01.21.2020 0

Tens of thousands of gun rights supporters converge on Virginia State Capitol, peace ensues

By Richard McCarty

The liberal media and their favorite racist, Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA), must be bitterly disappointed. (For those who don’t follow Virginia politics, the governor admitted to wearing blackface but claims to have no idea why he had the nickname “Coonman” in college; unfortunately, this information was successfully hidden from voters until well after the 2017 election.) They portrayed a Second Amendment event in Richmond, Virginia’s capital, as being a gathering of potentially violent radicals. But the Left’s narrative was wrong once again: the rally was attended by law-abiding citizens, and it was peaceful.

Since Democrats seized control of the state legislature, they have passed several anti-gun bills, including a “red flag” bill, a bill to limit handgun purchases, a bill to expand background checks, a ban on guns at the Capitol, and a bill allowing localities to further infringe upon gun owners’ rights. Two other anti-gun bills were also proposed: a bill banning “assault” weapons, silencers, and high-capacity magazines and a spiteful bill designed to close the National Rifle Association’s gun range at its headquarters in Northern Virginia. The Democrats’ anti-gun agenda has sparked quite a backlash across the Commonwealth and scores of localities have recently declared themselves to be Second Amendment sanctuaries.

To advance his narrative and anger gun rights advocates, the governor pulled out all the stops to gin up fear over the rally – declaring a temporary state of emergency, putting up a fence all around the State Capitol to limit admittance, temporarily banning guns on Capitol grounds, bringing in State Troopers and a SWAT vehicle to augment the Capitol Police, having a police helicopter hover overhead for hours, and blocking streets with dump trucks. Also spotted near the Capitol were ambulances from a nearby county as well as two mass casualty buses: one from a neighboring county and another from a city 60 miles away. In the end, all of the attempts to provoke rallygoers into violence failed.

This successful event was organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Every year, the gun rights organization puts together a Lobby Day on Martin Luther Day when many people have the day off. (The regular sessions of Virginia’s legislature only last 45-60 days a year so time is short between when bills are introduced and when they are voted upon.) Were Democrats not bent on assaulting Virginians’ Constitutional rights, this year’s Lobby Day would likely have been yet another low-profile event.

In spite of the cold weather, the rally drew tens of thousands of attendees. Of course, Virginians from all across the Commonwealth – including some who live far from the capital and got on the road in the wee hours of the morning – attended. The event also drew Second Amendment supporters from states hundreds of miles away. Fortunately, the Left’s lie that the event was a white nationalist rally did not prevent minorities who support the Second Amendment from attending. Rallygoers flew American flags, Colonial Era flags, Trump flags, and even a Hong Kong flag.

The rally took place nearly without a hitch. There was no violence, and out of the many attendees, only one was arrested – after two warnings – for wearing a bandanna in violation of the state’s anti-mask law (which was put in place to fight the Ku Klux Klan). As is typical with conservative events, the rally area was not trashed. In fact, volunteers were walking around and picking up trash as the event wound down.

Once again, the liberal media and the racist governor have beclowned themselves with their attempts to smear the Right. Gun owners showed up in Richmond in large numbers and demonstrated that an armed society is a polite society. There was no need for the governor to waste taxpayers’ money on his show of force. With their hopes of violence at the rally dashed, the Left will now have to try to find another excuse for their gun-grabbing agenda.

Richard McCarty is the Research Director at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

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