Commonwealth’s Attorney Matt Hardin is a constitutional officer, with primary accountability to the Greene County voters and the constitutions of Virginia and the United States. A core value expressed in the Declaration of Independence is the God-given right to life, meaning government cannot deny citizens the right to defend themselves and others from life-threatening attack. That right is so foundational that it was addressed directly in the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution, stating, “Congress [by extension all governments] shall not make any law infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.”

Heritage Foundation, a conservative research and educational institution, reports, “Studies routinely indicate that every year, Americans use their firearms in defense of themselves or others between 500,000 and 2 million times. Without a robustly protected right to keep and bear arms, the Americans in these cases would have been left to the mercy of criminals. We don’t make lawabiding citizens safer by disarming them or making them less capable of fighting back against criminals. We only make them easier targets.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam most recently called lawmakers back to Richmond for a special session to consider gun-control bills after a mass shooting in Virginia Beach. This ignores that most mass shooters only stop killing when someone else with a gun stops them and might deny law-abiding citizens the right of self-protection. These restrictions have no impact on those with evil in shooters’ hearts, but would make the rest of us less safe. There is a reason most mass murders occur where the killer is reasonably sure his intended victims are helpless, as in “gun-free zones.”

Greene County Commonwealth’s Attorney Matt Hardin has pledged repeatedly not to prosecute violations under any new unconstitutional laws that violate the citizen’s rights of self-protection afforded by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Vote to reelect Matt Hardin as commonwealth’s attorney to safeguard your constitutional protections.

Bert Nye

Stanardsville

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