Borrowing an Idea From Liberals

It’s interesting that a significant number of people think “sanctuary cities” to protect illegal immigrants from enforcement of U.S. law are wonderful things — but sanctuary counties aimed at safeguarding a right of Americans enshrined in the Constitution are outrageous.

A long list of cities have declared themselves to be sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. Several states, including (of course) California and New York, have jumped on the bandwagon. There, law enforcement agencies are instructed not to help the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in any way. On occasion, officials in sanctuary locations have actually warned illegal immigrants of impending ICE raids.

It is not uncommon for ICE agents seeking people accused of serious, violent crimes to be frustrated by the sanctuaries.

That’s just what good Americans do, liberals who like sanctuary cities and states insist.

What good Americans do not do is establish “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” the liberals add.

New gun control laws in Virginia seem to have initiated the Second Amendment sanctuary movement. A few counties there have joined in, protesting that they refuse to enforce limits on firearms that go against the Constitution’s guarantee we all have the right to keep and bear arms.

Poppycock, say the liberals. And, they add, meaningless. Counties have no power to block enforcement of state or federal laws, they chuckle.

But look at the resolution passed just a few days ago by Tyler County commissioners. Two other counties, Cabell and Putnam, have adopted similar measures.

It happens that I have some acquaintance with two of the three Tyler County commissioners (they are Mike Smith, John Stender and Eric Vincent). The two I know are not “gun nuts.” They are not ultra-conservatives. They are thoughtful men who simply believe that certain rights are important.

Their resolution makes it clear they intend Tyler County to be a Second Amendment sanctuary “within the limits of the Constitution of the United States and the State of West Virginia …” In other words, they don’t plan anything illegal or unconstitutional.

Now we come to the meat of the resolution — effectiveness. Nothing that commissioners discussed their idea with the county sheriff and prosecuting attorney, Stender explained the idea is that county law enforcement “will not enforce any ordinances or laws passed by the state of the federal government to restrict our Second Amendment rights.”

In other words, if you’re a gun-control advocate who wants a federal ban on AR-15 rifles, don’t expect the Tyler County Sheriff’s office to arrest people carrying them. You’ll have to call a federal marshal.

It is essentially the same strategy adopted by sanctuaries for illegal immigrants — except that Tyler County and others are standing up for rights guaranteed to citizens. There is a crucial difference.

Gun-control advocates can criticize Second Amendment sanctuaries all they want. But hey, the bottom line is that, well, liberals started the sanctuary movement.

Payback is … well, you know.

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.


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