Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert
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By Jeff Hulbert

Virginia Beach, the state’s largest city, has formally added its voice to the chorus of Old Dominion gun rights supporting jurisdictions that are demanding a halt to sweeping new infringement proposals that are widely regarded statewide as unconstitutional.

The Virginia Beach City Council—with one member absent—voted 6-to-4 to send a resolution to statehouse Democrats admonishing them “to take no actions which would violate the freedoms guaranteed by either the Virginia Bill of Rights, or the federal Bill of Rights.”

The vote was closely watched both within and outside the Commonwealth’s borders, as it comes just eight months after an attack by an armed and disgruntled Virginia Beach city employee, who took the lives of 12 people in municipal offices very near to where the resolution debate took place.

Months of investigation by Virginia Beach police, as well as by an outside group, could not determine what caused 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock to open fire on his colleagues in a city building where firearms carry by employees was banned.

Craddock was shot and killed by responding officers.

At a working session preceding citizen testimony, Virginia Beach Mayor Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer acknowledged an expected split among his colleagues on the need to send a formal message to Richmond.

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

Before casting his affirming vote to send the resolution to the capitol, Dyer said this:

“I know this is a tough one for us. We are not unified on this. We are all in agreement on one thing. We all support the Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth. There are changes coming in Richmond and some of the pre-filings have caused people to react. Yes, we were a city whose foundation was rocked, but we have to have the conversation.”

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

The vote came after three-and-a-half hours of citizen testimony, and 30 minutes of council discussion.

The overwhelming majority of those stepping to the podium to comment wore the now-familiar “Guns Save Lives” stickers distributed by the state’s dominant gun rights group, the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

And while the concealed carry of handguns is permitted in the city council chamber, a good number of residents chose to approach the microphone while openly carrying a sidearm.

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

The one Virginia Beach council member not present to hear the citizen input was Guy Tower, who had declared in an earlier Facebook post that he viewed the resolution as “inappropriate.”

Tucked into the southeast corner of the state where Chesapeake Bay opens into the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach began as a small beach town before growing to become the Commonwealth’s largest city with 450,00 residents.

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

In addition to having the longest resort beach in the world, the city is widely known, too, as headquarters for the U.S. Navy’s legendary Seal Team Six. As a military region, Virginia Beach is awash in citizens who’ve taken oaths to defend the Constitution.

The city’s vote to stand with firearms owners, not with the embattled Governor Ralph Northam and his fellow Democrats pushing more gun control, is seen as a significant development with just days to go before the opening of the 2020 General Assembly.

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

Among those testifying in favor of the resolution were several mental health professionals who said the governor’s announced infringement schemes were causing significant stress to vast number of Virginians worried about become felons overnight.

Also stepping to the microphone were scores of veterans—including Glenn Spence, a U.S Army veteran who wore a full dress uniform arrayed with an expanse of commendations and medals.

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

Identifying himself as the great-grandson of a slave, Spence declared his support for the resolution , saying, “I am a son of Virginia and a son of Virginia Beach. We must do the right thing.”

He wound up his testimony by raising his hand—and with eyes closed—said a prayer that city leaders would find the wisdom and strength to stand against any and all unjust lawmaking at the statehouse.

Speaking on behalf of his more than 16,000 members, Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave framed the Second Amendment fight in the Old Dominion in stark terms, saying of Virginia, “its the canary in the coal mine.”

If our gun rights get away from us, you can kiss the rest of your rights goodbye, they’re gone. Over time, they will disappear. The governor has declared war on gun owners, people like you and me. He has not declared war on criminals. And he has admitted that not one thing he has put forth would have stopped the massacre here.

One citizen used his testimony time to count out a cadence of six seconds—to underscore how quickly an armed parishioner interrupted a mass shooting at a Texas church just over a week ago.

Of the four council members who voted against the resolution, two spoke at length about their objections.

Council member Sabrina Wooten—14 months into her first term—complained “there is a serious unbalanced discussion taking place here tonight.”

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

She was referring to the fact that of the more than 60 people taking the opportunity to testify, only about a half-dozen people who opposed the resolution showed up to speak.

“This resolution does not reflect the entire community”, she claimed, suggesting that some had stayed away because they feared gun rights supporters.

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

Virginia Beach native Aaron Rouse, another first term council member voicing a “no” vote, once played for the Green Bay Packers and two other NFL teams before returning to town to start a non-profit focused on troubled youths.

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

Rouse says his objection to the Virginia Beach resolution favoring established gun rights over the proposed infringements in Richmond comes partly from his personal proximity to tragedy.

“I have experienced two mass shootings—one at Virginia Tech, and the second one right here in my hometown”.

Rouse said that the Second Amendment rights movement that has swept across Virginia over the past several months was too fraught with partisanship.

Before casting his vote, Rouse quoted John F. Kennedy, saying “let’s us not seek the Republican answer or the Democrat answer, but the right answer.”

With its vote, Virginia Beach joins 117 other counties and towns that have passed resolutions declaring Second Amendment sanctuary status, or have passed resolutions rebuking the Governor and his fellow Democrats for filing bills seen as unlawful and infringing on gun rights.

Despite the overwhelming opposition of his fellow Virginians, Governor Northam—who has been unable to shake a “blackface” college yearbook photo scandal that erupted almost year ago—says he isn’t backing down from his call for the Democrat-majority General Assembly to move forward with gun control hearings as early as January 13th.

Virginia Beach sanctuary
Courtesy Jeff Hulbert

A week later, on January 20th, thousands of gun rights supporters are expected in Richmond for planned demonstrations on behalf of Second Amendment rights in the Commonwealth.

Mayor Bobby Dyer acknowledged that the eyes of the nation are on Virginia as the inevitable political clash approaches.

“I don’t think that there is any question that we are living in challenging times in the Commonwealth, and there are some issues that we are going to have to confront.”


Jeff Hulbert is the founder of Patriot Picket

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  1. The “imbalance” is due to how many of us oppose the astounding overreach on Northam’s and the Democrats’ part. Councilwoman Wooten, look up “cognitive dissonance” and seek professional help.

  2. And thank you, Virginia Beach citizens! Having a “blue” city in the ranks is a huge win. Your move, Democrats.

  3. “…a good number of residents chose to approach the microphone while openly carrying a sidearm.”

    That’s the first thing I noticed while reading this article. The photo of the gentleman addressing the Council while strapped with his sidearm on his hip is amazing. And I see that his gun actually has a mag in it. For many years (before Gov. Brown made even open carry illegal), we Californians could only open carry an empty weapon. Mags had to be on the opposite side of the body.

    • california long ago abandoned any belief that government was anything but in control of its populace.

      We obey, or we go to prison.

      …funny though, they seem to have a problem keeping people in prison anymore. We’ve locked up so many people out here that we now have to kick them loose before they even have a hearing, let alone a trial.

      Seems like California, Prison state, isn’t working out so well for the coastal elite.

      Still, they will try to their dying days.

  4. Unfortunately Sanctuary Cities mean little or nothing. Gun dealers will not be able to sell modern guns or high capacity magazines anymore and private individuals will not be able to sell their own personal guns or even give them away to family members. The weapons will be melted down after they pass away assuming they do not have to turn them in immediately to be melted down under the new law.

    The Dems have no intention of backing down as they know the majority of people in the state (including a lot of gun owners that have been silent right now) agree that too many mass killings, many of which included children at school, have enraged and frightened the general populous and they do not own guns and do not understand why anyone would want to own a gun. 2A is dead in Virginia and this is just the first wave of Second Amendment smashing laws, all of which will be blessed by the gun hating courts who live and lust after absolute power over the people. Remember you only exist at the pleasure of the State. And Komarades when you cease to be an obedient troglodyte worker slave you will be liquidated. Uncle Joe has ruled on it.

    • That’s all? You usually write more. Didn’t have your coffee yet this morning?

      Oh well, as always, I only read the first two sentences and then skipped the rest, anyway.

    • The Dems have no intention of backing down as they know the majority of people in the state (including a lot of gun owners that have been silent right now) agree that too many mass killings, many of which included children at school, have enraged and frightened the general populous and they do not own guns and do not understand why anyone would want to own a gun. 2A is dead in Virginia and this is just the first wave of Second Amendment smashing laws, all of which will be blessed by the gun hating courts who live and lust after absolute power over the people. Remember you only exist at the pleasure of the State. And Komarades when you cease to be an obedient troglodyte worker slave you will be liquidated. Uncle Joe has ruled on it.

      And what will you do once the first black man is gunned down by the police trying to enforce 2nd Amendment smashing laws?
      Bring back Jim Crow laws?

      Ban protests?

      Or just gun down Black Lives matter protesters?

    • Vlad,
      To paraphrase Dan Aykroyd on SNL…Vlad, you ignorant slut!
      There is ignorance and there is irretrievable ignorance. Your stated opinions are so out of touch with reality as to make everyone wonder if you even get out into the real world at all. Every word you write makes everyone dumber for actually reading them.
      Come to Richmond on Jan. 20th. See for yourself that freedom lives and breathes in Virginia. The fight is not over.

      • Religious zealots and fanatics are only given credence by other fanatics. It does not change the harshness of reality. 2A is finished in Virginia. The Stalinists’ now rule and as Mayo Zedong once said “Power come from the barrel of a gun” and the Dems now control all the big guns both in relation to the legislature and including the helicopter gun ships and drones. Care to get “Soleimani’ed” then test the patients of Big Brother Northam in Virginia.

        • What are the patients being treated for? For a persona that enjoys calling everyone Jetho’s and hillbillies you sure are a stupid fuck.

        • Vlad, I’ve thought this often, and am finally writing it. Your histrionics and selection of “facts” render your arguments both invalid and tepid.

          • I have always referred to him, when I refer to him at all, as Blah the Tepid. I firmly believe that he is a paid DNC operative who trolls gun sites. I see similar postings on other places I visit and the rhetoric is always the same. I just ignore him.

        • But who controls who actually flies the gunships and drones? Will you and your fellow ANTIFA Special Commissars be right behind the helicopter and drone pilots with a pistol at their head to ensure orders are followed?

          I think you read “REDS” alt history fanfic so many times you thought it was real history.

      • Baldwin, I am replacing the tires on my car Thursday so it will be ready for the trip next week, I *will* be there on the 20th. Anybody who lives closer than Austin (1550 miles), I hope to see you there!

    • And yet you keep urging us to vote for the very same politicians that have this insatiable hard-on for control and confiscation.

      Grow a brain and/or a spine, man. Watching you do this is just painful and sad.

    • blaaaa the impotent

      this is copy paste from months back I am sure!

      get new stuff from your boss comrade…or grow a brain of your own if possible in your family sapling or small shrub you fell out of?

    • To Vlad The Troll…..
      A politician with a law never stops a bad guy with a gun.
      He only controls the good guys, which is his true agenda.

      Had the good guys with guns in Sutherland Springs, TX and Tarrant County, TX (West Freeway Church) been controlled per Northam’s wishes, there would have been two far greater mass shootings. These proposed anti-gun laws are merely updates of the post Civil War Democratic Jim Crow Laws……except aimed at all Americans rather than just blacks. But, then, rational thought is beyond your and fellow anti-American Liberal comprehension.

      In 1958. the late Col Jeff Cooper, handgun expert and founder of Gunsite Academy, stated, “Killing is a matter of will, not weapons.
      You cannot control the act itself
      by passing laws about the means employed.”
      The bad guy with a gun…..or the mentally deficient guy with a gun……or the terribly distraught family member of a gun shooting victim…….or the Feelz-Gooder Social Do-Gooder…..are the politician’s Useful Idiot Tools to achieve his power and control agenda.
      The new agenda for humanity requires that no one will have the capacity to fight back. It has been said: “Our Task of creating a Socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally disarmed.” No other explanation is possible.
      History has repeatedly demonstrated that disarming good people in the name of making bad people harmless only eventually facilitates politicians shooting their own countrymen. History…learn from it or be doomed to relive it.

      For once I agree with Bill O’Reilly. Bad guys shooting people is the price of freedom. Liberty is risky business. That’s why our Founding Fathers recognized our God-given right to shoot back.

  5. FYI….there is no such thing as Seal Team Six. It is the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. It has been so since 1987.

    • Not that this is really worth arguing about, but I’m going to do it anyway… Yes, Seal Team Six is a thing.

      DEVGRU is the umbrella command for the SEALs. Seal Team Six exists in the same way that there is (or could be) a Team Seven or Twelve or a Special Task Force Unicorn or any other designation that DEVGRU chooses to provide.

        • Okay. That was my understanding gleaned from reading various sources (none of them directly about SEALs or Navy organization), but you might know more than I do.

          The SEAL teams clearly do exist, though…but this if this isn’t where they’re trained and/or commanded, where is it?

        • @lng It gets really confusing when it comes to the alphabet soup of various US military special forces units and the various commands under which they operate.

          The US Navy’s primary special forces are the US NAVY SEALs, they in turn have specialist support groups. The various SEAL teams are under the US Navy Special Warfare Command. Odd numbered teams are based on the West Coast, even on the East Coast. TEAMS are made up of various individual platoons.

          DEVGRU is the US Navy component of JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) which oversees the SMUs (Special Misison Units) of US Special Operations Command units from various branches, and beside DEVGRU, includes the Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-DELTA, etc. and other SMU, all of which operate in intense secrecy and not all units are even known to the general public. DELTA and DEVGRU get most of the press since they are specialists in hostage rescue and going after HVTs (High Value Targets).

      • “DEVGRU is the umbrella command for the SEALs. Seal Team Six exists…”

        After Team 6 demonstrated its true value, the USN decided to expand it considerably. The size ended up being considerably larger than what the other SEAL teams usually are, and DEVGU was created to be that ‘umbrella’…

  6. If the anti-rights crowd were correct, at least one of those lawfully owned guns in attendance would surely have killed a dozen or so people. Maybe the mere possession of a firearm by a law abiding, productive members of society isn’t the problem?

    • How dare you use reason and logic to argue against our agenda. Next you will suggest emotional responses are not good policy for long term planning.

  7. “The governor has declared war on gun owners, people like you and me. He has not declared war on criminals.” The disarmament movement in a nutshell.

  8. The resolution is perhaps better than nothing, but it’s far short of the sanctuary declaration other counties have made. I.e., it does not affirmatively state or commit that city officials will not act / will not spend tax dollars to enforce unconstitutional gun laws.

  9. This development makes one wonder just how the new blue legislature was elected. Bloomberg must have thrown in a lot of blue-colored money.

    • That, and (probably) many gun owners didn’t vote.

      As far as I am aware, just about any US election at the state or higher level could have easily gone the other way had all of the eligible voters voted. (And of course no voter fraud.)

      I am sympathetic to Virginia’s plight … but if you don’t vote you have little basis for complaining about who got elected. I always vote just to maintain my right to whine. 🙂

      • I live in Virginia and there were no republican or independent candidates on my ballot for any state representatives when I went to vote.

      • “… but if you don’t vote you have little basis for complaining…”

        Not voting does not (directly) nullify your rights. And exercising your rights after the fact does not diminish the validity of your rights.

  10. I wonder if testimony was 60-12 in the other direction would she still be concerned about the hearing not reflecting the community.

  11. Guy Tower, the VA Beach councilman who missed the meeting, is a hardcore gun grabber. He wrote a lengthy screed on his Facebook page. It’s the usual “gun safety” garbage.

  12. The truth of the matter is that initial reports on the killer was that he was a black muslim committing jihad. I saw the reports in the local news outlets before they were scrubbed. Obviously no one wants to say that out loud for fear of backlash.

    • This is the first I’ve heard of it, but as they’ve shown, the media is about the agenda, not the news.

    • May I ask of you, please provide a citation or source for your assertion, I’d be most interested!

  13. Great Speakers & a few antigun the sky is falling & the earth is ending soon peeps!

    Is sad the 2 melanated city counsel members don’t understand rights and the Bill if Rights & the racist roots of gun control and Dem Party who started the KKK who voted NO on the Constitution!

  14. As far as I’m concerned any black person who refuses to support civil rights is a race traitor. And they are a black slave to the racist white Liberal establishment.

    A retired multi million dollar NFL player??? Really I guess he really enjoyed all that government armed security at his football games.
    He is a hypocrite pig.

  15. “…unbalanced discussion taking place…”
    There sure is: reason and logic on one side and uninformed emotion on the other.

  16. I was born in Virginia and never realized people as dense as the gov and “Democratic” legislature resided in the state unless they moved from the People’s Republics of New England or California.

  17. The people that voted against wanted more time to think about the emotions of the people and allow for the “other side” to show up to stand against the people crowding the room.

    More time to decide to follow your oath? That’s Trump’s strategy.

    Most politicians don’t want to wait for the other side to show up when they want to pass gun control or anything else. Whoever shows up to put on the pressure has a more likelihood of winning. That day the pro human rights crowd outnumbered the human rights violators.

    When the people call out their government the politicians have to make a public statement that can be used against them in their future efforts. If you allow them to do whatever they want and not have to answer for their actions you get Donald Trump behavior. You get tyranny and increased risk to your being.

  18. God Bless Virginia! You folks are the proving ground that may change the liberal/progressive agenda being espoused today….stand strong and accept nothing…or you will become CT, NJ, NY, MD, MA, al

    • If HB 567 becomes law, then the legislature will pass a law that makes guns illegal in ALL buildings owned or leased by the commonwealth!

    • The government believes they own the property. It’s theirs. It’s private. They can do whatever they want with their property. They actually believe the property they bought/leased with the people’s money is their private property. They can do whatever they want with their private property, thus you can’t exercise your rights in those areas because they will pass rules to stop that.

      Socialists create licensing to control human rights. They take away your ability to freely build a home or a business and to exercise the natural right of self preservation. Everything has to be condoned by the rulers with a permission slip issued to the human resource.

  19. Meanwhile , the 2nd Amendment is alive and well in Virginia, as seen by all of the good people showing up in defense of our constitutional rights. One look at the sanctuary counties proves the resolve of gun owners across the nation. Good on you Virginia Beach.

    • Now they need candidates to vote for next time, voters to show up and repeal a lot of laws. Then Virginia residents can actually claim victory. Right now it’s all symbolic/talk.

      • The election is two years away. But if 20,000 or 30,000 gun owners show up a Lobby Day, January 20th. What depressing thing will you say then? On a good day the VCDL will get 1000 people to show up.

        My question is why are Libertarians so supportive of the State?
        When a cop says he supporters making drugs legal Libertarians rush to sing their praises.
        But when cops say they will defy the State over the 2A. Libertarians are very, very ,very quiet.
        Drugs are more important than guns to you aren’t they?

        • The cops in Virginia didn’t say that and they are enforcing gun control right now. They said they aren’t willing to confiscate guns. That’s very different than what Republicans are claiming as fact. Virginia law enforcement said they will continue to enforce gun control, but won’t be willing to go house to house to confiscate. Even the sheriff that said he would deputize qualified Virginians made sure to clarify and correct the record. Essentially, they don’t want to die doing raids on gun owners.

          Libertarians want to abolish the police departments throughout the country and return to elected sheriff offices to protect rights. They want an end to the drug war, the war on terror and the gun control agenda. To end those things the police state has to go away.

          Virginia hasn’t done anything of substance at this point. Don’t be delusional. No change has occurred. It’s all posturing at this point. Just like the NRA has done for many years. There hasn’t been a victory for the 2nd Amendment. First step is to stop the pending assault, then push to remove current gun control.

          Canada had kicked out the gun control party and done away with some of their gun control. Then the party came back into control and passed gun control again. At least they actually won an election and did what they said they were going to do. Republicans in America do not deliver results, they talk and then talk some more.

          Every red state should have removed every gun control law on their books and passed laws to not enforce federal gun laws within their state. Why wait until the state turns blue to put up a fight? How is that victory? How is that moving forward? Holding the line the Democrats created is not winning the war, it’s delaying the inevitable. Unfortunately, the NRA doesn’t want victory and they have said as much.

          Fudds are okay with grandfathering and current infringements. They are not the generation of “give me liberty or give me death.” They are pacifists who allow the communists to dictate their lives. They are boot lickers, the worshipers of the rulers’ enforcers. They are the loyalists to the crown.

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