Watching from afar as the radical wing of Virginia’s Democrat party tries to put the screws to gun owners, I can’t help but compare Virginia with Illinois. And if what we’ve learned here in Illinois remains even partially valid for the Old Dominion, all hope is not lost for gun owners there.
Yes, radicals in Virginia think they have a huge mandate to pass gun and magazine bans, and potentially even confiscate America’s favorite rifle (the AR-15) and others like it.
These same political hacks have legislation pending to terminate any cops who won’t enforce their new gun control schemes. Just as concerning, they’re proposing increased spending on prisons to handle today’s law-abiding gun owners who refuse to bend a knee to ill-considered, unconstitutional gun bans.
We have radicals in Illinois who want to sing from the same gun control hymnal. Gun bans, magazine bans, gun rationing, bans on private transfers, gun registration and crazy high fees on gun owner registration schemes all have been seriously beaten back here in the Land of Lincoln.
Generally speaking, gun grabbers tend to belong to the Democrat party here. At least after the last election when gun rights organizations (including Guns Save Life where I serve as the executive director) worked hand-in-hand with the NRA-ILA to remove a Republican who campaigned as pro-gun and voted with Michael Bloomberg on guns.
We don’t know why Peter Breen switched to the dark side on gun rights (in a very public manner at that), but we made sure we took him out in the 2018 election as a very clear warning to other Republican squishes.
What’s more, Democrats hold super-majorities in the Illinois House and Senate since 2018’s election. And we have a new governor who campaigned (unsuccessfully) for Congress twenty years ago campaigning for a complete ban on handgun ownership for all Americans.
Just looking at it by party numbers, if Dems all hated guns, one might reasonably think gun rights might face extinction in Abe Lincoln’s home state.
Democrats don’t all hate guns, though.
Looking back for decades in Illinois, the divide on guns has not happened along party lines. Instead, among most Dems, it happens more along geographic lines. Big city Dems generally believe the myth that more gun control will make their big city, high-crime cesspools of violence safer for residents.
Meanwhile, other Democrats vigorously support gun rights – proudly and publicly. They generally hail from rural parts of the state and recognize that their political lives would soon end if they voted or sounded like Chuck Schumer on guns.
We have several more who generally support gun rights privately and often vote for gun rights when the extremists over-reach in their desire for ever more gun control measures.
It may come as a surprise, but sometimes the planets align just right and even members of the Illinois Black Caucus have voted with us against gun control legislation as well.
If fact, if it weren’t for these downstate Dems and others voting with gun rights supporters on occasion, Illinois gun owners would have long ago lost America’s favorite rifle, and possibly semi-autos in general, among other gun control schemes.
Just as important as pro-gun Demcrats, keeping the Republican caucus together will require the effort of true conservatives galvanizing the “squishes” to vote the way they campaigned.
Looking eastward, Virginia no doubt has rural Democrats in their state legislature. If the Illinois template holds any relevance at all in Richmond, rural Dems will hold the key to either passing radical gun control or stopping it there. Assuming, of course, Republicans hold steady to doubtlessly unrelenting pressure from demanding moms, the fake news media, and other pressure from Big Gun Control.
Obviously, gun owners have galvanized against gun control in Virginia. Between gun owners lobbying, and the work of the Virginia Citizens Defense League and NRA-ILA, gun bans and other gun control schemes are not a sure thing in Richmond. Thankfully.
That doesn’t mean the radicals won’t try really hard, though.