Most Americans over the age of 40 know how the state of West Virginia was formed. For the youngsters, or for readers in the Far Abroad, this is what happened:
During the Recent Unpleasantness (a.k.a. the American Civil War or the War Between the States) counties in the western part of Virginia voted to secede from Virginia after Virginia seceded from the Union. They then established themselves as the separate and independent State of West Virginia.
Those good folks out in Them Thar Hills are close kin to the rural residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially in the counties hard on the border with West Virginia — Buchanan, Tazewell, Bland, Giles, Craig, Alleghany, Bath, Augusta, Rockbridge, etc.
Now West Virginia is offering an opportunity to the 2nd Amendment Sanctuary counties and localities here in Virginia: If we want to secede from the tyrannical government in Richmond, we are invited to apply for admission to the State of West Virginia.
The counties up there along the Blue Ridge may well jump at the opportunity, and some of the ones down here in the Piedmont could follow suit. I don’t know if the same sentiment would extend all the way east to Tidewater and the Eastern Shore, but it could be that all the declared sanctuary counties and cities would want to stick together. If they do, most of the Commonwealth of Virginia will abscond to West Virginia, leaving only Northern Virginia (the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy) and a few progressive islands such as Richmond and Albemarle County (with its embedded Li’l Kumquat, Charlottesville). In other words, the original Commonwealth of Virginia will have been almost completely reconstituted.
Now, that’s one of history’s little ironies.
House Concurrent Resolution 8
(By Delegates Howell, Summers, Shott, Householder, C. Martin, Hott, Graves, Cadle, Barnhart, J. Jeffries, Maynard, Phillips, Foster, Hamrick, Steele, D. Jeffries, Wilson, Waxman, Bartlett, Paynter and Linville)
[Introduced January 14, 2020]
Providing for an election to be had, pending approval of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a majority of qualified citizens voting upon the proposition prior to August 1, 2020, for the admission of certain counties and independent cities of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the State of West Virginia as constituent counties, under the provisions of Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution of West Virginia
Whereas, The Legislature of West Virginia finds that in 1863, due to longstanding perceived attitudes of neglect for the interests of the citizens of Western Virginia, and a studied failure to address the differences which had grown between the counties of Western Virginia and the government at Richmond, the Commonwealth of Virginia was irretrievably divided, and the new State of West Virginia was formed; and
Whereas, Such division occurred as the Trans-Allegheny portions of Virginia perceived that they suffered under an inequitable measure of taxation by which they bore a disproportionate share of the tax burden; and
Whereas, That this perception was further compounded by the effects of a scheme of representation by which Trans-Allegheny Virginia was not allowed to have its proper and equitable share of representation in the government at Richmond; and
Whereas, That this arrangement arguably resulted in the tax dollars of Trans-Allegheny Virginia being used to enrich the Tidewater through internal improvements which did not benefit the people of Western Virginia, while the people of the Trans-Allegheny had little to no say in how their tax dollars were allocated; and
Whereas, Though this course led to an irreconcilable division, and the subsequent formation of West Virginia, yet, the longstanding peaceful cooperation between this State and the Commonwealth of Virginia is a sign that such separation, undertaken even under the most challenging and onerous of circumstances, can, with the passage of time, yield lasting results which are beneficial to both sides; and
Whereas, In the intervening years, the same neglect for the interests of many of the remaining counties of the Commonwealth of Virginia has allegedly been evidenced by the government at Richmond; and
Whereas, Particularly, many citizens of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont contend that an inequitable measure of taxation exists by which they bear a disproportionate share of the present tax burden of the Commonwealth; and
Whereas, The people of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont also believe that, currently, a scheme of representation exists by which the citizens of Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont do not have a proper share of representation in the government at Richmond; and, consequently
Whereas, The people of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont believe that their tax dollars are used to enrich the Tidewater and Northern Virginia through internal improvements which do not benefit the people of these other parts of Virginia, while the people of these other parts of Virginia have little to no say in how their tax dollars are allocated; and
Whereas, In recent days, these tensions have been compounded by a perception of contempt on the part of the government at Richmond for the differences in certain fundamental political and societal principles which prevail between the varied counties and cities of that Commonwealth; and
Whereas, In the latest, and most evident, in this string of grievances, the government at Richmond now seeks to place intolerable restraints upon the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to the citizens of that Commonwealth; and
Whereas, The Legislative body of West Virginia believes that this latest action defies the wise counsel which has come down to us in the august words of our common Virginia Founders: as the government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that tribune of liberty, Patrick Henry-who stated to the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 that “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun”; and
Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of a Signer of the Declaration and premier advocate of American independence, Richard Henry Lee-who stated in The Federal Farmer that “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms”; and
Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that zealous guardian of our inherent rights, George Mason-who stated that “To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them”; and
Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of the declaimer of our independence and theoretician of our freedoms, Thomas Jefferson-who stated in his first draft of the Virginia Constitution, that “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms”; and
Whereas, The Boards of Supervisors of many Virginia counties and the Councils of many Virginia cities have recognized this dangerous departure from the doctrine of the Founders on the part of the government at Richmond; and
Whereas, These Boards of Supervisors and Councils have passed resolutions refusing to countenance what they affirm are unwarranted and unconstitutional measures by that government to infringe the firearm rights of Virginians; and
Whereas, The actions of the government at Richmond undertaken since the recent general election have, regrettably, resulted in unproductive contention and escalating a lamentable state of civic tension; and
Whereas, That, as has been proven in numerous instances, such as have been observed internationally in more recent times with the peaceful dissolutions of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and the creation of South Sudan, or, earlier in Virginia’s own history, with the formation of Kentucky, the peaceful partition of neighboring peoples can occur, and, is often very beneficial to both sides in reducing tensions and improving the tenor of discourse over ongoing political and societal differences; and
Whereas, Article VI, Section 11 of The Constitution of the State of West Virginia explicitly permits additional territory to be admitted into, and become part of this state, with the consent of the Legislature and of a majority of the qualified voters of the state; and
Whereas, In a spirit of conciliation, the Legislature of West Virginia hereby extends an invitation to our fellow Virginians who wish to do so, to join us in our noble experiment of 156 years of separation from the government at Richmond; and, we extend an invitation to any constituent county or city of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the body politic of the State of West Virginia, under the conditions set forth in our state Constitution, specifically, with the consent of a majority of the voters of such county or city voting upon such proposition; and we hereby covenant that their many grievances shall be addressed, and, we further covenant with them that their firearms rights shall be protected to the fullest extent possible under our Federal and State Constitutions; and
Whereas, Providing that the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall give its assent to any county or independent city presently part of the Commonwealth of Virginia having the opportunity and ability to do so, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the question of admission, or, the rejection of such admission, of any county or independent city of the Commonwealth of Virginia desiring admission to the State of West Virginia, and a majority of whose qualified voters, voting on the question, have approved such measure, prior to August 1, 2020, shall be submitted to the voters of the State of West Virginia at the next general election to be held in the year 2020.
Such proposal shall be placed upon the general election ballot in the following form: “Shall the following county (or independent city) _____________________(name), currently a constituent part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, be admitted to the State of West Virginia as a constituent county of the State of West Virginia.”
Should the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia give its assent to any county or independent city presently part of the Commonwealth of Virginia having the opportunity to do so, and such county or independent city desiring admission to the State of West Virginia, and a majority of whose qualified voters, voting on the question, not have approved such measure prior to August 1, 2020, but do approve such measure at a later date;
Then, this provision of this Act shall serve as an official request of the Legislature of West Virginia to the Governor of West Virginia to call a special session of this Legislature to provide for a special election to provide for the approval of the admission, or, the rejection of such admission, of such county or independent city; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Legislature directs that the Clerk of the House forward copies of this resolution to the Board of Supervisors of each county in the Commonwealth of Virginia who have voted to become sanctuary counties for firearms rights, and to the Council of each independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia who have voted to become sanctuary cities for firearms rights; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Legislature directs that the Clerk of the House forward copies of this resolution to the Clerk of the House of Delegates and Clerk of the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia and requests, in a spirit of peace and goodwill, that the General Assembly will allow this measure for the peaceful transfer of peoples and the restoration of harmony to the Virginias; and, further requests, in a continuance of such spirit, that any firearms legislation proposed by that body have an effective date far enough into the future so that this exchange of peoples and territory could be accomplished before the effective date of such legislation.
Hat tip: JJ, via Twitter.