Making your vote count
Published 9:57 am Tuesday, December 10, 2019
As the issue of the Second Amendment Sanctuary becomes particularly relevant to our area, I wanted to share some thoughts that I had on the subject.
I certainly think the Second Amendment is an important part of the U.S. Constitution and something worth being defended.
However, I do have some concerns about how these sanctuaries are looking to mount that defense. It seems like they are serving to invalidate elections to a certain degree.
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If I understand the sanctuaries correctly, it seems like a political party may gain a majority at the state government level through elections, but if the laws that these state-level elected officials pass are not deemed constitutional by local governments, the local-level elected officials can opt not to enforce them.
This may seem clever if it benefits the side of the political aisle with which one identifies, but it doesn’t really seem like the way things are supposed to work.
From what I know, the reason these Second Amendment sanctuaries have become a popular issue is that Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam and a General Assembly controlled by the Democratic Party are expected to pass significant gun control legislation next year.
In opposition to this expected action, people are showing up in large numbers to local government meetings where adoption of the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution is being considered. I’m actually glad they’re doing this, making it clear the Second Amendment is something they want protected.
However, as a best practice, I think it is incumbent on voters to also show up on Election Day in large numbers in order to make sure they elect representatives that will advocate legislation trending in the direction they support. From what I understand, less than half of registered voters in Virginia participated in this year’s election.
It does seem like many smaller Virginia districts did vote Republican and are feeling like their wishes are not being represented in the face of more heavily populated northern and southeastern districts. I can certainly understand that feeling, and I’m not sure of the best way to resolve the issue.
I do also think it is possible to vote for someone and then express vocal disagreement with a certain decision they are thinking of making, but to take that disagreement to the extent of refusing to enforce the corresponding law seems like it threatens to unravel our system of government.
If elected officials are breaking the law, they can be individually investigated and removed from office. If they are passing legislation we strongly disagree with, we can vote for someone else in the next election. But if we lack grounds to do the former and fail to do the latter, then I don’t think it is a wise course to simply engage in selective law enforcement.
Ultimately, I think it would be best if the sanctuaries went away but that Gov. Northam and the General Assembly would listen to the unusual and vocal statement so many of the people they represent are making as they show up to these local government meetings by the hundreds. I would hope it would cause Gov. Northam and the General Assembly to scale back some of their gun control plans to appropriately reflect the wishes of the people of Virginia.
And on future election days, it would be great to see far more people become informed and involved, to let their voices be heard, regardless of their politics, the way our system intended.
TITUS MOHLER is the sports editor for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@FarmvilleHerald.com.