How Far Will Would-Be Tyrants Get Before America’s Gun Owners Say ‘Enough’?

Politicians both left and right love to talk about how they support civil rights. But when some get their hands on power and an opportunity presents itself, they become heavy-handed, paternalistic tyrants. Yes, actions speak louder than words and some pols find that a pair of jackboots fit them quite well.

Even before this new Chi-com virus had spread in their cities, a number of politicians at the state and local levels have willingly (some might even say eagerly) issued decrees to curtail Constitutionally-protected rights, especially the right to keep and bear arms.

As we’ve reported (here and here for instance), sometimes pushback has resulted in a reversal of these authoritarian orders. In other cases, not so much.

One of the very first governments to grab increased power came in my former hometown of Champaign, Ilinois. The mayor there, “Little Debbie” Frank Feinen, called an emergency meeting of the City Council by executive order. Then, at that meeting – quite possibly an illegal one, under Illinois Open Meeting Act – the council passed a measure to grant the mayor the power to suspend firearms and ammunition sales and transfers.

By signing the proposal, the mayor gave herself the power to unilaterally suspend a big chunk of the Second Amendment by decree.

I remember many years ago then-city council candidate Frank Feinen coming to a Guns Save Life meeting (where I now serve as Executive Director) to tell us of her staunch support for gun rights.

She told the crowd that night that she wanted to take one of our firearms training classes that she had heard so many good things about from her friends. This was years before Illinois passed its concealed carry law with a 16-hour training requirement.

Champaign, IL Mayor “Little Debbie” Frank-Feinen and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Courtesy Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen

Actions speak louder than words. It probably won’t surprise you to hear that Frank Feinen never registered for a GSL firearms class. But just this month she did sign that ordinance giving her the power to strip gun rights for her city’s residents and visitors.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, California and other states are similarly using the Wuhan flu outbreak as a convenient excuse to actually implement gun shop closures.  Or to try. Plenty more states are suspending carry license application processing.

At the same time, some of these very same political leaders are emptying their jails and prisons of real criminals. And in the next breath they threaten to jail law-abiding folks for stepping off their property for an “unapproved” reason. Or, in the case of Los Angeles authoritarian Mayor Eric Garcetti, to shut off the power and water of those who refuse to comply with their shut-down decrees.

It’s not just the fundamental, Constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms that’s under fire. Virginia’s blackface governor, Ralph Northam, criminalized church attendance by over 10 people this week.  Fundamental right to worship?  Not in his state.

From CNS News.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued an executive order on Monday that is aimed at stopping the new coronavirus — and, in the process, makes it a criminal offense to hold a church service attended by more than 10 people.

Yes, his order makes it a crime for more than 10 people to gather in a church.

There are two passages in the text of the governor’s order that are relevant to this.

Paragraph 1 says: “Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article V, Section 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, by § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia and in furtherance of Executive Order 51, I order the following: 1. Effective 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 until 11:59 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2020, all public and private in person gatherings of 10 or more individuals are prohibited.”

The second relevant section of the order says: “Violation of paragraphs 1, 3, 4, and 6 of this Order shall be a Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to § 44-146.17 of the Code of Virginia.”

What’s next? Will paternalistic tyrants forbid media outlets from broadcasting President Trump’s briefings or Rush Limbaugh’s radio show during this time of emergency? Maybe they’ll suspend the Fourth Amendment in order to search homes for hoarded food and supplies. Or to seize guns for the public safety.

Or maybe suspend the November election in their states.

How far will tyrants get before America’s gun owners say “enough”?

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