Northam Can Order the VA Guard Around

Or he can try to

by baldilocks

On Virginia, the National Guard, gun-grabbing, and Democrats wish-casting for civil war:

With dozens of Virginia counties declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, some Democratic lawmakers have said the governor should use the National Guard to enforce future gun control legislation — but can he?

Virginia Democrats, who control the legislature and governorship, have proposed several measures, including an “assault weapons” ban, universal background checks, and a red flag law. In response, 75 counties vowed they will not enforce future gun control legislation. Virginia Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin told the Washington Examiner on Thursday that Gov. Ralph Northam “may have to nationalize [sic] the National Guard to enforce the law” if local authorities refuse to do so themselves.

The president, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, is the only person who can nationalize [sic] the Guard, but state governors have the latitude to use it to enforce state law, legal experts said.

“Until nationalized [sic],  it’s a creature of the state. So that’s what leads me to believe that, yes, the governor can activate the National Guard to enforce even a state law,” Gary Solis, a military law professor at Georgetown University, told the Washington Examiner.

Note to Rep. McEachin and to Russ Read, the author of this article: ‘nationalize’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.

Allow me to expand on who commands the National Guard.

The governor of each state is the Commander-in-Chief of his/her state’s National Guard. When a governor wants his state’s national guard to go somewhere within the state and do a thing, he is giving orders to mobilize, not nationalize. And when a president calls a guard unit to active duty, he is activating that unit, not nationalizing it.

(All this talk about “nationalization” makes me think we have a bunch of socialists in government, media, and academia. Nah, that can’t be true … )

People may remember that Guard units have served in many of our overseas conflicts. When they do so, they are on active duty and the POTUS is their CinC. Here’s how that happens.

When a POTUS wants to activate a Guard unit, he requests to do so in writing to the governor. Almost always, the governor says “yes” and the POTUS then becomes the CinC of the Guard unit(s) for the duration of said Guard unit’s active duty period. That’s why it seems to be automatic.

However, I could see Northam saying “no” under these conditions. That’s federalism.

All that said, it’s so cute how members of the Democrat-dominated VA legislature publicly ponder pitting the military against the state’s LEOs and its gun owners — as if they thought that no one was paying attention and they could just blurt out their fantasies in friendly company.

Simply, it’s beyond ridiculous to think that even a small portion of the VA Guard units would carry out orders to make war against their neighbors, especially considering that many of the LEOs who are defying the tyrants in the VA government are probably guardsmen/guardswomen (and reservists) themselves.

We’re watching you and rooting for you, people of Virginia. Don’t lose heart.

UPDATE: Readers are telling me that the Guard chain of command is more complicated than I’ve laid out. I’m looking it over.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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