By: José Niño
The coronavirus pandemic has offered a treasure trove of opportunities for demagogues to exploit the crisis to advance gun control legislation. Just look at cities like Champaign, Illinois and New Orleans, where mayors have enacted bans on the sale of guns in their cities.
Politics has also taught us, however, that crises can present opportunities for the good guys to get back on the scoreboard.
Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms notes that while some local governments are shifting their meetings online, other “localities are still holding their meetings and making decisions on all kinds of issues, including resolutions declaring their communities Second Amendment Sanctuaries.”
Many local governments have made names for themselves earlier this year by declaring themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” Realizing that their grievances have fallen on the deaf ears of state governments, many local entities have taken matters into their own hands.
2020 has been a momentous year for the sanctuary efforts. Earlier in the year, sanctuary efforts culminated in a major Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, where more than 20,000 pro-gun people peacefully gathered to show their support for the Second Amendment. No matter what detractors says, Second Amendment activists aren’t going away without a fight.
Even in this time of pandemic, city councils are making the Second Amendment a priority. Take for example, the city council of Albany, Oregon, which recently put forward a resolution that to the town as a shelter for gun rights.
The Gazette-Times reports:
The proposed resolution reaffirms rights granted in the U.S. Constitution and cites the federal document as well and comes at the request of Councilor Mike Sykes.
In February, Sykes asked that the city look into creating a sanctuary city designation for gun owners in the same vein that cities around the country have declared themselves sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants.
Citing measures pending in the Oregon Legislature that would hold gun owners responsible when their firearms fall into the wrong hands and give local schools and governments the right to bar individuals with concealed carry permits from entering their buildings, Sykes said Albany should create its own ordinance.
Lawrence County, Indiana commissioners also approved a Second Amendment Sanctuary measure.
The resolution affirms the rights of the citizens of Lawrence County and explicitly says that “the right to keep and bear arms and that right shall not be infringed.” Further, the Commissioners swore an oath office where they pledged “to support the Constitution of this State and of the United States.” By approving this resolution, the Lawrence County Commissioners have declared their opposition to any gun control laws or regulations that infringe on the right to bear arms that is protected by both the U.S Constitution and the constitution of the State of Indiana.
Indeed, the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement is only a first step. After all, many of these measures are symbolic. Nonetheless, they do offer a way for gun owners to channel their growing discontent with both state governments and the federal government. Most of these campaigns have gained momentum in blue states where it seems almost impossible to go on offense and pass pro-gun legislation. For example, Oregon is ranked in a sub-par 33rd place in Guns & Ammo’s rankings for Best States for Gun Owners.
In short, gun owners in blue states may have to get creative in their activism. Even when the country is facing a pandemic, gun owners are undeterred in their activism. The sanctuary movement offers a unique opportunity to break away from excessive centralization at both the state and federal levels. Hopefully, these movements become springboards for concrete action that keeps government at all levels in check.
José Niño is a Venezuelan American freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.