Just twelve days downstream from the the melee at the U.S. Capitol, tensions were maxed out as Virginia’s highest-profile citizen militia strode to the western boundary of the statehouse grounds in Richmond, rifles slung across their chest rigs.
And then….nothing happened.
There was, of course, plenty of press clamor around the group as part of yesterday’s Virginia Citizens Defense League Lobby Day event in Richmond, and the media jockeyed for pictures and soundbites.
However, no clash with Richmond police took place. No confrontation with Virginia State Troopers.
In a battle of wills with anti-gun politicians Monday, Mike Dunn and his Last Sons of Liberty militia had called the gun-haters’ bluff…and won. Murky threats that they would be disarmed and arrested for openly carrying their long guns and sidearms didn’t happen.
The Virginia militia’s march to the statehouse grounds followed a week of social media posts that converged into one forecast: the squad would certainly be in handcuffs on VCDL Lobby Day for defying a puzzling new law. The regulation in question purports to create pop-up gun-free zones, seemingly wherever anti-gun politicians want them.
However, the language of the law makes it unclear who or what triggers temporary gun bans for the city of Richmond or many other incorporated Virginia cities that have also adopted the oddly constructed ordinance.
For their part, Richmond Police cobbled together a tortured explanation for pop-up gun-free zones to satisfy some favored outlets quizzing them about it.
They said that a temporary gun ban can evolve one of two ways: when actual people step up to host an event so as to earn a temporary gun-free zone for their art or food festival, or, when city officials and police think someone should have stepped up to be a host.
Wait….what? Confused? Is it possible that pop-up gun bans in Richmond and elsewhere would come at the behest of a “ghost host” or even an Imaginary Friend of a city official? Who is the “should” party in those circumstances?
Don’t laugh. The quirky loophole in the law is real.
From the point of view of militia leader Mike Dunn, a marine veteran, resistance to a crude ploy to strip a Second Amendment freedom could not be sidestepped. With city and state law enforcement close enough to hear them on Monday, Dunn declared to the assembled media:
“We will not comply. We are here to break the unconstitutional city ordinance and defy it.”
“We are the young men of this country, that love our country, that love freedom. We hate tyranny, whether that be Trump or Biden. We support the Constitution.”
In a Twitter message put up this past week, the Richmond Police Department comically weighed in with a quick social media pop to try to explain a temporary gun ban at the Capitol for Monday.
In reference to city ordinance banning firearms at gatherings where posted, firearms are banned at permitted events/events that would require a permit. Gatherings that would require a permit are groups of 11+ people obstructing pedestrian/vehicular traffic in vicinity of signs pic.twitter.com/s4wCPDkoMH
— Richmond Police (@RichmondPolice) January 18, 2021
So, was it possible to get beyond the Twitter Show & Tell describing pop-up gun bans to get more substantive answers from city leadership? It was time for TTAG to call the RPD spokespeople directly.
Over the course of several days leading up to Monday’s militia and armed citizen caravan and walkabout, repeated calls were made to the Richmond Police Department’s “media office” asking them to take yet another shot at explaining how these pop-up gun-free-zones are born.
All calls went to voice mail and no calls were returned.
Apparently, it was because the Richmond Police were too busy blockading the city’s main thoroughfares at the very moment that gun rights caravans—organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League—were streaming toward the statehouse for Monday’s Lobby Day event.
Hundreds of buses, cars and trucks had been decked out with gun rights messages, flags and banners for the occasion. VCDL organizers decided it was the optimum way to bring their “Guns Saves Lives” message to Richmond in the era of Covid-19.
In the run-up to Lobby Day, city of Richmond officials had designated only a few streets bordering the statehouse complex to be off-limits to vehicles. So, it was only natural then for VCDL caravan navigators to plan to motor down Richmond’s Broad Street corridor for maximum visibility. Broad Street is to Richmond, as Pennsylvania Ave is to Washington, DC.
But at noon on Monday, just as the first VCDL caravan approached the city, Richmond’s Chief of Police suddenly ordered Broad Street shut down for the 14 blocks near the statehouse. The reason given through subordinates was that a shooting incident at a service station far away from the Capitol complex “jeopardized Richmond public safety.” Allegedly.
In all, 28 square blocks of downtown Richmond was deemed off-limits to all traffic Monday afternoon, including, most prominently, four long VCDL gun rights caravans. What a coincidence.
Of course, against all odds, Richmond politicians had managed to put 2 + 2 together Caravans circulating in the area of the statehouse would be dropping off significant numbers of armed “tourists,” a development that was sure to drive even more media coverage of the VCDL’s “Guns Saves Lives” message of the day.
Those armed tourists would be more than happy to join up with the militia member who stood their ground against a “pop-up” gun ban earlier in the day. Of course, it didn’t happen.
However disappointed VCDL caravaners were at being detoured into distant corners of Richmond, VCDL leaders shrugged their shoulders and looked at the bright side, noting that the caravans’ mission was always to be in front of regular folks wherever they could be found. So VCDL leaders decided to declare victory over gun hate for the day, as their member vehicles made their final laps on any streets that they could find open in metro Richmond.
At the end of the day, a big hat tip was earned by Mike Dunn and his Last Sons of Liberty group for ignoring the (not so) veiled threats of arrest on a day that an unknown “ghost host” signed an imaginary “event permit,” hoping to trigger a Monday “gun-free zone” around the statehouse.
Dunn and his crew didn’t fall for it.
They challenged the city to arrest them on the basis of a nebulous, flawed gun ban regulation and in the end, the gun haters blinked. It was nothing less than the ultimate principled stand for freedom in the face of those who fear it most.
Sooo…how do yah have an “insurrection” without firearms?!? Breaking: They “vetted” National Guard patriots for the “crime” of supporting a militia. Patrick Henry is weeping from his grave😖😞😢
All you need is zip ties.
No shit I just stood here and listened to this woman rant and rave about how people shouldn’t be able to just buy zip ties because they could use them to kidnap and murder people.
We’re up against full blown, balls to the wall, retardation of immeasurable magnitudes.
Imagine how she’d respond when she learns that you can buy *gasp* ROPE! Oh the humanity! And don’t get me started on duct tape/s. Guess she’s never tried that though.
Gasoline, soda bottles, rags, matches oh my!
People who post online anti-government, violence laden insurrectionist screeds should not be permitted access to guns, our country’s military services, or free movement. As it is our very charitable nation simply told the TWO (yup, all of 2) National Guardsman who who found out to be on the other side of patriotism they could take this duty off.
Another ten are off duty while various issues are wrapped up.
That’s 2 out of 25,000 found to be unsuitable.
And 10 out of 25,000 of uncertain disposition.
Pretty good odds all in all.
Hey enuf. Notice the style and substance…it’s enuf.
“…or free movement” Wait what? You want to imprison people for saying the “wrong” things?
When you use foul language, you lose your military bearing.
So they’ll arrest them next week or take other retaliatory action. Though the mills of the Imperial State grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.
Retaliation is two-edged sword, and if one edge strikes in the future, the other can too, just as easily.
The point of “pop up” GFZs is to intimidate law abiding people. Make the thing so difficult to navigate, the average person is not willing to put itself, family and/or career on the line just to go to the grocery store. The intimidation didn’t work well against VCDL, but how many other gun owners just don’t want to run the risk?
So the unorganized militia defied the state and won, and no other unaffiliated gun owner did? No VCDL?
Hats off to Mike Dunn and his other patriots. Seems the police weren’t interested in enforcing unconstitutional edicts . Anyone with a badge that enforces unconstitutional law should be removed from the p d.
Trump the tyrant! YEAH MAN! (pumping fist in the air). Where’s the eye roll icon.
Hear Ye Hear Ye: All insane people who love America, The US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Trump, Mom, Apple Pie and Chevrolet will be rounded up and put on trains for reprogramming by the “sane?” socialist, marxist, communist, atheist and waaaaay overly confident and pompous democRat Party….So they think.
The POTUS departing speech today was one for the history books. It’s going to be tough for the next 4 years without a president and by God’s Will this is the beginning of the end for the democRat Party. When the day comes the democRat Party is held accountable for its sleazy misdeeds and it’s laundry list of race based atrocities will be the day the democRat Party can wave buh bye forever. Furthermore…Monday was MLK Day…I don’t think the “Content of Character” he spoke so bravely about included slander, libel and election fraud.
We know we are 75,000,000 strong and in 4 years we need to be 150,000,000 strong. This habitual “Gun Control Zealots say something” and people chase it like puppy dogs is a failed path. The time has comer for people to step up and explain the connections between Gun Control, Racism and Genocide to those who think Gun Control is sugar and spice and everything nice and the people who own firearms are “racists.”
The democRat Party has a very long history of diabolical racism that includes slavery, lynching, gun control, eugenics, etc. yet some people are either afraid to talk about the democRat Party or they want this cat and mouse game to continue because it pads their pockets. And then there are those who permeate forums like this just to wager on whether or not a perp who gets national attention is Black or not. C’Mon man.
I’m racist when it comes to gunms. Hate anything plastic and don’t like add on’s.
Racism, ahh , the great divide. United We Stand Divided We Fall.
“Melee at the U.S. Capitol”. Seriously, melee?
Good luck to you Sir, may you not become the fate of Robert Dunn
Of course the compliant police blocked the one street the protest caravan needed the most. Fuck them.
If you can’t get your vehicles past without attacking/damaging theirs, then GET OUT AND WALK. Take advantage of their vehicle blockade and fill that empty street with people.
They’ve drawn a line in the sand…so you dance right along it. Jump up and down on it. Make a mockery of it without ever fully crossing it. Let them see exactly how ridiculous their line is, and it’ll start sinking in that they shouldn’t be so quick to draw lines that make them look stupid next time.
Meekly obeying capricious government action and accepting their flimsy excuses do not make any kind of victory.
It was a victory in that no one was shot. The gunm takers are itching for some militia group to “pop a cap”. We’ll get hit harder then when Bill “Japan wants gunms banned” Clinton was a fuckhead, err I mean president. If you remember back then it was illegal to wear camouflage clothes in some citys, or they was working on that. We ain’t seen nothing yet.
What was accomplished? Was this just a way for frustrated people to vent?
Nothing bad happening doesn’t mean anything.
It means pro-gun people can manage to vent in public without burning a city or three down. It means pro-gun people stood in one place for a million social media pictures that no one is able to tie to riotous violence on an unprecedented scale, blood painting the streets, buildings afire, orphans starving as they’re crushed under the boots of not-z’s y’know, like at the Capitol the other week?
That’s a win, these days. Take the win and aim for a hundred more like it.
That’s something I can certainly accept. 👍
In terms of realpolitik, venting without burning part of a city down is morally admirable but politically meaningless.
Last year’s VA Lobby Day, the armed demonstration outside Whitmer’s MI offices, they all accomplished absolutely nothing. Business as usual went on the next day and the politicians continued to do exactly what they damn well wanted.
Compare and contrast to the black/Antifa rioters who looted and torched police cars, AutoZones, and WalMarts, and LITERALLY had police chiefs come to them on their knees to wash their feet.
Are you content to signal your superior virtue to people who just don’t care,, or is there some issue here you actually might want to win?
They can get away with it. The first time a prorights group would blow off we’ll see Waco, Ruby Ridge, and ’85 philadelphia police bombing all at once.
“How dare those uppity damned peasants get these notions of rights? They’ll stand in bread lines like the rest. Get me Lavrentiy Beria.”
“a temporary gun ban can evolve one of two ways: when actual people step up to host an event so as to earn a temporary gun-free zone for their art or food festival, or, when city officials and police think someone should have stepped up to be a host”
How is that not the very definition of Arbitrary or Capricious?
“How is that not the very definition of Arbitrary or Capricious?”
Because it is a Democrat city ordinance, in a Democrat state?
I WISH a motherficker would…
Kubla, Fran and Ollie
Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL)………
The premier grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to the Right to Bear Arms and defend your Right to self defense in Virginia,
In Virginia, there’s no argument……. there is no stronger voice for freedom and liberty than Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Bravo VCDL!! Another Lobby Day triumph.