Thousands of gun owners turned out for a rights rally Monday in Richmond, Virginia. (Screen snip, YouTube, CNN)
Thousands of gun rights activists converged on the capitol campus in Richmond, Virginia without any problems or injuries, despite what amounted to several days of hysteria on the part of anti-gun Gov. Ralph Northam, who had temporarily banned all weapons from the area around the Capitol.
What turned out to be one of the largest pro-Second Amendment gatherings in recent memory, the “Lobby Day” event drew several speakers and legions of angry gun owners who were there to send a message to the General Assembly: No more gun control.
Gun owners had been wrongly associated with a white supremacy movement, another effort to demonize them especially on the annual Martin Luther King Day observance. But it didn’t work.
With many thousands of people inside and outside a security fence, including many carrying either sidearms or semi-auto rifles, yet there did not appear to have been a single incident. Many of those n the gathering wore stickers with the message “Guns Save Lives.”
Northam had issued an emergency declaration last week that the capital was on high security alert due to predictions of violence that never materialized. Instead, the crowd occasionally chanted “USA!” and there were some calls for Northam to step down.
In the wake of Monday’s rally, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms called on Northam to apologize to all Virginia gun owners.
“Gov. Northam should beg forgiveness from every Virginia resident his Chicken Little drama both offended and demonized over the past several days,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “How many more thousands of Virginia citizens did not attend Monday’s peaceful rally because of the governor’s alarmist rhetoric about possible violence.”
He said all Northam and the Richmond Democrats did was kick a hornet’s nest.
“Today’s huge turnout in Richmond, and last Friday’s rally in Olympia, Washington sent a message that America’s law-abiding firearms owners are not about to just go quietly in the night,” he observed.
According to Reuters, Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League—the group that organized Monday’s rally—said people are looking at what is happening in Virginia since Democrats too control of the legislature, and they are concerned the same thing could happen in their states.
Northam’s anti-gun-rights agenda includes resurrecting the one-handgun-per-month law, banning so-called “assault weapons,” requiring “universal background checks on all firearm transactions and adoption of a “red flag” law.
Activists carried all manner of signs, some laced with sarcasm. One Asian woman held a sign that read, “Do I Look Like a White Supremacist to you?” Another read, “Gun Rights Are Also Gay Rights—Gays for the 2nd Amendment.” A third was simply covering all the bases: “I Want Gay Married Couples to be Able to Protect Their Marijuana Plants with Guns.”
It was a racially diverse crowd, and even some Grayson County Sheriff’s Deputies were seen holding a banner that read, “We Support the Second Amendment.”
Nearly all of the state’s 95 counties have declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries,” a move that has left Northam and other Democrats promising to pass several gun control laws, anyway.
While security for the rally was heavy, it did not turn out to be necessary.