Government Watch / Politics

Will Gun Owners Who Helped Flip the Race in Virginia Do the Same in the 2022 Congressional Races?

AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

gun

Almost a month after the Republican Party achieved multiple historic victories in Virginia, most notably the election of Glenn Youngkin to the governor’s mansion, Democrats are still scrambling to figure out how they so badly misread the state. The president’s party does not typically fare well in off-year elections, yet even still Democrat losses in Virginia, a state Biden won by 10 points, were a devastating blow to their morale. Although education issues undoubtedly took center stage in the final weeks of the campaign, another well-established issue for conservatives – Second Amendment freedoms – also aided GOP successes in Virginia, and perhaps foreshadowed what could become a major campaign theme heading into the midterm elections next year.

Incumbent Governor Ralph Northam spent most of the 2021 gubernatorial campaign largely absent from the public eye. Virginia term limits prevented Northam from seeking a second consecutive term, yet he was rarely seen on the campaign trail with his intended replacement, Terry McAuliffe, himself a former governor. This was largely due to the national scandal over a photo of Northam at a college party either dressed as a Klu Klux Klan member or wearing blackface (he doesn’t remember which).

Because of this, Northam’s tenure as governor was largely absent from mainstream media narratives. But what this lack of media attention in part masked was the fact that, before Virginians were rallying at school board meetings to oppose CRT, they were rallying at city council meetings to oppose Governor Northam’s attempt to strip Virginians of their Second Amendment rights.

In his campaign for the governor in 2017, Northam actively called for stricter gun control measures across the state. In 2019, following a mass shooting in Virginia Beach, he aggressively pushed for a series of new restrictions, including background checks on all firearms sales and transactions; banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and silencers; only one handgun purchase within a 30-day period; allowing law enforcement and the courts to temporarily separate a person from their firearms; and regulating firearms in municipal buildings, libraries and at permitted events.

These measures represented some of the most extreme gun control measures ever proposed in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Northam intended to pass the measures immediately. In response, furious Virginians flooded the Virginia General Assembly with opposition to the law. The Republican-controlled assembly heeded the public outcry, reject the bill without a vote.

Virginians were so alarmed by Northam’s overreach that they petitioned local legislatures to declare their counties “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.” These resolutions affirmed that Virginia municipalities would protect the rights of their citizens to keep and bear arms. They vowed to do everything within their constitutional powers to oppose and resist complying with any attempt by Governor Northam to abridge their Second Amendment rights. While the resolutions were largely symbolic, their political effect was significant, and far-reaching. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Eighty-six of Virginia’s 95 counties have passed such sanctuary measures opposing restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. They suggest that the counties might not enforce new state laws limiting gun rights.”

Meanwhile, although Northam was forced to say publicly that he supported the Second Amendment, he largely dismissed the concerns of his constituents. He apparently decided that if the Republican-controlled General Assembly was going to oppose him, he would simply wait for Democrats to take control and force his gun control plan through then.

When Democrats did seize control of the General Assembly in 2020, 22,000 legal gun owners gathered in Richmond once again to oppose the measure. Northam again ignored them and succeeded in passing a portion of the plan, including universal background checks, limiting handgun sales to one every thirty days, and permitting law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from citizens who have not been charged with a crime. Many firearms advocates have warned that such measures can and will be abused by anti-gun bureaucrats to keep law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment freedoms.

Aware of the importance of the Second Amendment to Virginians, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin pledged to protect the Second Amendment and roll back Northam’s restrictive gun-control measures. Although it has been far less widely discussed as an issue in the race, Second Amendment rights were clearly a major motivator for groups like the Virginia Citizens Defense League to make sizeable investments in the 2021 cycle in support of Youngkin as well as down-ballot Republicans. Of the 51 delegates the PAC endorsed, 29 won, with five seats being “flipped” from blue to red. In every district in which the group ran ads, Youngkin won by between 2%-10%. Most surprisingly, in the left-leaning Chesterfield County, Youngkin won by 6%.

In a recent Politico op-ed, Richard Feldman, a former NRA lobbyist, noted that women, as well as Black and Latino Americans, are increasingly exercising their Second Amendment rights—and this two may have contributed to some unexpected strength for Youngkin among typically left-leaning demographics in Virginia. Republicans are also increasingly making inroads with these voters nationwide. With a crime wave gripping the nation, it appears more Americans are understanding that they must ultimately rely on themselves, not the government, to keep their families safe. In next year’s midterms, a motivated voting bloc of firearm-owning Americans could help trigger a Republican landslide.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.


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Maggie
1 month ago

Andrew “too” not “two” – proof read man!!

Robin Walter Boyd
1 month ago

Yes, gun owners who are conservative minded, liberal minded and moderate thinking will all be prone to voting against candidates who support restrictive gun control. This is not really a partisan issue because people of many mindsets prefer to be able to defend themselves against those who may want to do us harm.
Guns are tools. They can do nothing if left alone. Guns require the actions of a gun handler in order to do anything. Guns are not good or bad, they are just tools. If the so-called justice systems in the U.S. would utilize existing laws pertaining to guns, there would be a lot less gun related crime. For instance, one state has a mandatory five-year sentence that is supposed to be tacked on to any crime committed that has never been used. WHY?! The answer is that the so-called justice system has too liberal minded judges who refuse to utilize existing laws that would make it unnecessary to create more gun laws. If every crime committed using a gun put the person committing the crime away for a minimum five years, there would be a lot less guns being used during crimes.

Hal
1 month ago

Putting a short leash on the doings of Joe Hidin’ Biden and the Democraps is becoming a dire need if the Nation wants to avoid lapsing in to a Communistic form of governance control. Joe Hidin’ Biden and the Democraps are doggedly moving to Communize the Nations governance under the control of the Democrap Party upper echelons of its members. It is obvious that Biden will not be in the role of Hitler or Tito or Stalin etc., so I predict there will be some nasty haggling internally in the future of the Democrap Party …unless the clear majority of Americans put a stop to it by voting them out of all political offices by margins so big that rigging can’t rescue the Commie Democraps.

Becky
1 month ago

The Communist Party has worked overtime for 6 entire decades now to ruin the US and us. Now they’re talking a 25% DECREASE in our Social Security because they’ve bankrupted it by taking OUR funds for illegals and muslims????
No. Just no.
When that happens you freaking THIEVES, WE ARE TAKING OVER your homes. Because you will have robbed us of ours.

Denise
1 month ago

Disarming American’s started in earnest with the removal of 93 U.S attorney’s by Comrade William Jefferson Clinton in ’93…in order to facilitate the easily lead and ‘brain’ washed to also jump on the anti-gun wagon (with the accomplices in the “media”) the firing of these attorney’s and replacing them one by one with more “liberal” attorneys: goal, severely weaken the justice system.
If you are paying attention, repeat violent criminals, repeat felons, murderers, child molesters, armed robbers etc. have “quietly” been either given laughable sentences or released on their “own recognizance” until trial…result, oddly enough they don’t show up.
The death penalty MUST be reinstated to the fullest degree in ALL states. Violent criminals should never see the light of day…if paroled and then comiting another crime then it should be life, with NO possibility of release…or given the electric chair.
When a judge sentences a criminal to life if MUST mean life! Not 25 years or some other arbitrary time frame…LIFE. Murderers found guilty of willful murder should get the chair or hanging. Now we see dirt bag punks robbing stores and walking out with thousands of dollars of merchandise! We see dirt bags killing over and over, robbers robbing over and over, and store owners are warned not to apprehend shop lifters??? Why? BECAUSE THE DEMORATS MUST DESTROY OUR TRUE JUSTICE SYSTEM TO PROVE THAT “GUN VIOLENCE IS OUT OF CONTROL!!
Don’t believe it? Then you aren’t paying attention! There are literally thousands of ‘gun laws’ on the books. Spend a lovely evening on the ATF website. And who do gun laws affect? YOU THE LAW ABIDING GUN OWNER!
Demorats MUST disarm We The Law Abiding People. This has been the “rule” for wannabe dictators since the dawn of time. Almost 60 million, if not more, citizens have been slaughtered by their own governments. Think it can’t happen here? Look up the Branch Davidians. Whether you agree with their beliefs is irrelevant….the FACT is, that a sitting President literally presided over the deaths of almost 86 AMERICAN men, women and CHILDREN using the military, ATF, FBI, law enforcement (the Texas Rangers were, strangely, told to stand down??!! The elite of law enforcement? Perhaps because they are American and fully understand the law.)
The Jews before the ultimate mass murders, were forced to register their guns…and how easy it was for the Nazi’s to round them up.
Do your homework, look at the history of genocide just in the past century…As a wise man said: “Predators are hesitant to attack armed prey.”

Becky
1 month ago
Reply to  Denise

Head, hear! At least 50 times over.

Sean Richman
1 month ago

There is going to be a major change in AMERICAN politics,there has to be,if not you are talking about a major rebellion,or hopefully not a civil war.The liberals cannot be left in charge of AMERICA and that includes the socialist democrats.The trend towards a major rebellion is all too real considering how the democrats are intent on destroying our once great country.

Hal
1 month ago

When Communism is being used to get a piece of the action. it only increases with success. And as it gains more control of the governance, it is more and more against freedom of a law abiding citizen to own a gun. You will hear all the Commie arguments against gun ownership because it is the last defense against the Commie enforcers to gain submission and/or eliminate them completely.. And it using the form of government it is trying to overthrow to go liberal and overspend on helping the lower income and needy (deserving and not deserving).to furnish votes (sometimes illegally) to turn the existing form of a truly Democratic governance in to a preliminary Communistic form of governance. You can bet your bottom dollar, Communism succeeded in China only after millions of Chinese citizens were killed because they did not support the onslaught of Communism. I do believe the Demcrat Party is moving in the direction of ultimately taking down our Constitutional Democracy to become the RULING governance ot this great Nation. We do need to male some amendments tp the existing Constitution to handcuff the efforts of the Democratic Commie trend push. A much tighter control of stopping rigging actions, term limits to House and Senate politicos, and a balanced budget amendment ….. can’t be done with present governance … its too easy for politicos to raise taxes to redistribute money in support of their electability.

Karl
1 month ago

don’t forget about the second war. the Japanese said we never will attack their homeland because every American has a gun.

Hal
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

Don’t forget the Japanese did not take in to account the Atom Bomb. Old Harry Truman decided that is was better for Japs to die than American soldiers and citizens to die ….. and he is the only POTUS in my lifetime that I respect (did not fully agree with on all issues, but that one … YES). I truly believe FDR would have NOT used the bomb .. but others may have a different opinion.

GunRunner
1 month ago

Ah, that pesky old “Second Amendment”… it’s the guarantee for all the rest of the Constitution…

David
1 month ago

China wants the US populace disarmed! That is Biden’s main agenda.

Philip Hammersley
1 month ago

Gun owners AND ALL constitutionalists had better vote all GOP in ’22. Vote for all MAGAs in the primary and all GOP in the general (even if you have to hold your nose while doing it)!

Eduardo
1 month ago

Hold fast to your weapons. They will try everything to disarm America. If they get away with it, then the war is over before it started. Simple as that. It’s evil against all the constitutional rights.

Eddie Van Halen
1 month ago

If YOU don’t wanna’ own a gun then THAT is YOUR right.
“IF” I wanna’ own a gun ( legally ) then you have NO right
to deny me that right of ownership. It’s in the U.S. Constitution.
Got it ?

J. Farley
1 month ago

Controlling guns has nothing to do with controlling crime, someone pleases show me one gun control law that has stopped crime, there are over 40,000-gun control laws on the books
across America, what crime has it stopped. Don’t try and tell me that the guns used in killings in Chicago came from a state with Laks gun laws, if that were the case there would be a high crime rate in the state with Laks gun laws.
I lived in a subdivision that had about 150 homes, I would venture to guess that 90% of the homes had guns and in the 15 years living there, not one person was even threatened with a gun.
When the American people wise up to the real purpose of gun control, they will turn out in mass to vote the anti-gunners out. Control crime not guns, there is a significant difference.
People take an oath to uphold and defend the laws and the Constitution of the United States
not to alter the Amendments the Democrats don’t like or wish to change so they can grab more power, vote out all gun controllers.

Eddie Van Halen
1 month ago
Reply to  J. Farley

J. Farley – growing up, in Chicago, every dad was a gun owner ( in the ‘hood ). Most all were WWll
veterans who brought home .45’s. And as you state here, no one shot no one. No one ROBBED no one. I have a CCL for about 20 years now. As a combat veteran to be able to protect my family and friends, I feel SAFER to have a “sidearm” at hand.

Philip Hammersley
1 month ago

Good point! It was lack of guns that kept Blacks under threats in the South after the Civil War! (By Democrats, I might point out!)

J. Farley
1 month ago

My father gave me my first gun when I was five, I had full access to the gun and Ammunition and when older in High School I would park my pickup at school, with the gun in the rack in full view and after school on Friday’s drive to where my father had set up our deer and elk hunting camp for a weekend hunt, never, never, never,
did I consider taking a gun, and using a today’s term, shoot someone because they disrespected me, we thought that only idiots did that kind of S##t, like you I have had a CCL, for about 20 years and hope I never have to us it, but would without hesitation to defend myself or someone else from an attacker.
Thanks Eddie Van Halen

Eduardo
1 month ago
Reply to  J. Farley

It’s not just Democrats “don’t like it” they fear the people’s ultimate defense against tyranny. It won’t be the National Guard but the scum-back in the block who will come after you with authority . Nazi-Communist style. Moral, as you can see, is upside down right now.

J. Farley
1 month ago
Reply to  Eduardo

Yes, we need to watch the RINO’s just as well, and listen to all politicians, carefully, when they use terms like sensible gun control or if we can control just this one gun, fight back, and say, NO GUN CONTROL. Gun control is using both hands to study the gun!

Texas Resister 64
1 month ago

Please note that the article should be less friendly to the gun-banners. He wanted to ban what he called “assault weapons,” most of which are the most popular rifle in the country, the AR-15 style, with the “AR” not meaning “assault rifle.”

Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Thought it was parents who flipped VA last time vs gun owners

R.J. from Arizona
1 month ago

The folks in Virginia were sick of the looney left and Northam is a loon. McAuliffe was nothing to brag about when he was governor, so to vote for him would be reelecting Northam. Taking down monuments, trying to erase history, ignoring blm and anti police attitude didn’t help. The democrats as a whole have no connection to the populace and never will. I applaud my former state for standing up for democracy.

Eddie Van Halen
1 month ago

There are no longer “demo-crats. Only ( D ) communists.

Joanne 4 justice
1 month ago

More folks should HEED WHAT HAPPENED IN VA !!!!! IF FOLKS DO NOT CONFRONT AND SHOW STRENGTH -,TO OUST THESE RADICAL POLITICIANS _______THEN ALL OUR FREEDOMS WILL DISAPPEAR !!!!!!!!!

jocko
1 month ago

THE libs WILL CHEAT ON ALL ELECTIONS AND NOT BE PROSECUTED AS USUAL.

Steven E King
1 month ago

Yes we will

Ron Howard
1 month ago

Thank God that the voters of the great state of Virginia finally woke up! It is a very simple fact that Gun Control Laws are not to stop criminals because we all know that criminals do not obey laws, only honest, law abiding citizens do. And politicians know that. So, they use these gun control laws to restrict or remove the rights of legal gun owners.

B. Schmidt
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Howard

Very true, but these donkey lib politicians don’t care. They feel the voting public’s ignorance and the sleazeball national Marxist “news” media that exists only to spread lib propaganda are enough to keep the anti-gun lies alive. When was the last time an NRA gun-owner was accused, arrested or convicted of a crime involving a gun?

Eddie Van Halen
1 month ago
Reply to  B. Schmidt

Lib is a kind word for them. They are COMMUNISTS ! ! Got it ?

Eddie Van Halen
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Howard

There is a CD called “A Message From Austria.” The speaker ( a holocaust survivor ) tells of how the “Reich” came to control the German people through Goebbels lies. First it was gun registration to “help lower crime.” Then Goebbels announced that registration was not helping. Then all registered weapons were to be CONFISCATED to “LOWER” crime. If you know history then you know the rest.

And who saved Europe and the Jews ? Gentiles with GUNS ! ! ! !

Joanne 4 justice
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron Howard

Others need to WAKE UP OR ELSE THERE WILL BE NO FUTURE !

Jerry
21 hours ago

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO INSURE BIPARTISAN VOTING AT THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS???

Jerry
21 hours ago
Reply to  Jerry

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO INSURE BIPARTISAN VOTING AT THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS???

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