You’ve heard of Sanctuary Cities, where corporate subdivisions of the several States attempt to nullify federal laws to protect undocumented aliens. Here is the Sanctuary County movement, which goes up the level of jurisdiction one notch to protect rights far more explicitly guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution — as well as in many state constitutions. In the news, anyway, is the Commonwealth of Virginia: “Second Amendment Sanctuary push aims to defy new gun laws.”

On the map are the counties resisting the brewing gun control legislation. Virginia must seem dangerously green to the Blue State’s rich populations in the Washington, DC, area, and in a few spots elsewhere:

Wikipedia: States and counties that have passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions.

I vaguely recall an ancient tradition that might plausibly provide some legal cover for this, but I have forgotten what I have read. (Do I remember talking with a group called Posse Comitatus? I confronted quite a wide variety of radicals — of all sorts — in my youth.)

In Washington State, where I reside, most counties are labeled ‘green’ (see above; note that it is just coincidence that it is nicknamed “The Evergreen State”) as being sanctuaries against gun control passed by the people (mainly voters in heavily populated counties, not labeled green). And, also in Washington State, Sections 3 and 24 of the State Constitution would seem to bar any legislative action from abridging the right to bear arms:

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Constitution of the State of Washington (last revised 2011), Section 3

Due process of law does not mean legislative action by the government in Olympia or by the people through referendum or initiative.

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

Section 24

This is much less confusing than the federal Constitution’s much-loved/much-despised Second Amendment. It clearly defines the right to bear arms as an individual right, not a militia right — the right to form a militia herein denied. (Nevertheless, Heller was almost certainly close to the mark; the Second Amendment was clearly made to secure an individual right to self-defense.)

If Washington State citizens want gun control, I think they would have to overturn Heller as well as pass an amendment to their Constitution. Further, I think that whenever a state’s people, using standard constitutional procedures, attempts to remove traditional rights, counties that do not pass the rights-destroying measure should have the right to secede and form a new state.

We live in interesting times.