January 20, 2020

Virginia: thousands of armed protesters rally against gun control bills
Guns rights activists gathered at crowded but calm event in response to strict laws pledged by state’s DemocratsTens of thousands of gun rights activists, many of them armed, gathered in Virginia’s capital on Monday as the governor declared a state of emergency ahead of a protest against strict new gun control laws pledged by the state’s freshly elected Democratic majority government.Chanting “We will not comply”, gun rights activists packed the street in front of the Virginia’s state house, where the governor, Ralph Northam, had temporarily banned anyone from carrying firearms. On the streets outside, though, some protesters carried rifles and wore full tactical gear. One protester estimated that as many as 70% of the crowd was armed, most of them more discreetly, with concealed handguns. police estimated that 22,000 people attended the rally, most of them in the streets outside the state house, where guns were allowed.Virginia’s politicians had braced for potential violence at the state house, with some raising fears that the gun rights rally could turn violent, like the deadly 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.Instead, Monday’s rally was crowded but calm, with members of militia groups and violent far-right groups such as the Proud Boys strolling the streets, but no counter-protesters in sight. In part because of the expected presence of thousands of Virginians who had no affiliation with hate groups, local anti-fascist activists had announced days before the rally that there would be no counter-protests.One person was arrested, for wearing a mask in public, police said.The single arrest raised questions, since many protesters in the streets outside the rally had worn masks.“I was kind of scared it would keep the turnout low,” Jacob Taylor, 33, a Virginia resident, said, describing the conspiracy theories and fears of violence that had circulated before the event. He said he had turned out to the protest, his first ever political rally, because “I don’t want what I thought to be false rhetoric to keep people from coming”.Taylor said that, as a gun owner, he had been motivated to come to the state capitol because some of the bills Democrats had talked about “would have directly affected what I can own and what I can do”.For several hours, before an official rally organized by a state gun rights group began, protesters in the street in front of the capitol building chanted, sang the national anthem and took turns addressing the crowd through a megaphone.Northam “lied and he said he knew there was imminent danger out here. But all I see is God-fearing, American-loving patriots out here,” one speaker, a contributor to Infowars said to cheers.Wherever the “chickenshit governor is hiding, make sure he hears you right now”, he called. “USA! USA! USA!” the crowd chanted.The large law enforcement presence at the rally was strikingly restrained, with no riot gear.The presence of thousands of armed citizens outside the elegant state capitol building was meant as a warning: Democrats, not just in Virginia but nationwide, should back off attempts to pass sweeping gun control laws.Early in the morning, two men pushed through the packed crowd in bright red T-shirts that read “Make Politicians Afraid Again”, with the image of a military-style rifle underneath.Conservative pundits were touting the non-violent gathering as evidence that law-abiding gun owners are not a threat to the publicdespite high numbers of daily shooting deaths.Shannon Watts, the founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action, condemned the rally.“Armed insurrectionists who threaten violence and lawlessness if they don’t get their way don’t represent the majority of Virginians,” she said.In Richmond, a city where nearly half of local residents are black, the gun rights protesters on Monday were overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male. Among the thousands of demonstrators were some men in tactical gear, armed with military-style rifles. The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones had showed up with members of the far-right group the Proud Boys.So did some members of anti-government militias. > A few lawmakers waving out at the big pro-gun crowd as the VCDL rally begins. The speaker system at the rally is very difficult to understand and there’s no stage so almost no one can see whoever is speaking pic.twitter.com/Xrv9wVsvHe> > — Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) January 20, 2020Northam had declared a state of emergency last Wednesday, citing “threats of violence”, in an effort to avoid a repeat of violence that erupted at a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, when a march by white nationalists led to the death of a counter-protester.Local anti-fascist activists from Richmond and Charlottesville announced over the weekend that they would not be holding any counter-protests, citing safety concerns.Donald Trump acknowledged and encouraged the rally on Twitter on Monday.> The Democrat Party in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia are working hard to take away your 2nd Amendment rights. This is just the beginning. Don’t let it happen, VOTE Republican in 2020!> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2020On Saturday, after a security briefing for lawmakers, Virginia’s Republican house minority leader put out a public statement condemning “any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage”.“While we and our Democratic colleagues may have differences, we are all Virginians and we will stand united in opposition to any threats of violence or civil unrest from any quarter,” Todd Gilbert wrote.Tensions in Virginia have run high since November 2019, when Democrats won control of the state government for the first time in 26 years and pledged to pass a package of gun control laws, from universal background checks to an extreme risk protection order law to a ban on military-style assault weapons.Since then, pro-gun activists across Virginia have organized a vigorous grassroots movement to protest against the new bills. > Gun rights protesters sing the National Athem as they wait outside Virginia’s capitol. pic.twitter.com/KEwMGvYN1U> > — Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) January 20, 2020The standoff in Virginia, where the National Rifle Association (NRA) is headquartered, has also prompted spiraling conspiracy theories and intense rhetoric from gun owners about tyranny and civil war.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
'13 Reasons Why' Star Ross Butler Rejects Kate Beckinsale's High IQ Theory | TMZ
October 22, 2021
Qcz2bkw4QAc
'AGT: Extreme' Contestant Jonathan Goodwin Breaks Silence On Horrific Accident | TMZ TV
October 21, 2021
GRrPVr1jJe4
Kanye West Wears Creepy White Face Mask in NYC | TMZ TV
October 21, 2021
fbFS19qHjRY
Kristen Stewart Opens Up on 'Eternals' LGBTQ Inclusion, Ruby Rose Battles with WarnerBros | The Take
October 22, 2021
7d3MFpaP2L8
AT&T Stock Falls Following Q3 Earnings Results
October 21, 2021
LZNkmpoVefA
The 2021 Gotham Awards - Nominations Announcement - Live Stream
October 21, 2021
A3dtwDaWsDI
Inside Kim Kardashian's "Lit" Birthday Party Thrown by Her Kids | E! News
October 22, 2021
bOscNeiII2g
Alec Baldwin Breaks Silence After Deadly On-Set Shooting | E! News
October 22, 2021
HHThGuZCX5U
Kylie Jenner Shows Off Baby Bump in Sizzling Silhouette Pic | E! News
October 22, 2021
-xQO2siBB3Q
Teresa's engagement, Lala's breakup and more Virtual RealiTea drama | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
pL6thz9zRWc
Cynthia Bailey wants to protect husband Mike Hill from ‘reality TV curse’ | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
TO1ltz90FV0
De Niro’s estranged wife won’t get half of his acting income | Page Six Celebrity News
October 22, 2021
SIQj1AuioZs
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
19
Nov
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group H
Sydney FC - Shanghai SIPG
17
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Spain - Germany
14
Nov
UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE A: Group Stage
Germany - Ukraine
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Liverpool
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Aston Villa
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Real Madrid
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Verona
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Tottenham Hotspur
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Napoli
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Roma
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Inter Milan
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Juventus
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Monchengladbach
08
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Wolves
08
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Athletic Bilbao
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Alaves
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Granada CF
08
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Torino - Crotone
08
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Villarreal
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bayern Munich
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester United
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Sheffield United
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Cadiz
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Betis
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Hertha Berlin
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Stuttgart - Eintracht Frankfurt
07
Nov
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - SC Freiburg
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Preston NE
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Fiorentina
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Watford - Coventry
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Swansea City
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - QPR
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Barnsley
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Wycombe Wanderers
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Fulham
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Millwall
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Middlesbrough
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Bournemouth
07
Nov
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Osasuna
07
Nov
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Spezia
07
Nov
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Leeds
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Ferencvaros - Juventus
04
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Dynamo K.
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Salzburg - Bayern Munich
03
Nov
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Atalanta - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.