(TMU) — As Virginia’s new Democratic legislature promises gun control measures, the wives of National Guardsman are warning that impending gun legislation threatens to turn neighbor against neighbor.
As the 2020 Virginia legislative session began, Democratic Governor Ralph Northam and fellow Democrats continued their push for new gun control bills. In the months since a May 2019 shooting left 12 people dead and four others injured at a Virginia Beach municipal building, Democratic politicians have repeatedly expressed their desire to implement new restrictions such as universal background checks, a ban on certain weapons, and controversial red flag laws.
However, the calls for gun restrictions have not been welcomed by all Virginians. Instead, the push for more gun control has sparked a movement that has expanded across Virginia and continues to grow in other states including California, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, and Florida.
The so-called Second Amendment “sanctuary city” movement takes it’s name from previous resolutions introduced by opponents of hard line immigration policies. These sanctuary cities are defined as a city (or a county, or a state) that limits its cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents in order to protect low-priority immigrants from deportation, while still turning over those who have committed serious crimes.
In a similar fashion, supporters of Second Amendment sanctuary cities are now asking local law enforcement to refuse to comply with orders from the state regarding gun control.
In Virginia, home to the National Rifle Association headquarters, the sanctuary city movement came as a response to Democrats promising new gun laws after they took control of both chambers of the Virginia Legislature in the 2019 election. For example, Delegate Dan Helmer recently introduced House Bill 567, which would prohibit indoor shooting ranges in any building not owned or leased by the Commonwealth of Virginia or the federal government. To be exempt from the bill a range would need to have fewer than 50 employees working in the building or 90% of users must be law enforcement employees. The bill would also require users to present a government photo identification card, and ranges must maintain a log of each user’s name, phone number, address, and the law-enforcement agency where users are employed.
If passed, the bill could lead to the closing of a number of indoor shooting ranges across the state, with government and law enforcement employees being the only legal users of indoor ranges.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League has been leading the fight to introduce resolutions that declare local officials will oppose any “unconstitutional restrictions” on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. So far 86 of Virginia’s 95 counties have passed sanctuary city measures. In late December, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring issued an opinion statement, alleging that the resolutions are “part of an effort by the gun lobby to stoke fear” and will “have no legal effect.”
Democratic Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin told the Washington Examiner that Governor Northam could cut off state funds to local bodies that refuse to comply to new gun control laws and could call in the National Guard to enforce the laws, if necessary. Although Northam has said he has no plans to call in the National Guard, the statement by McEachin has already caused backlash.
On December 30, Virginia Delegate Dave LaRock sent a letter to Governor Northam asking him to deescalate the situation after LaRock received a letter from Michaela Claywell, a Virginian and wife of an active-duty Virginia Guardsman. Claywell told LaRock that she has witnessed threats of violence being made against Guardsman on social media.
“I have written a letter to Governor Northam asking him to meet with the wives of the Virginia Guard officers to explain how he specifically plans to take immediate action to deescalate this situation,” LaRock stated. “I have been told by Michaela that this situation is harming careers and undermining the safety and peace-of-mind of families across Virginia.”
The social media threats come as a direct response to the notion that Guardsman would be called upon to enforce gun control laws being proposed in the 2020 session. Mrs. Claywell and a number of wives of high-level officers in the Virginia National Guard are calling on Governor Northam and other state and federal officials to calm the situation.
“Please use your collective influence to protect our soldiers and our families,” Claywell wrote.
While the state of Virginia grapples with how to move forward during these challenging times, the Second Amendment sanctuary city movement is only growing. The movement started to pick up pace in April 2018 after one of the first resolutions was passed in Effingham County, Illinois. David Campbell, a member of the Effingham County Board, told the Epoch Times that his county’s state attorney and sheriff have said they will not prosecute law-abiding citizens.
“It all started right there, and then it just blossomed. I think we are into 15 states now,” Campbell stated. “I get calls constantly from other states and from other counties wanting a copy of our resolution and a map of how we did it.”
So far 70 of Illinois’s 102 counties have passed some form of Second Amendment sanctuary resolution. The movement is showing no signs of slowing down as it spreads across the states of Kansas, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, and Virginia.
Jeff Bezos Thanks Amazon Workers And Customers For Paying For His Flight To Space
The billionaire space race chalked up one more ignoble milestone on July 20 when the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, boarded a reusable rocket his company Blue Origin built and funded, flew to the edge of space for a moment of weightlessness, and came back down to earth.
You can watch the flight and learn more about the journey here.
The Amazon founder has faced withering criticism for accumulating his massive fortune on the backs of an exploited workforce that is subject to harsh working conditions and low pay in warehouses or Fulfillment Centers where staffers must urinate in water bottles in order to meet their quotas.
In his press conference following the launch, Bezos thanked that same workforce for helping him to shoot himself into space in a move that many critics have described as a simple “joyride.”
“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for this,” he told the crowd, which responded with laughter. “Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every employee thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated.”
Critics on Twitter responded with derision, noting that Bezos was able to enjoy the trip at the expense of his hard-working employees.
“Thing is, employers are supposed to pay their employees, not the other way around, but that’s basically how Amazon works,” one user tweeted.
While another tweeter asked: “Maybe they’re searching space for signs of a livable wage or a way to pay their fair share of taxes?”
On Tuesday, Bezos blasted off in the sub-orbital New Shepard rocket from Texas. The date for the launch was chosen to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Members of the crew, which included his brother mark and 82-year-old female astronaut Wally Funk, brought a number of historic items on the flight, including a piece of canvas from the conceptual plane originally flown by the Wright brothers, the goggles Amelia Earhart used to fly across the Atlantic, and a brass medal made from the first hot air balloon which flew in 1783.
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”