In November 2019, Virginia Democrats gained control of both the Senate and House of Delegates. Since then, they have made gun control a primary issue. However, many Virginians oppose restricting their access to firearms. More than 100 cities, towns, and counties declared themselves 2nd Amendment sanctuaries to defend against gun control laws. Thousands of 2nd Amendment supporters peacefully protested gun control in Richmond.
The media tried to portray this as a racist event, but many responded to these assertions on social media with pictures of the Black Panthers, who were in attendance, to show gun rights are not exclusively an issue for whites. One black man was seen in a photograph wearing a shirt saying “Black Guns Matter”.
After passing through the House of Delegates, the Virginia Senate failed to pass Bill HB 961, legislation banning AR-15 sales. Bill HB 961 would also ban possession of magazines holding more than 12 rounds. With the help of four Democrats, Republicans against the bill were able to get the Senate to push the bill aside for a year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue.
Delegate Mark Levine, the sponsor of the bill, turned to social media after his bill failed to pass in the Senate. He posted to Twitter:
“Senate Committee voted to study assault weapons bill for another year. We already know weapons of war don’t belong on our streets. I fear mass murder with these weapons between now and then, but I am proud of the House of Delegates for doing what we could. We will be back.”
The left uses the phrases ‘assault weapon’ and ‘weapons of war’ to argue for gun control. Leftists claim the AR-15 is a major problem in our country’s struggle with gun violence. However, they are misleading the public about AR-15s. A majority of mass shootings in the United States involve handguns, not rifles; banning AR’s will not drastically reduce the number of gun deaths. Also, their terminology is wrong, because ‘AR’ stands for ‘ArmaLite Rifle’, not ‘Assault Rifle’, and actual ‘assault weapons’ are fully automatic.
Despite Virginia’s move in a liberal direction, gun control continues to be unpopular among many Americans. Americans want to defend themselves and do not trust the government to always protect them. The Founders advocated for the 2nd Amendment due to their fear of government tyranny. We can look through history and see authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia disarming their citizens and slaughtering many people. It is ironic that the far left claims Trump is a dictator but wants to disarm citizens against this supposed ‘dictator’.