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
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
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
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
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.