Virginia AG Says 2A Sanctuaries “have no legal force.” But Is That Actually True?

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The Attorney General of Virginia stepped into the fray yesterday with an opinion on the validity of Second Amendment Sanctuaries that have sprung up across the state in response to draconian gun control legislation. He said that the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions have no legal force and that municipalities will have no choice but to enforce the unconstitutional laws, should the bill be turned into law in January.

But is this actually true? Or is it just a statement meant to discourage dissent? Digging into this, it seems that it’s certainly not as cut and dried as the AG would have us all believe.

This article will be filled with lots of quotes from pertinent legal documents. I’m not an attorney so I’m just laying out my findings. The emphasis throughout is mine.

You can draw your own conclusions.

The Official Statement

Let’s start out with what AG Mark Herring had to say.

The Virginia Constitution, the Code of Virginia, and established common law doctrines all bear on these questions.

First, the Constitution of Virginia provides that all local authority is subject to the control of the General Assembly. For example, Article V Il, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that “[t]he General Assembly shall provide by general law for the . powers . of counties, cities, towns, and regional governments.”[1]

Second, the Code of Virginia establishes the supremacy of state law over local ordinances and policies. Section 1-248 provides:

The Constitution and laws of the United States and of the Commonwealth shall be supreme. Any ordinance, resolution, bylaw, rule, regulation, or order of any governing body or any corporation, board, or number of persons shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the Commonwealth.[[2][3][4])

As the Virginia Supreme Court has explained, because local authority is subordinate to state law, “local ordinances must conform to and not be in conflict with the public policy of the State as embodied in its statutes.

Third, established common law doctrines specifically limit the authority of local governments. Virginia follows the Dillon Rule, which provides that local governments may exercise “only those powers expressly granted by the General Assembly, those necessarily or fairly implied therefrom, and those that are essential and indispensable. The Dillon Rule is one of strict construction: “[I]f there is a reasonable doubt whether legislative power exists, the doubt must be resolved against the local governing body. Thus, when a Virginia locality seeks to take any action, the Dillon Rule applies “to determine in the first instance, from express words or by implication, whether a power exists at all. If a locality cannot identify a reasonably specific source of delegated authority, “the inquiry is at an end” and the act in question is unauthorized.

These constitutional, statutory, and common law doctrines establish that these resolutions neither have the force of law nor authorize localities or local constitutional officials to refuse to follow or decline to enforce gun violence prevention measures enacted by the General Assembly.

l . By their own terms, these resolutions have no legal effect. Although the resolutions typically contain several “Whereas” clauses, the “be it resolved” clauses generally do not purport to take any concrete action. 15 Instead, the operative clauses: (a) “express[]” the “intent” of the locality’s Board of Supervisors “to uphold the Second Amendment rights of [the county’s] citizens,” (b) “express[]” the Board’s “intent that public funds of the [clounty not be used to restrict the Second Amendment rights of the [county’s] citizens,” and (c) “declare[]” the Board’s “intent to oppose” any “infringement” or “restrictions” of their residents’ Second Amendment rights using “such legal means [as] may be expedient, including without limitation, court action. These general statements do not direct or require any specific result, and any suggestion of potential future action is entirely speculative.

It also bears emphasis that neither local governments nor local constitutional officers have the authority to declare state statutes unconstitutional or decline to follow them on that basis. “All actions of the General Assembly are presumed to be constitutional. Furthermore, it has long “been the indisputable and clear function of the courts, federal and state, to pass upon the constitutionality of legislative acts. It follows from these well-established principles that all localities and local constitutional officers are required to comply with all laws enacted by the General Assembly unless and until those laws are repealed by the legislature or invalidated by the judiciary.

Nor may localities or local constitutional officers decline to enforce laws enacted by the General Assembly on the theory that requiring them to do so would “commandeer” local resources. Although the United States Supreme Court has held that “the Federal Government may not compel the States to implement . . . federal regulatory programs, that doctrine derives from the specific limitations on Congress’s legislative powers and the “residuary and inviolable sovereignty” retained by the states in our federal system. 25 In contrast, “the Constitution of Virginia is not a grant of legislative power to the General Assembly,„ 26 and, unlike Congress, [tlhe authority of the General Assembly shall extend to all subjects of legislation” not specifically “forbidden or restricted” by the State Constitution. 27 And neither the Federal Constitution nor Virginia law recognizes any “anti-commandeering” principle that allows localities or local constitutional officers to refuse to participate in the enforcement of state law.28


It is my opinion that these resolutions have no legal effect. It is my further opinion that localities and local constitutional officers cannot nullify state laws and must comply with gun violence prevention measures that the General Assembly may enact. (source)

You can read Herring’s entire opinion and get the citations here.

What is the Dillon Rule?

This is a rule of government embraced by 39 states.

Dillon’s Rule is derived from written decision by Judge John F. Dillon of Iowa in 1868. It is a cornerstone of American municipal law. It maintains that a political subdivision of a state is connected to the state as a child is connected to a parent. Dillon’s Rule is used in interpreting state law when there is a question of whether or not a local government has a certain power. Dillon’s Rule narrowly defines the power of local governments.

The first part of Dillon’s Rule states that local governments have only three types of powers:

-those granted in express words,
-those necessarily or fairly implied in or incident to the powers expressly granted, and
-those essential to the declared objects and purposes of the corporation, not simply convenient, but indispensable.

The second part of Dillon’s Rule states that if there is any reasonable doubt whether a power has been conferred on a local government, then the power has NOT been conferred. This is the rule of strict construction of local government powers. (source)

Virginia set a precedent with Dillon’s Rule back in 1896 and is considered one of the strictest states for the rule. It has been applied consistently ever since, taking power from local governments and centralizing it at a state level.


It’s important to note that Dillon’s Rule is no more a law than Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions. It’s a philosophy, albeit one that has consistently been applied in the Virginia Supreme Court for 125 years.

The Dillon Rule was adopted by the Virginia Supreme Court 120 years after Virginia declared its independence and created its first constitution. The rule is not a law passed by the General Assembly, and it was not based on a specific section in the 1869 state constitution that was in effect when the court ruled on the Winchester arson reward lawsuit.

The Virginia Supreme Court did not violate the separation of powers and somehow create a new law when adopting the Dillon Rule. Instead, when the court cited the Iowa justice’s rulings, it created the legal framework for interpreting the legality of many laws passed by state and local governments.

The framework has empowered the General Assembly and limited the authority of local governments. Judge Dillon’s legal philosophy was based on the assumption that local government was less competent and more corrupt than state government. However, that ignores the professionalization of local government since 1896. (source)

Dillon’s Rule can be federally preempted, too.

The American University Law Review published a paper regarding the Dillon Law in regard to sanctuary states and cities that were acting in defiance of federal immigration laws.

The issue of federal preemption of state law is a complex and prevalent topic in the immigration debate today,and the issue is relevant to Dillon’s Rule because it could be argued that preempts the outcome of a Dillon analysis in this context.

Furthermore, the issue of preemption is particularly tricky here because Dillon’s Rule deals with what the law does not say, rather than an express provision of state law in conflict with federal law. Under preemption principles, where state and federal law conflict, federal law governs. However, where there is no conflict, state law applies. (source)

The question here is whether federal law would conflict with state law enough to preempt Dillon’s rule.

Does the Dillon Rule override the power of County Sheriffs?

County sheriffs are often considered the last against unconstitutional legislation, with the authority to defy even federal law.

Historically, some sheriffs have not only enforced the laws; they have also decided which laws not to enforce. They view this as protecting the people from the intrusions of the federal government.

The “constitutional sheriff” movement is comprised of current and former members of law enforcement who believe that sheriffs are the ultimate authority in their jurisdiction—even above federal law enforcement…

…While it may seem like a fringe movement, it is prevalent enough to be taken seriously. In 2013, 500 sheriffs agreed not to enforce any gun laws created by the federal government. In Utah, almost all elected sheriffs signed an agreement to protect the Bill of Rights—and fight any federal officials who tried to limit them. [Robert Tsai / Politico] (source)

In 2013, Sheriff John D’Agostini of El Dorado County, California, famously kicked a federal agency out of his county.

“The U.S. Forest Service, after many attempts and given many opportunities, has failed to meet that standard.”

The sheriff has sent a letter to the US Forestry Service stating officers will no longer be able to enforce state law in his county.

“The U.S. Forest Service, after many attempts and given many opportunities, has failed to meet that standard.”

CBS 13 in Sacramento contacted a law professor to ask him if the sheriff’s actions are legal.

“Looks to me as though the sheriff can do this,” he said. “They don’t have state powers in the first place, but essentially the sheriff can deputize individuals to have authority in his or her jurisdiction.”

Fact: federal agencies do not have state powers. Due to the Constitution’s structure of dual sovereignty, the feds have no authority to enforce state laws. Furthermore, states cannot be compelled to enforce federal laws. (source)

So does that mean that Dillon’s Rule does or does not apply to county sheriffs? It’s complicated.

This Comment argues that Dillon’s Rule, a doctrine which limits the authority of cities, towns, and other localities to act unilaterally without authorization from the state legislature, creates a barrier to the enforcement of the 287(g) agreements currently in place between sheriffs’ offices and the federal government. Specifically, Dillon’s Rule precludes sheriffs from entering 287(g) agreements without authorization from the state legislature, rendering these agreements invalid in most cases. Accordingly, when an individual is detained or otherwise deprived of liberty or due process under an invalid 287(g) agreement, constitutional protections should apply. (source)

Wouldn’t depriving gun owners of their Second Amendment rights fall under the category of something constitutionally protected?

AG Herring’s statement contradicts a 2014 opinion.

Attorney General Herring’s current opinion seems politically biased since he has previously rendered more than one opinion at odds with this statement. House Majority Leader C. Todd Gilbert (R) said:

“Attorney General Herring’s opinion is interesting, as it directly contradicts his own statements and actions regarding the supremacy of state law over the preferences of the officials who must enforce them,” Gilbert states in a news release. “In 2014, Herring declined to defend Virginia law in state court, despite a statutory duty to do so.”

Gilbert adds that Herring told the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “…If I think the laws are adopted and constitutional, (then) I will defend them…”

“His opinion today notes that ‘it has long been the indisputable and clear function of the courts … to pass upon the constitutionality of legislative acts,’” Gilbert states. “This not only conflicts with his previous statement about his own conduct, but also the position of a number of Democratic commonwealth’s attorneys regarding (the) prosecution of marijuana possession. 

“I look forward to the Attorney General following up with the Commonwealth’s Attorneys and Commonwealth’s Attorneys-elect in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Portsmouth, and Norfolk about the supremacy of state law over the policy preferences of local elected officials,” Gilbert adds. (source)

Gilbert also provided another example of inconsistency.

Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, the current majority leader in the House of Delegates who will serve as minority leader in the next legislative session, issued a statement Friday afternoon drawing attention to what he sees as a contradiction between the sanctuaries opinion and Herring’s previous decision to not defend Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages when Herring concluded the prohibition was unconstitutional, despite what Gilbert argues was a statutory requirement to do so. (source)

That certainly does seem inconsistent with a “rule of strict construction.”

Virginians are unlikely to back down over the AG’s opinion.

Virginians are outraged at the prospective new laws and many gun owners are openly defiant. Counties, cities, and municipalities across the state are decrying the unconstitutional new laws and they are getting organized.

When gun owners were threatened with the National Guard to enforce compliance, it only seemed to accelerate the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement.  One county officially established a militia and more sure to follow, either officially or unofficially.

This is a battle of wills that’s being watched closely around the country. Where Virginia goes, the nation will follow, whether that’s compliance or outright refusal.

Gun control advocates may have chosen the wrong state as a testing ground. The state government seems to have underestimated the unflinching resolve of rural residents. So far, despite the state government’s threats and posturing, Virginians seem unbowed and gun owners across the nation are supporting them.

What are your thoughts about this information?

When reading over the documents cited above, what is your opinion on the validity of local sanctuary resolutions? Do you feel the state can override them? Or do you feel the Dillon Rule offers a way to actually preempt state interference through federal and/or constitutional law?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • I also am not a lawyer, but I’ve read and reread the Constitution many times, as well as the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist responces, and I taught American Government and Civics at a rural High School. Supreme Governing Authority is invested in the Governed. From Federal on down to local governments, the power lies in the people. That’s a far reaching conceptand many of today’s politicians, regardless of which level, would be wise to remember. They are elected to govern, and if they are failing to do so, the Peope have the right to remove them from office, either at the ballot box, or per the Constitution, by armed force if necessary.
    The whole “The State can infringe upon the 2nd” movement, started in the 1870’s with two SCOTUS opinions by the Waite Coury (Waite was Chief Justice). The first opinion was in Cruikshanks v. USA, the second in Peller v. Illinois. Basically the opinions were that the 2nd only applied to the Federal Government. The States did not have to honor the 2nd. Not only is the logic flawed in the Waite court’s opinion, it was and still is an Unconstitutiona opinion. It denies specifically an enumerated right, or a listed right. States are required to follow all other rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, but can ignore the 2nd? Since when are rights allowed to be picked and chosen? The Unconstitutional part comes from a clause of the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, which specifically denied States the right to infringe upon any of the Rights enumerated in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. While the 14th was intended to stop the persecution and denial of rights based upon skin color, it also set the precedent that States can only keep those rights which are not specifically enumerated or named in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. They have to follow the US Constitution or else they’re no longer a part of the Union. By the Virginia legislatures immoral power grab by buying the election, thanks to Bloomberg, and their immediate and future threats of gutting the 2nd Amendment, they’re treading the line into tyranny. Tyrannts can be removed by force, and I caution the VA governor, AG and other Asshats, excuse me assemblymen of the legisature, that they do this attheir own peril. Their overreach and powergrab is dangerous, because the peope utimately decide your fate.

    • It goes on step further.
      The Bill of Right enumerated Natural or God given rights, which supersedes ; Local, State and Federal or even World Governments.
      There is no law under Heaven or in the Earth, that is Legal or Constitutional, that attempts to restrain, impede or restrict theses rights.

    • “As the interned American citizens of Japanese descent learned, the Bill of Rights provided them with little protection when it was needed.” ~ Glenn Harlan Reynolds
      Study this: No Treason
      The Constitution of No Authority @

      • “….a government of, for and by the people shall not perish from this earth.” -A. Lincoln

        This is true only as long as the people do not abdicate their responsibility in making it so.

        Corruption is rampant in every facet of our lives and most of us do not even know it or knowingly suppress that knowledge. Yes, the “Government Schools of Propaganda and Indoctrination” bear some responsibility for that deficit but not all of it.. We have as a people become lazy and complacent and allowed our “rights” to be co-opted by bureaucrats and others who should be OUR servants and not we theirs.

        We are not treated as a free people but as slaves. Teddy Roosevelt acknowledged that “the people ere Sovereign” in a speech and Sovereigns are NOT slaves …but United States citizens are! The 14th Amendment, Section 1 clearly states that “anyone born in the United States [Corporation] or naturalized in the United States [Corporation] is a citizen of the United States [Corporation] and subject to its jurisdiction. The United States (Corporation] IS the District of Columbia, DC, NOT the United States of America! United States citizens ARE slaves to the United States Corporation, NOT citizens of a sovereign State of the United States of America. Thus if you don’t want to be a slave you must correct you citizenship.

  • Interesting article. MANY I know will NOT back down. We just cannot do so and look our wives and children in their eyes and say we want freedom. I am VERY sad to think that many police and guard members may not go home as a result of the Dems wanting more control over the people. Yes gun owners will be missed by their families also, but if the loss saves our state, well.
    I know Jesus as my Savior and am ready to go if need be.

    • Police and guard members that attack We the People may not HAVE a home or family to go home to! Force on force is a fools errand: irregular forces need to strike the tyrants where it will hurt them and create fear of We the People.

      • “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

  • I’ve come to the opinion that all these legal precedents and procedures are increasingly made irrelevant by our Lawless “masters”, who have rendered the Constitution, to include their state versions, dead letters (Of course I agree with Patrick Henry, who, in regards to the ratification of the Constitution, smelled a rat. But that’s for another conversation!). They have repeatedly used said procedure and precedent, and, changed the hermeneutic from attempting to understand the original historical and original intent, to that of a “living document” and case law.

    I visit here often, but don’t comment much, Miss Daisy, but this mini-series of yours has particularly sparked my interest. It’s a dangerous thing when those who are supposed to be agents and protectors of the law and the ordered liberty of a people cease being so, and instead resort to mere legalism and technicality to secure their power, profit, or even utopian agenda, at the expense of the citizenry who has entrusted them with power. Their pronouncements from executive offices, legislative chambers, or court rooms will, as a result of their hubris, be rendered null and void, because the actual citizens of Virginia, as opposed to the mere residents ( read “invaders”) largely residing in Northern Virginia, in their body and blood, if not in letter, understand this distinction between legalism and the law of their heritage, and will defend it.

    No, Might doesn’t make Right, but Right often needs Might to secure its liberties. If their not careful, Virginia’s “masters” may well get a firsthand lesson in this; patience and forbearance here in Flyover Country is wearing mighty thin!

  • Tell me, pilgrims, why should we put up with such nonsense?

    Why should we pay our employees in government for the privilege of having them abuse us? We are free men and women. Let us toss out these government swine to work in the real world, where they have to work extremely hard for whatever little money they can earn, just like the rest of us.

    The constitutions of the American states are grants of power FROM THE PEOPLE to those charged with running the government as the peoples’ employees. The constitutions do not grant freedom to the people because the people are ALREADY SOVEREIGN. The constitutions define and guaranty the private rights of the people, they do not create those rights.

    The federal and state constitutions, in this country, grant and limit only the powers of the several departments of government, but, except in regard to political rights, they are not to be considered as the origin of the peoples liberty or rights.

    The point of this is that the codes, statutes, ordinances etc. promulgated by any branch or department of government affect only three classes of individuals:

    1. An employee of said branch or department of government.

    2. A natural human being (member of “We the People”) liable for a harm done to another human being.

    3. You volunteer into and join the government corporation by signing some hidden contract, such as getting a driver license, business license, hunting or fishing license, and many other traps…… where you agree to be subject to and obey all state laws.



    You are tightly bound to most of these corporations by contracts which you signed when you applied for their products or service benefits. The federal, state, and municipal governments bind you with hidden invisible contracts, examples are: your driver license, or opening a bank account, enrolling your children in school, and recording your home property mortgage or deed. Every piece of “official” paper that you are required to sign is a contract which compels you to perform exactly to the terms and rules written in that contract.

    Most law enforced everywhere in the U.S. today is “COMMERCIAL LAW” based on contracts and all the judges will strictly hold you to the terms of whatever contract you signed.

    There is much more at

  • It’s a trap.

    Virginians who possess a firearm magazine of greater than ten round capacity will be deemed guilty of a felony and lose their right to bear arms.

    Likewise, Virginians who fall to register “assault weapons” will also become felons and lose their right to bear arms.

    My question is, localities can choose not to enforce immigration law, but must enforce state firearms restrictions?

    • Well, it seems to me that a person is not guilty of a felony until they are convicted as such by a jury of their peers in a lawful court. That might be hard to do in a county court given these circumstances.

      That’s not to say that a state court might not convict them. Hopefully enough money will be contributed to appeal any such convictions. It could take a few years to work through the appeals. Of course by then the actual fighting would likely be over, but maybe not. Who knows where all this will end.

  • Soooooooo Why aren’t all these counties in Virginia filing “Sedition” charges against the politicians with the grand jury? To include the Governor and AG?

    This youtube is a very good explanation as to what the state & federal constitutions and u.s.code says about this issue.

    I know not all states have a recall election policy, but I would try and start one in Virginia if I was them. The threat made that the politicians are going to have the UN troops do road blocks is treason still. Using foreign troops to enforce and unconstitutional law.

  • I don’t live in Virginia so I am not aware of the laws of that state. So why aren’t the people of Virginia filing for a recall of their so called state politicians and filing for new elections? This should be able to be done just like in Colorado if allowed in their state constitution. This seems to be the better solutions to their problems with their state government.

  • Politicians, most of whom are lawyers, like to over-complicate everything. It’s actually a simple issue. The AG defeated his own arguments in his fourth paragraph.

    “The Constitution and laws of the United States and of the Commonwealth shall be supreme. Any ordinance, resolution, bylaw, rule, regulation, or order of any governing body or any corporation, board, or number of persons shall not be inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States or of the Commonwealth.”

    Regardless of the fact that the Federal government has been deliberately pretending otherwise for nearly one hundred years, the Second Amendment is part of the “laws of the United States” and therefore, any gun control measures the VA legislature is considering violate the Virginia Constitution’s consistency requirement.

    In a sane world, that would be the end of the matter, but the radical Left is not sane. We should brace ourselves for massive riots and acts of terrorism from the Left as the impeachment farce implodes and Trump is re-elected, especially if Dems lose the House in 2020.

    • Its all just lawyer doublespeak.

      Constitutions EMPOWER government and CONSTRAIN action. It cannot REQUIRE action because this is meaningless.

      However, it’s your own right wing chickens come home to roost, because you spread the same nonsense about “unconstitutional mayors” who were “breaking the law” and “harboring aliens” etc.

      A pox on both your houses

  • There is sadly a long history of the oppressed being forced to rely on force to overturn tyranny. From the nation-affected Magna Carta of 1215 in England to the small local uprising in August 1946 in Athens, Tennessee where the citizenry finally put down a corrupt local government that relied on rigged election:

    Sometimes the good guys with a solid moral case win, and sometimes not. (When they lose, as in the case of Lincoln’s murderous tax war, the winner rewrites the history story so that future generations never learn the truth — such as Lincoln’s plan to deport any “freed” slaves, or his Feb 1865 peace negotiation offer to let the South keep its slaves if it would only pay his sky-high tariffs [to reward Lincoln’s northern industrialist supporters] and return to the Union peacefully.)

    In Feb 2019 an unusually consistent 9-0 US Supreme Court decision (Timbs vs Indiana) ruled that the Constitution prohibition on cruel or unusual punishments applied not only to the federal government but all the way down to even state, county or city government levels. Whether such consistency might eventually benefit the moral side of this Virginia struggle is yet unknown.

    Finally, the very recent article here on about Illinois using solitary confinement on defenseless middle schoolers that infuriated most of us here … sparks another thought. It’s surely a more fitting punishment for government bureaucrats who are trying to assure that potential future crime victims be defenseless.

    BTW, the number of federal background checks for firearm sales on Black Friday this year was the second highest in history:


    • Oh puh-leeze, do we have to go through this southern revisionism concerning the U.S. civil war again? None of my ancestors were in the U.S. until well after that war, so I don’t have any vested interest in either side. But we can learn some lessons for our present situation.

      Do states have the right to secede from the union? I think they do, however that question has never been answered in a court of law. That’s where the question should first be decided, force of arms only later.

      The number one issue behind the civil war was slavery, not taxes. The institution of slavery drove also the tax question, as the federal government was mainly funded by import taxes, and wealthy southern slave owners were the primary importers of European luxury goods.

      Among the primary instigators of the rebellion were the southern newspapers, who, like today’s fake news, were full of lurid but untrue tales about what the “other side” is up to. If we have another civil war, the modern fake news will largely be the cause thereof.

      I agree with Robert Toombs, the first Secretary of State for the CSA, that whichever side shoots first, loses the moral high ground. The CSA shot first long before negotiations were completed, losing the moral high ground and transforming what should have been a legal question into an armed rebellion, no different from the armed rebellion of John Brown, who was hanged.

      At Concord, the British fired first, giving the Minute Men the moral high ground.

      The lessons for today: don’t listen to the fake news (of course most people reading here already don’t believe the fake news), keep your wits about yourself, be armed and ready to fight, but wait for the other side to shoot first (which means that we will have to take some casualties). What will constitute shooting first? Would a home invasion without a warrant suffice? Even if the home owner shoots first to defend his home? Would going door-to-door confiscating weapons constitute shooting first? These questions and more need to be thought out and answered.

      • Slavery was NOT the real issue. The southern states were not allowed to secede because they had all the goods. The textiles grown in the south had to be shipped to the NORTH for processing. When the south started to build their own textile mills, the North got unhappy, and said we NEED THEM! They grow all the goods! The North made it about slavery so it would look and sound better to those Northerners who were being asked to fight against their brothers and other family members. So, if your town was told to hand over all the goods your family poured their heart and soul into growing “for the greater good” (ie. the federal government) and without paying anything for it, you expect me to believe you would not lift a hand to stop it? Just freely let the governments officers into your home and watch them carry out all your food, tools, firearms, everything you have worked hard to get for your family, for your way of life? I seriously doubt it. Do some research on the civil war, some REAL research, not textbooks, or something written by yankees, some journals of people who actually lived through it. Winners always re-write the history to their favor.

        • Debra: I have read many statements by southern politicians who led the south into starting the war. Yes, slavery was the number one reason that they gave.

          But then they found that defense of slavery worked against them in international dealings, particularly with England (the main buyer of their cotton) and France. As a result, no country ever had diplomatic relations with the south. So they started revising their statements already while the war was still being fought. Revisionism has been going on ever since.

          The statements leading up to and giving the reason for starting the war are the most telling.

          How many Virginians are still trying to justify the civil war? Will they take the same sort of revisionism as a reason to surrender to those politicians in Richmond? I write this as someone who favors state rights which include the right to secede from the Union. We need to have an honest evaluation of what went wrong in the past so we don’t repeat their mistakes. Can we trust those who revise the past—will they revise the present?

          • Yes, technically, all he seceding states used “slavery” as the reason. But that was the lynchpin of their overall secession strategy. They knew it was really about tariffs, but they couldn’t make that case LEGALLY.

            They considered the Constitution a legal document. There was no direct provision for secession, while it was more or less implied (and clearly unenforceable). And when the southern states signed on in 1787, they agreed to the tariffs/excise as the main means of funding the federal government. So no relief there.

            So how to break the contract? Find evidence that the other side violated the terms – and they did. In addition to tariffs, all states also agreed to abide by and enforce all federal laws. This included federal fugitive slave laws. It was well documented that northern states offered very lax enforcement of such, if they engaged in any enforcement at all. To the Confederates, this was clear grounds for breaking the compact, without having to go to war, which they didn’t want.

            They just didn’t plan on Lincoln’s true treachery, and that of his backers.

  • Any legislation that attempts to supercede the Constitution and Bill of Rights is NULL and VOID. Without an amendment to the Constitution to remove the 2nd Amendment, the SCOTUS has determined the people have the right to form militia with right to bear arms. All of the other arguments are a mute point. The local Sheriff is the TOP law enforcement officer in the county and has jurisdiction over the Federal, State, and city law enforcement authorities, they (Federal Authorities) are thereby limited by the Constitution to military bases and very limited federal facilities and property. The states are governed by the CONSENT of the people according to the Constitution and under contract law the Uniform Commercial Code states (UCC 1-308) that the people cannot be forced into a contract they DO NOT CONSENT TOO (i.e. statute laws, and bureaucratic legislation). The hierarchy was intended to be God, who created people, who created states, who created the federal government. Now we have the federal government usurping God, the states, and the serfs at he bottom, with God removed from the whole equation.

  • Waving bits of paper at each, and declaiming, “My paper has more Magical authority than your paper. So, stand aside.”


    Violence is the ultimate arbiter in all human matters.

    Virginians, all all Men, have two options … submit to the State, or use violence to subdue it. They WILL choose one of those two paths.

    Sure, they might call their submission ‘compromise’ or ‘sensible gun control’ … but, it will be submission, nonetheless.

    I won’t condemn them for it, tho. It’s what each of us does, every day of our lives.

  • I found some very interesting information while reviewing the bill of rights. I noted the U.S. bill of rights was constructed originally from the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Section 13 states the following:
    That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. So the US bill of rights gives us the 2nd amendment for the federal level & Virginia Declaration of Rights the state level. What footing do these legislators have?

  • Amen, if the government is taking our rights we have a duty to ask them to stop and take up protest and arms if our constitution is threatened.

    “All enemies foreign and domestic”

  • The Sheriff and all local officials take a personal oath to follow and defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I believe this is a matter of their personal judgment, regardless of what judges or legislators or legal bureaucrats may think. If this leads to conflict, so be it.

  • It’s interesting that Lincoln himself clearly disagreed with R.O. — long before the phrase “internet troll” was created.

    Lincoln’s First inaugural, full text, including his intention not to interfere with slavery:

    “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the
    institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no
    lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

    Lincoln was in communication with England about finding some country to deport any freed Southern slaves — right up until he was shot.

    Here’s a detailed account of Lincoln’s failed Feb 3, 1865 peace negotiations at Hampton Roads, Virginia — that Lincoln’s court worshippers prefer to be buried:

    “History is a set of lies agreed upon.”

    —Napoleon Bonaparte

    Even our unCivil War made the point that winners write the most widely disseminated version of history, and do everything possible to demonize anything to the contrary. If the Virginia gun grabbers win, it will be disgustingly no different.


    • Lewis: Lincoln was a lawyer. He was also a realist. He knew that he had no constitutional authority to do anything about slavery without a constitutional amendment. It didn’t matter what was his personal opinion concerning slavery, he couldn’t unilaterally change the constitution. He had no intention of going against the constitution. By law (constitution), he had to ignore the elephant in the living room, namely the institution of slavery. But southern politicians were public to make that the primary issue as to why they, not Lincoln nor the north, started the civil war. Sorry, Lewis, that’s the history as written by southern politicians at that time. It’s revisionists like you who try to ignore it.

      On the other hand, the incoming Virginia legislators have made it clear that as far as they are concerned, the constitution is toilet paper. Bloomberg is boasting how he made the VA government Democrat in opposition to the NRA. He may have bitten off a bigger bite than he expected, as the entire country is watching. Depending on how things turn out, this could be the spark that starts a new civil war. At the very least, many conservatives will be woken up to become politically active, at least at the voting booth.

      Lessons I take from the debacle that was the civil war are: keep your cool, don’t go running around like a chicken with its head cut off crazed by the latest rumors; make sure you have accurate information; let the other side take the first shots, which makes our shooting back justified self-defense.

  • R.O., your ability to ignore evidence such as the Lincoln letters to England in search of a country to deport any “freed” Southern slaves or Lincoln’s February 1865 offer to let the South keep their slaves if they would peacefully return to the Union and pay Lincoln’s exorbitant tariffs (taxes) suggests that any further discussion would be pointless. Neither of those Lincoln letters nor his February 1865 offer (that the South rejected) were created by Southern politicians.

    On the pursuit of truth, Napoleon was not the first to address such distortions. An oft quoted remark comes from ancient times:

    Aeschylus (Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC – 456 BC): “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

    There’s no reason to think that will ever change.


    • Lewis: you ignore the Constitution as it was originally written, which meant that Lincoln had no authority to do anything about slavery without a Constitutional Amendment. Therefore, Lincoln had no choice but to write as he did and make the offers that he did. You ignore the Constitution. Lincoln didn’t ignore the Constitution.

      The Constitutional Amendment that ended slavery didn’t come until after Lincoln was murdered.

      Southern politicians recognized that their whole society was based on slavery, while many in the North were strongly opposed to slavery. In fact, the Republican party was founded on opposition to slavery. Therefore, southern politicians made slavery the center of their reasons to secede and to start the civil war. Read their own statements.

      Now Virginia is facing a different problem, namely politicians imposed by northern forces (Bloomberg, Soros, et al) plan to ride roughshod over the Constitution. How this will turn out, I don’t know. I favor those who follow the Constitution.

  • “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”
    Marbury vs. Madison. Source: 5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176 (1803)
    So says the supreme Court.

  • Aesop taught that any excuse will serve a tyrant. Furthermore, we have decades of proof that Democrat gun-grabbers lie, to the extent of making claims up out if whole cloth if they believe it will help them win arguments. That is all ye know, and all ye need to know.

  • Little State “Codes” DO NOT Supersede the LAW OF the People BY the People FOR the People – which IS the US Constitution. These Elected SERVANTS do not stand above the PEOPLE. The Constitution IS the LAW. ANY Military Force, such as the National Guard, that comes against the LAW of the Constitution, renders itself a DOMESTIC ENEMY of the People and the US Constitution, by an UNLAWFUL Act.
    1828 Websters Dictionary defines “Militia” and “Arms” – FOR WAR. No other purpose for War, but against Foreign, and in this case Domestic Enemies. Enemies of the LAW, which IS the Constitution, which GOVERNS and stands ABOVE any State Code that attempts to overcome the Constitutional Sovereignty OF the People.
    No place in the Constitution are the People “Lawfully” made to be Citizens. The problem exists that People have been tricked and brainwashed to believe they are “Citizens”, and have no choice. Citizens are SUBJECTS. The only “Subjects” are those Elected Servants OF the People, who are SUBJECT of the People BY the LAW which IS the Constitution. “We the Citizens” did not ORDAIN this Nation and it’s LAW, to GOVERN our Elected Servants. “WE THE PEOPLE” Ordained this Nation and LAW, to GOVERN our Elected SERVANTS, and stand Sovereign ABOVE those Elected SERVANTS – BY the Constitution.
    Those who attempt to usurp the LAW/Constitution ARE the ENEMY of the People. No less than Rabid Dogs whose time has come to be PUT DOWN as such.

  • By the MILITIA and ARMS of the 2nd Amendment, the CONSTITUTION shall be ENFORCED, Lawfully standing above ALL State “Codes” – BY THE PEOPLE. “WE THE PEOPLE” and OUR Constitution are the GOVERNMENT and ABOVE ALL Governments within the United States.

  • This isn’t a legal issue. At least it shouldn’t be. We did this to show the support for the constitution that clearly states you have no constitutional authority to infringe on our rights to own and use firearms. I think you fail to recognize that simple fact that you are elected to represent us. So we voiced our opinion. We do not want more gun laws. We do want you to enforce the laws on the books. Stop illegal immigration. Stop the drugs and gangs crossing our borders with illegal weapons.

  • As Mao Zedong succinctly stated in his “Little Red Book” which became the Communist Cultural Revolution’s bible; “Political Power comes out of the barrel of a gun.” We, as humans have much value and potential in the sight of our Creator, and therefore Natural Rights. King George’s infringement upon God Given Rights and his unwillingness to favorably answer American Colonist’s application for redress over a period of many years finally forced “The Separation” from the Crown’s authority; see the Declaration of Independence. Because King George refused to make things right with his “subjects” then the”force of arms” had to be employed by American Colonists. “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; but when the government fears the people, there is Liberty.” Thomas Jefferson Everyone of us needs to study the principles of the US Constitution for ourselves and not rely on so-called experts. It does not take an expert to understand the Constitution, just a desire!

  • This is not one of those issues that sensible people will consider compromise.
    We are rightfully gun owners, needing them now, more than ever with the Democrat inspired leftist hatred, intolerance, drugs, trafficking of children and lax immigration laws,

    If you would look for actual current events on the internet, instead of Main Stream Media, you would know of all the countries where citizens are not armed, and their minor children are gang raped by immigrants, parents murdered in their homes, and their children are then enslaved as money making sex toys.

    This is not a time for compromise on the 2A issue. It is a time to remove those in office which do not care for your safety and do not want you to do so either. The handful of tyrants in office (most likely fraudulently) MUST GO! Save yourselves the troubles they have planned for the citizens. GET RID OF THE FEW and REST ASSURED YOU DID THE RIGHTEOUS THING!

    Sheriffs have more power than even the President.
    Please view this to help understand that power.

  • Its all just lawyer doublespeak. Constitutions EMPOWER government and CONSTRAIN action. It cannot REQUIRE action because this is meaningless. However, it is your own right wing chickens come home to roost, because you spread the same nonsense about “unconstitutional mayors” who were “breaking the law” and “harboring aliens” etc.

    A pox on both your houses

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