Gun Rights

Panic About Peaceful Protest Reveals Gun Controllers' Bigotry

Erroneous predictions of violence at the Richmond rally conflated civil libertarians with militant racists.


After a gun rights rally in Richmond came and went last week without the "violence, rioting, and insurrection" predicted by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Talia Lavin could not believe her eyes, and she urged the rest of us not to believe our eyes either. "It seems myopic at best to describe the Monday event as 'peaceful,'" Lavin wrote in a GQ article about the rally, which attracted thousands of armed Second Amendment supporters energized by Northam's gun control agenda.

Lavin's reality-bending assessment reflects a Manichean attitude, all too common among gun control supporters, that casts sincere policy disagreements as a battle between good and evil. That attitude explains why so many activists, politicians, and journalists found it easy to equate a gathering of civil libertarians, organized around the defense of constitutional rights, with an invasion by white supremacists determined to sow chaos and provoke a race war.

Explaining his executive order banning firearms from Richmond's Capitol Square during an annual demonstration organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), Northam invoked the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, which featured explicit racism, clashes between protesters and counterprotesters, and deadly vehicular violence. Northam said the VCDL rally, which had been held without violence for nearly two decades, this year justified a "state of emergency" because "credible intelligence gathered by Virginia's law enforcement agencies" suggested it would attract militant racists bent on "storming the Capitol."

Northam's gun ban, which implicated the First Amendment as well as the Second given the obvious expressive value of bearing arms at a rally defending the right to do so, seemed blatantly illegal. A 2012 Virginia law that Northam himself supported as a state legislator bars the governor from using a state of emergency as an excuse to "prohibit the rights of the people to keep and bear arms," including the "otherwise lawful" public possession of guns. The only exception is for restrictions "necessary to ensure public safety" in "an emergency shelter."

The factual basis for Northam's order was nearly as weak. The Associated Press reported that "Northam has grown increasingly concerned about numerous ominous-sounding postings on social media from forces outside Virginia," but "the state does not have intelligence that the groups are planning a specific act of violence."

The strongest evidence of incipient violence was the FBI's January 16 arrest of three neo-Nazi knuckleheads who had talked about attending the VCDL demonstration in the hope of triggering a "full-blown civil war." Lavin, whose article was illustrated by rifles arranged in the shape of a swastika, averred that the men "had planned to open fire into the crowd"—not the smartest strategy given what she described as "a spectacular arsenal of weaponry" possessed by that crowd.

The press nevertheless did its best to make Northam's nightmare seem plausible. The New York Times mentioned Gun Owners of America, a Virginia-based organization dedicated to defending the Second Amendment, in the same breath as the out-of-state "hate groups" that supposedly planned to turn the rally into a "boogaloo"—"an event that will accelerate the race war they have anticipated for decades."

The Times also described VCDL President Philip Van Cleave as an "extremist," based on this Goldwater-esque quote from a letter to the editor he wrote last July: "There's nothing wrong with being extreme in the preservation of our civil rights. VCDL is proud to be categorized as an extremist organization, and we fully intend to continue being such!" Hence the print headline over the paper's profile of Van Cleave: "Self-Described Extremist Calls for 'Peaceful Event.'"

Northam predictably attributed the lack of violence at the rally to his prudent preparations. But while police, per his order, prevented the 6,000 or so protesters who entered Capitol Square from carrying firearms, many more—some 16,000, according to local authorities—participated from outside the perimeter, where guns were very much in evidence.

"Today showed that when people disagree, they can do so peacefully," Northam said. When the subject is guns, unfortunately, they cannot do so without being tarred as brutal bigots.

© Copyright 2020 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. Good thing the governor was on top of this. What we ever do without our betters?

  2. Amazing that assume that gun rights activists are militant racists, instead of street thugs and gangbangers.

    1. Ironically the gun control movement was born out of fear of minorities arming themselves.

      1. +1000

        This is a Lefty website but decent chronology of gun control laws.
        History of Gun Control

      2. A good chunk of it also had to do with the political assassinations that took place in the 60s, particularly after the country damn near burned down when Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were killed. Stephen King basically admitted in the post-script for “1963” that his stances on gun control were borne out of his trauma over JFK being killed.

        1. That is true for much of the current federal gun control laws, however state level gun control took off after the Civil War, when former slave states sought to prevent the now-freed slaves from owning guns. You can find the archetype of almost every gun control law during this time: licensing, unsafe handgun laws, carry bans. The “good moral character” requirement that still appears in several states’ licensing laws was understood at the time to mean “white, male, and christian”

          1. eh, it goes farther back than that (but you’re right that it first got big after the civil war). There were laws in some places preventing the sale and ownership of firearms to the Native Americans, and the Mormons were forcibly disarmed by Missouri before the Missouri governor ordered them to be “exterminated or driven from the State” in the 1830s, an order which remained on the books until the 1970s. Basically, any attempt to restrict gun ownership in the USA has historically been rooted in some sort of racism or religious bigotry

            1. Alot of early gun control was based around preventing brawls, quarrels. Most of it was overturned in favor of the citizen but some restrictions such as banning concealed carry usually held out.

        2. If only we had decent gun control laws, Kennedy would never have been shot. Lee Harvey Oswald would have seen guns were illegal, so he would have given up on the assassination attempt.

        3. Interesting he takes his position on gun prohibition from a now-well proven government run false flag op. One shooter? Get real. Two people inside that limo took rounds from two different directions, and JFK’s body was whisked away for a very carefully orchestrated autopsy, which, even so, contained significant directly contradictory evidence regarding bullet paths, something any eigth grader would be able to figure out. Uhmmm.. little hole here, big hole there. Musta gone in at th big hole cause that’s a bigger target…….

          1. LOL.

            The SS behavior in the basement of Parkland was shameful, practically throwing down on Dallas Police and the county coroner who had jurisdiction in the case and over Kennedy’s body. Amazing there wasn’t more bloodshed.

            The single bullet theory is exactly what you’d expect to find from a slow round nose fully jacketed rifle bullet with very high SD.

      3. Even the Sainted Ronaldus Magnus, right on so many things, succumbed to this fear when he was governor.

        1. Reagan was a Democrat turned Republican.

    2. Guns don’t kill people. Racists with guns kill people.

      1. And gang bangers with guns kill people. But we’re not worried about that. Haha.

  3. Pretty sure you (Reason) propped up that “white supremacist militia” bs narrative

    1. A cursory search on gun rights here on the reason sight would reveal almost unanimous support for gun owners in Virginia and gun rights in general with no mention of racist militia talk on the side of gun owners. Other than Binion, who seems to detest guns, Reason on the whole has been a staunch supporter of gun rights. So no, you’re wrong concerning this issue.

      1. We all see the difference between “support”, reporting of straight facts, and having TDS.

        unreason does not “support” gun ownership nor gun rights. Most unreason staff let the Democrats (that staff support) do the dirty work against gun rights.

        1. unreason spends most of its time with TDS articles trying to get rid of Orange Man.

          Orange Mag Bad vs. Orange Man bad

        2. I’m not arguing that reason staff don’t have TDS, they do, but reason in general has been a strong supporter of gun rights in print. Now when they let Binion publish things or crap like that Robert levy article on manchin toomey, I do cringe a little.

    2. unreason sure rode the fence. They let Virginia’s Democrat Governor, Democrat Lt. Governor, and Democrat Attorney General do the heavy lifting.

      Governor and Attorney General Blackfaces can step down now that the Virginia General Assembly has a Democrat as Speaker.

      Then Lt. Governor sexual assaulter can be replaced.

      There is no way Democrats were going to hand Virginia back to Republicans because of some shoe polish.

    3. I guess if you can’t put forward reasoned arguments in favor of whatever gun laws you’re advocating, it’s quicker and easier to tar the folks who disagree with you as “racists” or “white nationalists” or whatever. Gun control advocates have been taking that intellectually lazy course for fifty years or more. They’ve been labeling opponents of gun control as “hicks” and “rednecks” for years. Don’t expect them to change.

      1. good thing they weren’t caught in blackface….

  4. So Governor Blackface was worried about white supremacists. Classic Alinsky tactic.

    1. +1000

    2. fsir… he could be governor kkk blackface. We know he did blackface at least once, but he wouldnt tell us who he was in the Halloween pic.

  5. The press nevertheless did its best to make Northam’s nightmare seem plausible.

    Whether from an uninformed ideological bent or clicks-craving sensationalism, journalists continue to prove that they and their product cannot be trusted.

    1. My new favorite straight up obvious lie is now Don Lemon not hearing the full joke he was hysterically laughing at and he didnt mean to demean people on saturday.

    2. It’s all for the click. They push a narrative of violence to get clicks and only later admit there was none. It’s part of the 24 hour news cycle we’ve been on since 9/11. Of course the so called journalist have an ideological bent which add to the problem.

      1. Hey what’s up with the Latin tag?

        1. Ubi Ubi Est Mea Sub Ubi?

    3. Nonsense. White people are terrible. This is known.

  6. I suspect that Northam’s gun control push isn’t as much about guns as it is catering to his Democratic base, who want to punish gun owners, since they believe only white, racist, Trump voters would own firearms.

    1. That Virginia pendulum s6wong is going to be the fastest in history.

      1. Especially if the Democrats select a Presidential Candidate that does not satisfy D.C. bureaucrats and they stay home in Nov 2020.

        Doubtful that would happen but that would lead to NoVa voters losing control of Virginia.

        1. Soooo, Bernie then? Cause it’s looking like it could be Bernie.

          1. Nah. I like Red Rocks’s metaphor yesterday, that Bernie was a Jobber To The Stars, for the Democrats. Get the base fired up, eager to show up, donate, and vote, but have Bernie jusssssst lose in the end. Darn!

            It’s going to be Steyer or Bloomberg. Biden is just about done after this Ukraine business, nobody likes Warren, Buttigieg is too white and male, and gay doesn’t make up for that. Which leaves very few adults left in the room. Bloomberg is too easy to attack for being a social Nazi who knows how to run your life better than you do. Which leaves Steyer. I think whoever wins is grabbing Gabbard or Abrams as the Veep. Or Michelle Obama, LOL.

            Who really knows though? Super Tuesday is still over a month away.

            1. Virginia is an attempt to manufacture a wedge issue between Trump and his base. Despite the rally, the bills are going to be signed, and will go into effect July 1. Lots of time between July 1 and Election Day for all sorts of full retard oppression from the State of Virginia, and for some violence in return from gun owners. Neither is good for Trump.

              Trump is not a gun guy. A lot of the members of his base are. And in the back of their heads, are expecting Trump to take a giant shit on their rights. Which won’t do much to inspire them to vote for him in November.

              1. Gun owners don’t have to be inspired to vote for Trump.
                It looks like the Democrats are going full-bore to inspire gun owners to vote against Team Blue, by marking their ballots for Trump, even if he “is not a gun guy.”
                We’ve been used to voting “lesser of two evils” for decades.

                1. People got off their ass to vote against Hillary. Maybe the same will hold if they run Sanders or Warren? Who knows, I don’t see the ire against them that I remember seeing against Hillary.

                  All I’m saying is that, if Trump responds to any Virginia gun violence in August through October, with an AR ban or mag ban, a lot of gun owners are going to sit this one out. Or vote for Sanders to ‘accelerate the boogaloo’, as dumb as that may sound.

                  1. There is almost no chance that people concerned with gun rights or constitutional rights will “sit this one out”,no matter who the left puts up as a candidate. The left has gone full retard and most people know it.

                    Your average Democrat votor hasn’t gone that far into derp-land, but there is no candidate with a (D) after their name that hasn’t

                    1. Your average Democrat votor hasn’t gone that far into derp-land

                      I’d actually concur with this. Even if they don’t like Trump and won’t vote for him regardless, that doesn’t mean they’re like the shrieking baboons who dominate the Twitterverse or completely share their views. The problem is that nearly all of the candidates the Dems put up are either full-reeeeeetard types like Bernie or Warren, idpol tokens like Booker or Castro, or malbushim like Beto. Being in that radical-left bubble, they all think that most voters want to give free healthcare to illegal immigrants, support open borders, and that college should be completely free of charge to everyone.

            2. Bernie was a Jobber To The Stars, for the Democrats. Get the base fired up, eager to show up, donate, and vote, but have Bernie jusssssst lose in the end. Darn!

              ^ This. I still vividly remember Robert Reich’s pied piper commercials immediately after the 2016 convention:

              “Hi, Bernie Supporters! Thanks for helping us get our priorities straight! We really liked Bernie, too, and are sooper sad he just barely didn’t make it, but we’ve heard you! Now do your duty and vote for Hillary.”

              1. Red Rocks really was inspired when he came up with it. Found myself nodding along as I was reading.

                I wonder what it’ll take to buy him off this time? He’s already done the beach house and corporate jet as his beck and call.

                Alternately, why not let him run? Not like he (or anyone else) is going to beat Trump. Why not let the Marxist wing get humiliated?

                Plus he’s what, 80? How long is he really going to live once he gets in the Big Chair and the stress starts up for real? Give him a young gun to be veep, or a Chauncey Gardner type that can be led around, and rely on Mother Nature taking care of a Sanders Presidency before it really starts.

                1. Didn’t realize Hillary’s new nickname was Mother Nature but otherwise your post makes a lot of sense.

    2. “…since they believe only white, racist, Trump voters would own firearms.”

      Yes, it makes for a very convenient narrative. And of course guns are inherently evil and have no place in a modern society like theirs.

      Lemon and his ilk stoke this notion of irredeemable deplorables, ignorant hicks, and clingers not only because it pleases their base and viewers, but because they actually believe in their own superiority. Manichean indeed.

      1. I’ll say it till I’m blue in the face: Lemon and his colleagues should be the very last people who want to push an issue like this to a violent conclusion.

        There won’t be enough room in the American Green Zone for all of the helpers in media and entertainment. Lemon and his colleagues seem to think the disdain and hatred only flows one way.

    3. There is reason for your suspicion.

      The rank-and-file of the anti-gun cult fear the street thug and the gangbanger, and generally trust the institution of law enforcement and criminal justice.

      this is not true of the Woketarian Left that makes up the Democratic base. They believe that the criminal justice system is broken and racist. they believe that gangs like MS-13 are victims of society.

      So how does the anti-gun cult leadership gain their support, given their distrust of the very institutions that will enforce “common sense”, “sensible” gun legislation?

      They do this by tying gun ownership to white Christians males, who is the boogeyman for the Woketarian Left.

    4. The current crop of Virginia Democrats were bought and paid for by Michael Bloomberg.
      Like David Hogg et alia, what comes out of their mouths is controlled by the hand manipulating their sockpuppet lips.

  7. In the meantime, the VA Legislature will pass gun control legislation that does infringe on 2A rights. That will be litigated.

  8. 2nd Amendment:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    All gun control is unconstitutional and therefore illegal.

  9. “Erroneous predictions of violence”

    Also known as bald faced lies from a fascist.

    1. I have heard it said that the presence of armed white men WAS violence.

      Facts mean nothing to these people.

  10. I imagine it’s both. Northam wanted to reinstate the one gun a month policy that Virginias governor repealed in 2012?. Supposedly Virginia much like Indiana supposedly is a purveyor of firearms to criminals in states surrounding it. I wonder if I proposed a law limiting one alcoholic purchase a month, or one of virtually anything a month if Virginians who support northam would be pissed off. I could only hope as then many they could understand why bullshit laws have no place in our books.

    1. This was supposed to be a comment to Jerry b. Guess I messed up.

      1. No, you did not mess up. It was Trump.

    2. It’s not Virginia’s problem that surrounding states are violating their state resident’s rights to keep and bear Arms.

      Laughing these Democrats out of office and out of communities is what should have been done with these unconstitutional and logic-lacking laws.

      Instead we are here. Non-Lefty Americans are getting sick of their Constitutional rights being trampled and willing to do something about it.

      1. It’s not Virginia’s problem that surrounding states are violating their state resident’s rights to keep and bear Arms.

        That reminds me of when then-Mayor Bloomberg was sending undercover cops out-of-state to conduct straw purchases, and ended up exposing a federal gun running investigation.

        1. As I recall, Bloomberg’s straw purchase publicity stunt outted and hurt a gun dealer who was cooperating with ATF investigating people buying guns for resale.

  11. Civil libertarians are now militant fascists, eh?

    50 years ago, it was the militant fascists who were repressing civil libertarians. So times have changed!

    Except they haven’t changed. It’s still all about the fascists exerting control. The difference is they are much more into projection than ever before. Just look at the so called “antifa” that is actually “protifa.” And this governor and his ilk are the same.

    1. +10000

    2. Maybe it’s time for militant civil libertarians?

      1. Ding ding ding

      2. Schlichter calls them “militant normals”

  12. Keep squeezing it get every last drop. You do know you have a 2nd Amendment and a compliant federal judiciary? Spare me the hysterics. I purposefully paid little attention to it. A friend of mine told he saw some of it on Facebook and he noticed some idiot rightwinger complaining about the “Nazi liberals” as he was standing next to a guy with a “Right Wing Death Squad’ patch. You’ll also find that Nazi skull death head symbol all among these “civil libertarians”.

    1. You’re link fell off so we can see what skull and crossbones you’re talking about.

      It seems like you’re confused. Nazis are Socialists. Its called the National Socialist German Workers Party.

      On a political spectrum, Right-Wing people are conservatives. They dont take over government via revolution which is Left-wing method. Conservatives support change only when there is mass support for it. Monarchies and Theocracies are extreme right wing and the most conservative type of political group as change is rare.

      1. It’s like the kkk, eugenics, slavery, and everything else. The reason the left sought to take over schools was so they could lie and teach idiots that all those bad things they did in the past were really conservatives. The south didnt flip until the 1990s and polling showed a lot less racism after that fact, yet idiots still push the Southern Strategy meme. They do this all the time. The left indoctrinated, they dont teach.

        The irony that the left finally was able to convince minorities to self segregate after failing the last 150 years is astounding. Everything the left does is for either power or racism.

        1. The Southern Democrats dont control the narrative, so they just go along with being the whipping boy for Coastal Lefties.

          Black Southern Democrats are starting to get sick of it and leaving the Party of slavery forever.

          Tried and true tactics of Lefty control are Propaganda, re-education, and segregation.

      2. What about the right-wing military dictatorships of the past in Argentina and Chile? There was no mass support for them. You’re not making the best argument to support your opinion.

        1. How many people did they kill? Are we going to compare numbers to find out who is worse?

        2. First of all, what right-wing military dictatorships in Argentina and Chile? Those were Socialists and/or Communists, who did a military coup, and controlled the means of production.

          Left-Wing political group do revolutions. No revolution in recorded human history was ever started by a majority in that country. Otherwise, there would never be a revolution. It would be whatever political turnover is opposite of revolution for that country.

          The American Revolution was not started by a majority. The Founders were Classic Liberals which are slightly Left of Centrist Libertarians. King George’s British Empire was an example of Right-Wing.

          1. I said change usually requires mass support for Conservatives. The Magna Carta was only agreed to by the Right-Wing King John of England because a majority of rebellious nobles and church officials thought it could save them from the King’s unlimited powers.

            1. Give it up, LC. The whole left/right spectrum thing is just a crutch for simpletons like Tony and the other buttplugger.

        3. As far as Chile goes, you are underestimating the popularity of free helicopter rides. Also, it not like Allende’s government was something to admire.

          1. “free helicopter rides”

            Too soon.

    2. Northam and the rest of you idiots tried to bait a mass shooting into taking place (same thing that happened when “Joker” was about to come out), and nothing happened.

      A friend of mine told he saw some of it on Facebook and he noticed some idiot rightwinger complaining about the “Nazi liberals” as he was standing next to a guy with a “Right Wing Death Squad’ patch.

      And the guy’s name? Albert Einstein.

    3. It’s a Spoof, guys. Reread the bit about “purposefully not paying attention”.

    4. Oh, yes, ONLY the Nazis ever use death’s-head images.

      1. This.
        The skull has been shorthand for “don’t fuck with me” since before longhand existed.

    5. “…Spare me the hysterics. I purposefully paid little attention to it…”

      I’m sure this approach is your default mode when presented with information showing you have your head up your ass.
      IOWs, pretty much all the time.

    6. OMFG You like totally heard it from a friend someone wore something??? It’s like the 4th Reich I tell ya!
      Piss off you pathetic little sack of shit.

    7. “A friend of mine told he saw some of it on Facebook …”

      And on Twitter I saw a “militia” guy with a .50 Barrett’s posing with Black Panthers all smiling together for the camera on 2020 VCDL Lobby Day which as been held for over decade without incident, until Democrat Gov Northam’s reign. Oh, the racial violence that NEVER HAPPENED on 20 Jan 2020.

      And I have seen the Punisher skull a lot among “extreme” gun rights advocates who are apparently extreme MARVEL Comics fans, but not the Totenkopf (death head) skull.

  13. If the media has gone mendaciously hyperbolic in supporting a Democrat political initiative that you know is wrong, where and when might they have done this on other issues?

    They keep making these types journalistic transgressions in the same direction.

  14. It’s so strange that the people the Regressive Left insists are the “real” terrorists never erupt into violent riots, but their astroturfed black bloc instigators can’t so much as get together for a cup of coffee without mass assaults and property damage.

  15. Gun grabbers have egg on their face but won’t acknowledge it.

    1. That’s not egg.

  16. What will be interesting is when the State arrests someone in SW Virginia for failing to register his AR, he requests a jury trial, and his neighbors not only acquit him in 5 minutes, but do so because they think the law is unjust.

    You know someone is planning for this already, or should be.

  17. “Erroneous predictions of violence at the Richmond rally conflated civil libertarians with militant racists.”

    “Erroneous?” No. Erroneous implies an honest error has occurred.

    This was bald-faced lying from start to finish with a political agenda attached. Do not call it erroneous.

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  19. Good article.

  20. The best thing that could happen for Virginians who value civil liberties and freedom would be for a democrat to be elected POTUS. What we have seen the past 2 years with our state turning into California East/ NYC South has as much to do with TDS as it does with progtards from these states moving here because of our favorable business climate that Coonman and his progtards are starting to destroy. Get rid of orange man and maybe they will wake up to this fact when their favorite restaurants and wine bars close because they can’t afford the 15 wage.

    1. You have seen the current crop of candidates, right?

  21. Whatever your position regarding abortion, military spending, immigration, gay rights, and the right to die I think we can all agree that what makes a libertarian a real libertarian is one’s ability to stockpile guns and ammo for the upcoming civil war with the Deep State


    1. Your position is your pinhead sized head shoved up your ass.

    2. OK, Hihn.

  22. I was disappointed. What with the government still run by Obama in his Deep State bunker despite having the pretty picture of Dear Leader on TV you don’t think it’s time for a shootout with the federal government? The people attending this march were clearly Deep State stand-ins designed to divide and conquer true patriots whose only recourse giving their suppression by Hillary Clinton’s Democratic paedophile ring is to have a shootout with the local constable


    1. Uh, you might want to read up on “Days of Rage,” ( or get a 6th-grader to read it for you, since it doesn’t have pictures to color) before squawking about blowing up government buildings.

    2. You suck at everything you are trying to do.

  23. Northam is a lying turd. Gun control advocates are equally turdy. Hillary and the anti- electoral college crowd – turds. They might read the Constitution and the Federalist for context otherwise they remain ignorant, lying turds

    1. I;m liking the way you put that; no turding around now.

  24. Regarding that “Unite the Right” rally, was anyone injured with firearms? Were any guns fired at all?

    1. Well, the guy who crashed his car into people claims he was trying to flee from some Antifa-type with a rifle, but I’m not sure how much I believe him, and even if there’s some element of truth to it, I doubt whoever he identified was chasing down his car, specifically, and the guy just panicked, and is looking for a scapegoat. Either way, no, no shots were fired.

    1. While I agree with the general sentiment, did he do/say something specific recently?

      1. Yes, during a sit-down with AOC at some self-congratulatory event, AOC mentioned the gun protest taking place in Virginia, and Tah Nesi Coates quipped “And on Martin Luther King Day”– suggesting that civil rights protest for the second amendment was somehow disrespectful to black people.

        1. Yeah – he can fuck right off.

        2. Virginia Citizen’s Defense League frequently has had 19 or 20 Jan as their Virginia Lobby Day. 20 Jan 2020 and 19 Jan 2009 VCDL Virginia Lobby Days were both Mondays. That may be a sinister pattern.

          Virginia Nurses have 28 and 30 Jan, 4 and 6 Feb as their Virginia Lobby Day in 2020. I suppose some ax grinder could find something offensive about those dates and raise a Twitter outrage mob if they wanted to.

    2. He gives white liberals something to do with their time.

  25. I grew up in the Midwest and if people want guns to defend their home, engage in sports and hunting, then I support that. However, if you see a stranger walk into a Starbucks with a gun are you going to assume he is demonstrating his First Amendment rights or that he intends to rob the place or just kill a bunch of people for no reason? Just as you shouldn’t yell fire in a crowded theater, walking around with open carry without an obvious reason (such as being military or law enforcement) is going to make people rightfully nervous. Also a “good guy with a gun” can often get killed when the police show up, because they don’t know who is the good guy vs the bad guy.

    1. David French had an article this past week [sorry I cannot find the link just now] about those who make a mockery of the second amendment by “coplaying” SEAL teams and such. The point is to know your audience, and if showing up with your AR in full battle gear really does anything to accomplish your goals or if it just feeds into already entrenched stereotypes.

      Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. You need to know your audience.

      I tend to agree, which is why I carry any weapon concealed unless I am on the range.

    2. However, if you see a stranger walk into a Starbucks with a gun are you going to assume he is demonstrating his First Amendment rights or that he intends to rob the place or just kill a bunch of people for no reason?

      Open carry should be 100% legal, but the weapon should be holstered. The gun rights advocates that showed up at Starbucks several years ago with guns in hand is something I don’t like. It’s brandishing. You shouldn’t remove your weapon from your holster unless you intend to discharge it.

      Having said that, a “good guy with a gun” can absolutely be killed but that more often than not says something about the state of policing than it does legal gun ownership.

      Personally, I’m a proponent of conceal carry. The theory being that open carry protects the carrier, conceal carry protects everyone. Also, if you open carry, and someone else in the crowd has malicious intent and is aware of it, the pistol on your hip tells the bad actor to “shoot me first”.

      1. Having said that, a “good guy with a gun” can absolutely be killed but that more often than not says something about the state of policing than it does legal gun ownership.

        ^ This.

        Although I’ll bet that the fact that the “good guy with a gun” will always be killed in a movie or TV show doesn’t reflect reality all that accurately.

    3. However, if you see a stranger walk into a Starbucks with a gun are you going to assume he is demonstrating his First Amendment rights or that he intends to rob the place or just kill a bunch of people for no reason?

      Depends on context and how normal that may or may not be where you are.

      If I’m in rural Texas and a guy walks into a Starbucks with a gun on his hip, I probably wouldn’t think much of it, and wouldn’t even see it as some kind of statement about 2A rights. It’s just a guy carrying a gun in a part of the country where that’s normal.

      If a guy walks into a Starbucks in Oakland CA with a gun, where that’s a very illegal to do, and where being openly armed tends to signal a certain level of criminality, I’m going to assume his intentions are unwholesome.

  26. Nothing is going to make up for your hysterical impeachment bleating last week, but you are always on the mark with this issue. Redeem yourself Jacob!

  27. Where was Antifa? Not so brave black shirts after all I guess.

  28. It’s no difference from calling people who don’t believe (all that) Holocaust stuff Nazis and anti-Semites.
    It’s lying we hate. And liars. And people who wrongly accuse us.

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  31. There are three types of people: wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs. The wolves prey on the sheep and are afraid of the sheepdogs. The sheepdogs serve the Shepherd and protect the Flock. The sheep just want to eat their grass and wish to be left in peace; but even though the sheepdogs are there to protect them – from the sheep’s perspective, the sheepdog still looks an awful lot like a wolf. This is why the sheep want the sheepdogs to have their teeth (guns) taken away. They see little difference between the sheepdogs and the wolves. But even if the sheepdogs pull their teeth and turn to eating grass, the wolves will not. Sheepdogs, do not give up your guns or your right to fight back, no matter how loudly the sheep may bleat.

  32. Oh, please, how stupid do you think people are? This protest came and went without violence because the POLICE DIDN’T START ANY. I see no water cannons, no sound cannons, no cops in riot gear, certainly there were no undercover FBI agent provocateurs in the crowd of right-wingers. Imagine for a moment a crowd of Black people or Muslims armed and dressed for battle marching down a city street. Oh, hell yes, there would be violence. Violence from the Right and their hired guns.

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