“Looking at a map of Virginia,” [Erich] Pratt and [Philip] Van Cleave wrote, “it becomes clear that only a few, geographically small, yet heavily populated, jurisdictions have declined to stand up against the current threats to the Virginia and United States Constitutions.”
In other words, the “heavily populated” parts of Virginia do not have the same view of gun rights as the sparsely populated parts. And since the Virginia legislature was duly elected by popular vote, legislators will likely be more responsive to the interests of the majority than of the minority.
America is a representative democracy. But the gun lobby and other parts of the conservative coalition are increasingly skeptical of that. Armed with an all-purpose Constitution that means whatever they want it to mean, they seek to block popular government action.
The Second Amendment sanctuaries emerging in Virginia and elsewhere may mark a burgeoning conservative counterculture. Contempt for the “geographically small, yet heavily populated” regions where most Americans reside is becoming a conservative tic. It’s the impetus behind those triumphal MAGA maps depicting countless hectares of American forest, farm and pasture in bold Republican red, while little enclaves such as Brooklyn, with a higher population than 15 states, are dismissed with a tiny blotch of blue.
Densely populated America, in other words, is not real America, and opposing real America is by definition unconstitutional. What the gun sanctuary movement is seeking is not protection from government overreach, but from democracy.
– Francis Wilkinson in The True Aim of the Gun Sanctuary Movement