The Richmond protest: things are getting squirrelly out there

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.

Example:

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?

Peter

18 comments

  1. “linked”, “alleged” “believed”…all fbi code for “we don’t have shit on these guys but we need a patsy.” look at what they pulled on general Flynn et al. the govna references law enforcement about credible threats, but none of them know what he’s talking about. yeh, its going to be a cat rodeo, but so was boston common, bunker hill and ft. sumpter. gotta start somewhere, might as well be here.

  2. The FBI didn’t arrest them for “alleged” offenses. Those are media weasel words. If the feds made the arrests, and briefed the media, 90%+ odds they’re dead-to-rights slam-dunk guilty, and a grand jury will agree in about an hour.

    It’s not like they had to dig too deep to find easy patsies.
    Anyone who thinks the feds aren’t milking the media cow because of timing, signify that by standing on your head. WTH do you think they waited until now to make those arrests and issue a press release?? Coincidence??? As if.

    This is disasterpiece theater, and you’ve got people lining up to buy tickets on the Titanic.

    I never thought common sense and logic would be such a hard sell, but this is why we can’t have nice things.

  3. FWIW.
    Alleged because it has not been adjudicated in a court of law. Innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and all that.
    Not weasel words.

  4. Over/under on so-called ‘white supremacists’ being FBI patsies?

    Easiest way to ‘find’ some deplorables to smear across the headlines is to make some of your own.

  5. Seem to remember the truism that most “White Supremacist” groups consist of one addlepated moron and 5 agents working for six different agencies. IOW just who do you think enabled these “suspects”?

  6. A horribly lame argument. That others should misuse the venue is not on those who host the venue.

    As for believing the FBI, I’ve three anecdotes and one personal contact all involving the FBI that says they’ll lie looking you straight in the eye. Those three anecdotes all feature close friends and associates who were threatened with long incarceration if they didn’t agree to trumped-up charges which were ultimately completely dropped. No pleas, no bargains…dropped, went away as in never happened.

    After all the stuff that has come down in the past few years about the crap the FBI does now they are supposed to be believed? Oh, right, any error in the details is due to inaccurate reporting. FBI and media, two fine upstanding agencies.

    C’mon guys, keep it together.

    Rick

  7. We should not join with Antifa on this or any other issue.

    Antifa will take our guns away if they were the ones in power. Their beef is that the power structure is not them.

    Cannot legitimize Antifa.
    Cannot let Antifa learn names of people on our side or who is a leader, formal or otherwise.

    Pragmatism is just another word for having to deal with a different mess later on. We have to keep the long game in view.

    To hell with Antifa – not ally under almost any circumstance.

    ——————

    H.L. Mencken: “Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses. It is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    Maybe Virginia will learn a lesson. I will not hold my breath. I need it for our own problems in Texas.

  8. Aesop, everything you say is true. And on the off chance the there weren’t volunteer stupids in the crowd making those “credible threats,” don’t forget that the most militant voices in the Maheur Refuge crowd worked for the FBI. You bet there were credible reports there. Or how the FBI swore to the FISC “yep, that guy Page is talking to the Russians.” Absolutely true, they just left out the teeny tiny detail that he was working for the CIA when he did it.

    If they’ll do it to Trump, they’ll do it to a bunch of chumps in VA if they have to. But they probably didn’t have to this time.

  9. So what would be a better way for Virginians to go about this?

    How do they register their displeasure with their elected morons in a way that wouldn’t leave openings for our enemies to exploit?

    Should they have started with a petition to recall their governor and every electee that indicated support for these terrible laws? Is that even an option under Virginia law?

  10. It’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Don’t show up, and Northam crows about how there’s no REAL resistance to ‘sensible gun control laws’. Show up, and the media will be crying about the terrible intimidation he faces.

    I’ll be honest I don’t know what the best answer is either. Aesop and Peter aren’t wrong, but at the same time, letting this gimp buffalo Virginians isn’t just a violation of the 2nd Amendment, but the First — specifically, ‘peaceably assemble and seek redress of grievances’.

    What good is a right when you can’t use it?

  11. If I was planning on going to this VA gathering (I’m not), I’d be taking a coil of rope with me. One sufficient to create a Hanging Rope.

    I’m thinking that if every light pole and tree branch within sight of that government building was decorated with an empty noose, this might get the governor’s attention. Especially if the politicians are informed that if the group has to return, it will be to fill those nooses with bureaucrats and politicians.

    What do you think?

  12. Peter and esop, if you two were in the founding of our country we would still be british. My question is, if not now, when? Can you tell me a single time when it will be right to protest and possibly start the ball rolling, when no government goons will be there to supposedly set us up, when everything will align our way and then we can go to protest? My god, I can’t believe you two call yourselves Americans.

  13. Jaime of Texas has it right. Antifa is The Enemy and their excuse for marching is bullhockey. They’re there to make trouble.

    As to the FEEBS: in 40-50 years they may regain credibility. Don’t bother trying to defend them in the meantime.

  14. @Anonymous at 1:53 PM: Your insults would be more effective if you had the courage to identify yourself. As it is, you merely show yourself to be as cowardly as those on the other side who’ll rail against gun owners, but never show up to actually confiscate their weapons.

    Aesop and I (and Matt Bracken, and many others) have stated our case. Kindly point out where it’s wrong, and what’s a better alternative. If you can’t do that, remain silent.

  15. Peter, you are the one who should remain silent. Your blog for some reason has no place to put my name. My name is Vern. Easy to call me a coward in print. Your whole argument is wrong and a better alternative is to stand up for your rights. You may think richmond is the wrong place to do it, but if not now, when? What is your solution? Sit by quietly while they come to take the guns and wring our hands because now is not the time to complain? If you can’t support what these people are doing, then you should shut up. you and esop both. And Bracken. No need for a response, as this will be my last visit to your place.

  16. The timing g is suspect. It is likely these idiots were on the radar and this was just an excuse to round them up. They needed fodder to parade in front if the press and drive the narrative.

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