The leftist Governor Northam of Virginia has declared an actual state of emergency over a gun rights rally being held next Monday, suggesting that there are a few credible threats from bad actors planning to attend:
WASHINGTON TIMES – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that he was declaring a state of emergency over threats of “armed militia groups storming our Capitol” ahead of a gun-rights rally next week.
Northam’s emergency order will ban weapons of all kinds, including firearms, from the Capitol grounds starting Friday and continuing through Tuesday. He said the order was necessary to protect public safety because of potential violence from out-of-state groups at a gun-rights rally scheduled for Monday.
“Let me be clear. These are considered credible, serious threats by our law enforcement agencies,” Northam said at a Capitol news conference.
He added that some of the rhetoric used by groups planning to attend Monday’s rally is similar to what was said in the lead-up to a deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. “We will not allow that mayhem and violence to happen here.”
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and is known as “Lobby day” in Virginia politics as advocates for a number of causes use the holiday to try and buttonhole lawmakers. It’s also traditionally when pro-gun and gun-control advocates hold rallies. This year, law enforcement officials are expecting thousands of gun-rights advocates to attend a rally organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
The House Republican Leader affirmed that there are indeed credible threats from a few agitators, but says that this in no way reflects the busloads of Virginians coming to rally at the Capitol:
Statement of House Republican Leadership on Governor Northam's State of Emergency pic.twitter.com/KHeTCoX1TM
— VA House GOP (@vahousegop) January 15, 2020
The chairman of the Virginia GOP had a different take:
Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jack Wilson condemned Northam’s declaration.
“Northam and the rest of the Virginia Democrats have made their session goal crystal clear: a disarmed, vulnerable, and subservient citizenry,” Wilson said in a statement.
I’m with the chairman here. It’s one thing to prepare for credible threats and all, but to declare a state of emergency over a 2nd amendment rally? C’mon. I understand the past history with Charlottesville, but a state of emergency just seems like an overreaction.
All of this is really because the Virginia legislature is passing new gun control measures that would limit how many guns someone can buy per month and it would force background checks on private sales. They are also passing a new red flag gun confiscation law which would no doubt be enforced liberally.
The NRA responded to all of this, as well as compliments the governor threw their way, with the following statement:
“If Virginia Gov. Northam sincerely respects the efforts of the NRA and its 5 million members, he can demonstrate that respect by not infringing our rights.” – Jason Ouimet, executive director, NRA Institute for Legislative Action
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) January 16, 2020
I couldn’t agree more. If Northam really had respect for both the NRA and his citizenry, he’d refuse to sign any of these new gun control laws. But after beating the blackface/kkk scandal nad getting reelected, there’s zero chance he’s going to pass up the opportunity to make citizens of Virginia less safe.