From what I’ve been able to read, yesterday’s pro-gun protest in Virginia went off without a hitch, with only one woman being arrested for refusing to remove a bandana that was covering her face – I suppose it was interfering with the facial recognition software that was most likely collecting images and names of every person in attendance
The funny thing about the whole event was, the crowd was protesting to a pretty much empty building; with most of the legislators and the governor having taken off; either out of fear or due to the fact that it was a holiday – (Martin Luther King Day). I suppose all we can do now is sit back and see if the Virginia State Legislature backs down from its plans to push for the laws that sparked this protest; which I’ve heard they have no intention of doing.
Donald Trump, in typical fashion, did however Tweet that this is what happens when people elect Democrats, they lose their rights; diverting the focus away from the fact that both Democrats and Republicans across the country, and in the federal government, have supported similar gun control measures, going back as far as 1934. So as far as I’m concerned, neither Trump or the Republicans have no moral high ground to stand upon; especially considering Trump did say that the government should take the guns first and give people due process later.
The news media is reporting that around 20,000 people showed up for yesterday’s rally, but I’ve heard that number falls well short of the actual number of people who were there; which according to some ranges almost as high as 55,000 people. That is a pretty respectable number of people, yet it is less than 1% of the people; actually it is around .58% of Virginia’s 8.5 million people. In fact, the number of people who attended yesterday’s rally falls short of the estimated 65,000 people who will attend the Super Bowl this year in Miami.
Even yesterday, while the rally was still in progress, I was hearing congratulatory comments from some regarding how peaceful and festive the atmosphere was; showing the world that those who cherish their right to keep and bear arms are not the raving madmen/women that people make them out to be. That’s a two sided coin that I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss.
First of all, it does kind of disprove the argument that people with guns are dangerous; as an estimated 90% of those in attendance at yesterday’s rally were armed; some of them with the very ‘assault’ weapons people claim cause mass shootings. I mean, gee whiz, if guns kill, or if people with those dangerous ‘assault’ rifles kill, how come nobody was killed yesterday? Not saying I wish somebody had been killed, I’m just saying that if guns are the cause of all this murder and mayhem as people claim, then why was nobody killed yesterday when there were all these people walking around carrying guns?
That said, I’ve read around about a dozen or so news reports on yesterday’s rally and the terms I’ve read used to describe it range from peaceful to festive. There is a lot of subtext to that; meaning that the people in attendance, although they may have been upset over the proposed legislation being considered by their legislators, there was no hint of any danger towards them; aside from the inference implied by those who brought a guillotine to the rally, (which from what I hear, the police dismantled).
I’m not saying it isn’t a good thing to see people standing up for their right to keep and bear arms, because it is certainly better than the alternative; bending over and taking it up the ass while your government deprives you of that right. Believe me, as a resident of California I am all too familiar with that mentality. As far as I’m concerned liberty is a lost cause here in California. Sure, there are a few scattered here and there who understand what it is, and are willing to defend it; but for the most part I think 99% of the people living here would stand in line to sign a form surrendering all their rights if they were promised a free iPhone and a year’s worth of unlimited wifi. I can’t imagine a mere 10,000 people showing up at a pro-gun rally in Sacramento, let alone 50,000 of them. So yeah, liberty here in the Golden State is pretty much gone forever; which I why I frequently tell people I’m trapped here behind enemy lines.
So with all that being said, yesterday’s rally had about what, about 1/2 of 1% of the total population of Virginia showing up to protest their State’s attempts to further infringe upon their right to keep and bear arms. That’s just one State out of 50; where were the people of the other 49 States?
Yes, I’d both seen and heard a groundswell of support for those who attended yesterday’s rally, but why didn’t we see a huge movement in which the supporters of our right to keep and bear arms showed up armed at OUR State Capitols, telling our legislators, “Don’t you dare try to pull this shit in OUR State!”
I still think Virginia is a testing ground, a place where the anti-gun lobby can see if they can get away with enacting restrictive gun control legislation without any real opposition to it. If they can get away with this in Virginia, I fear we’ll see a sudden increase in strict gun control legislation being introduced in the legislatures of other strong pro-gun States.
Like I said, California is already a lost cause; we’re already far worse than what the Virginians are currently being threatened with; but States that have a large number of pro-gun citizens may face the same kind of laws Virginians are now being threatened with if they do pass those laws, and they go unchallenged.
So what is happening in Virginia right now, especially with yesterday’s rally, is being watched by both sides of the issue, and it is only the first move in a nationwide chess game; with the ultimate goal either being an end to any further gun control laws, or the complete and total disarmament of the American people. So yeah, they had a rally yesterday; they spoke their minds and told their legislators to back off – but will their legislators listen, that is the question – and if they don’t, what will happen next? This isn’t over, not by a long shot, and sorry for the unintended pun.
I want y’all to read something now, written by James Madison back in 1785, “It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties–we hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freemen of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”
Now compare that to what is happening now in Virginia. I mean it’s all well and good that Virginians are protesting against the proposed laws coming out of Richmond, but why did they wait as long as they have to protest; and why have the people of other States sat back and allowed their right to keep and bear arms be whittled down to a useless little stub?
Think about it for a minute, (and let’s keep the discussion on Virginia for right now). Virginians already live under a plethora of laws that restrict and infringe upon their right to keep and bear arms. For instance, the automatic weapons ban affects them as much as it affects those living in the other 49 States. Virginians also have to obtain a permit to concealed carry; and the last time I checked the exercise of a right does not require permission from your government.
I don’t know, but it sure seems to me that the people of Virginia, as well as those living in the other 49 States have waited until usurped power has ‘…strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents.’ Did you know that the first real nationwide gun control law went into effect nearly 100 years ago, and they have been restricting that right, a bit at a time, ever since? So why have we waited until now to begin protesting against these infringements? I’ve been asking myself that question for the past 20 years, and have yet to get a satisfactory answer from anyone.
Another thing, why is it just our right to keep and bear arms that we are suddenly so concerned with; why haven’t we raised our voices in protest over the infringements upon all our OTHER rights; rights our government has steadily been encroaching upon? The rights shielded against governmental infringement by the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th Amendments have all but been erased. Yet suddenly we’re upset over the attacks upon one single right, when all of our rights have been under attack for over a century and a half? C’mon people!!!
You know what that makes me think of? It makes me think of someone who’s house catches fire, but they wait till the entire house is engulfed in flames before breaking out a fire extinguisher to try and put it out; by then it’s too late. Our freedom of speech; our freedom of religion; our freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; our right to privacy have been under attack for almost as long as I’ve been alive, but NOW WE’RE SUDDENLY PISSED OFF? So it’s okay that they violate all our other rights, just don’t come after our guns. Do people even know that the reason they maintain the right to keep and bear arms is so that they can defend all their other rights?
I do not oppose protests and rallies as they are part of the process of letting our elected representatives know that we don’t like what they are doing; in fact they are listed as one of the rights our government shall not seek to restrict or infringe upon. (See the 1st Amendment). At the same time, when our legislators have a proven track record of violating our rights, there comes a time when assembling peacefully and carrying signs becomes an exercise in futility; since they sit back behind closed doors and do whatever they want to do anyway.
I know I keep harping on this, but this is exactly why a thorough understanding of history, (or at least the history of this country), is essential if we are to understand how to combat the growing tyranny of government; both State and federal.
How many of you, (and my friends in the Founding Era Study Group need to keep quiet), know about the history of what happened after Parliament enacted the Stamp Act in 1765? Yes, the people protested; they assembled; but they did not mill around carrying banners and signs. For instance, in Boston Andrew Oliver was the King’s man assigned to collect the taxes imposed by the Stamp Act; what we might call today a federal official, or employee. Well Oliver was hung in effigy from the Liberty Tree; an act that today would be considered a veiled threat against the life of a federal agent. Yet law enforcement dismantled a guillotine brought to the Virginia protest yesterday for that very reason; it was a veiled death threat against the elected representatives of the people of Virginia. So right there we see which side the police are on in this debate.
But the Son’s of Liberty did not stop with hanging Oliver in effigy, they tore down the office that had been built to house the tax collector; and in other States similar occurrences took place. Then, dear me, they marched to Oliver’s home, threatened him with execution, and when they found he was not home, they destroyed the interior of his house. The very next day the mob found Oliver at his home and threatened him with much worse if he did not resign his position as tax collector; which Oliver decided was in his best interest to do.
Then, when the governor, Thomas Hutchinson defied the mob, they turned their anger upon him; destroying the interior of his home as well, while forcing him to flee for his own life along with his family.
Similar instances of unruly opposition occurred throughout the Colonies. For instance, tax protestors in New York stole the carriage of the Lieutenant Governor, Cadwallader Colden’s (yes that’s his real name) and chopped it up into firewood and used it to burn him in effigy.
We all know the story of the Boston Tea Party; how Son’s of Liberty disguised as native American Indians rowed out into Boston Harbor and dumped all that tea into the water, but do you know about how tax collectors were tarred and feathered by mobs who were angered over the taxes being levied against them? And then of course there was Lexington and Concord, where armed citizens stood up in defiance to the gun control measures being imposed upon them. This was not a peaceful protest by any definition of the word; this was people intent upon defending their right to keep and bear arms; even if it meant opening fire upon law enforcement to do so.
So while I’m all for peaceful protests, I think they have come at too late in the game to be an effective means of preserving what little liberty we have left in this country. We protest, we write and call our elected officials, and we even vote those we don’t like out of office, but it seems that no matter what we do government just sits back and laughs at us, while it steadily encroaches upon our freedom; for it knows that the will to resist it with the same degree of violence exhibited by our founders does not exist. Had that same love of liberty been present we would not have waited this long, until ‘…usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents.’
Our governments, both State and federal, have grown cocky, arrogant, and confident that we do not retain the will to resist their authority and their steady encroachments upon our rights and our liberty. If we want to retain, or regain what we have lost, we must prove that they are wrong in that assumption; we must be ready to stand up and declare, as did Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death.” More importantly, we must mean it.
That’s what it will take to make America great again, and that is why they are watching closely to see what happens in Virginia, to see if that spirit of resistance to tyranny still lives, or if all that we have to offer them in opposition to their tyranny is a few thousand ‘peaceful’ protestors