Virginia

City that was home of the Virginia Tech massacre passes ordinance making town ‘gun-free’

City that was home of the Virginia Tech massacre passes
ordinance making town ‘gun-free’ 1

Blacksburg, VA – Starting today, the city of Blacksburg, Virginia has become a gun-free zone. The city council voted last month to ban guns from public buildings, meetings, and town-sponsored events.

This comes almost 14 years after a student ignored a campus gun-free zone policy and gunned down 32 people at Virginia Tech.

The local gun ordinance restricts the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms, ammunition in any buildings owned or used by the town. The prohibition extends to public parks, city-owned community centers, and any other facility owned or used by the city.

The restriction also encompasses:

“(Firearms or ammunition restricted) in any public street, road, alley, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or any other place of whatever nature that is open to the public and is being used as part of or that is adjacent to a permitted event or event that would otherwise require a permit.”

The ordinance applies to both concealed and open carry of firearms.

The council insists the gun ban was not related to the Capitol riots but was intended to make people feel at ease at public events. Mayor Leslie Hager-Smith said:

“This is something that will make our public events more pleasing, more family-friendly.  Personally, that’s my major concern.”

At a council meeting to vote on the ordinance in January, several residents spoke out against the gun ban. Resident Joe Sole told the council he was concerned about including ammunition and components in the ban:

“Here’s a choke tube from my shotgun and a spent casing from a recent trip to the range. I would be in violation of this ordinance for having these in my pocket.”

Vice Mayor Michael Sutphin said the ordinance was designed to make people feel safe. He used a local celebration called Steppin’ Out to express his position:

“Since I was first elected to council years ago, I’ve heard from citizens that an ordinance that makes Blacksburg safer, makes it more family-friendly and creates a better sense of community in the town.

“My hope is the ordinance will make people who were avoiding Steppin’ Out or not wanting to go to Steppin’ Out because they were worried about some of the displays of firearms that they had seen, make them understand that it is a family-friendly place, that it is a place.”

Ordinance violators will be asked to leave the public place or event and will be permitted to return without the firearm, ammunition, or component. Refusal to obey police can result in up to 12 months in jail or a $2,500 fine.

On April 16, 2007, the mass murderer Seung-Hui Cho, a student at Virginia Tech, shot 32 people to death and then committed suicide.  The shooting began around 7:15 a.m. when Cho, a 23-year-old senior at Blacksburg-based Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, shot a female freshman and a male resident assistant in a campus dormitory.

Police arrived but failed to identify Cho as the shooter, and did not immediately realize the situation was an active shooter incident. However, at around 9:40 a.m., Cho entered a classroom building armed with a 9-millimeter handgun, a 22-caliber handgun, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. He chained and locked the main doors to the building, and then went from room to room shooting people randomly.  After about 10 minutes, he killed himself with a gunshot to the head.

The rampage left 32 people dead and more than a dozen wounded.

The campus was a posted “gun-free” zone at the time of the massacre.

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Actor Kevin Sorbo warns the irony of ‘men with guns’ demanding gun bans ‘proves the need for the Second Amendment’

December 22, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Actor Kevin Sorbo said that Americans need to understand that the “irony of men with guns” taking Americans’ guns justifies the existence of the Second Amendment.

In a recent tweet, Sorbo wrote:

“If you don’t see the irony of a gun ban being forced by men with guns, then you fail to understand why the 2nd amendment was written in the first place.”

https://twitter.com/Sinatra1fan/status/1341496440590233600

Sorbo used an earlier tweet to signal that his “gun ban” observation was in response to Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden and his gun control push. His tweet said:

“Biden is going to take our guns, will this be the line in the sand that actually sticks?”

Biden wants to ban firearms that Democrats categorize as “assault weapons” and his policy pledges “big, bold changes through executive action” on guns. He wrote on Twitter:

“As president, I’ll ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, implement universal background checks, and enact other common-sense reforms to end our gun violence epidemic.”

Biden’s proposals not only contain a ban on the future manufacture of AR-15s and other firearms the Democrats label as “assault weapons,” but also a provision that could require every A-15 rifle to be registered under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA).

Unless there was some sort of carve-out in this proposal, this could mandate that American gun owners pay a $200 federal tax for each AR-15 that they own. The National Rifle Association’s Andrew Arulanandam said that the current “low end” estimate of privately-owned AR-15s in the U.S. is 18 million.

A tax of $200 on 18 million AR-15s means that gun owners could potentially be required to pay a collective $3.6 billion in taxes if this policy is to be enacted into legislation. Biden is also pushing for universal background checks. 

When Sorbo suggested that “a gun ban being enforced by men with guns” justifies the Second Amendment, he brings to mind Founding Father James Madison’s emphasis on how an armed populace provides a check against federal overreach.

Madison, the author of the Second Amendment, used Federalist 46 to contend that one of the strongest checks on federal tyranny, if not the single strongest check, was an armed citizenry.

He boiled down the differences between Americans and their European counterparts by explaining that Americans could unite to stop a federal government intent on using military force to topple State power. However, disarmed Europeans had no such option. He wrote:

“The advantage of being armed, which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.”

He showed that the armed citizenry, together with the “existence of subordinate governments to which the people are attached,” provided the framework in which the people could rally to defend their lives and liberty.

Madison used Federalist 46 to explain that the “ultimate authority resides in the people alone.” All authority held by government is derivative power that flows from the people and rests in the people.

Understanding this makes it much easier to understand why the Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights to ensure that the people had the means to defend the power that resides in them by birth and only in the government by choice.

To Sorbo’s point, it would be highly ironic to have a scenario where a government that gets its power from the people, then use that power to send armed men to enforce gun bans.

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