Richard Vaughan, sheriff of Grayson County, is a law enforcement officer who has decided he no longer enforce the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia,
Vaughan is publicly stating that he will not enforce gun control bills passed by the new majority of legislators in the General Assembly because he believes they violate the second amendment of the U.S. Consitution and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
A sheriff’s responsibility is to enforce the laws of Virginia, not his or her “interpretation” of what they might feel the nation’s founders may or may not have intended in an Amendment that grants citizens a “right to bear arms.”
If he feels he has the right to choose what laws he will or will not support, few who live in that county or pass within its boundaries are safe.
So far, the bulk of gun control bills under consideration by the new Democratic majority of the General Assembly focus on tighter regulations on background checks of those purchasing firearms, limiting the number of cartridges in magazines, limiting purchases of pistols to once a month.
Most of such regulations were in effect for years under the Brady Bill, which was allowed to expire by a GOP Congress several years ago but other states have some of the limits in place now.
Hunters in Virginia live with limits with the number of shells they can have loaded in shotguns. “Plugs” in pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns limit the loads to three shells instead of five or more.
But such hypocrisy is ignored by those who feel no limits should ever be imposed on their purchase or use of firearms.
In Richmond, an estimated 16,000 — many carrying guns — crammed streets around the capitol and another 6,000 went through metal detectors to keep guns out of Capitol Square Monday. Some actually claimed their rights to parade around with their AR-15s, long rights and pistols were “God-given rights.”
Not so, says Tenneessee-born evangelical leader Shane Claiborne.
Claiborne cites a New Testament passage where Jesus admonishes disciple David for drawing his sword and injuring a soldier.
Jesus’ response is stunning. He scolds Peter and says, “Put your sword away. You don’t get it. If you pick up the sword, you die by the sword.” And then Jesus heals the man that Peter wounded.
When Jesus disarmed Peter, he disarmed every one of us. Because if there was ever a case for standing our ground, or using violence to protect the innocent, Peter had the case.
So much for a “God-given right.”
Sheriff Vaughan’s dangerous actions invite chaos and lawlessness into Grayson County, which is only a short drive down U.S. 221 from Floyd County. It is the kind of questionable actions that the so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” resolutions passed by so many localities have spawned.
“These resolutions have no legal force, and they’re just part of an effort by the gun lobby to stoke fear.” says Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. “Neither local governments nor local constitutional officers have the authority to declare state statutes unconstitutional or decline to follow them on that basis.”