By Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. - thenewamerican.com
In a display of solidarity with counties in Virginia unwilling to surrender to the state government their right to keep and bear arms as protected Second Amendment, a bloc of West Virginia legislators are officially inviting those counties to become part of their state.
As has been widely reported, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, in league with the state legislature - controlled by the Democratic Party - are pushing for a panoply of "reasonable" gun control regulations and has asked the state assembly for extra money to provide prisons for people who refuse to have their weapons confiscated.
In response to such despotic designs, West Virginia House Concurrent Resolution 8 calls for the commencement of the constitutional process whereby counties in Virginia would become part of West Virginia.
As noted in the resolution, "Article VI, Section 11 of The Constitution of the State of West Virginia explicitly permits additional territory to be admitted into, and become part of this state, with the consent of the Legislature and of a majority of the qualified voters of the state." So in a display of pro-Second Amendment solidarity, a group of West Virginia lawmakers are inviting Virginia counties frustrated by gun control efforts to switch states.
The measure would provide "for an election to be had, pending approval of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a majority of qualified citizens voting upon the proposition prior to August 1, 2020, for the admission of certain counties and independent cities of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the State of West Virginia as constituent counties."
Remarkably, this entire endeavor bears passing resemblance to the situation during the Civil War that led to the separation of western counties from the Old Dominion, counties that became the current state of West Virginia. The creation of West Virginia was unconstitutional, and the vote on the secession from Virginia was rife with corruption.
Not this time, though. The proponents of the bill are taking an aboveboard and transparent tack toward protecting the rights of any county in Virginia whose citizens will not be disarmed.
As reported by the Washington Examiner:
"We're starting to get some phone calls from friends on the border who say these folks want to leave," said West Virginia Del. Gary Howell.
Howell, a Republican, told Secrets that what started off as a long-shot effort "has turned into a real thing."
He said that Virginia lawmakers and officials along the West Virginia border have cited the Democratic drive for gun control and desire to shift spending to the urban areas near Washington as reasons to leave for West Virginia.
The resolution goes on to quote several Founding Era luminaries advocating for the invaluable role of firearms in the protection of personal liberty:
The Legislative body of West Virginia believes that this latest action defies the wise counsel which has come down to us in the august words of our common Virginia Founders, as the government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that tribune of liberty, Patrick Henry-who stated to the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 that "The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun"; and
Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of a Signer of the Declaration and premier advocate of American independence, Richard Henry Lee-who stated in The Federal Farmer that "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms"; and
Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that zealous guardian of our inherent rights, George Mason-who stated that "To disarm the people ... is the most effectual way to enslave them"; and
Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of the declaimer of our independence and theoretician of our freedoms, Thomas Jefferson-who stated in his first draft of the Virginia Constitution, that "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
Additionally, the measure sweetens the pot for prospective new counties by promising by covenant "that their many grievances shall be addressed, and, we further covenant with them that their firearms rights shall be protected to the fullest extent possible under our Federal and State Constitutions."
As set forth in the resolution, the highest hurdle would be the requirement that "the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall give its assent to any county or independent city presently part of the Commonwealth of Virginia" that wants to become part of West Virginia.
While it certainly once seemed more of a symbol than a solution, 43 of 100 delegates now co-sponsor HCR 8 and the recent pro-Second Amendment demonstration in Richmond makes such a move more believable.
"We've been looking way down the road. Once we realized that this was getting very real, we figured that we have to have answers for this, we have to have a plan in place. That's what we've been discussing," Delegate Howell said.
Notably, such a shift of state boundaries does not require congressional approval, as Article IV, Section 3 covers only the admission of new states and no new state is proposed in the West Virginia resolution.
The resolution has been passed by the House Government Organization committee and it is now awaiting consideration by the House Rules committee.