The annual gun rights rally held on Monday did not live up to the legacy media’s hype and breathless expectations of bigotry and violence. What transpired showed Americans that there is a massive difference between gatherings of peaceful and law-abiding citizens and that of the likes of Antifa in, say, Portland, Oregon. One of the more honest reports summarizing the rally came from the local paper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
A much-anticipated gun-rights rally Monday attracted an estimated 22,000 people to the heart of Virginia’s capital for a passionate yet nonviolent protest of gun control legislation.
Officials had raised concerns about the possibility of violent clashes or targeted attacks involving white supremacists, but no such confrontations materialized. Only one person was arrested, a 21-year-old from Richmond who was charged with wearing a mask in public.
Inside Capitol Square, 6,000 unarmed protesters heard speeches from elected officials and gun proponents, who all vowed to oppose gun control legislation that Gov. Ralph Northam and the new Democratic majority are advocating in the General Assembly. A ban on assault weapons is among the proposals that have drawn particular concern among gun-rights proponents.
The rally, which attendees started lining up for around 6 a.m., was not confrontational, with only a small group of counter-protesters chanting “A better world is possible” and “Trump-Pence out now.” They were met with chants of “Four more years” from the gun-rights supporters.
Such reports don’t provide a real sense of what it was actually like on the ground. Fortunately, a trusted source who has a need to remain anonymous provided first-hand reporting on his personal observations by text that I have lightly edited. Here is what he said:
1. Late Monday afternoon report:
Our merciful God was so good to us today. I am just returning from Richmond. Here are some quick thoughts. First, the rally was totally peaceful. All attendees were well-mannered, calm, patient, cheerful, normal people. There were members of many races and both sexes in attendance. Most were armed, and there were zero troubles from what I saw.
I did see one battle-dressed Pillsbury doughboy – a pudgy cartoon character and basically a wannabe Rambo. He looked ridiculous and was probably a lefty in disguise. A few others – a tiny minority – were fully and openly armed, but probably as much for show as anything else.
I saw one veteran who was apparently set off by the presence of an Al Jazeera news crew and was giving them hell by offering them “one-way tickets to Guantanamo.” I don’t know what precipitated that incident. But that was the only “not right” thing I saw.
Antifa, Black Live Matter, White Nationalists … all were no shows.
Now, we know those “threats” were all psy-ops by the opposition and were designed to discourage participation. It didn’t work as well as they intended, but it probably did keep some folks away. I know 4 people myself, who were scared off. An architect friend walked the crowds and estimated 100,000! That was probably high, but I am convinced that the officially reported number of 22,000 was low. A motorcycle cop with 25 years on the force told me the “largest demonstration Richmond has ever seen”!
There were lots of media present – Fox News, foreign media, national, local, unknown, etc. – all waiting to capture and report the violence that didn’t happened. I met supporters from Georgia, North Carolina, Montana, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New Mexico, Tennessee, Michigan, and California!
All in all, I’d call it a remarkably successful rally. And credit prayer for the peaceful outcome and give all glory to God. Thanks for your prayers.
2. Monday evening report:
I did not see any MSNBC and CNN people but did see Al Jazeera, Spanish TV, Japanese TV, local Hampton Roads TV, Richmond TV, Fox News, and a bunch I could not identify. Tonight, I just saw a Fox News report. The dozen or so full battle dress guys that were depicted did not represent 200 of the 22, 000 to 50, 000 gathered. I guess they make for good subjects for a fake news report. You’d think that Fox News would attempt to be fair and balanced and not focus on the outliers, giving a false impression of what the rally looked and sounded like.
I’m telling you, 99+% who participated in the rally were dressed in normal, non-military, and not even hunting gear, but rather winter apparel. There were many suits and dress overcoats, as well as casual cold weather gear. (And it was freakin’ c-c-cold!) Again, just a cross section of solid citizens.
3. Final observations:
I saw where Governor Northam credited law enforcement with “diffusing a volatile situation”! That lying bastard! There was no volatile situation to diffuse! One woman was arrested for wearing a bandanna over her face! But the Left as personified by the likes of Northam cannot understand this basic fact: law-abiding gun owners do not commit gun crimes!
Their “gun legislation” is like confiscating the cars of sober drivers to stop drunk drivers! But really, they wish to oppress, suppress, marginalize, and then, criminalize those who hold fast to the Constitution and a political ideology that opposes the Left. It’s not really about guns. It’s about us deplorables, who are products of a patriarchal, racist, xenophobic, genocidal, European legacy. Over my dead body and “from my cold dead hands.”
Regarding the woman arrested for wearing a bandanna over her face, maybe she was up to no good. Maybe she was just cold and didn’t hear the commands. Lots of people had scarves and gaiters pulled up over their noses because of the cold wind. The reality of what happened is probably different than what the media conveyed.
The various MSNBC and CNN reports stating that the gathering consisted of “white nationalists, Nazis, gun advocates, and the KKK” are deliberately, diabolically deceitful and insulting.
Anecdotally, while riding back on our bus, and mindful of the pre-rally MSM predictions, we took unofficial polls of the approximately 50 people on board by a show of hands:
- How many saw any white nationalists or KKK types at the rally? Zero
- How many saw any Antifa types? Two hands raised.
- How did you know they were Antifa types? Only one person answered: he might’ve just been a lone crazy and maybe not actually Antifa. (I saw the same guy. I think he was just a wino homeless crazy.)
- Was that guy violent? No, just profane and vulgar.
- How many saw any lawbreaking? Zero
- How many saw any unpleasant behavior? Three hands raised, including mine. We three were together when we saw the veteran berating the Al Jazeera news crew, but we don’t know what precipitated it.
- How many would describe the Rally as “completely peaceful”? Unanimous show of hands
- Who wants to venture a guess as to how many people were there? Shouted estimates were 50, 000 at the low end to 100,000 at the high end.
The police had erected fencing and barriers, which effectively separated the crowds into 4 or 5 or maybe 6 distinct areas and groupings. I guess that was to better control any violence, which there was none. The fencing also prevented the speakers from getting up high enough to be seen by the attendees. Fencing kept the crowd about 50 yards from the Capitol building. The speakers could not mount up on the South Portico steps, as they had planned to do – and as is the tradition. In short, being separated into groupings, essentially muted the crowd and denied them full participation in the rally.
I would estimate that only about 3-5,000 could actually hear the speeches due to the fencing/ barrier separation.
There was only one entry point onto the Capitol grounds, where no guns were allowed. At that entry point, it was like airport security: magnetometers, empty your pockets, take off your coats, take off your hats, no opened water bottles, answer questions. Nobody liked it, but all were calm, cooperative and even cheerful. So the line to get on the Capitol grounds was LONG and tedious. This kept the crowd numbers down on the Capitol grounds and kept most away from the speakers. The rest of the huge crowd was out on the several streets surrounding and leading to Capitol Square. This was all by design, I’m sure, to blunt the protest effect.
End of my friend’s comments.
I will add that I suspect that the absence of Antifa and other leftist protesters was probably due as much as anything to the fact that they didn’t want to get shot if they started something, as there were plenty of well-armed, trained and experienced 2A supporters outside the fence to deal with them.
A final note: a number of the participants had apparently sat out the recent elections that turned their state house blue. I suspect the anti-2A moves by the state Democrat Party has radicalized 2A supporters such that they won’t make the mistaking of not voting again. To the contrary, there is this report that Virginia could very well be in play in 2020 (not a write-off to Democrats). A little schadenfreude/Trumpenfreude on Northam and the rest would be therapeutic, ne c’est pas?