(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.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.