The posturing over gun rights/gun control (aka “gun safety”) by the conflict’s antagonists is escalating ever higher. Two examples as of this writing are the National Guard’s Twitter statement saying they will not speculate whether the governor of Virginia will call them to enforce (as yet unpassed) gun control legislation, and the Culpeper County Sheriff’s public statement that he will “not put his deputies in harm’s way” to enforce unconstitutional laws. Meanwhile, gun-control proponents are prematurely celebrating a victory about Democrat-authored bills to be introduced in January.

One hundred sixty or so years ago, the citizenry of our country was embattled in a different set of controversies in which everyone became intractable. By some history enthusiasts, the 1860s conflict was known as the Civil War. By others, it was The War Between the States. Yet, two things in common with today are the passions people feel that their view is right, and the conviction that their view should be everyone’s view — not only their view, but also the law.

With emotional pleas amplified by internet outlets of every different kind and with each figurehead appearing to scream louder than the others in order to assure “victory”, I fear one possible outcome on this path is that “brother will take up arms against brother.” I would like to suggest a name in advance for the civil (violence-begotten, intra-Virginia) war that I am speculating as a remote possibility: The Red-Blue War. This is a fitting name for the conflict between the two groups regarding gun control, and also is a suitable umbrella covering every disgraceful conduct of which each faction accuses the other, and yet somehow is blameless itself.

Right now the war is being fought on an electronic battlefield on people’s phones, tablets, laptops, televisions and NFL games. I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to inspire the drawing of actual blood, but I do not know the means by which people will de-escalate the conflict, relax their passions and return to a type of governance that formerly was predicated on statesmanship.

JASON COHEN

BLUE RIDGE

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