Virginia ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Bill is really a Rights-Trampling Power Grab
In one of those occasional convergences that happen every so often, the American Civil Liberties Union is coming down on the right side of pending legislation by opposing a Virginia bill “that would define domestic terrorism and add it to its list of criminal charges,” the Daily Press reports.
The bill “raises ‘significant constitutional concerns,’ particularly with the First Amendment [and] is written in a way that could allow the state government to target minority communities who have ‘unpopular beliefs,’” the report explains. “Specifically, the power that the superintendent of Virginia State Police would hold in labeling groups as domestic terrorist groups — without those groups being notified in advance — is a concern.”
While ACLU’s concerns are valid, the “minority” group the bill is intended to target does not include people they are overly concerned about. Understanding that the legislation is a Democrat response to Charlottesville, it should come as no surprise that the intent is to take attention away from threats imported through “progressive” cultural and political “fundamental transformation” policies and point a finger and assumption of guilt toward the native-born.
Look at the two main shakers and movers behind the legislation: Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, both “progressive” anti-gun / pro-“immigration” Democrats. So naturally they have no problem limiting rights to freely assemble and associate based on an edict that “defines domestic terrorism as a violent or criminal act that aims to intimidate or instill fear in someone because of their race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability, or to stop someone from pursuing their constitutional rights.”
That’s a pretty loose benchmark, especially since we see college “safe spaces” and after-event counseling for “snowflakes” overwrought because a “conservative” was allowed to speak on a college campus. What does it really take for such as these to claim intimidation and fear, and why should their neuroses—real or faked — have any bearing on the rights of free people? And this goes a step further: If you “knowingly provide resources” (donate a few bucks, drive members to a rally site, etc.?) to such a group, you could apparently be up for a Class 5 felony.
But wait, there’s more!
“Price’s bill would require the Virginia State Police superintendent to identify groups that meet the definition of a domestic terrorist organization and to list them annually in the Virginia Register of Regulations, which is a guiding document for state agencies,” the report elaborates. “The bill would require local police departments to report acts of domestic terrorism to the State Police, but those reports could be withheld from the public.”
What could go wrong, not only in giving police such powers to designate who’s who in “domestic terrorism,” but also in keeping the citizens they supposedly work for in the dark?
And understand that as backdrop to all this, there was another story from almost a year ago when Herring held “a town hall meeting at a ‘terror-linked’ mosque in Northern Virginia.”
Does anyone have any doubts as to what these people are doing and why?
Curiously — maddeningly, some would maintain — many Virginians are asleep at the switch. As their state turns from red to blue, with an influx of newly-minted citizens leading the way, the Republicans in the House narrowly missed losing their majority by just one vote in a contest that then had to be decided by pulling a name out of a canister. Literally.
It’s not lost on “progressives” that this is happening in the state that is home to National Rifle Association headquarters. And it’s not lost on a few of us that the end game this enables will allow Democrats to pass whatever anti-gun legislation they wish and to appoint judges who will uphold those “laws.”
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David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?”