By Jeff Hulbert
Once upon a time in Virginia, a little emperor named Michael Bloomberg threw a gun control party, but gun rights advocates crashed it…bigly. And what a party it was.
Unfortunately, we neglected to RSVP.
Spoiler Alert: this story has a happy ending with Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign bus veering off into a political ditch at its final stop in Virginia on Sunday night.
That’s because members of my Patriot Picket crew joined forces with the Virginia Citizens Defense League and others to give the arriving Bloomberg team a Second Amendment welcome—one that absolutely undercut the boisterous gun-control festivities that they had planned for the evening.
Spoiler Alert #2: The media came to cover the Bloomberg event, but our Second Amendment crowd hijacked the coverage and flipped the media narrative to be a story about Bloomberg opposition.
That’s a win, but more about that in a moment.
Almost 200 Second Amendment supporters massed on the sidewalk outside Bloomberg’s brand new campaign office with signs and bullhorns to greet the Bloomberg ”Gun Violence Prevention Tour” when it pulled up in the overwhelmingly liberal Northern Virginia enclave of Arlington for an Second Amendment infringement gala.
The, uh, fly in the anti-gun punchbowl, however, was that our impromptu gun rights rally attendance was two to three times the number of the Bloomberg minions gathered inside.
In addition to the VCDL members that mixed in with our Patriot Picket squad, we were also supplemented by the ArfCom Regulars, who made their own entrance.
With a drummer at the front, they marched up the sidewalk in formation with banners held high—and bullhorn blaring—to rendezvous with us.
That meant fans of the authoritarian New Yorker had to run a gauntlet of chants, criticism, freedom messages and liberty placards to scurry inside a hastily-rented storefront that was slavishly and garishly plastered with hundreds of “We Like Mike” posters.
The Bloomberg campaign’s plans was for several hours of rah-rah festivities including speeches that would lift the drifting Democrats to such dizzying heights of ecstasy about New York-style gun control that a single milk crate wouldn’t nearly be enough for Michael Bloomberg to stand on in order to be seen.
But, for many of the Bloombots attending, the event turned into a surprise party.
The first surprise: Michael Bloomberg was not on the bus when it arrived. The Little Emperor apparently chose to skip the occasion after the heavy anti-Bloomberg patriot pushback encountered at his stops in the Tidewater Virginia region late last week.
As best we could tell, the lack of a rear entrance to the Bloomberg campaign storefront likely played a role in the decision by the self-funded billionaire to bypass his own campaign event—which would have exposed him to the kind of sidewalk derision he doesn’t want the media to see.
So, the dizzying heights of gun control passion were never reached, as the Infringement Gala ran out of steam little more than halfway through the allotted time.
For most of their gathering, the surrogates and supporters were simply worn down and drowned out by the 2A cheers and “Go Home Bloomberg!” chants pounding them from just outside their windows by a fired-up patriot gathering that never flagged.
The scene, which took place just around the corner from the Pentagon and right across the Potomac river from our nation’s capitol, was also supposed to be the grand opening of the Bloomberg campaign office there.
The contrasts were stark.
Here in Arlington, Va. for a @MikeBloomberg campaign event with gun control activists and DC mayor @MurielBowser, hundreds of gun rights activists are here in protest, blocking attendees from getting in. pic.twitter.com/l5MgFhwcjx
— Matt Cohen (@Matt_D_Cohen) February 9, 2020
Inside the Bloomberg campaign HQ, not a single American flag could be seen as their paid surrogates blathered endlessly about gun control while distracted with the chants and cheers from the sidewalk. Our 2A gathering just outside the Bloomberg windows had plenty of American flags.
The Bloombots inside just kept going when we doffed our hats and recited the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by our renditions of the National Anthem and “God Bless America”.
That was followed by everyone on our side taking a knee to honor the sacrifices of our fighting men and women to defend American freedom in combat, along with a huge cheer for our veterans attending.
After that it was time to let loose. The Bloombots were huddled in the storefront with a crew of private security guys glaring back at us.
Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser was the key political surrogate for Bloomberg at the Arlington event, touting Mayor Mike as a gun violence savior.
As the chief Bloomberg cheerleader, Mayor Bowser had obviously decided at some point to overlook the former New York City’s mayor’s unconstitutional “stop and frisk” program targeting thousands of African-Americans in the Big Apple.
— DCist (@DCist) February 11, 2020
Bowser appeared to struggle for the undivided attention of the minions as our side bombarded the storefront with wave after wave of chants like “We will not comply!” “Bloomberg bribes buy our rights!” and “Guns save lives!”.
In fact, the two chief surrogates for Bloomberg were both women, which stood in high contrast to the very visible presence of the wives, girlfriends, sisters, and mothers standing for gun rights just outside the windows—with many holding signs reading “Gun Rights Are Women’s Rights” and “Guns Saves Lives!”.
The campaign’s gun control bash, which could easily be watched through the glass storefront was—shocked face—devoid of large sugary drinks and only mini-Mike-sized portions of appetizers were offered.
That, along with heaping helpings of scorn dropped on them by our freedom-loving sidewalk truth squad, seemed to explain the sour looks on all the faces of the “We Like Mike” supporters as they tried to listen to the propaganda that was regularly drowned out by our 2A chants.
To add to the fun, some of our gun rights advocates were able to bamboozle their way past Bloomberg’s bouncers guarding the door to the campaign office grand opening.
A couple of protesters snuck in and tried to crash the event, campaign staff tries to play them off to…. Fatboy Slim. pic.twitter.com/fE0uSADfMg
— Matt Cohen (@Matt_D_Cohen) February 10, 2020
Our “gun control” imposters then took to the stage and surprised the Bloombergians by commandeering the microphone to offer speeches—albeit brief ones—on “gun rights as a civil right” before being ushered out of the storefront to the cheers and high-fives from the our 2A crowd.
As gun rights supporters, we were not about to keep all this hilarity to ourselves.
Throughout the time we were there our Patriot Picket Facebook livestream of the event brought 1,800 other folks along for the ride.
With viewers tuning in from across 2A Nation, we asked for shoutouts and got back responses—by our rough count—from more than 40 states.
The president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League was also logged on and watching from his central Virginia home, and was generous in his praise for the turnout .
When it came time to shut it all down, the Bloomberg sycophants dashed away with their heads ducked down, as if they would face the kind of mob action and violence that leftists have made famous.
That didn’t happen.
Some though, when verbally poked about how cheaply Bloomberg bought their vote, became so agitated, they had to be escorted away by a few of the Arlington police contingent that was detailed to the event.
Such sour faces. Such a contrast to the happy warrior vibe that our side brings to these demonstrations. It must be so tiresome for anti-gun rights leftists to be that bitter all the time.
Which brings us to the compliments we got from law enforcement—who told us they were not sure what to expect. For many police officers in the liberal bubble of northern Virginia, many had never dealt with this kind of major gathering of gun rights supporters.
We were thanked heartily for our efforts to keep a path open on the sidewalk for uninvolved pedestrians and for our disciplined approach to avoid even inadvertent physical contact with the agitated Bloombots.
One officer told us our demonstration was the “gold standard” in the use of the First Amendment.
Other officers leaned in to thank us in quiet conversations, identifying themselves as solid 2A supporters who were grateful for our efforts on their behalf.
We parted company in Arlington knowing that Bloomberg had been handed a major defeat in his quest to swoop into Northern Virginia as a gun control conquering hero.
Next to the fawning media coverage he gets in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, Bloomberg expected coverage of a campaign office grand Opening—in a liberal bastion where one can see the Washington Monument on the horizon—to be a major media market cakewalk.
Instead it was a bust for the Little Emperor as virtually all media accounts mentioned the large pro-gun rights presence there.
While expecting fawning news coverage from the major Washington, DC TV stations that are running his advertising blizzards, Bloomberg’s grand opening resulted only in multiple news stories focused on the intense opposition to his gun control mania.
There are just some things money can’t buy.
Jeff Hulbert is the founder of Patriot Picket.