Virginia was the battleground for the gun debate after Democrats swept the legislature using Bloomberg, the gun control baron's money. However, residents put up an intense fight on two fronts to oppose the tyranny imposed by the Democrats in the state.
The second amendment sanctuary movement became the hallmark of resistance against the assault on Virginians' constitutional rights. Joining in the fight was the militia movement, which began aggressive recruitment drives.
Several muster calls took place where the recruits vowed to defend the constitutional rights. For example, over 500 volunteers signed up during the Bedford County muster call in mid-February this year.
Many months after the height of the resistance, the militia movement remains strong. One notable group is the Campbell County Militia, whose members say they're prepared to "shoot tyrants in the face."
Recently, a call for volunteers attracted over 200 participants, most of them heavily armed with tactical rifles.
Kurt Feigel, the militia organizer, and a staunch gun-rights supporter issued a powerful defiance message.
"We are here today to send a clear and collective message to any would-be-tyrants that would attempt to disarm us: We will not comply," Feigel declared.
The militia movement was spurred by the enactment of several Northam-backed gun control measures. Some of the laws included red flag laws and universal background checks. The "assault weapons" ban was defeated and postponed, but Democrats could resuscitate the motion any time soon.
Despite the widespread militia movement, Virginia remains hostile towards organized civilian groups. Richmond also considers the militia movement as illegal.
However, Feigel isn't intimidated by the Democrats' hostility towards Second Amendment groups. He says that armed groups could enforce the Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions declared by over 90% of the local jurisdictions. Democrats called the move "largely symbolic," but Feigel disagrees.
"If we have the numbers, we can back up the statement — we will not be disarmed," said Feigel. "[The Second Amendment] is not about hunting. It's not about self-defense. It's about shooting tyrants in the face."
Local governments, most of which passed the sanctuary resolutions, also backed the militias. Campbell County Board of Supervisors passed an additional resolution to support local armed groups.
"The resolution was historic. To my knowledge, there has not been a constitutional militia recognized by a governing body since the Civil War," Supervisor Matt Cline told CBS.
However, most liberal activists and politicians consider the militias as unlawful. Some like Lori Hass, senior advocacy director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, consider militias treasonous. She considers the existence of organized civilian groups as insurrectionism.
Lori says that militias modus operandi is "I don't like the law, so I'm going to ignore it, and I'm going to use my gun to intimidate you."
Others dispute that the Second Amendment supports the concept of armed civilian militias. Mary McCord, the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy's legal director, considers militias to be unlawful.
"Under the U.S. Constitution, it's Congress that has the ability to call forth and regulate a militia through the Militia Act that established the National Guard," McCord claims.
However, Feigel says militias have every right to exist and defend their communities when necessary.
"We have the right to assemble peacefully, and we have a right to defend our communities. Not as vigilantes, but we aren't going to let people roll into our town and burn it down like in Portland and Seattle."
Others, like Historian Patrick Charles, say that militias could only exist under the First Amendment rights. He argues that by declaring themselves militias, they do not necessarily break the law until they take over government functions.
However, Feigel refuses to budge, saying that there's no middle ground on the militias' right to exist.
"I have no interest in compromising with the opposition that would like to restrict my Second Amendment freedom. It's a right," he said.
With the anti-gun environment and more invasive governments like in Virginia, many residents are not concerned about militias' legality. They view them as their only savior against the overreaching government.
Consequently, people who do not necessarily wish to join the actual fight still show up during the recruitment drives to support the militia activities either morally or by volunteering in other ways.
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