Open Letter to the Republican Party of Virginia

Opinion by Dennis Petrocelli, MD

GOP No more excuses
Open Letter to the Republican Party of Virginia

Virginia – -( Dear Republican Party of Virginia,

I replied to your emails, and I didn’t get a reply, so I thought I’d write to you publicly so that you understand where a portion of the electorate stands. It’s a larger portion than you know because most of my kindred spirits wouldn’t bother to email you, much less write to you. I thought the earnestness of your emails deserved a direct reply.

Our system of government was founded on a system of checks and balances that were designed to prevent the government from infringing on inalienable rights. The government was to fear the people and protect our rights. Today the government believes it grants people rights, and the people fear the government.

My primary focus is on the inalienable right to self-defense, protected against infringement by the Second Amendment. I support candidates who understand and practice this right. I’m not the least bit interested in candidates that support gun control, no matter how well-intentioned or disguised. Marco Rubio, Dan Crenshaw, and Donald Trump all fall into that category. Little Marco supported “red flag laws,” Dan supports the TAPS act, and Trump’s ATF banned bump stocks without any legitimate authority to do so.

As it stands today, JFK was more pro-gun than the vast majority of Republican legislators, governors, and perhaps even our President. He was a Life Member of the NRA, and he understood that armed citizens were critical to the safety of the Republic. One of my favorite pictures comes from a Mother Jones’ article “13 Photos of Presidents Packing Heat” and shows him examining a prototype of the M-16:

President Kennedy examining an early Colt AR-15 in the White House Oval Office, April 19, 1963.
President Kennedy examining an early Colt AR-15 in the White House Oval Office, April 19, 1963.

How many modern Republicans are as “brave” as “Maria Fletcher, Miss America 1962” seen online here. Find me a Republican as willing to publicly exercise their right to keep and bear arms as she was.

Perhaps you are thinking, “Well, all that is true, but what about judicial appointments?” I have a two-word reply: Justice Roberts. The reply to “but what about…” is always going to be the same. Without an inalienable right to keep and bear arms protected against government infringement, We the People are beholden to a government based upon nothing but empty promises.

Letters to the AmmoLand Editor: Got something on your mind? Let us know and you can see it here.
Letters to the AmmoLand Editor: Got something on your mind? Let us know and you can see it here.

I’m not interested in compromise, because the best thing that could possibly happen for gun sales, other an AOC becoming president, is Biden becoming president. He would bring so many new gun owners into the fold! Look at what that loser from Texas accomplished: he wasn’t a viable candidate by any measure, but just a few clips (pun intended!) of him running his mouth and sales went through the roof! Trump has been a disaster concerning bringing in new gun owners. Obama remains leagues ahead on that count.

Any plea for money that even remotely suggests that somehow I “need” to support some political cause because some horrible thing will happen otherwise tells me that someone buys into the idea that people are powerless and should fear the government. Candidates that believe that, regardless of where they stand on any given issue, are so far removed from the principles that make America great that they will do more harm in the long run.

Virginia Republicans created our current mess. What did the party think was going to happen after Senator Norment submitted a bill to expand the number of gun-free zones? Delegate Sturdevant ran on “commonsense gun control,” and thank goodness he was punished for this in the polls. Hashmi’s election over him brought many of my neighbors out to the historic, record-breaking VCDL Gun Lobby day this year, and she will keep them coming back. I prefer a unified group of empowered citizens over having a lukewarm legislator that, at best, is a fair-weather friend.

Eventually, there will be enough of us-if there isn’t already-who will run successful campaigns and take the state back.

If you want my support, get the GOP squared away with regard to the Second Amendment. Or you can run some mealy-mouthed Romney knock-off and see how little support that candidate attracts.


Dennis Petrocelli, MD

Dr. Dennis Petrocelli has practiced forensic psychiatry for twenty years in Virginia. He is a contributing member of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a nationwide network of physicians, allied health professionals, scientists, and others who support the safe and lawful use of firearms. He recently appeared on the Gun for Hire Radio podcast to speak out against “red flag laws.”

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Ryben Flynn

What you see in all 50 States, the popular vote determining the winner, is why the Electoral College was put in place. So high population States could not make the votes of smaller States void. If the Democrats had their way, the California, New York and a couple other State would always elect a Democrat President. A State version of the Electoral College needs to be implemented for the same reason. So the heavily Democrat population Counties cannot nullify the votes of the rural Republican Counties. One County, One State Electoral Vote. Look at this map of 2016 Virginia results.… Read more »


I support the idea of state electoral colleges.

Ansel Hazen

I agree, time to tell the GOP to get behind the 2A.

This letter should also be addressed to the National GOP.


The GOP is a progressive party. Progressives rejected our Founding principles 140 years ago. Do not put your faith in parties. Put your faith in groups like VA Citizens Defense League and my crew, Arizona Citizens Defense League who are committed to defending the entire Bill of Rights.


So sad ,Ansel that your fine state is represented by RINOs.


Mine too.


“My primary focus is on the inalienable right to self-defense, protected against infringement by the Second Amendment.” Hah, you’re funny. You know as well as I do that our unalienable rights — all of them — are protected against infringement by an armed citizenry. Natural Rights are a gift from God. Privileges are granted by sinful men; they can be revoked at will. As you correctly observe, we need a government that fears US, not the other way around. For those who don’t know the author, he is one of the heroes over at DRGO, that fabulous group founded by… Read more »


Well stated. The argument is about liberty and the role of government in protecting individual liberty. Governments who lose sight of that simply fact are no longer fit to govern. Our oath is to the Constitution. Not to parties.


Dr Petrocelli, excellent article! Thank you for being one who gets it!


The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the individual right to keep and bear arms. It was ratified on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. Criminal liberal Socialist/Communist/Marxists in Congress & the public sector are endangering the law-abiding American public, Anti-Constitutionalist’s=Anti-Americans=Enemies of the United States. They have no place in a Free Constitutional Republic. In which the United States… Read more »

Ej harbet

Time is drawing near to begun treating them like the vermin in the mink coat of liberty that they are.all of the constitution needs to be made inviolate.


It’s the same here in Colorado. Liberal enclaves, Denver, Boulder, Ft. Collins and the ski areas allow the DemocRATs to run roughshod over the conservative areas in the state. With a DemocRAT controlled legislature, DemocRAT Governor and every state administrative office held by a DemocRAT, we can only count on more gun control, higher taxes and more onerous rules and regulations. Sad but true.


And dont forget all my pipeline bros in Colorado
Now having to find work in PA and Texas since Colorado is absolutely a liberal tree hugging bunch of ( I’ll stop there)


The assumption that republican politicians are pro gun ownership/2A is not to be taken for granted.
The only true measure of a pol’s stance is in their record of action re:GUNZ. There might even be dems who are more closely attuned to our beliefs, politics is full of lawyers and lawyers only want to win even if that entails going against their constituents wishes. If they’re not with us they’re against us.


For the past year I have been solicited by the National Republican Party in the form of “surveys” which of course in the end ask for money. I have sent them scathing letters explaining why I will not send my hard earned money to a weak,pathetic,passive cowardly party. I remind them of their stance during the Kavanah hearings – do nothing; and during the last mid-terms when it was abundantly clear of voter fraud in many states; how they stood by sucking their thumbs, whining about the dems but never having done anything of real substance to stand up and… Read more »

Wild Bill

@T, good intell on McConnell!


Wild Bill . . . I lived in Jefferson County, KY when McConnell was then County Judge (Executive) there. He was a useless weasle rthen as he is now!


Truth . . . YUP!!! The current iteration of the Republican Party are a bunch of One-Eyed Jacks! But I’ve seen the other side of their face and it is totally DISGUSTING TO ANY AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL PATRIOT!!!


House Bill hb 5717 is aimed at taxing us out of our 2A rights. They are trying to ram this bill through. We must fight this bill from passing.

Bill N

Doctor, while I agree with most of your comments I feel you must embrace the most important issue. The republicans lost in that some districts didn’t even have a candidate running. Most of all less than 40% of registered voters got up off their butts and voted. I have no sympathy for Virginia as they created this mess by simply not voting. I hope and pray Virginians have learned a valuable lesson they won’t soon forget, also the rest of our country has learned from this and apathy won’t be repeated. I live close to Virginia and I’m concerned this… Read more »

jack mac

Bill N: Crisis can wake up citizens, but alarms silenced by the left-wing media.


A big fallacy in this counter-argument is the assumption that the 40% who did not vote actually care about gun rights, even though they didn’t bother to defend them with their vote. They don’t care, yet they care? Uncertain logic, at best. The real question that we face as gun rights advocates is, what do WE do when those around us either sit on their butts because they don’t actually care, or they outright vote against us. At that point, we have the proverbial two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. That threat has been… Read more »

2A Shrink

Part of the problem, as I understand it, was that the Party was either unable or unwilling to do much to support candidates: they had to bring their own resources. Essentially “we” are going to have to produce candidates and support them ourselves outside of usual party channels. In the long run this may be a good thing-we will stop outsourcing the defense of our rights to others.


Dear Doctor, The learning point is this. We have two progressive parties in the United States representing a majority of independent republics who are solidly conservative. That is why our current state of politics is off the rails. Republicans are progressives for the most part. In recent memory you will not find a more progressive, Wilsonian style administration than that of George W Bush. The proof in the pudding is this: once an outsider was elected, Donald Trump, and that outsider threatened the big state status quo Bush’s minions all fled to safe harbors at MSNBC,, CNN, NYT, WaPo and… Read more »


You do realize the VCDL were against guns being brought to the rally last year? It was ridiculous not to protest with the weapons they wanted to ban and show them it wasn’t the tool. Like the NRA and other gun groups in the USA, they are our worst enemy. They think if they show how we can do things without our guns in sight, or have them at all, we can convince the gun grabbers how smart we are doing things without our guns? It’s asinine. With friends like these, who needs enemies. Not to mention the debate about… Read more »


If you were at Lobby day you can speak. Otherwise shut up. The VCDL is the best pro-gun rights organization I know of. You are evidence that nothing and no one is perfect, and neither is the VCDL. But it is better than anything or anyone else.


@UncleT- I was at the VCDL Lobby Day last January. Several thousand complied with the Emergency Gun Free Zone foisted upon those entering the Capital grounds and many thousands more elected to not be disarmed remained outside the GFZ . In years past the Capital grounds and buildings weren’t GFZ and you could carry open or concealed right into your Representatives office ! Not one incident ever occurred! We submitted to Governor Blackfaces demand that we be disarmed this year and I’m ashamed for that. The Governor fled town and several Reps, locked their doors, wore bulletproof vests, left town… Read more »


You don’t ask your tyrant for permission to carry in any fashion, buy, sell, trade or borrow arms. The fact that many on this “PRO-#2A SITE” can’t understand that is a problem and why there are so many battles within the fight to save our inalienable rights to begin with while the gun grabbers are marching arm and arm to destroy us. .


Amen. I agree with Rowboat and UncleT. It’s not that VCDL isn’t any good, they are a good organization but i also find it somewhat misguided that we shouldn’t carry our own personal gun at any time. WE THE PEOPLE have the Right and Responsibility to carry so we are Never Over run by a Tyrannical Government and to protect our person and family from harm. I carry and it is my Right to carry. I respect your rights and I expect no less.

2A Shrink

Agree 100%. I like VCDL and support the vast majority of what they do, but I lean to the FPC slogan of “all the rights all the time.” Make long guns open carry again!

2A Shrink

Thank you and agree 100%


Did anyone notice what the other person in the photo is holding. Both weapons were used by the military in Nam. One was a new weapons design. The other was about 1500 years old. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Is as old as civilization itself. That was decided by Free Men. Not by Courts, Politicians or even Kings. Only those people who chose to be Subjects. Were denied the Right of Defense by Sword. Times never change. People change with time.
Keep Your Powder Dry.


Gun owners have been lazy. The politicians know that. While our opposition “Moms” groups have been grassrooting, going door to door, raising money $1 at a time, delusional gun owners have been sitting it out. The worst thing to happen to the 2A movement was the spread online of the delusional fantasy that we can sit back, let the enemy win politically, and that in due time we will just shoot our rights back through some sort of armed revolution. Except it will NEVER happen. Modern gun owners are too busy hoarding ammo, typing angry veiled threats on the internet,… Read more »


Unfortunately elections are about numbers and, in Virginia, the numbers are concentrated in Northern Virginia and a few other pockets that are turning more Liberal every year. There’s not much that can be done about that. Immigrants from DC, NY, NJ and other Liberal enclaves are flooding the State to escape high taxes. They want more freedom but the one concept they cannot grasp, because they’ve never experienced it, is seeing folks walk around carrying guns. So the ingrained fear is carried over from one State to another. While current Virginia politicians may have gone way overboard in their actions,… Read more »


Who here likes Peter King of NY? Does he act like a Republican to any of you? Well, he has announced he will vote with Pelosi and support all kinds of Progressive treats in the latest HEROES bill. From the Daily Caller: [SNIP] An outgoing Republican lawmaker says he will buck his party to vote for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s coronavirus stimulus package, a bill that includes a slate of progressive measures. New York Rep. Peter King told to The Hill Wednesday that he plans to vote for House Democrats’s HEROES Act, a $3 trillion relief package for Americans suffering… Read more »

J Gibbons

I agree that there are very few candidates out there on the national level who are uncompromising with 2A, but I disagree that a Biden presidency would be the best thing for the Second Amendment. He would have a significant congressional voting block of Communist Fascists in the Democrat party, as well as many so-called RINOs, who would support the party’s gun control/people control/speech and thought control platform. I believe that would be disastrous to the future of this nation and to what little liberty we have left.


@JG – Judging by attitudes I hear about biden, and by biden’s words — I could easily see a biden presidency leading to the end of our nation. While much could be better, more is great. I love this country and it is mine – so I would not see it destroyed. So I agree that a biden presidency would not be good for the 2nd as the entire constitution would like become a historical irrelevancy. Not sure what I can do to stop him, but willing to do what I can. Also not willing to surrender the 2nd to… Read more »


Thank you, Dr. Petrocelli. We do NOT need ANY more weak kneed, weak spined RINO’s in the Republican Party! What we REALLY need is a Republican Party that is as Pro Constitutional America As the Democrap Party is Communistic!!! We can pin the ears back of the Communist Democrap Party, bur we need to get a lot more focused than we are now!!!

Ej harbet

He said everything i want to scream in their faces


The irony is the first Progressive President of the U.S. was Teddy Roosevelt, revered by GOPers.

What does that suggest?

Wild Bill

@Mack, Instead of me guessing what is on your mind, why don’t you just tell us what you think that fact suggests.


It is interesting to me that so far a Texas hair salon owner, a 77-year old Michigan barber and a few restaurant owners have so far been the only courageous ones opening up their businesses, while so-called patriots have not done the like. I have not shut down or stayed at home as I have my face-to-face consultation business to run. I go to the stores without a mask on as a sign of defiance but also because I can use the excuse of having a medical issue making it intolerable to wear one as per the EO from MI… Read more »

Wild Bill

@T, I think more and more are standing up. Counties in CA, mayors in CA, demonstrator and sheriffs all over the country are refusing to submit.
As for me, my ranch is open for business, never closed, and if the governor comes by … I’ll tell him so!