Last year in Virginia, activists scored a big victory for the Tenth Amendment with the passage of HB10, the Health Care Freedom Act, but they also suffered a significant defeat. The Firearms Freedom Act (FFA), which forbid the federal government from enforcing its gun regulations on weapons and ammunition made and sold exclusively in Virginia, passed the House of Delegates in 2010 only to be killed in the Senate’s notorious “Death Star” sub-committee.
The siginifcance of the FFA was of course not just about firearms freedom. It was also about the precedent such a law would have set for returning the federal government to its constitutional role, and restoring some measure of state sovereignty. Unfortunately, by killing the bill, a tiny minority of Virginia Senators left the entire commonwealth open to federal attack on issues that go well beyond gun control, up to and <a href="http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2011/02/09/stopping-federal-food-police/” target=”_blank”>including the very food we eat.
This year, the Intrastate Commerce Act (HB1438), a bill whose language is much more broad, but whose overall purpose is the same, has also passed the House. Tomorrow it will come up before the exact same Senate sub-committee that killed its predecessor. The result must be different this year if Virginia is to have any hope of pushing back against federal overreach across the board.
If you live in Virginia, or just want to make your voice heard, please feel free to shut down the phone systems at the General Assembly building in favor of HB1438.
Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D) (804) 698-7535 firstname.lastname@example.org (chairman)
Sen. John S. Edwards (D) (804) 698-7521 email@example.com
Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D) (804) 698-7509 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R) (804) 698-7503 email@example.com
Sen. John C. Watkins, (R) (804) 698-7510 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Constitution is not just a piece of paper, it is the foundational compact between our ancestors and the government they established. If we let the courts and politicians tell us that it is meaningless, it will become meaningless. But, if we choose to exercise it, the Tenth Amendment explicitly gives us the power to enforce the Constitution’s letter and spirit through political action, regardless of the opinions and preferences of the ruling class.