Before the tear gas clouds had cleared from this week’s siege at the U.S. Capitol, the campaign to derail America’s next major gun rights demonstration was already underway.
Gun haters shrieking on Twitter immediately escalated their activity, with Virginia’s ‘Gun Saves Lives’ mega-event kicks off in a little more than a week.
I saw a lot of these orange VCDL stickers in the crowd today.
These violent insurrectionists will have guns at the VA state Capitol Jan 18. pic.twitter.com/16Ly2zohyE
— Thomas Bowman (@ThomasBowmanPR) January 7, 2021
Richmond Virginia 1/20/20. At the Virginia capital.
These gun rights stunts throughout the past few years, are part of what has emboldened the Trumpists. pic.twitter.com/80ZfFnV2cG
— gramma J (@JesseeBonnie) January 7, 2021
On January 18th, gun rights supporters in the Old Dominion and from across the country will once again trek to the state capitol in Richmond to stand for the Second Amendment as part of the Virginia Citizens Defense League annual Lobby Day gathering.
Last January, more than 25,000 gun rights supporters ringed the State Capitol complex openly carrying their sidearms and long guns. It was one of the most striking Second Amendment demonstrations in American history.
The 2020 pictures and news accounts of the gathering—which was expertly organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League—was a gut punch to gun control radicals.
The event last January was the equivalent of the entire population of Fredericksburg, Virginia swamping the Capitol City with openly armed citizens.
And now, with little more than a week to go until Lobby Day 2021, gun control extremists are ramping up the pressure on Virginia’s governor and Richmond city officials to throw down every possible roadblock, citing the alleged threat of “far right radical violence” that, in their fevered view, will carry over from the Capitol siege of this week.
The response from the Virginia Citizens Defense League: don’t allow the overheated messaging from the Left to deter you from converging on Richmond on the 18th.
VCDL President Philip Van Cleave says the current social media posts alleging “right wing threats” is nothing more than a sky-is-falling shaming effort designed to separate you from your fellow guns rights supporters.
Van Cleave notes the hypocrisy:
When gun grabbers burn down buildings and beat up and kill people, they are mostly “peaceful demonstrators. When we hold a peaceful rally, it’s “a stunt”. The VCDL continues on course for our Lobby Day on January 18th.
So, how is it that the side that is at war with America’s freedoms can so blithely ignore their own modern history of attempting to derail one of the branches of government?
Two years ago it was Democrat radicals, enraged by the confirmation of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who fought with police and kicked over barriers near the U.S. Capitol in an effort to occupy the U.S. Supreme Court Building.
That mob of protesters rushed the entrance to the Court, kicking and pounding the massive brass doors with feet, fists and sign poles in an effort to breach the building.
Fortunately, the building’s massive doors held, but the protesters intent was clear: occupy the third branch of government and put the Justices in fear of their lives.
Undeterred, the enemies of the Constitution and our freedoms continue to caterwaul that they somehow occupy the high ground, as if their own “occupy and destroy” history was just a figment of the “far right insurrectionists'” imaginations.
Clearly, tensions about U.S. political divisions and violence are as high right now as they have been in a generation. And with the report of a Capitol Police officer succumbing to his injuries following the U.S. Capitol siege, one can expect heightened feelings among law enforcement, especially among those who answered the call to aid the Capitol Police with the chaos.
Virginia shares a border with the District of Columbia, and Virginia’s governor sent members of the National Guard to Washington this week along with 200 Virginia State Troopers. Undoubtedly, some of those personnel have witnessed, up close, the grief and mourning for a fellow officer who lost his life.
Although, the Virginia governor has committed the Guard members and VSP troopers to aid DC officials with security through Inauguration Day, one could expect some of those troopers will be called back to Richmond for Lobby Day on the 18th.
Will their presence translate to more tension between the arriving gun rights supporters and law enforcement on Lobby Day? It’s a virtual certainty that political pressure from agitated gun haters in Virginia and elsewhere will result in the largest turnout ever by law enforcement at the Virginia Capitol complex.
In the view of many, it would be wise to step lightly as America’s next big 2A event unfolds. However, VCDL officials stress to all who have Lobby Day 2021 on their calendars, do not be deterred from stepping forward to advocate for your enumerated civil rights to peaceably assemble and to keep and bear arms.
The VCDL proudly points to a two decade record of peaceful open carry Lobby Day events, with no incidents. The 2021 Lobby Day, though, will unfold in a significantly different way than last year, with tens of thousands of 2A boots on the ground fully occupying streets for blocks around the Virginia statehouse.
This year, the VCDL has dispensed with a designated meet-up on the Capitol grounds, and is instead organizing vehicle caravans to converge on Richmond from all corners of the Commonwealth.
Lobby Day participants are urged to join established caravans during the morning, or form their own, all with an eye toward ringing the Capitol complex by afternoon with vehicles decked out in gun rights banners and flags.
The VCDL is making its trademark “Guns Save Lives” flags and placards available with a suggested donation through many Virginia gun stores. A full list of locations and Lobby Day updates can be found at VCDL.org.
Once in Richmond, participants will face a changed legal environment that involves new pop-up “gun-free” zones. These temporary zones are supposed to be triggered when groups apply to the city for “event” permits.
VCDL officials fully expect “AstroTurf’ gun control groups to try to acquire as many “event” permits as possible on the streets surrounding the Virginia statehouse in a cynical effort to create a gun control buffer zone.
That said, the VCDL has committed to engaging with the Richmond Police Department over the next week to get them to identify these temporary “gun free” zones and communicate them to participants who wish to take to the Richmond sidewalks while openly armed.
As always, before converging on Richmond, educate yourself on Virginia’s regulations for the legal transport of firearms in vehicles and/or on the city sidewalks. There is a 20-round magazine limit to be aware of for some residents and non-residents. The VCDL has extensive guidance on this so that citizens can be assured of avoiding complications.
Once again, as the VCDL proclaims, be determined to stand for your rights, not deterred.