By Peter Galuszka
I was tempted to go the large anti gun-control rally but I had other work to do for customers and I didn’t want to get caught in a traffic jam. I have been to a few of these things before – some violent, some not.
There seems to be a certain amount of self congratulation now that the demonstration is over with no violence and one arrest. A few takeaways:
(1) Gov. Ralph Northam and his team deserve credit for taking smart precautions such as requiring no guns and metal detectors even though I didn’t quite see the point with having thousands of guys tricked out in military garb carrying assault style rifles just outside the fences at Capitol Grounds. This is what should have been done in Charlottesville in 2017.
(2) This was the approach taken at Klan rallies I covered in the late 1990s in Cleveland and Clarksburg,W.Va. The police tolerated nothing. I also was at a two-day riot in Moscow on Oct. 3 and 4 1993 where order completely broke down in a coup against Boris Yeltsin. Hundreds were killed including some people standing close to me. I also was almost caught in a machine gun cross fire on a highway. Among the dead were seven journalists.
(3) This being Bacon’s Rebellion, one has to ask the most important question. How much is this costing the city, state and federal government? Why hasn’t anyone asked this question before? We’re supposed to shell out public dough so a bunch of guys opposing fairly moderate gun regulations can feel good about themselves?
(4) Lastly, there’s the moral aspect to this. I can’t say it any better than Ross Catrow in Good Morning RVA. Here’s what he wrote this morning:
“Well, Monday’s Lobby Day passed without physical violence, which feels, honestly, miraculous. However, I wouldn’t call what happened yesterday peaceful or, just because no one died, some sort of courageous display of democracy to be held up as a model for others. Thousands of people invaded Richmond, bristling with weapons for the sole purpose of intimidating citizens and legislators because things didn’t go their way during the last round of elections. Folks—myself included—were terrified, stayed home from work if possible, and worried about the safety of friends and family whose responsibilities took them Downtown. Throughout the week leading up to Monday, I got emails from institutions and officials warning me about the possibility of violence and asking me to stay away Downtown if at all possible. The Virginia Center for Public Safety cancelled their event honoring the victims of gun violence—an event they’ve hosted for the past 28 years. A large portion of my yesterday was spent, not with my family, but pull-to-refreshing Twitter, anxiously locked into seeing what happens when you put thousands of White men with assault rifles in a confined urban space. None of that felt peaceful. It felt terrorizing, which, of course, was exactly the point. However! I am incredibly thankful that, at least as of right now, The New Dem Majority seems undeterred in their work to pass the most chill and common sense of gun-safety laws, and we should celebrate that. Actually, we should do more: If you’re represented by a legislator who supports the handful of new gun-safety bills, send them an email thanking them for sticking up for what’s right. Yesterday their office was literally under siege because of their beliefs, and that most likely felt scary and awful. They could probably use someThere are currently no comments highlighted.