Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.on January 22nd, 2013 at 11:21 am
It is always good to learn from history. With all of the attention on 2nd Amendment rights today, Bob Marshall has submitted a new bill, HB 2340 titled “A 2nd Amendment Protection Bill.” Our liberty partners have all jumped on board to support this including the VCDL and even the tea party federation (I guess the federation got over their self imposed decision to NOT lobby for 2nd Amendment bills).
Now I’m not opposed to HB2340, but people need to actually read the bill and realize the limitations of this bill. And I, like many of my friends in the movement, would prefer a much stronger stand.
If you follow recent General Assembly bills, and read the language it seems awfully familiar. That is because it is almost identical to the law Marshall got passed last year regarding indefinite detentions. We supported that bill. It was touted as protection against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the fact that this Federal law allows for indefinite detention of citizens with no charges in direct violation of Constitutional rights.
That bill was sold as a liberty bill.
Marshall’s bill helps…kind of.
So what the new NDAA law effectively says is that the state and local authorities will get out of the way and allow the federal government to indefinitely detain you and violate your constitutional rights. That is not how it was marketed.
Marshall’s bill certainly didn’t help Brandon Raub earlier this year, who was detained indefinitely for inflammatory Facebook posts. Without charges. He was released after a week. But was this the outcome that liberty groups had in mind when they pressured the governor into signing Marshall’s bill last spring? I doubt it.
Now, I don’t think that Marshall’s NDAA bill is a bad thing. The law does force the Feds to enforce their own mandates, which they likely don’t always have the resources to do. But does this bill really protect your rights from the Feds?
In a word….no.
This new 2nd Amendment bill uses almost exactly the same language as the NDAA bill. So would a law like this help? Well sure. In theory, it will make it harder for the Feds to enforce new restrictions on guns that would almost certainly violate the 2nd Amendment. The Feds may very well need to lean on state police to help to enforce new sweeping laws. And if the State Police don’t assist the Feds, that is helpful.
If the state actually doesn’t help the Feds…Do you think a liberal Governor would actually execute this law if he is elected? But based on the language of the current bill, if it passes, and the Feds decide to enforce new 2nd Amendment bills themselves, the state will stand aside and allow them to do it. That is what the language of the bill says.
We urge lawmakers in this session to do more. A lot more. Amend the language of this bill to interpose the state between the Federal government when they seek to violate citizens’ Constitutional rights. This bill should model the language found in bills in 5 other states that can be found at this link. Your rights are much more important than hurting the feelings of the Federal government.
If you want to drive a spoke into the wheels of injustice, you can’t stand by and watch the injustice happen. As one of my heroes, Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, ”Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
And that quote has never been truer than it is today.
Here is the contact information for most of our local state officials. You can contact Senator John Edwards if you like, but that is just a waste of your time. These local guys MIGHT help. We discussed it with them at lobby day yesterday (or at least their legislative aides) Following up with a deluge of calls/emails would be helpful. Tell them to support HB2340, but to toughen the language to interpose between the Feds and you if the Feds infringe on your rights, per the Texas and Oklahoma 2nd Amendment bills.
- Ralph Smith: Phone: 804-698-7519 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Steve Newman: Phone: (434) 385-1065: email@example.com
- Delegate Greg Habeeb Phone: (804) 698-1008 DelGHabeeb@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Chris Head Phone: (804) 698-1017 DelCHead@house.virginia.gov
- Delegate Lacey Putney: Phone: (804) 698-1019 DelLPutney@house.virginia.gov
Don’t see your rep. Check this link out for more.