Vows of Peace, Fears of Violence at Virginia Gun Rally

– The top Republican in Virginia’s lower house said that any group planning to incite violence at a large gun rights rally on Monday in Richmond should stay home, while far-right leaders of militias planning to attend swore they were coming in peace.

Richmond was braced on Sunday for the rally, aimed at showing gun enthusiasts’ disdain for swift moves the newly Democrat-controlled legislature is making to pass stiffer gun laws – and many residents feared a repeat of violence seen at a white supremacist rally in nearby Charlottesville in 2017.

But several militia leaders with large followings on social media who attended that Charlottesville rally said they were coming purely to show their support for those opposed to new, more restrictive gun laws in the state.

“If you think that we’re a threat coming into your city, then you don’t know who we are, you don’t understand what we’re about,” said Joshua Shoaff, who has over 542,000 Facebook followers and goes by the pseudonym Ace Baker. “We’re not anarchists – we believe in government.”

Other leaders of well-known militias also vowed they were not seeking confrontations in Richmond. But police warned that among those they know to be attending are known neo-Nazis and other groups who may seek to hijack the gun-rights gathering.

Authorities say they are expecting several thousand people and are trying to keep the event from becoming violent.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam this week temporarily banned all weapons from the area around the Capitol ahead of the demonstration.

Todd Gilbert, the Republican leader in Virginia’s House of Delegates, said in a statement on Saturday that violence was not welcome during Monday’s rally.

“Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence, or civil unrest isn’t welcome here,” he said. “While we and our Democratic colleagues may have differences, we are all Virginians and we will stand united in opposition to any threats of violence or civil unrest from any quarter.”

Monday’s rally is being organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights group that annually comes out in force to lobby Virginia’s legislature to not pass any new gun laws.

The group is working closely with police, according to law enforcement officials, in an effort to pull off a smooth event – but they have called for tens of thousands of armed citizens to come to the event, hiking tensions.

President Donald Trump backed the rally organizers in a Twitter post on Friday in which he said the U.S. Constitution was under attack by recent gun control measures in Virginia, a state that Hilary Clinton won in 2016 and where Democrats took full control of the state legislature for the first time in a generation in November.

“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia,” Trump wrote in the post, referring to the amendment in the Bill of Rights that gives Americans the right to keep and bear firearms. “That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away.”

The Virginia Senate late on Thursday passed bills to require background checks on all firearms sales, limit handgun purchases to one a month, and restore local governments’ right to ban weapons from public buildings and other venues.

Both Virginia legislative houses are also expected to pass “red flag” laws that would allow courts and local law enforcement to remove guns from people deemed a risk to communities, among other measures.

(Reporting by Brad Brooks; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Responses

  1. Any molotov cocktails? My bad, that was Black Bloc at Berkeley. Guys, come on, you got crazies on both sides. But where’s the mention of the Convention of States at? Aren’t they the group that calling for government reformation…and…isn’t it to reform ALL government, not just Democratic policies? I would really like to see some income tax reform. I just loved getting that raise that makes me less money per year.

  2. “I can tell you the outcome of this rally before it even happens.” Rosstaman

    Yeah, it was just a bunch of mostly old white men running through town in cosplay with their toys yelling incoherently

  3. Interesting that the ‘Democratic’ governor (I use that term loosely) has ‘temporarily ‘ BANNED GUNS IN A CERTAIN AREA! Now, he has NO RIGHT to do that! This 💩about their excercise of power, above and beyond the Constitution, is frightening! Who does he think he is? Will he temporarily ban weapons in other places, on a whim? Who made him writer and editor, and interpreter of the United States Constitution? If this shows you, at a lower level, what they’ll do, at a lower level, what do you expect at the Federal level?? You’re seeing a tyrant exceeding the power given to him, and who is doing anything about it? The Republicans just say, ‘dont be violent’, instead of saying, ‘who gives you the right to ban ANYTHING out of just your mouth!? I am sick and tired of both parties being meely mothed and gutless! I tell you, this is moving us in the direction of a civil war. If one cannot see it, one is blind. In every state, led by treasonous elected leaders, they will be motivated by this traitor and move to do the same. This is a powder keg.

  4. Once again we see that lawful gun owners are among the top .01% of law abiding, peaceful, and generally nice people. I watched a good bit of the event and did not see a single instance of any sort of trouble. There was no hint of white supremacism, racism, sexism, rudeness, impolite behavior, or even littering.

    I suspect that if someone did try to start something, a large number of armed attendees would have immediately put an end to it…

  5. I can tell you the outcome of this rally before it even happens. The libtards will send their BLM and Antifa thugs in there to stir up trouble and try to get a reaction. There will be a reaction and then it will all be blamed on Trump, the NRA and white supremacists. We’ve seen this played out before. The governor of Virginia is a total moron, kissing the asses of those that want to do away with the Second Amendment. By trying to push these laws through, he knows what the end result will be, more violence, not a safer country. We can’t let this happen.

    1. Fortunately it turned out to be just a bunch of law abiding people demonstrating that law abiding people with guns are not the problem.

  6. I watched as much of the rally as I could (live on Breitbart). There wasn’t even the slightest whiff of violence. Not a surprise. Legal gun owners are not troublemakers. It is always the gun grabbers.

  7. >Greg<

    You can bet your bottom dollar billionaire Socialist George Soros will cough up a few more bucks to help Antifa and the BLM home grown terrorist groups stir up trouble; then quickly disappear so that the NRA and their law abiding gun owners will be blamed (as usual).

  8. “we will stand united in opposition to any threats of violence or civil unrest from any quarter.”

    But if you give us a fifty cent piece you can do what you want.

    All in favor of the march but if you take your guns you are playing into their setup to kill you.

    1. That’s like saying if there is no air there won’t be any trouble.

  9. just a curious question. aren’t most Muslims followers of Allah? would it not be their belief to get killed by shooting others for what they deem “ a great cause ” i mean if we are helpless then they have the power to take over!

  10. I don’t have a gun, know nothing about guns, probably won’t ever purchase one. All that being said, people have that right via the Constitution. I have no problems with guns in the hands of law abiding citizens who’ve gone thru the checks. The problem is not the majority of Americans but criminals, illegals, laws found in blue states governed by dopes like Cuomo or Newsom or idiotic mayor’s such as DeBlasio.

    1. “I don’t have a gun, know nothing about guns … The problem is not the majority of Americans but criminals, illegals” Betsy Lawson

      I am confused.

      Are you saying that the majority of the “ordinary” people who show up for this rally today will be criminals and illegals, because that fact is that the vast majority of American gun deaths are NOT caused by criminals and illegals.

  11. The dem cartel against violence? They have used it repeatedly to shut down those whom they disagree with. Oh wait, they are against violence if it is directed at them.

  12. Its a freedom issue with me. I don’t see the Democrats as a party that believes in supporting my rights and freedoms.

  13. No confuction Ron isn’t confused, you are. Remember, the violence in Charlottesville didn’t start until the blm and antifa entered into the march. Only then did any violence occur. The demonrat/communist party lives on lies, violence and criminals. They would not be a party without these things. This is who we need to be aware of and protect ourselves from. Their party is the party of one party rule and totalitarian governance. They are NOT to be trusted EVER. They are America haters.

    1. Your distortion of events only confuses you even more.

      1. Join the discussion…No confuction it is you and your communist party that are confused. I see things exactly as they are thanks to ya’ll showing me exactly what you and your party believe. I left your party running and never looked back.

  14. Beware of left wing radicals they are gutless but trouble.

  15. don’t trust the left. they will do anything they can to provoke trouble. it’s their nature to get what they want at any cost

    1. ron is confused.

      What he wrote was pure projection. The real fear of voilence is based on the organizing group. The projected fear is thrown onto anyone who opposes them.

      “Monday’s rally is being organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights group” Article

  16. I’d bet a pile of folding money that antifa, BLM, and/or other far Left DemonKKKrat group(s) will start a bunch of sh#t and then blame the “alt-Right….” Blackface Klansman Northam has already repeatedly dog-whistled for that very thing!

  17. Our ancestors would have ALREADY taken the necessary steps. #SicSemperTyrannis

  18. My inclination is that the gun-grabbers are going to try to provoke violence so they can invoke martial law. Wanna-bet…?!?!?

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