By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) For years, Second Amendment advocates in Virginia have trekked to the state capitol grounds armed and carrying firearms openly as they were lawfully permitted to do, in order to lobby for their God-given constitutional right of self-defense.
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And for each of those years, lobby day has gone off without a hitch: No shootings, no violence, no arrests, no problems of any kind.
But something happened in November that has changed the dynamics for this year’s lobbying effort: Anti-gun Democrats managed to eke out enough victories to take control of the state legislature. And with one of their own in the governor’s mansion, Ralph “Coonman” Northam, they immediately began pledging to introduce and pass a bevy of new gun control laws that aren’t necessary, are not stronger than the current law against murder, and will do nothing but deprive Virginians of a right that “shall not be infringed.”
And for no other reason than because they can.
In the lead-up to Monday’s lobby day, the vast majority of Virginia’s jurisdictions — towns, cities, counties — have passed so-called “gun sanctuary” ordinances, in which local authorities have pledged not to assist the state in enforcing new gun laws they believe are unconstitutional.
Naturally, because they are a party of abject hypocrisy, Northam’s Democrat attorney general, Mark Herring, decreed those ordinances to be unlawful and improper — all while ignoring the sanctuary cities in his state who refuse to assist federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration law.
So now, thanks to Democrats, Virginia stands on the precipice of crisis and chaos when there was no reason for it to be this way other than the Garbage Party’s hatred and disrespect of the Constitution.
Police are scouring the internet for clues about plans for mayhem, workers are putting up chain link holding pens around Virginia’s picturesque Capitol Square, and one lawmaker even plans to hide in a safe house in advance of what’s expected to be an unprecedented show of force by gun-rights activists.
What is provoking their anger in this once reliably conservative state is the new Democratic majority leadership and its plans to enact a slew of gun restrictions. This clash of old and new has made Virginia - determined to prevent a replay of the Charlottesville violence in 2017 - ground zero in the nation’s raging debate over gun control.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League’s yearly rally at the Capitol typically draws just a few hundred gun enthusiasts. This year, however, thousands of gun activists are expected to turn out. Second Amendment groups have identified the state as a rallying point for the fight against what they see as a national erosion of gun rights.
“We’re not going to be quiet anymore. We’re going to fight them in the courts and on the ground. The illegal laws they’re proposing are just straight up unconstitutional,” said Timothy Forster, of Chesterfield, Virginia, an NRA member who had one handgun strapped to his shoulder and another tucked into his waistband as he stood outside a legislative office building earlier this week.
VCDL president Philip Van Cleave said he’s heard from groups around the country that plan to send members to Virginia, including the Nevada-based, far-right Oath Keepers, which has promised to organize and train armed posses and militia.
Extremist groups have blanketed social media and online forums with ominous messages and hinted at potential violence. The FBI said it arrested three men linked to a violent white supremacist group Thursday who were planning to attend the rally in Richmond, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an active investigation.
Democrats have permanently banned guns inside the Capitol, and Gov. Ralph Northam declared a temporary state of emergency Wednesday that bans all weapons, including guns, from Capitol Square, during the rally to prevent “armed militia groups storming our Capitol.” Gun-rights groups have asked the Virginia Supreme Court to rule Northam’s declaration unconstitutional, but the court on Friday upheld the ban.
It’s patently obvious that Democratic arrogance has created a crisis situation where there has never been one and where there should not now be one.
Gun rights — the right to keep and bear arms sans government infringement — are absolute, and until Democrats promised to circumvent that absolute right, there wasn’t a problem. We would imagine there would be similar outcries of protest if, say, Coonman and his authoritarians wanted to ban speech, assembly, religion, or the need to secure a warrant.
So whatever badness happens Monday — and we hope there isn’t any violence, by the way — will be on Democrats’ hands. There is no other rational way to look at it.
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