases of false equivalency. Jurisdictions that proclaim themselves sanctuaries for immigrants do not seek to violate the law; they simply refuse to engage local law enforcement in supporting actions that are federal responsibilities. They do not block the law, but simply insist that it should be enforced by those who have the responsibility to do so. For some proponents of so-called gun sanctuaries, however, the goal is to prevent enforcement of state law that the jurisdiction (not a court) deems unconstitutional.

Oh.  Is that the way it works?  Well then.  I guess Reuters is wrong to point out that “Sanctuary cities are those where local officials decline to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation.”  Yes, in fact, that’s exactly what an illegal alien sanctuary city is.

Professor Schragger, a little digging shows, absolutely hates preemption (this link also works).  You see, he wants cities and towns to be able to levy taxes, impose regulations and do all sorts of things not granted authority by the state.  He calls preemption an “an attack on American cities.”  As long as the tilt is towards more and more regulation, he’s okay with it all.  If cities seek to ignore state law, he’s not.

So by attempting to pose a quick defeater argument for the equivalence between illegal alien sanctuary cities and 2A cities and counties, both authors have introduced more problems to deal with.  The most significant illegal alien sanctuary city case Trump has won merely allowed the FedGov to “give preferential treatment in awarding community policing grants to cities that cooperate with immigration authorities.”  That’s it.  That’s the sum total of the judicial victory.

So what Toscano and Schragger have done is pose a defeater, and hope that you didn’t dig to find the details enough to see that their argument fails, and does so miserably.  Their attempt at defeating the “false equivalence” ends up showing the similarity, and yet they still dislike state attempts at preemption on illegal alien sanctuaries, and like it for 2A sanctuaries.

They’ve done nothing more than restate their own axiomatic irreducibles, or presuppositions.  They both bias towards so-called progressive views, while denying the right of others to invoke those same tools for their own uses.  But the law is the result of these philosophic pre-commitments, not the source of them.  Philosophic pre-commitments come first, not last.  The law comes last, not first.

We do the very same thing, recognizing that our own pre-commitments are not theirs.  The fundamental divide has nothing to do with the law, per se.  It has to do with the polarization of America, which not just continues unabated, but is accelerating.  We dislike preemption when it comes to preservation of our 2A rights, and like it when it comes to illegal alien sanctuary cities.  These views have to do with preservation of certain God-given rights, tendency in the Latino voters to undermine those rights, and other issues too involved to fisk at the moment.

Again, philosophic pre-commitments govern the outcome of the debate, not the law, the law being the result of the debate.  That’s why judge-shopping is so in vogue with the progressives.  Philosophic pre-commitments can change your view of everything, not least of which is how mankind should be governed.

But that doesn’t end the issues with the analysis above.  Professor Schragger has oversimplified the issue when he discusses failing to remove weapons from a citizen and that weapon being used in a crime, leading to culpability and liability by the LEO.  Does the professor think that LEOs are going to log in weapons owners, along with the respective serial numbers of all firearms, make permanent records searchable by NICS or some other means (i.e., a registry), and make them available for future use by law enforcement?  Form 4473 isn’t a registration, and firearms can be sold to others in person-to-person transfers.  Having your information on Form 4473 proves nothing concerning present ownership of a firearm.  What tool does professor Schragger think will be used for this draconian scheme of culpability?  He posits all sorts of wet dreams for controllers, but has no idea how this all functions in real time and space.

Piling problem on top of problem, professor Schragger knows, or at least he should know, that LEOs bear no responsibility whatsoever for the protection of the public.  We’ve seen that from the doctrines established in Castle Rock versus Gonzalez and Warren versus the District of Columbia.  No LEO will stand trial for failing to confiscate a weapon because of it being used later in a crime.  That’s a preposterous notion, a sophomoric pretension suitable only for scare-tactics.

As to the extent of efficacy of these ordinances and resolutions, that’s an open question and both of the authors know it.  Sheriffs may lose their nerve, individuals may not find support among neighbors, and militias may fall apart.  My bet is against this.

Sheriffs may arrest state agents for enforcing new gun control laws.  Sheriffs can be thrown out of office and new ones elected.  Militias may end up forming road blocks and preventing state agents from enforcing any new laws.  Firearms will be purchased across state lines and from person-to-person.  Existing firearms will not go away, and most assuredly will never be registered in a state registry.  The compliance rate for these kinds of laws in New York and Connecticut was virtually non-existent, and Virginia isn’t Connecticut.

What I’m certain of, however, is that state agents and politicians of Virginia have absolutely no idea what’s coming, and presume the wrong things about the people of Virginia.  Pollyanna analyses like that from professor Schragger are misleading, and a much better gauge of what this will look like is knowing the people of Virginia.

In summary, 2A ordinances and resolutions have exactly as much teeth as the people of Virginia and their willingness to oppose new laws – not one ounce more, and not one ounce less, the professor and the politician notwithstanding.

 

Turnout At Virginia Second Amendment Sanctuary Meetings

BY Herschel Smith
23 hours, 9 minutes ago

Via David Codrea, the city of Chesapeake.

One quick comment about this article.  “One Chesapeake high school student said residents did not need to use AR-15 assault rifles to protect themselves, drawing some boos from the crowd.”

I told you before, and will reiterate here.  This isn’t about bolt action hunting rifles or the danger deer and feral hogs pose.  This meeting included robust defense of AR-15s and similar firearms.  Virginians won’t give them up, and they won’t register them.  I know the people of Virginia.

More pictures from Chesapeake.

Prince William County.

Via Ammoland, Bedford County.

As readers in Virginia gain intel, send our way as you see fit.

Virginia Dems Cave On Confiscation As 2A Sanctuaries Expand

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 12 hours ago

Via WiscoDave, sure they did.

Virginia Democratic leaders abandoned their gun confiscation proposal Monday following a grassroots outpouring of opposition to gun control across the state.

Governor Ralph Northam (D.) and incoming Senate majority leader Dick Saslaw (D.) said they will no longer pursue their marquee plan to ban the possession of “assault weapons.” Instead, they will include a provision to allow Virginians to keep the firearms they already own. The reversal comes before the newly elected Democratic majority has even been sworn in, after a majority of the state’s counties declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”

“In this case, the governor’s assault weapons ban will include a grandfather clause for individuals who already own assault weapons, with the requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period,” Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky told the Virginia Mercury.

It’s being presented in an interesting way, with an interesting lede, yes?  Dems have caved, while demanding registration.

David Codrea remarks, “So not being able to buy new ones and having to register old ones is being presented as a “win”?”

I would remind readers what the controllers really want.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it:

The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them. Canada has a national firearms registry. We need to copy their model. We need a law demanding all firearms be registered to a national database. We need to know who has them and where they are. We need to make this as easy as possible for gun owners. The federal government provides the money and technical expertise, and the State police carry it out. Like a funded mandate. Most firearms already have a serial number on them, so it would really be a matter of taking the information already on the ATF form 4473 and putting it in a national database. I think about 6 months should be enough time.

Along with this, make private sales illegal. When a firearm is transferred, make it law that the registration must be updated. Again, make it super easy to do. Perhaps over, the internet. Dealers can log in by their FFLs and update the registration. Additionally, new guns are to be registered by the manufacturer. The object here is to create a clear paper trail from factory to distributor to dealer to owner. We want to encourage as much voluntary compliance as possible.

Now we get down to it. The registration period has passed. Now we have criminals without registered guns running around. Probably kooky types that “lost” them on a boat or something. So remember those ATF form 4473s? Those record every firearm sale, going back twenty years. And those have to be surrendered to the ATF on demand. So, we get those logbooks, and cross reference the names and addresses with the new national registry. Since most NRA types own two or (many) more guns, we can get an idea of who properly registered their guns and who didn’t. For example, if we have a guy who purchased 6 guns over the course of 10 years, but only registered two of them, that raises a red flag.

Now, maybe he sold them or they got lost or something. But it gives us a good target for investigation. A nice visit by the ATF or state police to find out if he really does still have those guns would be certainly warranted.

The boys in Virginia know all of this.  They will NOT register their firearms with anyone, FedGov or state.  Noncompliance will be near 100%.  They are going to have to make a difficult decision when the first person, otherwise peaceable, is on trial for owning an AR-15.

They can stand idly by and watch, thankful it isn’t them, or they can set up road blocks and surround his home with patriots to prevent the enforcement of the law, raising and aiming rifles if needed.

Time will tell which path they choose.

Ralph “Kill The Babies Give Me All Your Guns” Northam

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 23 hours ago

Spread this meme far and wide, via email distribution, Gab, Twitter, or other social media.  H/T readers Fred  and JFP.

By way of explanation, Ralph “all your guns are belong to us” Northam has demanded all your guns, Virginians, and volunteered “comfort care” for live aborted babies (comfort care is normally reserved for application in end-of-life situations where the goal is to reduce pain and agony).

Documents uncovered from earlier this year show that Virginia governor Ralph Northam obtained talking points on abortion policy from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.

The documents were released today by Judicial Watch, which filed requests in February under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, seeking records of communication between Northam’s staff related to abortion or the abortion bill sponsored earlier this year by state representative Kathy Tran. The group also requested records of communication between Northam’s staff and Planned Parenthood or the abortion-advocacy PAC EMILY’s List.

Judicial Watch filed the requests immediately after Northam defended Tran’s abortion bill, which would’ve amended Virginia law to allow abortion later in pregnancy and, as Tran admitted in a hearing, even during delivery. In a late-January radio interview, Northam attempted to justify his support for the bill, saying: “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated, if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

You say all of that to the Almighty during the judgment and see what He thinks of your comfort care, Ralphie.

Governor Ralph Northam: “Register Your AR-15s Or Hand Them Over”

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 9 hours ago

Via WiscoDave, this bit of humor from Ralphie.

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Monday his assault weapons ban will mean AR-15 owners can either register their guns with the government or hand them over.

The Virginia Mercury reported Northam spokeswoman Alena Yarmosky used a statement to say, “The governor’s assault weapons ban will include a grandfather clause for individuals who already own assault weapons, with the requirement they register their weapons before the end of a designated grace period.”

This didn’t even work in Connecticut or New York.  What makes Ralphie think his follies will work in Virginia?  We’ll call them “Ralphie’s follies” from now on.

Besides, this runs directly contrary to ordinances already adopted by Virginia counties.  And take careful note, it isn’t the 2A supporters who are fomenting the coming fight.  It’s the collectivists.  It’s always the collectivists.

One final point.  If you study this video very carefully, the tripe that it’s the mischief-makers who are riling people up to make hunters think their way of life is being threatened is a lie, and everyone knows better.  The ordinance adopted by the county of Buchanan specifically discusses AR-15 style rifles, and the people aren’t going to turn them in or register them.

This isn’t about hunters or hunting.  It never was, and it never will be.

Buchanan County Board Of Supervisors Passes Second Amendment Ordinance

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 23 hours ago

Misdirected Blame In Virginia Gun Battles

BY Herschel Smith
3 days ago

David Codrea.

Just to be clear—rather than face up to the truth of who is doing the killings in his district, Jones is blaming the “disproportionate harm” committed by his Norfolk constituents on residents of counties like Tazewell, where the Board of Supervisors not only overwhelmingly passed a sanctuary resolution, but went a step further and passed a Militia resolution, both to overwhelming citizen approval.

The blame and alleged reason for all of this is a misdirect, as well as the second misdirect in all of this, pointing the finger at Tazewell and similar counties.

The stated reason for gun control – increased safety for everyone – has nothing whatsoever to do with why they want gun control.  They’re just copping selling points for ignorant soccer moms.  The stated problem – gun owners – is the second misdirect.

Controllers are just liars all around, and each new lie stacks on top of the other in the set.  It’s a tangled web, to be sure.

Fighting Words In Virginia Over Proposed Gun Laws

BY Herschel Smith
4 days ago

The fellow in the video above hasn’t issued fighting words.  He’s relaying them because he’s heard them.

And there are a lot of other instances this last week.  The Sheriff of Culpeper County has promised to deputize thousands in the defense of their second amendment rights.  Another country is forming a militia after having declared themselves a sanctuary county.

This subsection makes it the responsibility of counties to maintain a militia, not a National Guard or other standing army.

This is because the purpose of the militia is not just to protect the county from domestic danger, but also protect the county from any sort of tyrannical actions from the Federal government. Our constitution is designed to allow them to use an armed militia as needed. If the (Federal) government takes those arms away, it prevents the county from fulfilling their constitutional duties. But, this is not limited to just our county, but also as part of a network of sister counties showing solidarity for both Virginia’s, and the American Constitution.

The Virginia AG isn’t taking no for an answer.

“The resolutions that are being passed are being ginned up by the gun lobby to try to scare people. What we’re talking about here are laws that will make our communities and our streets safer. We’re talking about universal background checks, finally, maybe, Virginia will pass universal background checks to make sure that people who are dangerous, who are criminals and who aren’t permitted to buy guns, won’t be able to buy guns,” said Herring. “So, when Virginia passes these gun safety laws that they will be followed, they will be enforced.”

The NRA and the rest of the “gun lobby,” whatever that is, is so incompetent and compromised that it couldn’t manage an organizational effort like this if the lives of the entire board of directors depended on it.

He’s either stupid or he’s a liar and knows better.  Either way, he’s intent on sending men into harm’s way to enforce laws written out of Northern Virginia.

But these are just the preliminaries.  Sheriffs have to be willing to put state agents in jail for trying to enforce these new laws.  Militiamen have to be willing to raise rifles.  Citizens have to be willing to set up road blocks.  Things are testy now.  They may get really difficult in the near future.  Judges will have to be ignored, homes will have to be secured, and neighborhoods will have to be willing to do more than set up watch programs.

All eyes are on Virginia.

Intelligence Report #2 From Virginia

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

Survival Blog, from a writer named Vigilant in Virginia.

 … 22 Virginia counties have adopted second amendment sanctuary resolutions. My county was among them. I went to the recent public hearing regarding this matter and was joined there by several hundred patriotic Americans in support of their right to keep and bear arms. Many speakers boldly noted to the Board of Supervisors that the Second Amendment is not about hunting, but maintaining an armed citizenry to inhibit government tyranny. The turnout and knowledge level of these fellow citizens is encouraging and makes me hopeful that freedom will be defended, that many will not simply capitulate to socialism or worse.

However, I must temper the enthusiasm of my fellow patriots. The Supervisors in my county have at times taken breathtakingly spineless actions in order to raise taxes, to have someone else to blame. And our county is poorly run by a good old boy network of people growing government for their own benefit. These people protect their own hind ends at all costs, and they commit to no position that will cost them a dime or any credibility with the sleepy voters. Let’s not think that all of a sudden these wimps have awakened to the reality of militant liberalism and are ready to fight. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The resolutions being adopted have no force of law or regulation. The Supervisors in Virginia counties have no authority over local sheriffs, and they have no sway over the State Police, National Guard, Federal law enforcement, or anyone else who might be tasked with gun confiscation. Right before passing the 2A resolution, our Board recognized some EMS personnel for good work, and the 2A document has just as much legal weight as the certificates of appreciation handed to the firemen.

The sheriff stood up in our meeting and proclaimed loudly that he was not going to ignore enforcement of any law, but he is hearing our concerns. He qualified his support multiple times, while sounding like he is on our side. Only time will tell.

Look, when the order for gun confiscation comes down, any sheriff who does not comply will eventually be removed by force by the feds or State Police. If any county politician stands up against them, they will be removed as well. I’ve long believed that gun confiscation will not be practical to implement until food rationing is in place, where the government will have leverage over the population and law enforcement through selective food distribution. Just like in Connecticut and New Jersey today where outlawing firearms/magazines has resulted in embarrassingly few surrenders of hardware, gun owners are not going to give up their firearms without either a fight, or being starved out.

What these 2A sanctuary counties are doing is great, as far as it goes, but don’t expect your local sheriff’s deputies to block the Fed’s access to your home when the order happens. This is the order you may not even hear about until that knock comes at your door. All politicians do everything to serve themselves, all the time, without exception.

It’s just as I’ve said all along.  And I would add LEOs to the mix of people who serve themselves, or perhaps “Vigilant in Virginia” is doing that by categorizing them as politicians.

Declarations of sanctuaries is merely symbolic and can only be a first step.  It sends a message, but unless and until local and county politicians and LEOs are willing to put their careers and safety on the line arresting State or FedGov agents who attempt to enforce confiscatory orders, this goes nowhere.  It will have been nothing more than a flash in a pan.

In the comments there is this interesting web site, https://keepVA2A.com, which is tracking sanctuary counties and the ongoing meetings and protests.

Prior: Intelligence Report From Virginia

Grass Roots Movement To Second Amendment Sanctuaries In Virginia

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

News from Virginia.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was at the front of the minds of both elected officials and residents Tuesday night.

When Virginia Beach City Council met Tuesday for its first meeting of the month, the Second Amendment wasn’t listed on the agenda. Yet hundreds showed up to voice their thoughts on the city becoming a “Second Amendment sanctuary.”

So much so that the City Council Chambers and all of city hall reached capacity, leaving even more people outside during the meeting. By 6:30 p.m. the crowd had swelled to the point that both the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office and police department were on-scene to close the road down in front of city hall.

The gun rights advocates wore orange stickers saying “Guns Save Lives” in the shadow of Building 2 at the municipal center, where six months earlier a gunman killed 12 and injured 4 others.

10 On Your Side was unable to hear who spoke before the council because of capacity and “open mic night” comments are not recorded. However, we do know one of the speakers was Vincent Smith, Division Manager for the Virginia Beach Department of Public Works, who spearheaded the request. He also has created a petition calling for a change in a policy that prohibits city employees from having guns at work.

Outside former Republican congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Scott Taylor addressed the crowd.

“I don’t want to be a felon for protecting myself and exercising my constitutional rights,” Taylor said to cheers.

He called the resolution “a political statement that tells Richmond ‘you will not infringe on our constitutional rights’.”

Members from Moms Demand Action, a dissenting group that focuses on demanding “reasonable solutions” to gun violence in America, was also in attendance.

“Even though you might see a lot of people here, obviously Virginians came out and voted for gun safety legislation this session,” said Sibel Galindez, a co-lead with the Hampton Roads chapter.

Galindez said what alarms her the most is the notion that policy could be ignored.

“Lawlessness has no place in Virginia Beach,” Galindez said.

The “sanctuary” movement has spread in Virginia since the Nov. 5 election, when Democrats gained majority control of both the State Senate and House of Delegates. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has said his party’s leaders will push for gun control measures and more than a dozen bills concerning firearms have already been pre-filed.

So far, 23 counties have passed resolutions ensuring they will not use their public resources to enforce any unconstitutional gun laws.

However political experts and even Taylor admitted that the state would ultimately be able to enforce its laws.

“At this point, we just have to figure out what we are empowered to do and to see if we can find out something. But obviously we have to protect the Second Amendment, we’ll figure out a way,” said Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer following the meeting.

Virginia Beach was not the only locality to hear public support for the Second Amendment on Tuesday night.

Gloucester County voted to become a “Second Amendment sanctuary” Tuesday after another lengthy public hearing.

“Lawlessness has no place in Virginia Beach,” Galindez said.  But the only time the controllers believe that is when they control the laws.

I disagree with the notion that the state would be able to enforce its laws.  It depends upon which laws and how.

If the county officers are willing to prevent state officers from confiscatory orders, they can stop it.  If they are only willing to refuse themselves to be involved, it cannot be stopped and these protests are merely symbolic.

As for purchase of new firearms, it’s legal to buy long guns in adjacent states.  It’s not legal under current ATF rules to buy handguns anywhere else without an FFL review in your home state before the weapon crosses state lines.  That’s a problem because the FedGov controls that, not the state.  Here it depends upon just how far the sanctuary counties and cities are willing to go to prevent FedGov from arrest and prosecutorial powers in sanctuaries.

So I see it as entirely feasible to prevent confiscation if they are willing.  I see it as much more problematic to ensure the purchase of new [illegal] firearms.

It gets spicier from here.  We’re only just beginning.  Both sides are feeling froggy.  Patriots have some real work to do in Roanoke.


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