Virginia Capitol Flooded for Gun Rights Rally as Citizens Rise Up to Defend 2A
Activists march on Richmond to protest Democrats' gun control push in the state
Thousands of patriotic American citizens descended on the Virginia Capitol Monday, to defend their Second Amendment rights in the face of the coming gun-control laws being pushed by the state's Democrat-controlled government.
Gun rights activists and 2A supporters marched on Richmond for the highly-anticipated rally, carrying long firearms and wearing stickers reading “Guns Save Lives."
The widely publicized rally was organized to protest a recent push by state Democrats, led by Gov. Ralph Northam (D), for comprehensive gun control measures.
The rally comes amid road closures, and even a ban on firearms in the Capitol and on its grounds, as the city has been on high alert for days following threats of violence.
As of midday Monday, however, the demonstrations were peaceful.
"If they can come for your guns in Virginia, they can come for them in West Virginia,” Annette Parker, a pro-2A demonstrator, told Fox News, adding that she had driven for six hours to attend the event.
The throngs who gathered in Richmond Monday were heard in large groups reciting the Second Amendment in unison, while others broke out in chants of "we will not comply!"
When one speaker asked the crowd if they were ready for gun control, the crowd yelled back, ”No!”
Other speakers, like Republican Delegate John McGuire III, used the event to drum up support for President Trump, who tweeted days ago, "Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia."
“Let me hear if you’re sick and tired of Republicans who do not support President Trump," McGuire said, revving up those in attendance.
The president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League – the nonprofit organizer of the rally – told Fox News that it wasn't the pro-gun groups who had been stoking fear of potential violence at the event.
"It's the Democrats," Philip Van Cleave said.
"It's almost like they want something to happen.
"It sounds crazy, but they keep doing it and you have to start wondering if that's intentional."
Over ninety counties and municipalities in #Virginia have now declared themselves #SecondAmendment sanctuaries in response to the Democrat-controlled state government's #GunControl push, according to reports.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) December 16, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/5BFJsa1LFf
Stacks of chain-link fencing, white tents and rows of metal detectors were in place early Monday morning as some demonstrators began making their way inside the Capitol grounds.
But many instead decided to stand outside the security perimeter with their guns.
Others were seen carrying American and Gadsden flags, while some were passing around petitions demanding the ouster of Gov. Ralph Northam, the state’s Democrat leader.
Members associated with the Light Foot Militia, some of whom were banned from Charlottesville, VA, following the deadly 2017 "Unite the Right" rally, were expected to attend Monday's protest.
Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist, has indicated he might make an appearance.
Last week, three gun control-related bills advanced in Virginia’s General Assembly, setting the stage for a contentious showdown between gun-rights advocates and the Democratic lawmakers, who campaigned on bringing changes to the state following last year's mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal complex.
The bills that sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee propose to require background checks on all firearms purchases; allow law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from people deemed to be a risk to themselves or others; limit handgun purchases to one a month; and let localities decide on whether to ban weapons from certain events.
To become law, the bills would have to pass the full Senate and the House of Delegates before going to the governor for his signature.
In a symbolic sign of defiance, more than 100 municipalities in Virginia have designated themselves as a safe haven or sanctuary for the Second Amendment.
Lawmakers and authorities in those areas have said they will refuse to enforce new gun control laws the Virginia Legislature passes.
Democratic lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled state of #Virginia have filed proposals to begin the "confiscation" of legally-acquired guns from law-abiding American citizens, according to reports.— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) December 3, 2019
READ MORE: https://t.co/Hinp6QqKVr
The state’s only self-proclaimed socialist Democrat, Lee Carter, has said he will be heading to an “undisclosed location” to work Monday instead of the Capitol.
“People were threatening to murder me and murder my family over something I’m not even doing,” Carter told multiple media outlets ahead of today's rally.
“These threats are more hateful and more numerous than anything I’ve seen before.
"I mean, I’m the only socialist elected to a legislature in the South, so I do occasionally get waves of death threats -- about every two-three months it’ll happen -- but this one is far larger and far more serious than anything I’ve seen before by orders of magnitude.”
Carter said he has reported the threats to the Virginia Capitol Police.
But some demonstrators in Richmond tell Fox News he should make an appearance.
"I think it's ridiculous a former Marine would stay at home,” said Angela Darton of Fairfax County.
“If he's so anti-Second Amendment, you'd think he'd make an effort to be here."
Monday's rally is part of Lobby Day, an annual event in Virginia where advocates of a variety of causes descend on Richmond's Capitol Square to plead their cases to legislators.
Gun rights advocates have shown up in past years but the turnout Monday has grown astronomically.
The rally Monday also comes about two and a half years after a deadly incident in Charlottesville, in which hundreds of white nationalists and their supporters gathered about 70 miles from Richmond to demonstrate over plans to remove a Confederate statue.
They were met by counterprotesters and violence quickly erupted.
At one point, a vehicle drove into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others.