“Virginia is not the Virginia it used to be,” lamented John Sharp, a supervisor in Bedford County, which handed a militia decision in May. “We’re outvoted.”
It could possibly be that method for a very long time. And if the present polls are proper, it may quickly be that method in Washington, too, leaving the suitable with a maintain on the courts and little else. Some are making ready.
“Biden’s coming for us; there will be a war,” mentioned Paul Cangialosi, who works with the Virginia Militia Alliance, created after final yr’s election to arrange armed teams throughout the state. “We don’t fix this at the ballot box, I hate to say it. We’re too divided.”
Gun management, anti-coronavirus lockdowns, speak of a vaccine mandate: Mr. Sharp described all of it as if it had been an imposition by a distant colonial energy.
“In the end,” he mentioned, “we just want to be left alone.”
That is the place militias are available.
The authorized idea is that this: the Virginia structure speaks of a “well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms.” If a county had been to endorse the suitable of native residents to assemble and prepare as a militia — even when it granted no different particular powers or duties — wouldn’t that give folks firmer authorized standing to problem gun legal guidelines?
Just a few locations have tried this, mentioned Mark Pitcavage, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League, together with some counties in Florida within the mid-Nineties, however nothing got here of it. The legislation is obvious.
“Neither in Florida nor in Virginia do counties have the power to do this,” Mr. Pitcavage mentioned. “The power to organize the militia is firmly divided between the federal government and state governments.”
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