Today the long anticipated pro-Second Amendment “Lobby Day” is to take place at the capitol in Richmond, Virginia, and widespread angst and tension about how the day will play out is unmistakable. Various factions, to include Antifa, will be represented at the demonstration that has been intended by organizers to protest Democrat lawmakers who are aiming to enact stringent gun control measures in the state.
Unsurprisingly, leftists have begun to characterize the Second Amendment rally as being all about white supremacists who supposedly have plans for violence. Progressive media have picked up on that narrative, warning that the event will become another Charlottesville.
One example … on Sunday, NBC reporter Ben Collins posted a tweet that has since been deleted that read (bold-face added for emphasis):
Reporters covering tomorrow’s white nationalist rally in Virginia, I’m absolutely begging you:
Verify information before you send it out tomorrow, even if it’s a very sensational rumor you heard from a cop.
Don’t become a hero in neo-Nazi propaganda circles with made-up stuff.
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 19, 2020
Meanwhile, multiple militia leaders with contingents said to be coming to the rally are insisting they are coming to be among the crowd supporting citizens’ gun rights, according to the Daily Mail. “If you think that we’re a threat coming into your city, then you don’t know who we are, you don’t understand what we’re about,’ said Joshua Shoaff, aka Ace Baker, a militia leader with 542,000 Facebook followers. “We’re not anarchists – we believe in government,” he said.
On Friday, President Trump encouraged Second Amendment supporters with a tweet in which he said, “Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away.”
Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
A particularly noteworthy subplot in the Lobby Day story is the support Antifa is giving to the Second Amendment cause. Possibly the largest Antifa website online, “Its Going Down,” has published an op-ed entitled “With Neither Tyrants Nor Fascists: An Anarchist Analysis Of The Growing Fight Against Anti-Gun Legislation In Virginia.”
The lengthy treatise is not well focused and sometimes contradictory, and it is certainly critical of all things not Antifa. However, it does make a reasonable argument for why anarchists oppose anti-gun legislation and denies that Antifa members who plan to be at the rally are going with the purpose of agitating the crowd or to cause problems.
The writer squarely took aim at Democrats for “absurd and surreal” efforts to take guns away from “poor gun owners, and those who happen to not be white, or straight, or conservative.”
“The Democrats expect us to act as their thugs, even as they promise to prosecute us for defending ourselves,” the anarchist editorial reads. “To the Right, it is a given that we are funded by Bloomberg himself, or trained by shadowy forces to make them look ridiculous or violent. We just live here, we own guns and don’t want to see any more of our friends attacked by tech bro neo-Nazis or jealous and rejected men. We own guns because we grew up around them, because the threats we face are real and present, and because we encounter them stumbling out of the breweries to stomp out the closest person they see sleeping on the street. And so we feel little love for either of these gangs of bussed-in protesters. This is our home, we’ll live here on the 19th and the 21st too.”
The Antifa writer concludes: “We want our freedom in every sense of the word. And since we will fight for it, we want our guns too. To be quite blunt, a gun is the only check on this that you can hold in your hand. So we’ll continue to hold them, whether they’re legal or not.”
Competing rumors circulating online have Antifa, militias, far-left and far-right groups sending busloads of people to the rally with the goal of creating havoc. In addition, a Republican state lawmaker warned that the Democrat-run government is “setting up” conservatives to take the fall if things get out of control at the rally, “to make the entire movement look like insurrection.”
A sampling of various alarmist rumors posted out there …
In Virginia, gun rights activists have been sharing conspiracy theories about buses full of “antifa” disgusted as NRA supporters coming to RIchmond. Meanwhile, actual anti-fascists are worried *for* the local gun owners + warning supporters to stay away: https://t.co/nR0R3M7X1L
— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) January 20, 2020
A Virginia Antifa chapter has released a hit list of several conservative figures and journalists who will make an appearance at the 2nd Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday.
The chapter, called… https://t.co/7oYbKOck5d
— Darryl Sharp (@sharpd49) January 20, 2020
Tom Dewese lives in Richmond, Virginia, and he’s received reliable info that 7 busloads of ANTIFA MOBSTERS wearing Trump hats & NRA garb will stage an attack on other actors carrying signs protesting guns. Virginia already has portable sniper towers to suppress any opposition. pic.twitter.com/FY6KIsDwMC
— Roy F. Christensen (@royfcjr) January 18, 2020
Antifascists are choosing a path of de-escalation in Richmond tomorrow.
It’s going to be even harder than usual for Nazis to “prove” that Antifa are big bad terrorists.
That means a boatload of Nazi-generated fake Antifa content is headed our way. https://t.co/cvkjIN8AgI
— Gwen Snyder is uncivil (@gwensnyderPHL) January 19, 2020
“Hey! Antifascists are NOT bussing [people] in,” Antifa Seven Hills wrote on Twitter. “In fact we are encouraging folks to stay away from the capitol and downtown [Richmond] because of far-right escalations like this.” https://t.co/ZmriyPAFY2
— PopMob (Popular Mobilization) (@PopMobPDX) January 20, 2020
Confusion, disinformation, and left-wing media coverage of the rally in Richmond make for a volatile and dangerous situation for the valid Constitutional cause of citizens’ right to bear arms. Prayers are needed for all who are present there today.
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