Our Own “Hong Kong Moment”
Last week the internet went a flurry with social media posts about a piece of proposed legislation in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Without paraphrasing… here is the proposed bill:
SENATE BILL NO. 64
Offered January 8, 2020
Prefiled November 21, 2019
A BILL to amend and reenact § 18.2-433.2 of the Code of Virginia, relating to paramilitary activities; penalty.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 18.2-433.2 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 18.2-433.2. Paramilitary activity prohibited; penalty.
A person shall be is guilty of unlawful paramilitary activity, punishable as a Class 5 felony if he:
1. Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or
2. Assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of training with, practicing with, or being instructed in the use of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, intending to employ such training for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or
3. Assembles with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm, any explosive or incendiary device, or any components or combination thereof.
2. That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment. Pursuant to § 30-19.1:4 of the Code of Virginia, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities; therefore, Chapter 854 of the Acts of Assembly of 2019 requires the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission to assign a minimum fiscal impact of $50,000. Pursuant to § 30-19.1:4 of the Code of Virginia, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation cannot be determined for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Sounds totally benign, no?
So what is “in furtherance of civil disorder”? Were the Koreans standing guard on the roofs of their business during the LA riots participating in “civil disorder”? Are the protesters in Hong Kong participating in “civil disorder”? Were our militias at Lexington and Concord made up of citizens engaged in “civil disorder”?
You bet your ass they were!
(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)
When the puppet government of Hong Kong attempted to push through the extradition bill, it lit a spark that caused hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents to shut the province down.
The bill itself was not in and of itself particularly evil. In fact, it addressed a legitimate criminal issue.
A suspect had committed a murder in Taiwan. With no legal mechanism to extradite the suspect back to Taiwan to stand trial, the government of Hong Kong was limited in what it could do. So… the government decided to pass a law that allowed for extradition. The problem was it also included the potential to extradite to mainland China.
This was a bridge too far for the Hong Kong population.
Knowing that the law could be misused… strike that… would be misused to extradite Hong Kong citizens to China for political purposes, the Hong Kong population rose up. Thousands (if not millions) of Hong Kong residents took to the streets, and continue to take to the streets to protest the law.
The puppet Hong Kong government, seeing that its pathway to victory was becoming narrower and narrower, capitulated and rescinded the legislation.
But it was too late.
The genie was out of the bottle, and now the protesters expanded their demands for autonomy. As this is being written, Beijing is in a quandary. To Beijing, a pathogen has been unleashed in Hong Kong that represents an existential threat to its entire regime if it is not contained. It remains to be seen how this will ultimately play itself out.
What has happened in Virginia is very, very similar.
Government overreach through the use of a proposed bill, that would undoubtedly be expansively interpreted, has caused the general population of Virginia to protest.
The irony is the fear of “civil disorder” that the putative bill seeks to prevent is exactly what the bill has the potential to create.
The irony that this bill… this attempt to codify tyranny… is taking place in the home of Jefferson is not lost on patriots across the country.
Steven Lieberman and Sandy Lieberman are the owners of the Artemis Defense Institute. A tactical training facility headquartered occupied California. (www.artemishq.com). Mr. Lieberman is also one of the founding partners in the Law Offices of Lieberman and Taormina LLP. Their law firm specializes in use of force, and Second Amendment defense and litigation.