Localism in the 2020s (Part 1) – The 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Movement

Many of you probably have heard of the second amendment sanctuary movement, which consists of municipalities and counties across the U.S. passing resolutions pledging not to enforce additional gun control measures infringing upon the right to bear arms. The current movement traces its origins back to Effingham County in southern Illinois, which passed a resolution in April 2018 calling the county a second amendment “sanctuary”, essentially a vow to ignore gun control legislation proposed by Illinois state lawmakers. This particular tactic gained traction not just within Illinois, where 67 of 102 counties have now passed similar resolutions, but throughout the country.

The movement started gaining more attention over the past couple of months following the blistering momentum it found in Virginia after Democrats won the state legislature in November. As of this writing, 87 out of Virginia’s 95 counties have passed such resolutions and it’s important to note that virtually all of them were passed in the two months since the election. In other words, this is happening at a very rapid pace.

Before discussing the significance of all this, let’s address some thoughtful criticism of the movement from Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center. His primary point of contention is that the resolutions these municipalities and counties are passing — unlike immigration sanctuary ordinances passed in places such as San Francisco — carry no weight of the law.

Specifically, they’re not passing ordinances, but rather resolutions, which Michael describes as “non-binding political statements.” In other words, it’s all just talk at this stage and he’s frustrated that much of the media coverage makes it seem what’s being passed is more concrete than it actually is. Although I disagree with his overall assessment of the importance of what’s happening, he makes many good points and puts some much needed meat on the bone of this issue for those getting up to speed. He published an instructive video on the topic, which I recommend checking out.

Despite his legitimate criticisms, I believe the second amendment sanctuary movement is meaningful in the bigger picture of the nation’s emergent social and political evolution. Although it is indeed mostly just talk at this point, there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re going to build a movement you need to start by talking and establishing some sort of consensus amongst your peers. More concrete steps can follow in the future. Don’t forget this is a learning process for many of the people involved, and many of those coming out to these city and county meetings likely never engaged politically in such a manner before in their lives.

Moreover, if the goal from the start had been to pass ordinances that carry the weight of the law, the movement wouldn’t have spread nearly as fast. It wouldn’t have catapulted into the consciousness of so many across the country and I probably wouldn’t be writing about it right now. The fact that it’s largely just talk via county and city resolutions allowed the movement go viral in a short period of time, which is a fine strategy when it comes to something like this.

That said, it’s important to note when it comes to something as serious as this — municipalities and counties vowing to refuse to enforce state and federal laws — the only thing that really matters in the end is how the public actually responds when and if the rubber meets the road. Are people willing to make major sacrifices like go to jail? That’s ultimately the most important variable in the end. What sort of fortitude do these local communities really posses on this issue, and how many are willing to engage in genuine acts of civil disobedience and sacrifice if push comes to shove. We simply don’t know.

Even bigger picture, the second amendment sanctuary movement should be seen as a manifestation of a core trend I except to grow considerably in the decade to come: localism. The people driving this movement aren’t petitioning Washington D.C. or even their state house, instead they’re looking to their friends and neighbors and taking a unified stand at the local level. Simply put, they’re attempting to take matters into their own hands as opposed to begging distant authority figures. This is in large part why their actions seem disorganized and unsophisticated; these are just regular people saying enough is enough, and in this case the line in the sand happens to be firearms.

This goes against everything we’re taught. We’re led to believe we have representatives in D.C. that actually represent us and we just need to elect the right people to have our voices heard. This sounds good, but we all know by now it’s a lie. These largely rural Americans are finally starting to give up on this lie and are looking to local solutions because they have no other choice. It’s hard overstate how important this is. It demonstrates a new degree of political realism in the face of disconnected and unresponsive governments far removed from where they live. It’s people finally realizing they’re much better off connecting and working within their own communities to change things rather than groveling to self-interested, professional political crooks.

Importantly, this is how it should be. If we’re going to crawl out of the mess we’re in it seems clear we need a different approach. Pretending all we need to do is “elect good people” to Congress or the Presidency is a slave mentality. The system itself is so completely corrupt and so explicitly rewards criminal and evil behavior, we need to start thinking and acting differently, which means focusing on what’s closest to home. Get your own house in order before trying to save the world.

As stated earlier, the fact the second amendment sanctuary movement is grounded at the local governmental level (municipalities and counties), as opposed to the state or federal level, is extremely significant.

It’s also crucial to see this in a much larger context. As the populace (across ideological lines), grows increasingly disillusioned with their complete lack of agency within our imperial oligarchy, engaged citizens will naturally shift focus toward the local level in pursuit of alternative avenues for change. Firearms is just one issue, but there are many more and the list is seemingly endless.

In general, we need to stop believing in the fantasy that topdown change from Washington D.C. will magically fix the problems of such a geographically and politically diverse nation. It’s lazy, unrealistic, and more often than not dangerous. Change needs to start at home, and people will turn to localism out of necessity. More in Part 2.

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16 thoughts on “Localism in the 2020s (Part 1) – The 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Movement”

  1. Risk going to jail? How and why would that happen? A police force certainly can’t defeat a town, and the military can’t invade and defeat thousands of towns in a nation of 330M with 400M guns in the hands of the citizens. If they even tried to invade one town to disarm people, not only would they take heavy losses, spontaneous rebellions would pop up everywhere that they would not be able to respond to. On top of that, once a few of the soldiers hear that their houses have been burned down and that their families’ corpses are swinging from trees, most of them will desert. The country will be irretrievably gone.
    The .gov wouldn’t even take Bundy Ranch head on because they saw this scenario, and they haven’t done anything about states legalizing cannibus for the same reason. If local law enforcement is on board, not only can federal gun laws be ignored, all federal laws can be ignored. Federal buildings and land can even be taken and turned into farms without reprisal. All the Feds will do is withhold the conjured-from-thin-air money that they hope they can’t survive without and try to do to that municipality what was done to the people of Greece. If the municipality survives, it will just be a feral town and the government will learn to live with it. Mexico knows all about that. In fact, the US may actually disintegrate this way anyway.
    This is why when it comes to the cause of liberty, the primary focus should always be on the central bank, the Federal Reserve. It is their number one weapon.

    • Excellent points. If people would only stand up to the tyrants in DC, and their masters in NYC, the people would see a weak, and evil, paper tiger.

    • Can not storm a town? Not even going into examples of 1970-s, what about Ferguson? Oh, but that was not-about-2nd-ammendment, right? And it makes all the difference.

      So, what is needed for divide and conquer would be making rest of USA believe some siti is pacified not over gun control issue but about something else. Black riot or bigot riot or anything.

      OTOH, butting a “peasant rebellion” heads on is really not the most efficient tactics. Be it Ian Gus wars in medieval Europe, or Kharkov protests in EuroUkraine – there is another approach.

      1. Mark genuine activists.
      2. Wait people going home – they will get tried of being angered and they have work to attend after weekend, too.
      3. Remove activists.
      4. Optionally, implant your own activists.

      When storm comes few would realyl try to whip the sea, most would wait out for strom to dissipate, then would dig up a new dam.

  2. Good point Michael. It is another clear indication of loss of faith in the “Establishment”. Another way of putting it is the observation that Trump didn’t win the 2016 election, Hilary lost it. I predict the same for 2020 – Nobody will win, but even Trump will lose. He no longer represents anti establishment.
    Where people will turn is still not clear. You are right, there will be huge pressure to criminalise (outlaw) anti establishment activity or sentiment.
    Almost anything that doesn’t quack like establishment begins to look good.

  3. I wonder when you will start applying ideas of localism for your beloved BitCoin, which goes from one scaling error to another and clearly fails as both global and everyday currency 😀

  4. I see this as a positive thing, potentially disruptive, and essential for real change.
    De-centralization is key as has been stated here many times and I fully agree it’s rising from the local level.
    We had a small version of new local level involvement regarding our school board, educational system and rights of our teachers to earn a living wage up here in Park county, it was disruptive to our old order, but necessary. Seeing people get involved regardless of what side they took was encouraging.
    None compliance and none participation towards our unrepresentative government, turn our backs, walk away (as much is possible) and create our own local solutions!

  5. SECESSION is the cure to the always fatal disease that is referred to as the federal government.

    We The People have many options. They (the oppressors) have only force, and lies.

    • Secession is not legal…
      Eleven states legally seceded from the Union in 1861 and were deemed to have been in rebellion against the United States.
      We The People, in fact, have very few options… and secession is not one of them.

  6. The shameful thing is that these local political bodies even feel the need to adopt such resolutions.
    The words “shall not be infringed” are pretty damn explicit.

    It was understood that the Constitution and its Bill of Rights would be subject to interpretation by people that were not present, or even alive, during its construction, who would intend on its deconstruction (explicit or implicit) for despotic ambition.

    Therefore, the document delineates what the government CANNOT do and the individual words were all carefully selected and applied to minimize ambiguity.

    Yet, the word “infringe” is curiously a very broad term found in a document that uses language that is otherwise quite concise… it does not appear in the other nine amendments of the Bill of Rights… Why?

    It must be assumed that the incorporation of a term as encompassing as “infringe” is obviously designed to rigorously fortify this most precious of liberties and armor it against attack from any angle, most importantly, those that were not conceivable at the time.

    In fact, this is the only right that also comes with an explanation as to why it’s there!… “being necessary to the security of a free State”…
    The use of the word “free” with the word “State” is telling… you can have a State that is not free… but the greatest threat to a free people is its own government, and the ability to physically resist despotism is necessary to keep a State free.

    The American Colonists understood there are an uncountable number of ways to effectively outlaw the keeping and bearing of arms without actually outlawing firearms: limit types, limit ammunition, restrict caliber, limit quantities, limit transfer & sale, etc., and we already have all sorts of laws that do all of those things, infringing on our rights, when we should have none.

    Travesty, I tell ya!

  7. They will not make it that easy. Be prepared for one or more false flags that will make it look like gun owners committed some atrocity like Oklahoma City. Beware of agent provocateurs and infiltrators: An agent provocateur is a person who commits or who acts to entice another person to commit an illegal or rash act or falsely implicate them in partaking in an illegal act, so as to ruin the reputation or entice legal action against the target or a group they belong to. Don’t underestimate the enemy. They will likely have been working on some actions for some time now. They will have their media lap dogs primed and ready to go when the action goes down. Eyes around 360 degrees. Ears to the ground. May be timed to coincide with other extrajudicial actions against the administration and other “natural” and man made catastrophes.

  8. “unlike immigration sanctuary ordinances passed in places such as San Francisco — carry no weight of the law.”

    That is coming next, thanks to the blueprint already established by existing sanctuary ordinances protecting illegal immigrants in other municipality’s around the US.

    This will end up in the Supreme Court, and it will be decided there, and at the ballot box on a national, regional, and local level.

    But as someone who grew up in the deep South, I can tell you that nothing motivates people who grew up and live in smaller rural municipalities more than telling them what they can, or cannot do, when it comes to their guns.

    It’s amazing how few people in the media understand that the primary reason the vast majority of gun owners in this country are gun owners, is hunting. Hunting for Deer, Hogs, Turkeys, etc., is an integral part of their lives and culture. And on a material level, hunting for food is a big monetary issue for them.

    As someone who has made the mistake of venturing onto private property while in pursuit of fish or game, I can tell you that it’s a really bad idea to piss them off.

    • Hunting rifles (and only them) were always legal in USSR/Russia, after being accepting in state-approved hunters club and being screened by police. One can even purchase a de-automized Kalashnikov for it.

      It is very different from owning a handgun one can use for self defense in city.

      If hunting rifles is the major problem, then anti-gun forces do not actually have a problem.

  9. I would like to point out that when the NYSAFE Act was pushed through in the middle of the night (really!) back in 2013, citizens all over upstate New York went to their county legislatures and 52 out of 62 counties passed RESOLUTIONS that stated their opposition to the law. It made no difference, as was pointed out in this article, they did not carry the force of law but were merely statements of protest.

    7 years later, Cuomo is still governor, the pro 2A front is shattered over political infighting and the Democrats have had full control over the legislature for a year and have passed a ridiculous “no bail” law and are now looking at eliminating most life sentences for convicts. He can do this because they have a near total stranglehold on the counties.

    Warning to VA and the rest… don’t become NY. Cuomo still holds office because the vast majority of New Yorkers DON’T VOTE and don’t want to get involved. Don’t give another inch or another iota of power to your state government.


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