Political Mayhem Threatens Virginia

When the Wall Street Journal and Antifa end up on the same side of an issue, we know reason and rationality have been replaced by fear and ideology. A December WSJ editorial piece parroted a bizarre and false right-wing clickbait item that a bill sponsored by Del. Lee Carter (D-50th) required the firing of law enforcement officers who declined to enforce state gun control laws. 

Yet the very same, usually sober Journal reported on the FBI’s arrest of three individuals, members of a group known as “the Base,” who planned to travel to Richmond with intentions to disrupt today’s pro-gun rally and cause chaos. Another three members of the group were arrested in Maryland and Georgia. An even later report in the media cited officials who indicated the Base was planning to fire weapons from several positions. The group has a goal, according to officials, to “accelerate the downfall of the US government, incite a race war, and establish a white ethno-state.”

And, at the same time, other outlets, including National Review, reported that the Richmond-based Antifa Seven Hills would march with the pro-gun activists. An Antifa member stated:

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. 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.

On a holiday meant to foster community action for good, a gun-rights rally planned for Virginia’s Capitol today (Monday) is stirring fear, fury, and a large dose of dangerous irrationality. As a result, in advance of the gathering, fencing has gone up around Capitol Square and Governor Ralph Northam has banned the presence of all weapons. The FAA has banned the use of drones in a two-mile radius around the Capitol.

On a holiday meant to foster community action for good, a gun-rights rally planned for Virginia’s Capitol today (Monday) is stirring fear, fury, and a large dose of dangerous irrationality.

Delegate Carter decided to avoid the Capitol, remaining at an “undisclosed location” due to threats against his life following his introduction of the bill misinterpreted by gun rights activists. 

As Virginia has become ground-zero in the debate over gun control, it has also become a testing ground for the protests of white supremacists and, now, will witness the conversion of Antifa. 

Delegate Lee Carter (D-50th District) decided to avoid the Capitol, staying at an “undisclosed location” due to threats against his life.

Gun rights activists have been encouraged over recent months by a large majority of Virginia counties and cities adopting second amendment sanctuary resolutions. That effort even received a letter of endorsement from 50 Republican officials from North Carolina.

Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave, an organizer of the rally and driving force behind the gun-rights sanctuary movement, said he’s heard from groups around the country that plan to send members to Virginia, including the Nevada-based, far-right Oath Keepers, which has promised to organize and train armed posses and militia.

In Prince William County this past week, the Board of County Supervisors voted 8-0 to table a proposed resolution supporting gun safety legislation and funding for mental health services. In December, the former Republican-led board had voted to support a resolution focused on its support for the Second Amendment. According to the new Democratic chair, this is a state matter that will handled at the state level. Prince William’s turnabout reflects the partisan political divide that has resulted from the Democratic majority recently elected to the General Assembly.

Governing during this earthquake of political tension will require statecraft of a high order from the executive and legislative institutions of the Old Dominion.





Categories: gun control, Issues, Local, National

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