RICHMOND, VIRGINIA- It’s been pretty well reported that Monday, January 20, is Lobby Day in Richmond, Virginia. Second amendment supporters are planning a large rally to make their voices heard.
Their message: We want our Second Amendment rights.
Virginia Second Amendment Alliance (VSAA), the group in charge of the rally’s organization, has been keeping attendees updated on how to safely and legally practice their First Amendment rights to ask that legislators don’t infringe upon their Second.
Governor Northam has been progressively restricting the group’s rights, little by little, by taking away their right to carry in the Capitol, then on the Capitol grounds, then by declaring a state of emergency and calling the Capitol an “emergency shelter.”
Thursday, the FBI arrested three men suspected to be a part of the white-supremacist and religious extremist group, “The Base.” The charges against the men were plans of transporting a gun and ammunition across state lines with plans to commit a crime, and, according to the New York Times, the men were heading to Richmond to participate in the 2A rally.
The federal complaint against the men said they had “purchased parts to create an assault rifle that can fire more than one round at a time,” and the men were practicing shooting it at a Maryland gun range.
The very next day, an Antifa representative announced they would be joining “alongside” 2A advocates to join their cause.
The National Review spoke with the local Antifa chapter rep, who called himself James in order to retain anonymity. The chapter, called Antifa Seven Hills, is apparently planning on attending, but allegedly is not intending on bringing along the violence that Antifa is normally known for.
James told the Review:
“I think what’s particular about the South is that we have to be a bit more creative and sensitive to the people around us — instead of fulfilling some sort of meme of what antifa is.
That’s really what we’re trying to work against right now, especially by talking to conservatives and showing we aren’t just a black-clad group of rabble-rousers who are out for attention and have jobs funded by George Soros.”
“I think it’s been pretty important for us to focus on the fact that gun control in America has a legacy of racist enforcement. Like taking guns away from black people, because black people were perceived as a threat to property and the sanctity of the state.”
James said that Antifa will be “joining forces” with the VSAA because they are opposed to the possible new gun legislations introduced this year. The extremist group believes the laws will be used in order to criminalize poor people, minorities, and leftists, while giving more power to law enforcement.
“This is our fight as much as anyone else’s. It’s our state, and we are left largely out of the debate. The presence of an armed left is not discussed, it’s not understood.”
While James is pretending to extend a kind hand to the VSAA and other 2A supporters in the name of a common goal, VSAA members are remaining extremely cautious.
“They are nothing I wish to be associated with in any way,” said one member.
The group is adamant that while, yes, Antifa may show up to the same place at the same time, they are not going to be rallying “alongside” the far-left domestic terrorist group.
Another member had this to say on Antifa’s presence:
“I’m convinced they are coming only to escalate a situation that has potential to be very peaceful. The media will eat it up.”
The VSAA, the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), and other 2A groups are reminding their co-attendees to be sure to keep a camera of some sort with them, a cell phone or a go-pro, in order to demonstrate that they are not intending any kind of violence to break out.
A Facebook posting by VCDL Thursday said:
“I recommend that people coming to Lobby Day wear a GoPro…Let’s document the day! Let’s post videos showing that gun owners are NOT the problem and that we are engaging in a peaceful right to address our elected servants.”
This is not a protest. This is not a march. This is a rally…on Lobby Day. This is a large group of people invoking their First Amendment rights in order to protect their Second Amendment rights.
And we want our Second Amendment rights.
Virginia Senator Amanda Chase posted the following on her Facebook page (condensed version):