Politicians should take notice
Had 22,000 people showed up in Richmond, Virginia, to demand stronger gun control laws, it is a safe bet that proponents of them would pronounced the crowd to be conclusive proof most Americans want such restrictions.
But when a group estimated at that size demonstrated on Monday against new firearms ownership limits, some gun control advocates insisted the crowd was small – and evidence not many people worry about Second Amendment rights.
“I was prepared to see a whole lot more people show up than actually did, and I think it’s an indication that a lot of this rhetoric is bluster, quite frankly,” commented state Delegate Chris Hurst, a Democrat representing an area in western Virginia. In fairness to Hurst, it needs to be noted he has a personal stake in gun control; in 2015, his television journalist girlfriend was killed in shooting.
More than “bluster” was on display Monday in Richmond, however. As The Associated Press noted, those who turned out to protest what they view as infringements upon Second Amendment rights did so in spite of very cold weather. They came from throughout Virginia, as well as some other states.
Prior to the rally, state officials including Gov. Ralph Northam had expressed concern about white supremacists attending the event. Members of some such groups did attend, according to observers – but the rally passed peacefully. There was just one arrest, of a woman who broke a state law by wearing a mask that covered her face.
What happened Monday in Richmond was a demonstration that many law-abiding Virginians – representing millions of other like-minded Americans – are concerned about politicians who continue assaulting the Second Amendment. Officials in the Old Dominion, as well as elsewhere, should take note of that.