By Jeff Hulbert
One of the quietest places in Virginia is sending the loudest signal yet that the radical gun control plans pushed by “progressives” in the Richmond statehouse have now split the Democrat Party in the Old Dominion.
The widening rift has been amplified by Charles City County, a sparse, serene Democrat stronghold southeast of the capital in the Virginia’s heartland which has just voted to approve a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.
The unanimous vote by the County Board of Supervisors there to protect gun rights, brings the fracture between urban and rural Democrats out into the open.
Latest sanctuary map with Fauquier and Charles City counties. pic.twitter.com/f7Tl77F3AK
— Phil Van Cleave VCDL (@VCDL_ORG) December 24, 2019
With the vote, Charles City County (along with the addition of Fauquier County) now becomes the 87th of 95 Virginia counties to declare that further interference with Virginians’ gun rights will not be tolerated, and possibly, not enforced.
This from a county that gave Hillary Clinton 61% of the vote in the 2016 presidential election.
While many Virginia Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions have sailed through Republican-led jurisdictions since the November election, the sanctuary vote in majority-Democrat Charles City County is viewed as a stunning rejection of policies pushed by Governor Ralph Northam and his progressive Democrat allies, who will hold all the levers of power in the state beginning in January.
According to the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the political divide that now separates the Bloomberg-funded urban leftists from rural Democrats across the Commonwealth can no longer be papered over.
Located on the north shore of the James River in the Tidewater region of Virginia, Charles City County is a mix of gently rolling hills, stands of majestic loblolly pines, and farm fields stretching into the distance.
For more than 100 years, county residents have historically voted Democrat. Party loyalty there has meant the county sided with the Democrat candidate in the last 15 consecutive presidential elections—a streak dating back to 1956.
It’s one of the least populated counties in Virginia, with only about 7,000 people residing there. Incredibly, that population total is only about 1,500 more folks than lived there in 1790.
Owing to the county’s firearm tradition, it wasn’t a surprise that gunshots could be heard a few hours before the vote, coming from just beyond the trees that separate the Charles City County Government Center from nearby fields.
The successful Second Amendment sanctuary vote has the full support of Sheriff Alan Jones, Sr.
As an African-American fulfilling the role as chief law enforcement officer in the county, Jones is continuing a tradition that dates back to 1968, when voters there installed Virginia’s first-ever African-American sheriff.
Sheriff Jones, a lifelong resident now in his 5th year in the job, was unequivocal about his support for the Second Amendment.
I feel that Americans have the right to bear arms and the right to protect themselves. I’ve had a weapon ever since I was a little kid hunting. That’s the American way I think. We need to keep that tradition going.
These days people have a right to protect themselves because there is too much violence going on now. It’s not guns that kill people. It’s people who kill people.
Sitting in the first row to witness the historic vote was Virginia State Senator Amanda Chase (Chesterfield and Colonial Heights), who has become one of the most visible supporters for the Second Amendment sanctuary movement that has swept the Old Dominion.
Sen. Chase, who is known for striding onto the Senate floor in Richmond with a gun on her hip, had this reaction to what she sees as desperate maneuvers by gun control zealots in Richmond:
Any legislation that gets passed during this 2020 General Assembly session is only going to hurt law-abiding Democrats and Republicans. And the people are rising up all across this great Commonwealth. The people want to send a message and they want their voice heard.
They feel like Northern Virginia is the tail wagging the dog.
Sen. Chase reserved her harshest criticism, though, for someone who has no vote in Richmond—Congressman Donald McEachin, who happens to represent Charles City County in Washington, DC.
McEachin has challenged the Commonwealth to cut off funding to localities that don’t comply with any new gun laws.
Rep. McEachin has also urged Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to deploy the National Guard to enforce gun laws in all the counties that have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries.
To Sen. Chase, that’s a clear signal that “Democrats have completely overreached, absolutely.” She added, “and we’re talking about socialist democrats, not the JFK Democrats, but the socialist Democrats—which I believe Congressman McEachin is, by his very own words.”
Also among those testifying before the Charles County Board was Philip Van Cleave, a Chesterfield resident, who spoke on behalf on the 8,000 members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Van Cleave said the Second Amendment sanctuary movement is a grassroots effort that has succeeded beyond almost everyone’s expectations. He said that, as a result, Democrats are now arguing among themselves about political tactics going forward after such significant pushback from voters.