Governor of US Virgin Islands Authorizes Seizure of Firearms and Property
Just days after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Houston area, super storm Irma is headed toward the US. Irma is the most powerful hurricane on record with sustained wind speeds of 185mph. That is one powerful storm, for reference that wind speed is equal to a strong EF-4 tornado. However, there is one big difference in the run up to the hurricane. The governor of the Virgin Islands signed an order allowing the National Guard to seize private property during the emergency.
U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp signed an emergency order allowing the seizure of private guns, ammunition, explosives and property the National Guard may need to respond to Hurricane Irma. Mapp signed the order Monday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The order allows the Adjutant General of the Virgin Islands to seize private property they believe necessary to protect the islands, subject to approval by the territory’s Justice Department.
I don’t know if the Virgin Islands, being a US territory, is subject to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act or not. I also do not know if this a “feel good” law or if it actually has authority. Theoretically it shouldn’t be needed, but obviously is, between what happened during hurricane Katrina and what is suggested with Irma.
NRA’s post-Katrina efforts did not stop at the Louisiana border. NRA prompted mayors and police chiefs across America to sign a pledge stating that they will, “never forcibly disarm the law-abiding citizens” of their city. Further, NRA worked to limit the power of state and local governments to regulate firearms in times of emergency, by advocating for emergency powers reform legislation throughout the country. Currently, over half of the states have some form of emergency powers provision protecting gun owners from government abuse during a crisis.
In 2006, moreover, President George W. Bush signed into law the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, which contained an NRA-backed amendment sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). The amendment prohibits persons acting under color of federal law, receiving federal funds, or acting at the direction of a federal employee from seizing or authorizing the seizure of lawfully-possessed firearms or imposing or enforcing certain restrictions on firearms during a state of emergency. NRA-ILA
If a government seizes private property during an emergency, it makes them no better than the looters. In fact, it makes them worse, they would be helping the looters leaving no defense to the average citizen. In a grid down situation, the first responders are even further away and slower to react, especially if all of the streets are flooded with several feet of water. If you take prepared people’s supplies and use it to either support the government or redistribute to the unprepared you are just creating more unprepared victims.
“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.”
Now contrast this to Texas. There were no threats of confiscation of private property. Even when government forces were short of equipment, civilians used their own personal boats to transport them or their own trucks to pull out National Guard trucks. There were looters, but again Texas took a different approach with a local Sheriff going on T.V. stating his belief in the 2nd amendment.
“I made a comment the other day that we support the Second Amendment here in Fort Bend County and there are many of us that are armed. I would caution those that want to come and prey on our people here in Fort Bend County that are suffering so much right now, you may want to stay out of Fort Bend County because you could leave this county in a bag,”
This just goes to show you how quickly a government is able to disolve the basics rights of the individual. The disaster doesn’t even have to have happened, and they are ready to remove your rights. This type of scenario adds more reasons to keep your preps low-key and to also diversify your stash locations, be it government or flood that removes your preps.
That being said, I hope that everyone stays safe and that the government does not violate any rights during the hard times to come.
The full version of the Governor’s order below: