Governor Kenneth Mapp of the US Virgin Islands illegally authorized the National Guard to confiscate privately owned guns and ammunition and any property it might need to respond to the disaster.
In what is a clear violation of the Second Amendment and the Fifth Amendment Governor Mapp decided he would be king and declare such actions to be lawful even though they are a personification of tyranny.
Of course, Mapp’s emergency order is subject to approval by the justice department of the U.S. Virgin Islands and comes alongside assurances from President Donald Trump that every resource needed will be available to the territory.
In an emergency order signed on Monday by Mapp, he gave that authorization in preparation of Hurricane Irma. Nothing like not letting a good crisis go to waste, eh, Governor Mapp?
“This is not an opportunity to go outside and try to have fun with a hurricane,” Mapp said. “It’s not time to get on a surfboard.”
Well, of course, not, but it’s also not time to play king and give illegal and unlawful orders either, Sir.
In ordering the Virgin Islands into Territorial Active Military Service, he claims the order is to “maintain the health, welfare, and safety of the people of the Virgin Islands in the face of imminent danger or potential disaster from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma.”
He says nothing about the imminent danger that his actions pose to the people of the Virgin Islands that would potentially leave them at the mercy of a heavy handed government.
And if you think I’m way out there, just remember what the National Guard and other tyrants did after Katrina.
He said that he was deriving powers from Title 23 Section 1522 of the Virgin Islands Code to authorize the Adjutant General to “seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military for the performance of this emergency mission, in accordance with the Rules of Force promulgated by the Virgin Islands National Guard and approved by the Virgin Islands Department of Justice.”
He then went on to advance spending for “salaries, benefits, health insurance, worker’s compensation, necessary meals, fuel and other operational and administrative costs” that will be borne by the citizens of the Virgin Islands, in addition to their expenditures they will face in rebuilding and cleanup.
The order went into effect at 12:01am on Tuesday and will terminate when Governor Mapp is good and ready.
The NRA blasted the move as “unbelievably shortsighted, and wrong.”
Time after time during natural disasters, reports of looting and increased armed criminal action have been reported. The primary reason for firearms purchases is to protect self and loved ones, and this is especially important at times when the police are overtaxed and crimes of opportunity are more likely to occur. Natural disasters offer criminals an opening too sweet to resist—and once an individual or group of marauders is at your door, it’s too late to ask the National Guard for your guns back.
Knowledge that police can’t be everywhere at once is a primary reason Second Amendment supporters own guns.We saw report after report of Americans, appropriately dubbed the Cajun Navy, using private boats to rescue their neighbors and strangers from rising floodwaters in Houston because there are simply not enough police and rescue personnel to go around. Knowledge that police can’t be everywhere at once is a primary reason Second Amendment supporters own guns.
If the Virgin Islands gun confiscation scheme stems from a real lack of resources needed to protect law and order, that is an indictment of the governor, public safety officers and everyone else in government in that territory. It is unconscionable that there wouldn’t be enough ammunition available to peacekeepers for a scenario like this. Is this the first hurricane ever to hit the Virgin Islands? Isn’t hurricane preparation an endeavor at which the jurisdiction should excel?
Now that the Virgin Islands have been hit by the hurricane, will the National Guard there follow through with the orders and will the citizens of the Virgin Islands comply or will they learn something of those during Hurricane Katrina and give bullets first from the end of the guns the government will seek to confiscate?
No crime has to be committed nor a person even indicted or found guilty for the government to come and take their property under this order, which is a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s protections and subsequently would be the violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protections.
Instead of offering support, President Trump should be calling out Governor Mapp for his lawlessness and potential violation of the rights of the people he is supposed to be serving in the capacity of upholding those rights, not infringing upon them.
The state has no right to people’s property, and “legally” signing a piece of paper doesn’t give them a right to their property either.
NRA Institute for Legislative Action Executive Director Chris W. Cox wrote, “People need the ability to protect themselves during times of natural disaster. This dangerous order violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts their lives at risk.”
Indeed they do, even if that protection comes from those who are supposed to be protecting their rights.