Now that the dust has settled from the January 20th Second Amendment Rally in Richmond, Virginia, what did Virginia, and the rest of the country learn? And will there be electoral retribution for the massive gun-control push?

The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has sponsored this rally and lobby day on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday each year, as many people have that day off work. The purpose of this rally has been for citizens to lobby their state legislators, and to educate them on the interests of law-abiding gun owners in the Commonwealth. 

The bills that are making their way through the Virginia legislature are gun control pure and simple. They will not do anything to keep people safer in the Commonwealth.

One bill demands background checks on private transfers, although only 3% of criminals obtain their weapons through sources that require backgrounds checks. Another bill increases the training required to obtain a concealed carry permit, which would disadvantage someone in fear for her life who needs to obtain a permit to protect herself. In addition, concealed carry holders aren’t the problem. As a group, they are more law-abiding than even law enforcement.

There are sixty-eight total gun-control bills that VCDL has designated as “strongly oppose.” Sixty-eight!

The crowd attending the rally was by far the largest in the history of VCDL’s lobby day. An estimated 22,000 gun-rights supporters packed the streets around the Capitol building. The media predicted a violent white supremacist rally, but there was none. There was one arrest, a person charged with wearing a mask. 

Also, those 22,000 people left no trash. Some locals said that the streets were, “the cleanest they’ve seen in quite some time.” 

If it was a white supremacist rally, it wasn’t a very good one. People from all backgrounds were there. Attendees held signs that said, “Gun Rights are Gay Rights,” and, “Armed Minorities are Harder to Oppress.”

The funny thing is, law-abiding gun owners don't look at diversity the same way the media portrays their views. Gun owners see fellow gun owners as Americans. Sure, some of us are women, some aren’t. Some are white, some aren’t. Some are straight, some aren’t. But we see one another as fellow humans who have the right to self-defense.

Whether a person is gay or straight, white or black, male or female, we all want to protect ourselves and our families. And those of us who choose a firearm to enable that protection will always support others who choose a firearm to enable that protection. Period.

What do ordinary Virginians think about the gun control bills? By all accounts, they are looking to secure their rights before they are taken away, as evidenced by increased interest in concealed carry classes. 

Voter turnout in the 2019 legislative elections ranged from 22% to 58%, depending on the district. This will be the number to watch as we head in to the 2020 elections. Will Virginia voters look to punish, by proxy, the legislators pushing gun control? In 2016, Virginia went for Hillary Clinton. A December 31st poll shows that it’s not a done deal for the Democrats.

Polls that will be conducted in Virginia after January 20th will answer the question: Did Virginia Democrats overreach with their 2020 gun control bills?