Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency, through which he temporarily banned all weapons from being on Capitol grounds. The state Capitol building is where Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-2nd Amendment group, will be holding its “Lobby Day” rally on Monday.
Northam said the precaution was intended to stave off what he called credible threats from out-of-state militia groups who he believes intend to come to the rally to start trouble. There were even reports on the “dark web” that some groups intend to storm the Capitol building itself in an armed response to proposed gun control laws from the new Democratic majority in the legislature.
“I believe them when they say this is a peaceful event — that’s what democracy is,” Northam said. “Unfortunately, they have unleashed something much larger, something they may not be able to control.”
As many as 100,000 people are expected to attend the rally. The Virginia GOP responded:
Governor Ralph Northam declared a temporary state of emergency today to ban all weapons (read: the right to keep and bear arms) from Capitol Square on Monday, January 20th. Northam’s directive stems from Virginia’s reaction to proposed gun-grabbing legislation and subsequent rally that will take place on Monday.
Tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens will journey to Richmond on Monday with the intent of lobbying their representatives to refrain from passing radically liberal anti-Second Amendment legislation. These Virginians have a lot on the line this session. Some of these proposals would make felons overnight of law-abiding Virginia citizens with Ralph Northam’s signature. Virginians who have lived their entire lives supporting and thriving in our beautiful Commonwealth may soon be subjected to unconstitutional regulations imposed by legislators representing 432 square miles of Northern Virginia (Fairfax + Arlington).
‘Governor Northam’s declaration is a direct infringement on the right of the People to keep and bear arms,’ said RPV Chairman Jack Wilson. ‘The Republican Party of Virginia condemns any and all legislation that takes aim at the Second Amendment. Northam and the rest of the Virginia Democrats have made their session goal crystal clear: a disarmed, vulnerable, and subservient citizenry.’
While Northam’s fears are likely legitimate, it’s disingenuous for him to say “they unleashed something much larger.” The increasing angst among the people of Virginia who see the multiple gun laws proposed by Democrats is to be expected. The increased aggression towards government was not unleashed by pro-2nd Amendment groups. It was unleashed by Democratic leaders in the state who are attempting to subvert the Constitution.
Virginia does not need a repeat of the events that happened in Charlottesville. But that doesn’t mean depriving people of their right to defend themselves should circumstances turn south. Prepared law enforcement would be enough to maintain the peace.