Monday’s Lobby Day protests in Richmond were a textbook example of how to protest if you want to be taken seriously, with a couple of possible exceptions. I’m not a huge fan of open carry for political purposes, though I accept not everyone else agrees. That said, everyone was non-violent and even went to great pains to clean up after themselves, including peeling-up stickers that had fallen and adhered to the street.

The only arrest was of someone who refused to remove her mask.

While no arrests would have been better, I can take this is a pretty successful outcome.

Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, though, anti-gun lawmakers in Virginia are bound and determined to continue the effort I’ve documented here over the last couple of years, the effort to stigmatize gun owners.

To start with, let’s talk a bit about Governor Ralph Northam. His racist past has been thoroughly documented, including photographs, and it’s also being ignored. Part of Northam’s strategy has been to demonize gun owners.

Ralph Northam, Virginia’s Democratic governor, declared a public emergency despite knowing there were no grounds for doing so. The governor, who recently overcame his history of racism to hang on to his current elected office, did this in his typically cynical fashion. He invoked the 2017 Charlottesville rally organized by neo-Nazis and suggested that a gathering by law-abiding gun owners in opposition to his gun control proposals would turn out similarly.

In asserting that militia and hate groups had threatened violent acts at the rally, Northam was deliberately stoking irrational fears about what would happen Monday when gun owners converged on Richmond to protest his anti-Second Amendment agenda. When nothing bad happened at the rally, of course, Northam even had the gall to pat himself on the back for it. Such are the delusions of a man whose main goal at this point is to build a legacy comprising something other than the racist costumes on his yearbook page and the racist nickname he went by during the 1980s when he was already a full-grown adult.

Of course, I touched on this one a bit earlier today.

However, what Northam is doing here is more than just revealing some racial hypocrisy by the anti-gun left. No, this is the political version of a magician using misdirection so you won’t see how the trick works. He’s screaming about racists and extremists to such a degree that few are bothering to look at the man doing the screaming.

To be sure, there are racists. There were, apparently, some at Richmond.

They were also shouted down by the tens of thousands of people surrounding them who wanted absolutely nothing to do with such nonsense. The minority gun owners who appeared were celebrated. They were photographed. They were turned into celebrities of the gun world, if only for a short time.

Honestly, Northam’s antics would be tiresome if it were just him. Yet it’s not.

A Virginia Democrat said Tuesday that Second Amendment supporters who protested new gun-control legislation at the Virginia State Capitol had “terrorized Richmond.”

House Delegate Lee Carter, a self-professed democratic socialist, accused participants in Monday’s peaceful protest of menacing lawmakers, saying the thousands of “idiots” who demonstrated would only embolden the Democratic majority on gun control.

“The ‘pro-gun’ people that terrorized Richmond yesterday probably don’t realize that all they did was tag team with fascists, strengthen the liberals’ resolve to pass gun control bills, and force the most gun-friendly Dem (me) to not show up for a day,” Carter said. “Idiots. Absolute idiots.”

Now, it’s easy to dismiss Carter as a joke because, well, he is.

However, there are people who listen to this particular joke. He was duly elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, for crying out loud. His choice of words–saying protestors “terrorized” Richmond–is deliberate. He wants to invoke a certain kind of thinking, a certain view of those protestors. What he wants is for people to see “gun rights supporter” and think “terrorist.”

Lest someone think that Carter changed his tune, here’s his response when someone called him on it.

This is nothing more than an attempt to silence us. People like Carter and Northam don’t want us speaking out because, if we did, we might not just encourage others to defend the Second Amendment. It might just remind us that we’re not alone in the wilderness and give people the strength to hold strong.

No, they want us silent; out of sight, out of mind.

Well, I have bad news for them. We’re not going anywhere. You can call us whatever you want, we’ll keep comporting ourselves as we did in Richmond. We’re not going to slink away so you can pretend we don’t exist.

They might as well get used to it.