Richmond, VA –-(Ammoland.com)-The media told us for weeks that VCDL's annual Lobby Day was going to be another Charlottesville. In Charlottesville, white nationalists clashed with Antifa.
Virginia's Governor, Ralph Northam, declared a state of emergency and banned all guns from Capitol Square. Northam even left the state fleeing to North Carolina. Another Democrat fled to a “safe house” and claimed on Twitter that police wanted to kill him.
An NBC news personality claimed that the pro-gun gathering was a “white supremacist” rally. Police surrounded the Capitol with dump trucks. The whole city was bracing for an influx of far-right groups coming to set off the next civil war.
That was the narrative that the anti-gun lobby pushed out to the media, but for a few hours on Monday morning, the area surrounding the Capitol in Richmond became the safest place in the country.
“The whole white supremacist nonsense was to prevent us from showing up,” said Aubrey James of Norfolk. “They don't want a black man like me to stand up for my rights. Democrats are the most racist people on the planet. They elected a known racist to be the Governor of Virginia so what do you expect?”
Gun owners from all over the Commonwealth and from all over the country showed up in droves to tell lawmakers, not only in Virginia but around the country, that enough was enough.
“Not one more inch!” was feeling in the crowd. By the time the speakers took the stage at 11 AM, tens of thousands of gun owners had assembled in Capitol Square (nicked named the freedom cage) and in the surrounding streets.
“This is a great experience and a perfect example of why guns aren't the problem,” Devin Perkins of Chantilly, told me at the rally. “I am proud to be a part of such a historical event.”
About six thousand-gun owners entered the Capitol grounds unarmed. Thousands of more gun owners crowded the streets surrounding the Capitol armed with everything from a small Ruger LCP to a Barrett. According to Democrats and the mainstream media, violence was sure to break out. None did. Overall the crowd was incredibly peaceful.
Everyone I talked to was incredibly polite and bonded together over gun-rights. The feared white supremacist was nowhere in sight. The group was diverse. There were American flags, Virginia flags, and even a gay pride flag with “Don't Tread on Me” written on it with the rattlesnake.
Moments Before the speakers took the stage (used figuratively because there wasn't an actual stage), pro-gun lawmakers stood on the top of the Capitol Steps and waved to the crowd. That caused the sea of gun owners to erupt in cheers. It was deafening.
Philip Van Cleave, the President of VCDL, kicked things off and gave a fiery speech. He has been fighting for gun rights in the Commonwealth for over two decades ever since Virginia Citizens Defense League was the Northern Virginia Citizens Defense League. This event is the 18th year Van Cleave and the VCDL has held a lobby day rally.
Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of Gun Owners of America, also spoke about Governor “Black Face” and his Bloomberg funded plan to infringe on our gun rights. GOA and the VCDL has an excellent working relationship. Being the Virginia Director of GOA, I am in constant communication with my counterparts at the VCDL.
“Lobby Day sent a powerful message that won't soon be forgotten,” Pratt told AmmoLand. “Thousands upon thousands of gun rights advocates came to Richmond to reject Gov. Ralph “Blackface” Northam's gun control agenda. And contrary to the liberal media's spin, the attendees were a very diverse group of extremely peaceful gun owners. However, this Lobby Day is just the beginning. Gun owners in Virginia and across the country must increase our activism to protect our precious liberties.”
GOA's Director of outreach, Antonia Okafor, also spoke to the crowd. Okafor spent her time before joining the GOA team training college women how to protect themselves with a firearm. She felt it was essential to fly out to Richmond from Colorado to speak at the rally.
Delegate Nick Freitas also fired up the crowd. He spoke about his campaign for the US Congress. The Delegate announced his endorsement from GOA PVF. Most importantly, he reminded the crowd that Epstein didn't kill himself.
State Senator Amanda Chase also spoke to the rally. Sen Chase made headlines by calling for Northam to resign the Governorship. She is one of the most pro-gun senators in the state. She is known for open carrying on the floor of the Senate.
Delegate John McGuire spoke to the crowd. He is a business owner and former Navy SEAL. He is staunchly pro-gun and has been working to protect the Second Amendment in Virginia since 2017.
Stephen Willeford, who engaged an active shooter with an AR15 in a Texas church, spoke to the crowd. He chased a mass shooter in his bare feet, saving countless lives in the process. He felt it was important to use his voice to help Virginia.
York Sheriff Danny Diggs joined Culpeper Sheriff Scott Jenkins in speaking at the rally. Jenkins threatened to deputize the whole county if needed to protect its citizen's rights. Diggs has also stood firm against proposed overbearing gun laws.
Cam Edwards of Cam & Co and editor of Bearing Arms took to the stage to speak to the crowd. Edwards is a citizen of Virginia and spoke out against gun laws he views as unconstitutional on the state and national level. Also, local talk show host Jeff Katz spoke about the importance of the Second Amendment.
Dick Heller, of the famous Heller vs DC case, laid down the facts about why the right to bear arms is critical to our state and our country. Dr. Veronica Slootzsky also showed that not everyone in the medical profession is an anti-gun extremist. Gun rights activist, Anthony Myers, also echoed the themes of the day in his speech.
After the speakers finished their speeches, the gun owners spent time picking up trash. They left the Capitol grounds spotless. People who were there the night before said the grounds looked better than before the rally began.
At the end of the day, there was no violence. There were no injuries. The only arrest was an Antifa member who refused to remove the bandanna covering her face.
Overall the rally was a massive success. The only thing that was left behind was a full-size guillotine left as a reminder to the VA Legislature that we are no longer compromising our rights away.
About John Crump
John is a 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 at www.crumpy.com.