By Mark Fike
As a native Virginian, I was angered as I watched Democrats try and destroy our Second Amendment rights this year. Now that they have control of the state government they wasted no time utilizing it by introducing a flurry of anti-gun bills that infringe upon our 2nd Amendment rights.
It is not a secret that Virginia is venturing further down the path of liberal policies. Metropolitan areas in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and the Richmond area are exerting their weight over the state causing the rest of Virginia to lose their rights and ability to protect themselves and their families. Don’t forget how many millions outsiders, such as Mike Bloomberg from New York, poured into our state to influence our way of living.
Because of the type of job I have, I talk to a lot of people and it amazes me how uneducated many people are with regards to firearms. Liberals, and of course the media, have capitalized on this by using fear mongering and buzz words to lead a large segment of the uneducated population by the nose under the guise of, “This bill or law will make you safer”, with anti-Second Amendment sound bites, flyers, billboards or literature. The truth is, none of the proposed gun control bills in Virginia will make us measurably safer.
There have been numerous times that someone I work with or bump into in the course of my duties has told me that the guns we should ban are scary, unnecessary, or they are too dangerous. The term “machine gun”, “assault rifle”, or “weapons of war” are parroted by those I am conversing with who have no idea how a gun works let alone what they are talking about.
Are AR rifles or semi-automatic weapons fun to shoot? Yes! Are they equalizers when a citizen is being attacked? Absolutely! Are they weapons of war? Not if you are looking distinctly at the firearms that our nation’s military carries daily.
I served as a U.S. Marine. We had belt fed weapons (machine guns) and automatic rifles with a selector switch meaning we could select 3 round burst (automatic) or semiautomatic. The average citizen cannot purchase these weapons. The firearms we can purchase are semiautomatic only meaning you have to pull the trigger each time you want the firearm to shoot unless you go through a half ton of paperwork and get some very special licensing for a fully automatic.
I personally do not know anyone with a fully automatic weapon and I know a lot of gun owners. Fully automatic weapons, AKA weapons of war, require one pull of the trigger to spray many, many rounds downrange.
When people start talking about banning weapons of war we should stop them and educate them about what they are saying. Their verbiage is simply parroted talking points by the left who want to control the people, put us under their thumb and make us totally dependent on the government while taking away any rights we have. I suspect they think they know what is best for us and everyone else.
It is pretty amazing what happens when you talk to a person that is against the Second Amendment and firearm ownership and you explain to them the difference between a fully automatic rifle and a semiautomatic rifle. Then show them how a .22 squirrel rifle operates the same exact way as the AR rifles that the left wants to scare everyone into banning. The look on their face when they see it for themselves usually exposes the serious pause they feel about their stance on banning firearms outright.
I invited one young lady that I worked with that is extremely liberal and hates guns, to my property to shoot. She admitted this to me afterwards she was not interested because she was afraid of what she might learn after coming to try shooting, and she was afraid of guns period. She mentioned this to her boyfriend and he was interested, so they ended up coming anyway.
She ended up watching him shoot, then grudgingly and fearfully tried it, and became more comfortable (but not totally) with guns and ended up being a decent shot. She then sheepishly admitted that “guns weren’t all bad.” Her upbringing and the barrage of propaganda she endured for 20 years was not something totally dislodged in a day on the range. It was sad to see how she had been so filled with hatred towards gun owners. But, she now knows the truth.
This same young woman had other preconceived notions about rural living, people that prefer to drive pickup trucks, etc. I guess I really left her confused after she met and got to know me. Last time I heard from her, her boyfriend was going to purchase a handgun.
My point is that we need to grit our teeth and educate those that don’t know any better so they are not against our rights and way of life. Don’t hate them. That won’t solve the problem. Invite them to the range to teach them. If nothing else, if they are ever in a bad situation and a gun is present they will have the knowledge necessary to do what they have to do.
My second point is that Virginia very narrowly escaped having a bill signed into law (HB 961) that would have made felons out of a lot of people possessing high capacity magazines had it passed. The original version of the bill would have banned so called “assault weapons” making thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of average citizens felons.
The term “assault weapon” is another choice of words purposely chosen to scare people into thinking that somehow guns like the AR-15 that they often vilify in their ill-conceived intentions to “make us safer” are so incredibly menacing and unnecessary compared to any other firearm. The descriptor “assault” leaves the average audience with the impression of a weapon that only belongs in the hands of the military. It is an evil sounding word.
The truth is HB 961 would have banned a LOT of firearms, including semiautomatic AR style rifles and basically anything that could hold and fire more than 12 rounds at a time. It was a scare tactic and it very nearly worked. Virginians squeaked through safely on the bill as it recently was tabled to be considered next year in a committee vote only because some Democrats voted against it. This means we need to be on guard for this bill or any like it next year.
This narrow escape is likely the result of tens of thousands of Virginians waking up after hitting the “snooze button” last fall when it was time to vote and later necessitating a flurry of phone calls to legislators, visits to the State Capitol to peaceably protest, and e-mailing their representatives to stave off the worst of the bills.
The result of progressive liberals gaining control in Virginia was a list of anti Second Amendment bills, of which 7 are likely to get the governor’s signature, infringing upon Virginian’s basic Constitutional rights. This is terrible!
On the plus side of this, over 100 counties or municipalities declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” and some even formed militias. While this is encouraging, we should have never been in this position in the first place. This is partially our fault.
Virginia is a LOUD wake up call to all patriots in the United States to never let their guard down. We must make an effort to educate ourselves on the views of potential candidates for office. We need to make sure we educate our friends and family so they don’t fall for the guise of making us “safer.” Most importantly we need to be sure we vote in ALL elections.
If you don’t think it could happen to your state or locality, it can; just look at Virginia over the years. It may not happen overnight, but the tentacles of progressive liberalism will creep in and root slowly but surely and be very difficult to rip out when you wake up and see what is going on. Don’t let them take hold!
Sadly, what happened in Virginia is an example to the rest of the country of what we need to avoid altogether. Let’s not be apathetic. Let’s not cut it this close ever again. Let’s stand strong for our rights and not let the uninformed, ill-intentioned, power-hungry or controlling socialists destroy our country and what it was founded upon.