An activist attending the pro-Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday said that Gov. Ralph Northam cannot compare the rally — filled with “peaceful people” — to Charlottesville, adding that the activists are uniting around one message of unity: “We want the Second Amendment to remain intact.”
Thousands of Virginians gathered to show their support for the Second Amendment as part of a rally organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) on Monday. The left’s efforts to compare the rally to Charlottesville are weak, an attendee suggested, noting that a lot of people were carrying guns.
“They want to liken this to Charlottesville, and they want to anticipate crime and violence,” Chuck Smith, an attendee of the Second Amendment rally, told Breitbart News. “But these are peaceful people who come around with their weapons and they’re showing up here to send one message, and that is a message of unity.”
“This government thinks this is just white people, just a few black people. There are people here who are united from the hills, from the mountains, from the valleys, and the message is one message, and that is that we want the Second Amendment to remain intact,” he continued, taking aim at Gov. Northam directly.
“These are civil people. These are citizens of Virginia. These are citizens of the United States, and we want that message to go out there,” he continued. “The governor … cannot put in one blanket what he feels happened in Charlottesville somehow is going to transcend to Virginia.”
The Washington Post over the weekend attempted to preview the rally as a Charlottesville 2.0, as reported by Breitbart News:
The Postreports on various self-declared militia members who are coming in from other states to attend the rally, and they note the militia members who pledged to never return to Charlottesville while armed made no such pledge regarding Richmond, the location of Monday’s rally.
The Post also reports that the “FBI arrested three alleged members of a white-supremacist group on gun charges” Thursday, and that “they planned to attend the Richmond rally and incite violence.”
Northam is asking all “nonessential staff to stay home, and many lawmakers urged aides to stay away, though committees will still meet and both chambers will convene floor sessions.” Virginia Senate and House pages “were given the day off for safety.”
Northam declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the rally last week.