None of us has a crystal ball and predicting what is likely to occur in the future is always a crapshoot. When the smoke clears, the lucky ones who got it right can lay claim to “I told you so” prescience. The ones who missed the mark will end up looking like doomsday preachers with bewildered flocks gathered on the hilltop wondering why the skies failed to part and whisk them to their reward. At most, we can assess probabilities, and even those presuppose that’s not being done through the lens of confirmation bias, and that the data being evaluated is reasonably reliant and complete. Those familiar with computer science will recognize the venerable acronym and truism from the 1960s, “GIGO”: Garbage in, garbage out.”
So, what’s going to happen on Monday, January 20, “Lobby Day” at the Virginia State Capitol, when gun owner rights advocates will converge to express their fears, frustrations and concerns to legislators, many of whom are in the throes of the eye-rolling, anti-gun feeding frenzy the new Democrat majority is indulging in? And the question on everyone’s mind: Will it turn into, as some are warning, a “flash point” for a new “shot heard ‘round the world”?
If it does, here’s one prediction you can take to the bank: Those shots will not be initiated by anyone who is there to support the purpose of the day, that is, to lobby. Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has been conducting such lobby days for years, and that’s never been a problem for “our side.” (By way of full disclosure, in 2015, I was an invited speaker for the event.)
Hindsight being 20/20, it was also predictable that those deciding to attend the event for the first time would demand to repurpose it, and to attack the longtime organizers for their request to leave the long guns at home. It’s not, as some hotheads who have never put a shoulder to the wheel charge, of the organizers being “pussies.”
“Monday, January 20, is Virginia Citizens Defense League's Lobby Day. It is not VCDL's Protest Day,” VCDL explains. “There is a distinct difference between the two.”
They are the ones who have been doing all the work for years while most others either ignored what was happening around them or confined their “contributions” to the cause to anonymous “Molon Labe” bravado in comment sections and forums. If you want to support VCDL’s efforts, then know what those efforts consist of.
If you want to do something else, don’t parasite off their efforts to save yourself the hard work of organizing by hijacking an event VCDL spends countless volunteer hours, year after year, setting up. Start your own “Protest Day” and good luck to you. If you do it right, you’ll no doubt attract support from like-minded VCDL members.
And before anyone “leaps to illusions,” as my friend and colleague the late Mike Vanderboegh used to say, I’m not against armed rallies where long guns are present. I’ve been to many of them, and they’ve always worked for the purposes those who organized them established at the outset. One that comes to mind was even in Virginia, where I spoke from the back of a pickup truck (then-Brady President Paul Helmke grudgingly admitted how “polite” these serious, armed men were) right across the Potomac from where a few hours earlier I’d addressed an unarmed crowd in front of the Washington Monument.
There are times and places for everything, and anyone who approaches life with a “One size fits all” approach is a self-destructive (and more importantly, destructive to others) fool.
In any case, a recent in-your-face stick poke by Virginia legislators to ban firearms at the State Capitol pretty much renders what citizens can be armed with a moot point—at least for those who intend to actually lobby on Lobby Day. True, those remaining outside, and thus attending for a different reason, can lawfully stay armed, but they won’t be able to come inside to face the legislators without finding some place to safely (and “legally”) store whatever guns they’ve brought.
And there’s a whole ‘nother series of observations that could be made about banning legislators and members of law enforcement who are not with the Capitol Police from carrying that could no doubt be traced back to a revenge motive against those who support the Second Amendment sanctuaries established to date in over 120 Virginia locales. The gun-grabbers are trying to make it sound like the Capitol Police requested the ban, but examining the narrative shows they only established a protocol recommendation after being approached by their Democrat bosses, and that any self-serving suggestion to the contrary is “a deliberate misrepresentation.” (That’s a polite way of calling Democrat Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn a liar.)
It’s fair to ask, with unfair treatment from “the leadership” like this, what’s the point of lobbying? What good does it do to go hat-in-hand to arrogant tyrant wannabes who openly express contempt for “the cast of Deliverance” and call constituents who advocate for a fundamental right recognized in the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions “crazy,” “gun nuts,” “insane” and “just like kids”? Petitioning such overt domestic enemies is undoubtedly a waste of time, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other representatives feeling the political dangers of overreach, similarly to the way many Democrats on the national scene blanch at the excesses of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Even the Founders recognized that “mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” As long as those who have been leading the fight in Virginia are still willing to try, we need to ask ourselves how it helps to sabotage their efforts and supplant them with…what, exactly? Does anyone see an organized and resourced alternative? What names appear on the new declaration and what are their qualifications to lead us?
And that brings us to the dangers all the prognosticators are warning us about, starting with the ones doing the oppressing. All these idiot “gun laws” really do is show that tyrants really do fear the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The “justification” that the Capitol gun grab is being done for “public safety” proves itself to be a hollow excuse when one considers all the years peaceable, armed VCDL members have been visiting with their representatives without incident. They’re not the ones threatening to initiate violence by imposing their will on others under force of arms.
So how predictable (see, not all fortune-telling is bunkum) for Lori Haas of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (a group I’ve shown in the past has lied about me) to claim “The other side is very, very, very ugly right now, and the threats are real. I don’t begrudge them being careful.”
If we’re going to talk ugly, threats and a need to be careful, we have the side that’s managed to peacefully conduct itself on Lobby Day for years, and then we have the hard left that says what it deems “Hate speech is not free speech,” and shuts down anyone it disagrees with in the most ugly ways it can. But here’s the thing—I attended another armed rally not too long ago, an open carry walk at Kent State University where Marxist scum (sorry, I’m not sure what else to call them that doesn’t resort to unprintable obscenities) tried to shut it down, and the only violence-related arrests by the large and restrained police presence were of the commies. Armed-to-the-teeth gun owners behaved themselves just fine.
That brings us to two other factions of gun owners, one warning us to stay away lest an engineered Charlottesville repeat itself, the other saying if we do, a disappointment in numbers will work against us and make it appear not enough gun owners care to actually show up in person to say so. The Kent experience shows us history need not repeat itself, provided the police properly do their primary jobs as peace officers and rights enforcers.
And that means it’s incumbent on those going to Lobby Day to conduct themselves as “well regulated,” and to be there as supporters, not disruptors. It’s perfectly plausible that attendees will include some low-hanging fruit, some infiltrators, some informants and some outright provocateurs. That means it’s on those who support the day’s agenda to be aware of that, not drawn into provocations, and not afraid to provide support to the organizers in identifying and discouraging troublemakers from within the ranks. True, that won’t ultimately stop acts by “the other side,” but if the lobbyists take care to mind that which they can control – and especially to document what’s happening around them – it will go a long way to establish who emerges from the day with clean hands and consciences, not to mention clean legal records.
The Day After
Let’s pray the catastrophe feared by some doesn’t happen, but understand whether it does or not, the Democrat majority in Virginia will not loosen up on its demands unless it has no other choice. There are two overdue actions committed gun owners must take. Must. If they don’t, then temporary violence will have just been averted, and when it comes back it could be for a lot longer and with a vengeance.
The first follows a proposal by Sheriff Scott Jenkins of Culpepper County, to deputize thousands of gun owners. That follows closely with the Tazewell County resolution to form a militia. Ultimately, the core purpose of the Second Amendment, “the security of a free State,” is something that needs to be reestablished throughout the Republic, and unless it does, we’re kidding ourselves on any long-term solutions.
Those won’t happen as long as national and state “gun rights” groups continue to deliberately ignore the single greatest threat to “legal” recognition of the right to keep and bear arms, a tyranny of the manipulated majority made possible by importation and by “amnesty” for lawbreakers. They’re afraid to recognize engineered demographic changes as that threat, probably because they fear “progressives” who already call them “knuckle draggers,” “murderers” and “terrorists” will also call them “haters” (as if they don’t already).
How do you think Virginia turned “blue,” now putting everyone who would defy disarmament edicts in existential danger? Don’t take my word for it, take The New York Times’ in its “How Voters Turned Virginia From Deep Red to Solid Blue” analysis:
“Unlike three decades ago, the residents are often from other places, like India and Korea. And when they vote, it is often for Democrats. ‘Guns, that is the most pressing issue for me,’ said Vijay Katkuri, 38, a software engineer from southern India, explaining why he voted for a Democratic challenger in Tuesday’s elections.”
Until the reality that foreign nationals brought into this country who then become citizens consistently vote 70% Democrat and 70% anti-gun is admitted, gun owners will continue to be encouraged by their lobby groups to unquestioningly support politicians who may say all the right words and vote “correctly” on purely gun issues while setting their constituents up to become permanently outvoted minorities in the near future. At that point, supermajorities in state and federal legislatures will then be able to pass whatever disarmament edicts they like, and nominations and confirmations of judges to the Supreme and federal courts will ensure those edicts are upheld. It’ll be “game over” for politics, and the only choice left will be to surrender to state-initiated violence or to resist.
That’s the one prediction I don’t need a crystal ball for that I’ll make with certainty.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. In addition to being a regular featured contributor for Firearms Newsand AmmoLand Shooting Sports News, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts onTwitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.