The January 20 Protest

I’m very sorry to say that I can’t find much to argue with here.

But hey, maybe I’m all wrong, and it will be a Kumbaya love-fest between pro-gun 2A boomers arriving with their CCW pistols, Antifas from Redneck Revolt and The John Brown Gun Club with their shields and clubs (and guns?), actual neo-Nazi “accelerationist” idiots, lefty trolls dressed as Nazis, the Bloomberg “Everytown” gun grabbers, climate change activists, pro-life and pro-choice groups, the Richmond Police, the VSP, the FBI, the ATF, and all the other Lobby Day participants. What could possibly go wrong? (Not to mention that FBI and VSP super-high-res crowd scanning cameras will capture every face and cell phone interaction for social network analysis and future use.)

Except he’s a lot more optimistic about the Courts fixing things for us than I am. I’m hoping to be proved wrong. The crowd in Richmond on the 13th was peaceful. So has the sanctuary movement been. But there’s going to be a lot of assholes who will show up to cause trouble, and he’s right that VCDL isn’t going to stop them from showing up.

20 thoughts on “The January 20 Protest”

  1. I wouldn’t have thought of the government using IMSI catchers at a 2A rights rally. It looks as the government has the same respect for the 4A as they do for the 2A.

  2. 1) The VCDL /can’t/ do anything about who shows up.
    2) While he may be right, recognize that Matt Bracken has somewhat of a positive interest in things going down (“See, stuff like this happened in my novels too. I’m a prophet, go buy my books.”)

  3. I predict that gun owners will be more polite and orderly than everyone is predicting and that the legislature has even more depths of stupidity still to be plumbed. I plan to attend. I was roommates with our delegate.

  4. ARL,
    I know MattB personally. As a matter of fact I will be spending this weekend with him a bit south of the Mason Dixon line. He and many former military folks I know have been saying, “stay away” since VCDL has been promoting January 20th Lobby Day.

    MattB does not need to troll to sell his books. He often gives the digital versions away for free. He wants all that are attending to realize the downside, especially if you are not from VA. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Peace with you Brother

  5. Pingback: SayUncle » VA
  6. I haven’t had a chance (or the inclination) to listen to the 47 minute podcast, but at the top level it appears the anti-authoritarian left is going to the rally to support it and not to subvert it or make trouble. (I have to say that “false flag” paranoia sounds like bullshit to me. I don’t think the Nazis’ tiki-torch march in Charlottesville was people faking it.)

    I have had no enthusiasm for rallies since our experience here in Pennsylvania in 1994, when on Flag Day we produced the biggest capitol citizens rally in Harrisburg that had occurred up to that time, with 10,000 gun owners rallying on a weekday (a Tuesday, as I recall) when most people had to work.

    It accomplished absolutely nothing — maybe less — and I suspect some of the legislators who spoke from the front steps of the capitol went back inside and continued work on the gun control legislation they would stab us in the back with almost exactly a year later. I figured out much later that the rally had really been part of the Republican UnRevolution Campaign that year — get us there to hear campaign speeches on our own dimes — and as soon as gun grabber Republican Tom Ridge was elected, he insisted on having gun control legislation be part of his Special Session on Crime. (The NRA dubbed the legislation the “Sportsmens Omnibus Anti-Crime Bill.”)

    The purpose of rallies isn’t to persuade legislators of anything. It is to create a psychological bond of the participants to whoever or whatever is identified with the rally. It is well known that getting a person to make even an insignificant gesture of commitment, will make them many times more committed than they would have been, had they been initially “sold” on the cause, but had not been enticed to make the gesture.

  7. I’m very sorry to have say I have tons to argue with that post. So much so I don’t have time.

    There is nothing wrong with the plan. So what if a few kooks show up? We have to stop worrying so much about how the media will present it. THEY WILL DO IT ANYWAY. So let’s just show up and show how strong we are.

    If ANY of the government forces are trying to start a fight, they greatly underestimate gun owners. I’ve seen a LOT of “I was going to go unarmed, but now I’m sure as hell going armed.” Same thing if they try to start killing. “I wasn’t going to fight my government, but I sure as hell am now.”

    While I believe that Northam is trying to start a confrontation, I bet gun owners will be mostly peaceful, there will be little to no kooks, and there will be no craziness.

    1. Agreed. I’ve heard retired suburban grandma’s going all. “these people (DE legislators) have no business knowing what guns I own or whether I own any at all.”

      It was heavily implied that, should the gov. inquire as to what they own or require registration, their response would be “I don’t own shit” I also know that several of the people who had this sentiment acquired guns through private sales, death in the family etc. years ago, so the government has no record of them owning anything and they quite like it that way. :)

      So It’s definitely not just the adamantly pro-2A folks

  8. Wow. So much in depth analysis here. I’m going to lay down some heavy predictions:

    The line for the boogaloo buffet will be short on 1/20 I predict.
    That is not really when it will all go down.

    The cops did not want the blackface state of emergency and the peeps showing up aren’t going to ditch their guns. Patrick Henry the 2nd predicts the chain link fencing will come down at worst.

    I said things will probably go well unless the pAntifa brigade shows up with Whetherman carrying a swastika and wearing lederhosen doing play acting.

    The big issue will be flooding lawmaker offices with VCDL compadres. We can trust they have done this and will do it in great numbers.

    Our job is halfway done. SB16 is toast and the moderate Dems are showing cracks. The true believers will attempt the heavy lift and will cause peak damage to the gun control movement if even a few of these laws get struck down in a multistate jurisdiction. They will most likely be forced to withdrawal their defense of the law after going balls deep and having a talking to by Bloomberg meatball sugardaddy.

    Miguel from Florida will probably be the guy waving the white flag carrying an empty holster in the back.

  9. Once again emphasizing that I am a “self-styled” student of tactics, I observe that most here seem to be assuming neither side has any knowledge of guerrilla (“asymmetric conflict” these days) tactics.

    I’m not big on remembering quotes verbatim, but a top-level rule I remember is “when the enemy attacks, we will retreat”. Another is, “do not fight on the field of the enemy’s choosing.”

    Translating that into the present scenario, gun owners will be allowed to assemble en masse and scurry around the town square armed all they want to. Authorities will not engage in a confrontation with anyone if they can avoid it. That would be the ground of their opponents’ choosing, whether left or right. Authorities’ field of choosing is the entirely political and “legal.” They may sort out a few people from both sides (if more than one side is represented) to make examples of, days later.

    (FWIW I read every classic treatise on guerrilla warfare in the post library while I was in the Army; though I was never exposed to those tactics, myself. But it took me decades to appreciate how they are applied to everything. You can find more than a few good books that explain how they are applied to business.)

  10. I doubt this will turn into Charlottesville, but there’s no guarantee of that. That Dems and Media will at the very least cherry pick images and opinions for the nightly news and campaign ads is a given.

    All in all, I’d rate it as “common political masturbation;” assembling large numbers of people in one place does constitute a display of some amount of unity, and it feels good to the assemblers.

    But…the front steps of the capitol building are not where this particular war will be won, although it could be lost there. The time and money spent on massing in Richmond could be better invested in seeking constitutional and statutory correction.

    Virginia has ~8.1M residents, 3.42M of which (42%) are concentrated in 8 jurisdictions: Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Loudon, Henrico counties and Richmond, Alexandria and Virginia Beach cities, and all 8 lean liberal and are recipients of large quantities of federal and state funds. The weight of that 42% will be extremely difficult to overcome with parades and posters; it’s classic “wagging the dog” and an issue we’re facing on a national level, and why the Dems are so intent on eliminating the Electoral College; with the dense populations east of Rte 95 and west of Rte 5 plus sections of the Gulf Coast they can coast to power, and remain there forever with raw vote total numbers.

    That’s a huge problem, and Virginia should be viewed as a testing ground for both sides on how to deal with it.

  11. I can find a lot to argue with there. Lots of errors regarding politics and legal processes.

    This isn’t just some stunt, just some mass pro-gun protest, this is Virginia Lobby Day. A chance for the public to exercise their right: to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Giving that right up because of Machiavellian paranoia would be a huge error.

    Retreating from State Level politics and huddling within local action would be a huge error. Counting on quick Court action to stop political overreach by the anti-gunners is a huge error.

    Of course, any pro-gun citizens who show up must be alert, aware, prepared, and act with impeccable decorum. But show up they should. They must.

    The possible damage that might be headed off by early political intervention is invaluable. Better to stop Governor Blackface now than try to fix the damage later.

    And if Lobby Day is totally fruitless, and the anti-gunners charge full steam ahead anyway? Showing up on Lobby Day, before the anti-gunners pull the legislative trigger, only bolsters the case for other measures farther down the road.

  12. While it is mostly symbolic, VCDL’s lobby day is showing the flag; much like the Navy does by sending a fleet or carrier group somewhere, several hundred gun owners showing up to politely lobby the assembly absolutely does have an impact. It absolutely does change behavior at the delegate and senator level.

    It wasn’t always that way, and I can remember when it was a few dozen people, but as the group grew and legislation was processed, more and more gun owners got involved. Lessons were learned over time.

    – you cannot just show up and hope to reach members. This results in absolute chaos and frustration. Routinely citizens are pawned off on legislative assistants.
    – coordinating constituents making appointments with legislators had a HUGE impact in return on investment. 5-15 constituents in their office, sometimes up to 30 people, all constituents will make all but the urban and some knucklehead suburban legislators think very hard before voting. Of course, it’s wasted effort in Dick Saslaw’s office, he’s publicly stated he hates gun owners.
    – coordinating events corresponding with the lobbying also helps. In years past, guest speakers came and energized the crowd.
    – best results came by scheduling multiple speakers so there weren’t mixed messages from the few dozen bussed in anti-gun lobby. The Virginia anti-gun constituency is very small, many of whom are actually paid to show up. The actual core of this segment is very, very small. The paid contingent is not.
    – The only time the anti-gun rally numbers ever look large in Richmond, is when VCDL crashes the party. There are pictures of the MMM or whomever it was “rally” after the VA Tech shooting. There are hundreds in the crowd, but there are hundreds wearing “guns save lives” signs.

    The problem now is that the leadership of both houses are committed, bought and paid for bloombergites. They owe fealty to papa Mike and are going to vote for the bills he’s paid them to vote for, probably more. But, the moderates are going to see first hand that their following the bloombergites will result in a very high political price.

    VCDL has been conducting this annual Lobby day since… at least 20 years, and it seems to me that Northam is doing his level best to not ensure safety, but suppress the ability of VCDL and gun owner citizens to petition their government. Disappointing, but not unexpected from a racist like Northam.

  13. Thia is bad advice It is taking counsel of your fears and conceding to the enemy VCDL has been doing Lobby Day for over 20 years They are polite and know how to handle themselves not to scare the normies. If antifa intends to recreate Charlottesville they will not be helped by VCDL.

    1. I have absolutely no doubt the VCDL people will be nothing but polite. It’s the right wing loons and left wing loons who will see an opportunity I’m worried about, combined with the media and politicians who are only too eager to stoke this kind of thing so they can spin the ensuing mess as “Look at those violent gun people. See?”

  14. One potential issue could give rise to some low-hanging fruit if the ATF really wanted to light some pro-2A people up. There will be a lot of out-of-state people there, I would imagine. Many of them will obviously have weapons. If they set foot within 1,000 feet of a public, private, or parochial school without a carry permit issued by Virginia (and only by Virginia), they are committing a felony under federal law.

    I have serious concerns that this won’t go well.

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