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I Went to Lobby Day. Tens of Thousands of Second Amendment Supporters Weren’t the Problem.

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

Instead of heading West to the annual SHOT Show this year, I stayed put here in Virginia.

It was too important to miss Lobby Day given the gun control laws being proposed here. These proposals will adversely impact people like me and millions of other law-abiding gun owners here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Last week, I covered the fallout from Governor Northam’s emergency order here, here, and here.

That brings me to penning this brief overview of Lobby Day in our state capital.

I spent yesterday covering the annual Lobby Day event held in Richmond, Virginia. It’s put on annually by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

Since January 2002, gun rights supporters have descended to our state capital to lobby lawmakers on bills before our state legislature—commonly known as the General Assembly. (Fun fact: it commemorated 400 years last summer, making it the oldest contiguous legislative body in the New World.)

This year’s Lobby Day garnered attention thanks to the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement—a response to Bloomberg-backed, gun control supporting Democrats retaking the General Assembly in November. Since then, close to 140 localities—including 91 of 95 counties and Virginia Beach (our largest city)—have motioned they won’t comply with gun control policies originating from the General Assembly.

Despite wishful thinking for violence on the part of gun control advocates and some media members, the event went peacefully. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to observers. Past Lobby Days have been equally peaceful though smaller in size.

I concur with Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski, who noted the peacefulness of yesterday’s proceedings:

The event’s peaceful procession marked a stark contrast to mainstream media portrayals of a rally filled with white nationalists and others prepared to do violence. The day’s rally concluded without a single incidence of mayhem or civil unrest.

CBS 6 in Richmond reports there were over 22,000 people present. I’ve heard estimates of up to 60,000 people. VCDL claims 30K-50K people were in attendance. Either way, this is the largest gun rights rally of its kind in Virginia.

Thankfully, no major disruptions happened. I overheard rally-goers say this is the safest Richmond—one of Virginia’s most dangerous cities— will ever be. Indeed.

Unsurprisingly, Governor Ralph Northam took credit for the event’s peaceful outcome—despite ordering barricades to go up around Capital Square and issuing a temporary emergency declaration banning weapons on the grounds. As I pointed out last week, Northam in 2012 voted for the law forbidding the banning of firearms in the event of emergencies. How ironic.

Majority of Media Botched Lobby Day Coverage

Reporters preemptively smeared Lobby Day suggesting it would rise to the level of the 2017 Charlottesville attack— implying it’s a white nationalist rally. This characterization was disgusting on all accounts. And it’s also opposite of what I encountered yesterday.

NewsBusters’ Curtis Houck captured this well with this clip:

Not Your Regular Gun Rally

Leading up to Lobby Day, reporters falsely labelled the event a “Neo-Nazi” and “white nationalist” or “only white” rally. To quote President Trump, that’s “fake news.”

Different constituencies and demographics were well represented at the event. Here’s a sample:

Here’s What Actually Mattered at Lobby Day

If reporters who smeared the event were interested in accuracy, they would have noted several things. One, they could have featured speakers like the Sutherland Springs, TX hero or Delegate Nick Freitas (R-VA) who’s running for Congress in Virginia’s 7th District. Two, they would have noted Lobby Day goers aren’t criminals or Neo-Nazis.

Instead, they would have noted the diversity of the crowd, the peaceful nature of those in attendance, and how participants cleared up their surroundings at the event’s conclusion.

They also would have reported how the majority of the state is opposed to gun control measures currently being deliberated in the General Assembly.

Stephen Gutowski had two interesting interviews. One with an African-American gentleman Lobby Day participant, the other with the Sutherland Springs, TX hero who used an AR-15 to deter the killer.

Here’s the former.

And the latter:

The Gist

When I last attended Lobby Day in 2016, I remember how seamless and civil the event was. This year was equally civil and peaceful but crowded in the best sense. Those who were trying to inflame tensions leading up to Lobby Day thankfully didn’t succeed.

I didn’t encounter a single person, armed with long gun or not, who posed a threat to my safety or that of other reporters and attendees.

While most Virginia Democrats won’t budge on their extreme gun control agenda, this Lobby Day clearly had a massive impact. That should worry them. They’ve awoken a Sleeping Giant that’s more empowered to get-out-the-vote (GOTV) and elect more pro-gun candidates to office.

Stay with us at The Resurgent for the latest updates here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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