Before yesterday’s rally for the Second Amendment in Virginia even began, Virginia Democrats were smearing it as a dangerous “racist” rally. We were warned that everyone from white supremacist groups to fringe militias and possibly even antifa would be showing up. Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency ahead of the rally, preventing anyone from carrying firearms at the capitol building, and signaling to the media that danger was afoot. “They’re not coming to peacefully protest. They are coming to intimidate and cause harm,” be said at a press conference.
An estimated 22,000 turned out for the rally, 16,000 of which were armed, and there wasn’t a single act of violence. The average protester turned out to be about as provocative as Nick Sandmann’s smirk (i.e., not at all provocative to any sane individual), and the only arrest was for someone who wore a mask in public. Journalists sympathetic to antifa and oblivious to irony were quick to highlight the arrest.
Rather than admit they were mistaken, Northam cited the peacefulness of yesterday’s protests as proof that his unspecified de-escalation measures worked. He also said he would continue to “listen to the voices or Virginians” in a widely ridiculed tweet.
Northam: I will continue to listen to the voices of Virginians – except for the tens of thousands that just showed up to protest my gun control policies
— Bongino Report (@BonginoReport) January 20, 2020
Northam didn’t listen – he won’t be listening – and his fellow Democrats proved that today.
As WTVR reported: [On Tuesday] the Democratic-led Senate gave preliminary approval to approved the so-called “red flag” law. SB 240 would create a process for attorneys and law enforcement to file emergency orders prohibiting a person from purchasing, possessing or transferring a firearm if they pose “a substantial risk of injury to himself or others.”
In a separate article covering Virginia’s Congress today, WTVR reported that: Democrats rejected several Republican-sponsored bills to loosen restrictions. Some of those bills include carrying a concealed handgun with no permit required, firearm free zones designated by localities and carrying weapons in places of worship.
Last week Virginia passed three gun control bills. The three bills require background checks on all firearm sales (SB 70), limit handgun purchases to one per month (SB 69), and allow localities to ban guns from public events (SB 35). The most radical bill (SB 16) which included the ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, bump stocks, and silencers, was killed, but it’s already on track to be resurrected. A nearly identical bill to SB 16 remains alive, and those three aforementioned laws only represent what is going to be the first wave of many.
Virginia’s legislators haven’t listened when tens of thousands showed up to protest. Hopefully the protesters are just as enthusiastic to vote all these legislators out of office.