U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Second Amendment supporters face a daunting challenge in Virginia for Lobby day, at the Virginia Capitol in Richmond, on 20 January 2020. Those who wish to disarm Virginians have created a trap to frame Second Amendment Supporters as violent white supremacists, going to Richmond to destroy duly elected government.
Armed Virginians have been going to the State Capitol in Richmond to lobby to restore Second Amendment rights since 2002. The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has been very successful in these efforts. VCDL was instrumental in moving Virginia from a may issue to a shall-issue state in 1995. It has made the shall-issue law better and better by such things as eliminating many gun-free zones and eliminating the requirement for fingerprints to obtain a permit to carry. It has kept improving the state preemption law, to prevent local governments from chipping away at Second Amendment rights. It has been one of the most effective of the state organizations working to restore Second Amendment rights.
In 2019, a combination of a lawsuit used to gerrymander Virginia voting districts in favor of Democrats, millions of dollars of money spent by billionaires aimed at destroying Second Amendment rights, the influx of immigrants to areas next to the District of Columbia, the successful get out to vote campaign by supporters of Communist China for new immigrants, and the restoration of voting rights, but not the right to arms, to convicted felons, has resulted in the Democrat takeover of the Virginia General Assembly and the Senate, by Democrats who have vowed to impose severe restrictions on the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
Virginians have seen Lobby Day as a place to focus their actions to show how much they oppose the restrictions and violations of their rights.
It seems the opposition, led by Governor Northam, has seen it as an opportunity to paint Second Amendment supporters as violent white supremacists, against whom any action will be deemed moral and legitimate.
If we are to win the war to restore our rights, Second Amendment supporters must win the war to convince a majority, or at least, a majority of voters or judges, they have the moral high ground. The entire weight of the legacy media has been against Second Amendment supporters for 50 years, but Second Amendment supporters have been winning battles, gradually, for the last 30 years. We have organized, built networks, built alternate media, and educated much of the public over that time period.
The provocations by Governor Northam and the elected Democrats seem meant to destroy that progress and to portray Second Amendment supporters as lawless, violent white supremacists.
Matt Bracken has written an excellent essay on the potential for Lobby Day to be used to create a terrible media defeat for Second Amendment supporters. It is worth the read. Bracken lists several ways Lobby Day could be turned into another Charleston, or worse, to discredit Constitutionalists.
The opposition has the entire legacy media on their side. Northam and his allies control the ground at the Capitol. While many of the Capitol police are likely to be sympathetic to their oath and the Constitution, Northam and his allies will have control of the Capitol police. Northam and allies will control all the high ground.
It is known that agent provocateurs have been used by the Democrats to provoke violence, to discredit the Trump presidential campaign in 2016. It is plausible that similar tactics will be used to provoke Second Amendment supporters on January 20th in Richmond. Violence by leftists will be excused by the legacy media. Self Defense by Second Amendment supporters will be portrayed as criminal.
This is ground of the opposition's choosing, where they have most of the advantages. The only chance of winning is a moral victory, where the General Assembly and the outside world are shown an overwhelming presence of peaceful Second Amendment supporters lobbying for their rights. That can be a difficult goal to achieve when agent provocateurs and false flags are serious possibilities. The majority of the anti-Second Amendment politicians are unlikely to be moved. The legacy media will sensationalize any violence. They will downplay even massive majority of Second Amendment supporters.
Those who want a disarmed population have been losing. President Trump has appointed 25% of federal judges. A third Supreme Court pick by President Trump could enable the restoration of Constitutional government. The current governing elite is getting desperate. Desperate opponents do desperate things.
Second Amendment supporters who attend will need to be extremely vigilant. This is not a place where an open carry protest is likely to succeed. The law is not clear. A court has upheld Governor Northam's emergency order as lawful.
To those who say, you do not defend your rights by agreeing to allow them to be infringed: If simple disobedience of unconstitutional laws were enough to protect our rights, we would never have lost them. Many refused to obey. They were unorganized, marginalized, lied about, arrested, prosecuted, jailed, beaten, and killed.
To win, Second Amendment supporters have the be smart, pick their battles, and work hard.
This particular exercise of the rights to assembly and free speech has been turned into a media trap. All the usual suspects will be there, and they will be actively looking for any incident to smear Second Amendment activists. It is reasonable to believe some opponents will be working to create a violent event.
As a defense against the trap, everyone should be capable of recording incidents during the event. Every thing should be recorded from multiple perspectives, if only to assure accurate portrayals of the events and to have the ability to identify bad actors. The other side will be recording everything. Second Amendment supporters need to be able to prevent them from creating a singular, selective, and false portrayal of what happens.
Extreme measures should be employed to avoid any appearance for the national media to use to smear Second Amendment supporters. At this event, a Second Amendment supporter will serve his country better by taking recorded abuse than by defending themselves. Second Amendment supporters should use every opportunity to defuse any abusive or violent situation. The opposition will, very likely, be looking to goad a Second Amendment supporter into violent self defense. The action would almost certainly be mischaracterized by the media. They are desperate. They lie without compunction.
If you go, wearing an orange Guns Save Lives sticker will be far more effective than camouflage. Wearing camouflage aids the opposition at this event.
The more women, children, and minorities who are Second Amendment supporters at this event, the better.
There will be more opportunities for media events that favor Second Amendment activists. The Second Amendment sanctuary county and city movement has been very effective. That can, and should, be built upon.
Only 40% of Virginians voted in the last election. Virginians can win at the ballot box.
Those attending Lobby Day need to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Virginians need to show courage, exercise discipline, and be shrewd to avoid the trap this Lobby Day has become.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.