Last week I repeated a warning that's been sounded by many people whose judgment I respect. The "Lobby Day" in Richmond, Virginia on Monday, January 20th, directed against the new anti-gun proposals and legislation being imposed by the newly-elected Democratic Party government of the state, is turning into a tailor-made opportunity for anti-Second Amendment, anti-gun, anti-freedom, pro-statist propaganda. Those forces are already preparing the ground to portray all those who support the Second Amendment and enjoy the use of firearms as knuckle-dragging, proto-Neanderthal, diehard stick-in-the-mud unreconstructed Rebels who need to be taught a lesson. What's worse is that some of those opposed to what they're doing are providing them with the ammunition they need.
Three men linked to a racially motivated violent extremist group have been arrested in Maryland and Delaware by FBI special agents.
The suspected white supremacists were believed to be on their way to a gun rights rally planned in Richmond for Monday, according to several national media outlets.
The FBI Baltimore Field Office confirmed that 33-year-old Brian Lemley, Jr. and 19-year-old William Garfield Bilbrough IV were arrested on Thursday and charged with transporting and harboring aliens. The 'alien' in question was 27-year-old Patrik Jordan Matthews, a Canadian national who was arrested on firearms charges.
Lemley faces a charge of transporting a machine gun and other firearms charges, including disposing of a firearm and ammunition to an alien unlawfully present in the United States.
A criminal complaint for the case charges Mathews with being an alien in possession and transportation of a firearm and ammunition to commit a felony.
The document indicates Lemley and Mathews used firearms parts to make a functioning machine gun, and allegedly tried to make a hallucinogenic drug as well.
There's more at the link.
I can already hear the screams of outrage from the usual suspects. "How dare you demonize our righteous, legitimate, anti-leftist protest by associating us with such way-out-there, psychopathic, criminal creeps?" Folks, I dare do so because you've just set up the perfect opportunity for creeps like that to gain publicity and exposure at your expense! You've literally created the opening they need to crawl out of the mental and spiritual sewer in which they live, and smear their excremental thinking all over the body politic in the state of Virginia, and by extension the United States as a whole. They'd like nothing better than the publicity they could gain by causing a disruption to your otherwise "peaceful" and "law-abiding" protest . . . and you're handing them the opportunity to do so.
If you want to bet that nobody else of that ilk is planning to show up in Richmond next week, I'll take that bet. Stakes in advance, please, and in cash, held by a third party whom I can trust to pay me when I've won (which I will).
What's more, the new majority in the Virginia state government is openly challenging its opponents by enacting as many anti-gun laws as possible, in an in-your-face demonstration of their newly-acquired power. They want a fight. They're looking - begging - for a fight, because they control the high ground. All the conditions in Richmond are in their favor. They don't care that they're alienating almost half the voters in their state. They weren't elected by those voters, and they don't give a damn about their opinions. They're going to ride roughshod over their objections, and to hell with them all. They're going to tax ammunition (as I predicted last week); they're trying to restrict hunting by banning common practices like guaranteed success, or the use of dogs; they're reintroducing old, demonstrably failed policies like "one-gun-a-month" purchase restrictions; and they have plenty more plans in mind. Whether or not such measures have ever worked, anywhere, or will work in future, isn't the point. The point is the public signal they're sending. "We are the new wave, we're in power, and all those of you 'bitter clingers' who prefer the old ways and your self-proclaimed Constitutional rights are just going to have to get with our program - or else!" The question is already being asked: "Is Governor Northam trying to start a second civil war?" I believe that's very likely, to judge by his words and actions. He wants a fight, on his terms, and he believes he can win it.
You even have the astonishing sight of a far-left-wing, progressive group like Antifa (or, at least, one chapter of it) planning to protest the same anti-gun laws as pro-Second-Amendment activists - an unlikely alliance on the face of it, but one that makes sense from their point of view.
Antifa Seven Hills, based in Richmond, are opposing the slew of gun bills introduced by the newly Democratic Legislature since November, because they say those types of laws are used primarily to criminalize poor people, minorities, and leftists — and to bolster law enforcement’s power.
“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,” said Antifa Seven Hills spokesperson James (who asked that his name be withheld to avoid getting doxxed online). “Like taking guns away from black people, because black people were perceived as a threat to property and the sanctity of the state.”
The local Antifa chapter’s engagement in this issue is another example of the resurgence of pro-gun leftists in America and yet more evidence that the gun-rights debate is growing increasingly politically diffuse and nuanced beyond simply being a GOP issue. Under the Trump administration and in response to the emergence of an emboldened far-right movement, leftist gun groups have surged. For example, the Socialist Rifle Association was formed in 2018 and today has over 50 chapters across the country. Similarly, Redneck Revolt, a leftist gun group that formed in 2016, claims at least 45 chapters nationwide.
“This is our fight as much as anyone else’s,” James, who identifies as an anarchist, added. “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.”
Again, more at the link.
I'm willing to bet that many of those on the right of US politics will react instinctively - and very negatively - to the presence of Antifa in "their" parade. One hopes they'll adopt the ancient and time-honored attitude that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", and at least tolerate their presence. However, I won't be surprised if they react violently to the proximity of those they instinctively regard as "the enemy". I hope they won't . . . but I'm a realist. There are too many out there who'll act before they think. (That, of course, is precisely what the left-wing, anti-gun mainstream media is waiting for. I don't need to predict the headlines. I'm sure you can do that for yourselves.)
I'm worried that too many activists on the right wing of the US political divide are portraying events in Virginia as a "last stand for our constitutional rights". It's not a "last stand" at all. It's just another chapter in the ongoing struggle to maintain the vision of our Founding Fathers for the republic in which we live. That struggle even before the Declaration of Independence was signed by those who pledged to each other "their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" to uphold the principles it espoused. Many of them paid that price. Why should we expect to have to pay a lesser one to sustain the same principles?
The thing is, those signatories took up arms in violent revolution only after they had exhausted any and every other possibility of obtaining a just resolution of their concerns. We're a long, long way from that yet. We're talking one state out of fifty, not the entire country. Literally, let's not "jump the gun" in Richmond next week. There are too many of our political, ideological and social enemies salivating at the prospect of using that protest to demonize, disrupt and denigrate our cause. We'll do well to consider that reality, and pick a fight for reasons, and on ground, where we're more likely to succeed.
If you knowingly stick your hand into an operating blender, and it gets mangled, whose fault is that? The blender's - or yours?