Virginia’s Second Amendment sanctuary movement has shifted its focus on fighting Democrat Governor Ralph Northam’s $4.8 million plan to enforce an “assault weapons” ban.
This plan will have an 18-officer team attempt to enforce this ban.
Two grassroots groups sent out alerts this week to inform Virginia gun owners about four budget hearings that took place on Thursday, January 2, 2020. They asked their members to get their elected officials’ perspective on banning or confiscating weapons.
“We understand that this is short notice. But it would have a significant impact if many of our members could show up and make a 3-minute statement and ask questions of the legislators in attendance,” stated the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
“We see in the governor’s proposed budget that he wants $4 million and 18 new law-enforcement positions to enforce a ban on commonly-owned firearms,” said Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America senior vice president.
“Gun owners want to know: Is this money going to be used for the gun confiscation?” he continued.
Both groups have played a major role in catalyzing the Second Amendment sanctuary movement ever since Governor Northam promised to push forward comprehensive gun control legislation after Democrats scored major victories during the 2019 elections. Democrats now control all branches of the Virginia state government.
These results caught gun owners off-guard, which then prompted them to flood town and county meetings to push sanctuary resolutions that ignore state-level gun control.
So far, 91 percent of all state counties have passed such resolutions.
In two weeks, these groups plan to bus in thousands of gun owners as a part of a “lobby day” in Richmond in order to prevent gun control from being passed.
On the other hand, gun controllers are working around the clock to push for gun control, which includes enhanced background checks and a ban on certain sporting weapons such as AR-15 rifles and pistols.
In addition to the $4.8 million for an 18-person assault weapons ban enforcement team, Northam’s budget includes $2 million to hire 10 more people to carry out other gun control measures, which include universal background checks, a one-gun purchase per month limit, and red flag gun confiscation orders.
“We need to get as many pro-gun Virginians as possible to attend these meetings and demand to know if the delegates and senators plan to allocate money — as delineated in budget — to confiscate common, household firearms from Virginia citizens,” VCDL wrote in their email alert.
The fate of Virginia gun laws is definitely up in the air.
However, Democrats are serious when they threaten to push policies like gun control.
The next session of the Virginia General Assembly will likely be the most heated in recent memory.
HISTORIC: President Trump Brokers Two-State Solution Between Israel and Palestine
On August 13, 2020, Israel and the United Arb Emirates announced that they will normalize diplomatic relations and establish new broad-based ties.
This represents a pivotal moment in Middle Eastern politics, as the hot-button political issues shift from the issue of Palestine to Iran. The Trump administration helped broker this deal.
Under this new agreement, Israel has nominally agreed to stop its plans to annex the areas of the occupied West Bank. This agreement also solidifies opposition to Iran, which has become stronger ever since the U.S. launched its disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003. At the moment, the U.S. views Iran as the principal threat in the Middle East.
Israel previously signed peace agreements with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Up to this moment, the UAE and most other Arab countries did not maintain formal diplomatic or economic relations with the country until now. In normalizing relations with Israel, the UAE became the first Gulf Arab country to reach such an agreement with the Jewish state.
According to White House officials, the agreement was the result of extended discussions between Israel, the UAE, and the U.S.
In a joint statement featuring President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, they declared that they had “agreed to the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.”
“This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” the statement read.
Reuters reported that in another statement, the crown prince highlighted that the agreement would prevent further Israeli annexation of Palestinian land, which Israel claims to have been waiting for U.S. approval.
The agreement is known as the Abraham Accords. It provides Trump a foreign policy accomplishment as he pursues re-election in November.
“HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates,” Trump Tweeted.
HUGE breakthrough today! Historic Peace Agreement between our two GREAT friends, Israel and the United Arab Emirates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020
In a separate tweet, Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, announced that the Trump administration was able to get Israel to agree with Palestinian people on a two-state solution.
The White House’s Twitter account announced this development:
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory.
President @realDonaldTrump was able to get Israel to agree to a two-state solution with the Palestinian people—and, for the first time in history, agree to a map that outlined the territory. pic.twitter.com/8r3DWmzzOx
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 13, 2020
The Trump administration revealed that deals similar to the UAE and Israeli agreement are being crafted by Israel and other Arab states.
This marks a change in strategy from the nation-building of the Obama and Bush administrations, which largely benefited the defense industry, and relied upon misguided hard power instead of smart diplomacy to settle disputes.
Time will tell if such policies will last.
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