I write in support of our supervisors’ resolution in response to calls to make Accomack County a Second Amendment sanctuary. It clearly states their compliance with their duties as our elected representatives, to respect our Constitution —including the Second Amendment —and to obey the laws of our state. I’m pleased it is not what the NRA desires. What they want is blatantly illegal and is in conflict with the relationship between the laws of Virginia and the regulations of our county.
I’m not an opponent of gun ownership. I’ve owned guns since I was 16. Their purpose is hunting, but they are of course available for defense of my home, should that become necessary. However, that necessity isn’t much likelier than being struck by a meteorite. If the truths were equivalent, we’d wear helmets whenever we stepped outdoors.
I was an NRA member in the 1960s. A very different organization then, it focused on shooting safety and marksmanship training. In the 1970s it changed, becoming and remaining a lobbying and propaganda group dedicated to gun rights, with a primary message of “the government wants to take your guns away.” This mantra is unsupported by the historical facts, but unfortunately is accepted by some Virginians, many of whom attended your hearing on the sanctuary issue.
I’m grateful you recognize those Virginians are not representative of your electorate.
Among the recent polling results:
• 88% of Virginia adults (81% of Republican Virginians) support universal background checks
• 82% of Virginians (75% of Republican Virginians) support allowing police to remove guns from people a judge finds dangerous
A personal example of the falsehood of the “government wants to take your guns away” mantra: In 1970, I inherited a pistol and registered that pistol with the State Police, which provides me with some protection should the gun be stolen. The police have had my name and address on file for 49 years now. In that half-century, nobody’s come to my house or sent me a notification to take my pistol away. But the NRA says they will. Some day.
Sadly, some believe them.