Richmond, Virginia –-(Ammoland.com)-Tuesday marked the beginning and end for the Virginia Democrat Governor's Special Gun-Control session of the Virginia General Assembly.
Governor Ralph Northam called the special legislative session after the shooting in Virginia Beach where a disgruntled employee shot and killed twelve of his co-workers. Northam took a play out of Rahm Emmanuel's playbook and did not let the tragedy go to waste.
The feeling among gun rights activist is that the whole session was political theater by Gov. Northam. Their theory is that it is a distraction technique because of the “blackface” scandal that plagued Northam and fellow Democrat Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring as well as the sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax who is also a Democrat.
The legislature ended after 90 minutes with no bills passing. The General Assembly passed all measures to the Virginia State Crime Commission for study and recommendation. The body will meet again on November 18th to decide the fate of a lot of these bills.
All 140 legislative seats will be on the November ballot. The Republican's majority was the result of a single election. In 2017, Republican David Yancey found himself tied with Democrat Shelly Simonds after workers counted all the votes. The Commonwealth decided the election by picking a name out of a bowl.
Early Tuesday morning the wait to speak to members of the Virginia legislature extended past an hour. The majority of those standing in line to meet their representative were pro-gun citizens. Almost everyone in line had an orange “Gun Saves Lives” sticker that was handed out by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL).
Outside the Capitol building, there were two dueling rallies. A small group from the anti-gun group, Mom's Demand Action, used megaphones to chant at lawmakers as they made their way from their offices to the Capitol building to take up the legislation.
The Majority of Mom's Demand Action showed up in a bus and met with Richmond mayor Levar Stoney on the street outside the lawmaker's offices. What I could only describe as “handlers” escorted the anti-gun group to the Capitol steps. The Bloomberg funded group then spent around 15 minutes on the steps as TV crews filmed their rally. Then most of the small group had their handlers lead them back down to their bus and left.
Down the hill from Capitol steps at the Bell Tower, The VCDL held their rally. Unlike the Mom's Demand Action rally, the VCDL rally featured several speakers who each spoke about the need to protect gun rights.
Philip van Cleves did a great job acting as the “host” of the “lobby day” rally. Several speakers from the VCDL spoke about getting more people involved in grassroots gun-rights activism and the power of a “lobby day.”
One of the most heart-wrenching speech was from Vincent Smith. He worked in the same building where the Virginia Beach shooting took place. He spoke about how his work makes him choose between his job and his ability to defend his life. That choice led to the deaths of his co-workers. It was a moving speech.
Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, also gave a great speech about fighting back against an overreaching government. Gun Owners of America is planning to work closely with VCDL in the future.
Maj Toure of Black Guns Matter took a break from campaigning for city council in Philadelphia to come down to speak to the rally. He gave an awe-inspiring speech about Bacon's rebellion. Toure can captivate and motivate an audience. At lunch, he explains that he doesn't write speeches and doesn't know what he is going to say until he is speaking in front of a crowd.
At the end of the day, it was a victory for gun-rights groups, but the success is only temporary. The November election will determine the future of gun rights in the Commonwealth.
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot-News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement, including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or www.crumpy.com.