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Now What?

Fairfax 2a
Fairfax County residents gather to petition their board to adopt Second Amendment sanctuary status.

The storm swept through the Old Dominion like an August hurricane through the Caribbean. Second Amendment groups popped up on Facebook and other social media platforms, organizations began forming, petitions written and signed, lists of supporters consolidated. And as their counties, towns, and cities voted for Second Amendment sanctuary (or constitutional county) status, we began hearing and reading the same refrain coming from supporters… now what?

We have covered extensively the wildfire that spread through Virginia in the last two months of 2019. This was a response to the statewide elections in November where the Democrats will gain control of all of the levers of power in Richmond in January 2020. And while Second Amendment sanctuaries are not new to this country (they actually started in other states), nowhere have we seen the spread of this movement happen as fast and as certain as in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In many ways, there appears to be a powder keg there that is ready to explode, or to die out, depending on if the matches are dry or wet.

Virginia’s Liberty Revolution has begun.

Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties at the End of 2019

In some states, every county was declared a “Second Amendment sanctuary county,” making the entire state a Second Amendment sanctuary state. There appears to be at least four states that are like this. In other states, the Second Amendment sanctuary movement has moved much more slowly, but appears to be gaining steam. This is especially true with what people have seen on the news in the latter part of 2019, with Virginia’s example being broadcasted on many news outlets.

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In Virginia, over 90% of the towns, cities, and counties have voted to become either a Second Amendment sanctuary locality, or a constitutional county/town/city. In some localities, the board of supervisors have called up the militia. In others, the county sheriff has stated that he will protect the rights of the citizens of his county against any usurpation. In at least two Virginia counties, the sheriff has stated he will deputize county citizens in order to place a hedge around them against enterprising politicians in Richmond.

The Democrats headed to the General Assembly in January have watched this uprising from afar. Rather than remain quiet or to rethink the legislation they have proposed, many of them have doubled down on their effort to deny and disparage the unalienable rights of Virginians. One delegate has proposed legislation in response to the Second Amendment sanctuary movement, which would have penalties for, or even removal of, any law enforcement or officials in the state who do not enforce these unconstitutional laws (both the U.S. Constitution, and the Virginia Constitution). The Attorney General of Virginia, Mark Herring (D) has stated that 2a sanctuaries are of no legal force, as if his view of what is constitutional under the U.S. Constitution carries any weight (it does not).

Where this leaves local officials and law enforcement is a “no win” situation. They must either follow the dictates of those in Richmond, even if what they are dictating is unconstitutional and destroys the rights of their citizens…OR…they must honor their oaths to the U.S. Constitution (and the state constitution) and defy Richmond, risking removal from office or even criminal proceedings.

Please note…while the patriots who are pushing for the protection of unalienable rights move forward, and the tyrants in Richmond who want to deny and disparage the rights of Virginians counter…the people caught in the middle of this fight are the local elected officials and law enforcement. As these battle lines are drawn and the fight begins, it leaves these folks in the line of fire with nowhere to run.

So, where does this leave Virginians? Since Virginia appears to be Ground Zero in this fight, Americans across all 50 states are looking towards the Old Dominion once again to lead, just as the colonies looked to Virginia and great Virginians such as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lee, and Henry to lead in the 1770s. My prediction which you should take to the bank, is that if Virginians do not stand firm, if they do not counter every move of the leftists in Richmond in trying to disparage or deny their rights, then the 2a movement will die nationally. And all true Americans will be forced to bend the knee.

Alleghany County, Virginia Residents Attend 2A Sanctuary Meeting

As we have watched intently on what is going on in Virginia, we have noticed this “now what?” refrain all over the 2a movement websites, blogs, and social media groups. Some have proposed going off the deep end… overtly or tongue-in-cheek stating that an actual shooting war is the only remedy left. Others have made very good suggestions and proposals, while others have thrown up their hands in defeat before the fight has even commenced.

Please understand that while our Founders left us the same path that they took in regards to a tyrannical government (e.g. the use of violence to protect rights), Virginia and America at large are nowhere near such dire choices. All Americans must caution and admonish anyone who is on the side of liberty that violent acts will only play into the narrative and ambitions of the anti-American left.

I can hear some of you asking “Well then Jay, then what CAN we do?” What are the next steps?

First, if you are not a Virginian, keep working in your locality and state in order to move the ball forward there. At the same time, please understand… since Virginians are on the front lines, they will need ALL of the support you can give them. And that doesn’t just mean wishing them “good luck.” You must be willing to help monetarily (providing money in support of efforts which will further the cause), to help by prodding President Trump and Federal legislators to do what they LEGALLY can do to assist Virginians in their fight for their rights. You must be willing to come to Virginia when protests and marches are scheduled, in order to stand by Virginians and say “not one more inch.”

For my fellow Virginians, as you prepare for this “battle,” I warn you that there will be days where things look bleak. In any war, there are ebbs and flows. You must not lose heart, but instead do as we in the infantry do instinctively, and “lean forward in the foxhole.” Renew and increase your efforts. Do NOT sit at home and count on others to do what YOU should be doing. If you leave your liberty to be defended by others, do not be surprised when it is gone.

Get up. Grab other Virginians and persuade them to engage also. If every patriot convinced two others to join with them, the groundswell would be epic. If you are counting on the National Rifle Association (NRA), Gun Owners of America (GOA), or any other group to carry the battle, then you are being foolish and are leaving yourself open to defeat. While they have their work to do, and we HOPE they will come alongside the patriots in Virginia and do that work, as I stated above… your liberty will be gone if you depend on others to defend it.

The first and main thing you MUST do is to support your local officials, local law enforcement, in their efforts to defend YOUR rights. Reach out to them… tell them personally that you appreciate their efforts, and that you will stand beside them, no matter what! I was deployed in the Army, and it always felt great when we would get the cards and packages from people we did not know, thanking us for our efforts and reminding us of why we are there. These officials and LEOs need the same thing!

If and when Richmond decides to come down hard on your sheriff or your supervisors, you need to double down on your efforts to support and protect them as they put their careers and their lives on the line to protect your rights. In order to do that, you need to be in constant communication with them. Get active, show up, and don’t shut up.

In January, there are several events being held in Richmond. On January 13th, the NRA is asking folks to show up in Richmond in order to help fight this proposed legislation by the leftist delegates and senators. And on January 20th, there are buses you can pay and hop on that are scheduled all over the Commonwealth, to move hundreds or even thousands of people to Richmond to protest what is going on and to support true American in the legislature who are working to stop the tyrannical majority. You need to be there at either or BOTH of those events.

What I am about to say now may be controversial, as it technically requires each of your to be “lawless.” First, I am with the great Virginian Thomas Jefferson in stating that any act by government which is contrary to the Constitution is null, void, and of no force. That being said, if you attempt to go against the illegal actions of government, you may find yourself in hot water, standing in a courtroom and maybe even convicted of breaking a law which wasn’t actually a law. I know, I know…confusing, huh?

But please remember that if we are to expect our elected officials and law enforcement to lay it all on the line for our rights, then you need to do the same. That means you may need to not comply with unconstitutional “laws.” That may mean that if there is a gun registry, you chose to not register your weapons. It also might mean that if Richmond illegally bans certain firearms, that you decide not to comply and hold onto your firearms.

I know such actions will force a showdown with the leftists in Richmond. Unfortunately, considering their near obsession with destroying America and raising tyranny in its ruins, the showdown may be inevitable. Sure, there may be help from the Federal side, and even the Virginia Supreme Court. President Trump, for instance, could federalize the Virginia National Guard, should Governor Ralph Northam (D) try to use the national guard to try to enforce these illegal laws (please note that Virginia airmen and soldiers in the Guard are possibly being put in the same no-win situation as law enforcement, where they must decide to obey illegal orders, or keep their oath to the Constitution).

The answer to “now what” is to get engaged, support others in the field, and to prepare. Be ready for anything. Organize. Begin to get out of your small communities and 2a groups, and band these groups together into one large movement.

Virginians… America is watching.

What will you do?

Author: Jay Shepard

Jay Shepard is the Executive Editor of Committed Conservative. Jay is currently a security analyst and business owner. Jay served 21 years in the U.S. Army, mostly in the infantry. Jay also served as an Army inspector general for four years. Jay has a Bachelors of Science in Political Science from James Madison University, and a Masters of Public Administration (concentration National Security) from Troy University. Jay has run several successful state-wide political campaigns, and has been an outspoken advocate for the Constitution, the core American principles, the Convention of States, and military policies. Jay’s passion is everything to do with the founding of our country, and with baseball. Jay has coached over 30 years at the youth to prep levels.