This year’s Lobby Day rally in Richmond, Virginia didn’t feature the big crowds from last year, with only a few dozen individuals converging on the state capitol building. Despite a claim by Reuters that the annual event “fizzled” this year, most of the activity was never going to be around Capitol Square. Instead, thousands of gun owners took part in the event by riding through the Richmond streets as part of a mobile caravan of Second Amendment supporters.
— The Commonwealth Times (@theCT) January 18, 2021
I was very pleased when VCDL president Phillip Van Cleave asked me several months ago to be one of the many speakers during Lobby Day, and on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. I’m sharing my message for Virginia gun owners with everyone else.
It’s a pretty simple message, honestly; this is an election year in Virginia, and gun owners need to be involved. If you’re fed up with politics, I understand. If you’re angry at a political system that you believe is broken, I sympathize. But the elections this fall are still going to take place, and they’ll determine whether or not Democrats will be in a position to push for their unconstitutional ideas like a ban on modern sporting rifles and other restrictions on our right to keep and bear arms over the next four years.
Take back the governorship and we can put an end to those bad bills. Take back the House of Delegates and not only can we stop bad legislation, but we can get good bills through at least one chamber of the legislature (the Democrat-controlled state Senate, unfortunately, isn’t up for re-election until 2023).
Stay at home, however, and you guarantee that Democrats will maintain complete control of state government for at least the next two years, and I’m convinced that anti-gun politicians will take full advantage of that by pursuing a sweeping agenda targeting the legal gun owners in the state instead of pursuing policies that are actually aimed at reducing violent crime.
To that end, I actually used a couple of minutes of my speech to talk to those Democrats. I know it probably won’t do any good, but I reminded them that if they truly believe the criminal justice system is systemically biased and people of color can’t get a fair shake, then every new gun control law they propose just adds to the problem. Want to ban “high capacity” magazines? Well, where is that law most likely to be enforced?
Most rural counties in Virginia have already adopted Second Amendment Sanctuary resolutions vowing not to spend any money enforcing unconstitutional gun control laws, so it’s fair to assume that it will be Democrat-controlled portions of the state like the D.C. suburbs and Richmond where new laws are likely to see the greatest enforcement.
Even if these Democrats don’t care one bit about the Constitution or the Second Amendment, in other words, there are still arguments that appeal to the interest of the Left that gun owners can and should be making. Will they miraculously cause the most ardent opponent of the right to keep and bear arms to rethink their positions? I highly doubt it. But these arguments, buttressed by facts, do have the potential to help shape attitudes over time.
I believe it’s critically important to engage both parties on this issue, even as we work to ensure that the candidates we support this election year will, in turn, support our right to keep and bear arms if they take office. I know that it’s easy to be discouraged, frustrated, disgusted, and even angry at the state of politics right now. Even if you have no interest in politics, though, politics (and politicians) still have an interest in you and your rights.