In November, things didn’t look good for Virginians. Governor Ralph Northam successfully used gun control as an issue to deflect attention away from his blackface scandal and his party took control of both chambers of the legislature. The fact that a number of Democrats ran on gun control anyway only made it more obvious that gun control was coming to the Old Dominion State.

However, something interesting has been happening.

Northam and his allies aren’t getting the gun control traction they and everyone else thought they’d get. The most recent measure fell just yesterday, but it wasn’t the first.

So why would a Democrat-controlled legislature with a Democrat governor fail to pass gun control when that seemed to be the driving force for so many of them?

That answer is easy. Lobby Day.

The official estimates are around 22,000 people showed up to have their voices heard. Unofficial estimates have that number even higher.

When that many people show up, lawmakers who value their jobs tend to listen. They couldn’t help but hear that a large number of people in the state aren’t interested in gun control. They don’t want it and while a number of Democrats are hyperfocused on the issue, not all of them are willing to let their political careers die on that hill.

Especially when Lord only knows how many people were running around the streets of Richmond with guns and not a single person got shot, thus undermining so much of the gun-grabbers arguments. Also despite the fearmongering by Northam prior to the event.

When thousands and thousands of law-abiding citizens show up and speak with one voice, even antagonistic lawmakers are forced to listen.

Now, does this mean that they won’t pass any gun control? No, it doesn’t, so those in Virginia need to remain vigilant.

What it does mean, though, is that the risk of Virginia becoming an East Coast version of California was severely limited and so any march toward that kind of a ranking will have to be much slower. That means there’s time to step in and halt it completely during next year’s elections. That’s when Virginians can remove Democrats from the governor’s mansion as well as potentially regain the legislature. At the very least, they can remove the worst of the gun-grabbing lot.

There’s a lesson here for the rest of us, though.

At the end of the day, activism does pay off. Rallies do work.

Yet they work best when massive turnouts make it impossible for lawmakers to ignore. Tens of thousands of people showing up for one purpose, for one cause–the protection of the right to keep and bear arms–tends to have an effect on lawmakers. It’s the proverbial kick in the pants that reminds them who they answer to.

We can beat the gun grabbers, folks. Even in the darkest recesses of gun-grabbing states, if we marshal enough of our numbers for one common cause, we can make a difference and remind the anti-gun lawmakers that they do not have total support in the various states. It’s time we start using Richmond as a blueprint and take back our constitutionally-protected rights.