By: Teresa Mull
Thousands of gun owners descended on Virginia’s capitol today to show their opposition to impending infringements on their Second Amendment rights, and, not surprisingly, the hysteria spread by the mainstream media about inevitable violence all turned out to be false alarms.
More than 22,000 armed gun-rights activists peacefully filled the streets around Virginia’s capitol building on Monday to protest gun-control legislation making its way through the newly Democratic-controlled state legislature.
Despite fears that neo-Nazis or other extremists would piggyback on the Richmond rally to stoke violence like the violence at a 2017 demonstration by white nationalists in Charlottesville that killed a counter-protester, the Capitol Police reported just one arrest, a 21-year-old woman taken into custody for wearing a bandana over her face after twice being warned that masks were not allowed.
I will NEVER allow our great Second Amendment to go unprotected, not even a little bit!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2020
A GPM contact in attendance reported thousands of gun owners braved the bitter cold for the non-hostile event that included plenty of pro-Trump paraphernalia, anti-Northam signs, and lots of chants of “U-S-A.”
At the end, while the crowd was leaving the rally peacefully, someone was handing out business cards urging people to enter to win a free AR-15. A woman in the group said, “Oh, no thanks. I don’t like guns.” When asked to clarify, she said, “I don’t like guns, but I do like the Second Amendment. I’m just not a gun person, but I’m glad the other people are.”
Here’s some background on the event, as reported last week:
Virginia gun owners are planning a rally next week to show their opposition to pending gun control legislation, and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam is freaking out.
Fearing potential violence, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is declaring a state of emergency and is banning firearms and other weapons on the Capitol grounds in Richmond ahead of a gun rights demonstration planned for next week.
"We have received credible intelligence from our law enforcement agencies that there are groups with malicious plans for the rally that is planned for Monday," Northam said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
“Despite the expansion of ‘gun sanctuaries’ to a record 130 Virginia towns and counties Wednesday, covering most of the state, foes of gun control legislation speeding through Richmond are raising new fears they will be forced to register weapons, a move that could lead to ‘confiscation,’” reports The Washington Examiner.
What The Heck Is Happening In VA? https://t.co/uqDZNk6AKH— GOA (@GunOwners) January 15, 2020
GPM reported recently that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is getting ready to put a lot of gun owners in jail by including an appropriation “of a quarter million dollars to carry out a host of gun control measures that Northam and his anti-gun allies hope to enact,” according to the Daily Caller.
Now, columnist Walter Williams writes for Fox News, “…Northam will have much to apologize for if he signs into law a bill that attacks Virginia citizens’ Second Amendment rights. The measure is Senate Bill 16, which would ban ‘assault’ firearms and certain firearm magazines. Since Democrats have seized control of Virginia’s General Assembly in the last election, they are likely to push hard for strict gun control laws.”
Virginia gun owners are not taking the threat of gun control lightly. The Washington Post reports gun owners are planning a rally to protest the infringement of their Second Amendment rights on Jan. 20 at the state capitol.
“The Virginia Citizens Defense League, the grass-roots organization planning the rally, said it has told the state to prepare for as many as 50,000 or even 100,000 people showing up,” The Post reports.
According to The New York Post:
Gun owners from across Virginia are demanding their local governments establish “gun rights sanctuaries,” which declare that local officials will oppose any “unconstitutional restrictions” on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
The resolutions, promoted heavily by the gun-rights group Virginia Citizens Defense League, vary from county to county, the Associated Press reports, but in the last two months, more than 100 counties, cities and towns in Virginia have approved such resolutions.
GPM, reported late last year:
Following a sweeping electoral win for Democrats in Virginia, gun control has been a hot topic of discussion in a state suddenly at risk of losing Second Amendment freedoms. Sheriff Scott Jenkins of Culpeper County, however, has vowed to protect the Constitution and the freedoms enshrined therein.
“If the legislature decides to restrict certain weapons I feel harms our community, I will swear in thousands of auxiliary deputies in Culpeper. There’s no limit to the number of people I can swear in,” Jenkins stated at a Board of Supervisors meeting last week.
On social media, he added, “Every Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney in Virginia will see the consequences if our General Assembly passes further unnecessary gun restrictions. ‘Red Flag’ laws without due process will create enormous conflict as well.
“America has more guns than citizens and murder has long been illegal. At best, the proposed gun restrictions will disarm or handicap our law-abiding in their defense and possibly cause a criminal to choose another tool for evil.”
Despite what liberal population centers like Richmond and Charlottesville would have you believe, the spirit of patriotism and rebellion is as alive as it ever was in Virginia. It was at the December 4th Supervisors meeting that Culpeper followed in the footsteps of more than 40 counties across the Old Dominion, declaring themselves to be Second Amendment Sanctuary counties. Much like immigrant sanctuaries, law enforcement in these localities has declared that restrictive and unconstitutional gun laws will not be enforced.
Sheriff Jenkins says he remains optimistic and believes Virginia’s legislature will not pass sweeping and restrictive gun measures. Governor Northam, though, has promised swift action and has the numbers on his side to pass eight restrictive measures that failed to pass when the legislature was Republican-controlled. Some of the measures include banning so-called “dangerous” “assault-style” weapons and accessories, limiting hand-gun purchases to once a month, and of course, enacting “red-flag” gun confiscation laws.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.