So Far So Good

Looks like a lot of people having fun with it so far. I have a lot of faith in the average gun owner to do the right thing. But provocateurs and clingers on are the big risk, and Northam and other’s rhetoric ahead of the rally seemed to indicate they were planning for and maybe even hoping the shit would hit the fan. The day isn’t over yet, but I’m becoming optimistic that fears of a minority of whakadoodles ruining things for everyone else was misplaced. I’ll update if anything changes.

Next steps? Get gun people in Virginia registered to vote. There are a lot of non-political gun owners who may bitch and moan about things, but don’t vote on the issue. The next move is to teach the Dems that the gun vote isn’t baked into the GOP numbers.

UPDATE: Check out Cam Edwards‘ and Steve Gutowski’s Twitter feeds are a good source of on-the-ground coverage of the rally from people I trust to report fairly.

UPDATE: Let the bullshit flow. Miguel deals with some of it. Worst. Nazi. Rally. Ever. So does Dave Hardy.

UPDATE: Bearing Arms: “Virginia Lobby Day Rally Finishes Up Without Issue” They note that CSGV is dismissing the turnout, saying it was mostly people from out-of-state, and that the gun vote is already baked into the losing side’s numbers. See above. A good strategy is to use this crisis to find and make more gun voters.

UPDATE from the Bee: It does seem that way, doesn’t it. And I’m not sure it was just the media. “Media Offers Thoughts And Prayers That Someone Would Start Some Violence At Gun Rights Rally

UPDATE: Is anyone surprised? “YouTube Removes Livestreams of Richmond Gun-Rights Rally.” The Facebook feeds stayed up.

16 thoughts on “So Far So Good”

  1. Really amazing. I was worried about it too, but gun owners by and large are peaceful. And tens of thousands of them came and caused no trouble. Some even cleaned up trash!

    This is great for our movement.

    1. I’m glad it worked out. I was worried because it looked like they were being set up to have Charlotte Round 2, where the cops would pull back and let the two maroons ruin it.

    2. I suggested yesterday (I think it was) that the threats were being exaggerated just to minimize turnout; and that if there was any question, it was whether crowd minimization was for anti-gun motives, or just because a smaller crowd would be “safer” and easier to manage.

      I will now await MSM analysis of the political impact; but that only time will tell. I’ve made it clear I’m cynical about the impact of rallies for anything but the morale of the attendees.

      1. I tend to agree that for the most part rallies/marches/protests are not much more than morale builders, but they can provide motivation to rock the vote next election and also political cover for politicians to vote against the party line in ‘tight’ districts.

        1. I’ll accept that analysis, though I’ll add I’m a little doubtful about the “political cover” angle, because the party analysts are a lot better at knowing the true scenario, and may not buy the excuses we unconnected laymen will accept.

          As for “rock the election” I will once again (sorry!) cite our 1994 Harrisburg “Gun Owners Rally” that was really more of a Santorum Rally, and part of the Republican UnRevolution of that year. But it was the Republican Party that benefited from it, not gun owners. (The one is not synonymous with the other.)

          In any case, we had a turnout of ~10,000, that could later not be replicated without the facilitation by the Republican Party that existed in 1994.

          I have been reflecting on our turnout then as compared to that in Richmond yesterday, for which the only hard number I’ve heard quoted so far was 22,000. (I certainly won’t vouch for that, and I haven’t spent any time on it.) On one hand, Virginia has only roughly 80 percent of the population of Pennsylvania; on the other hand, Richmond draws from (arguably) a bigger “metropolitan area” than Harrisburg. So, I can’t say how our 1994 rally compared to VA’s yesterday, in terms of turnout.

          Input from anyone who was actually in Richmond, would be welcome!

          1. Since I wrote the above, I’ve read a few news reports, and they seemed to emphasize how many attendees were from out-of-state. I’m wondering if the pols somehow have a handle on what the true percentages were. Too many out-of-staters, and the representation of in-state voters is diluted. Pols don’t care what you think, if you can’t vote for or against them.

            The attendance of 22,000 seems widely agreed upon.

            1. I don’t see how they could know. Though I’m sure the NSA and FBI might know because of the IMSI-catchers I’m sure they were running in the area, or flying overhead.

              1. “I’m sure the NSA and FBI might know because of the IMSI-catchers I’m sure they were running in the area, or flying overhead.”

                I was thinking it might be as easy as having a “reporter” circulate in the crowd asking an innocuous question like “you from Virginia?” until a large enough sample was acquired to yield a reasonably reliable statistic. Most regular people will respond readily to a simple, non-probing and non-specific question.

                Someone once said “If you take your cell phone with you (to a demonstration/protest) you may as well take a cop with you.”

                You don’t have to be doing anything wrong or illegal, to be building your own profile with law enforcement; and what’s an OK profile today, may put you on someone’s shit-list tomorrow.

  2. The gun vote probably is baked into the R base unless there are a lot of really stupid gun owners out there.

  3. Pictures posted on Twitter were removed that showed the rooftop overwatch LEOs.
    The plane circling all day, had none valid numbers on it.
    Reported to FAA.
    Peaceful cold rally. I think it was warmer by the turnout.
    I also challenge the 25k attendance number. It was higher.
    I use my experience at being at so many JFK concerts in the the past. 😂🤣😉

  4. “The plane circling all day, had none valid numbers on it.”

    Is that legal, even for guvvies? And why would a cop-plane even need to conceal its ownership?

    Sorry, just curious!

    1. “Is that legal, even for guvvies?”

      Nothing personal Andy…are you that naive?

      Of course it’s not “legal” but who’s going to charge, much less prosecute?
      Unless you’ve been on the other side of the looking glass, you have no idea how much ‘professional courtesy’ is extended within & between not just federal, but between state & federal .gov & LE agencies

      1. “Nothing personal Andy…are you that naive?”

        Not taken personally, but it links with the second part of my question; given that the guvvies hold all the cards anyway, why is there any need to conceal who owns the plane? And aren’t the people on the ground expecting to be surveilled, anyway?

        At this point I’ll confess I’m just being argumentative, but, wouldn’t there be a greater chance of LEO (or?) embarrassment if their counterfeit-numbered plane crashed and was discovered by the MSM, etc.?

        Regarding being on the other side of the looking glass, I was thinking of telling one of my Old Stories that involves flights to Jamaica and Colombia in the early 1980s, and the reason the plane in question had no need for false numbering — because it was government-endorsed. Let’s just say the locals looked away when the feds told them to, and only freelancers got in trouble.

        1. Argumentative? Nah. No problems,’hard’ or even semi-solid feelings.

          As I was taught in ‘Introduction To Cover’, there’s big difference between someone speculating about plausible deniability and having it actually confirmed by the party involved.

          Oh, and if you want to swap stories, Sebastian has my permission to send you my email address.

          1. “if you want to swap stories, Sebastian has my permission to send you my email address.”

            My “cover” is extremely shallow and I try to tell only Old Stories that I have told frequently in other public venues, or where other Old Timers could identify me from the stories in a second.

            Otherwise, you and I should value what little anonymity we have, and while no one loves Old Stories more than I do, I think the better ones are left to stew in our own memories.


            That said, I’ll throw out this teaser: The “plane” situation I alluded to involved a pilot who was flying Russian arms captured by the Israelis, to a southern nation where they were to be used in a “communist uprising” that would justify a U.S. invasion if the U.S. didn’t get its way by other means. The customer was one of our to-be-expected alphabet soup outfits. The pilot’s pay was terrific, but the additional benefit was free passage for any cargo on the return trip.

            It later occurred to me that the situation was somewhat similar to the way “letters of marque” were issued to pirates in the 18th century.

            It’s among things that resulted in me being such a cynic today. But of course, none of it can be proven.

  5. Any aircraft flying in the US, other than current military, are required to be plainly marked with their civilian, FAA issued ID. Lack of this gets too much attention from the airplane world, so the various .gov types like to look like they are legit. Rarely works, as looking odd, or flying oddly, gets noticed, and it is something of a hobby for flying aficionados to investigate these sorts of things. Partly this is due to the very small quantities of any model aircraft made, compared to autos and such.

    The reason they try to hide planes in various ways is that they are using them in an illegal or unconstitutional manner, or are actually doing legit covert operative work. The aircraft world is too small for them to effectively hide for long, it seems.

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