Katie Pavlich: Gun owners again debunk the narrative

Katie Pavlich: Gun owners again debunk the narrative
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On Monday, thousands of law-abiding citizens converged on Richmond, Va., in defense of their Second Amendment rights. They lawfully and peacefully employed their First Amendment rights to oppose new gun control legislation being considered in the commonwealth and they participated in an annual event known as lobby day. 

Ahead of the day’s events, Virginia’s Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, whose friends in the media quickly brushed aside his blackface and KKK garb scandal last year, declared a state of emergency while ironically painting gun owners as white supremacists. His declaration banned firearms from the capitol grounds and a fence was set up to distinguish the area. 

“We have received credible intelligence from our law enforcement agencies of threats of violence surrounding the demonstration planned for Monday, January 20. This includes extremist rhetoric similar to what has been seen before major incidents, such as Charlottesville in 2017,” Northam said in a statement. “This intelligence suggests militia groups and hate groups, some from out of state, plan to come to the Capitol to disrupt our democratic process with acts of violence.”

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The left seized on the narrative, predicting chaos, violence and targeting of minorities. They painted the crowd as loud, angry white men. 

But the way things played out on the ground told a very different story and the narrative about white supremacy and violence quickly fell apart. People of all different backgrounds showed up to defend their rights and made their voices heard.

“The 2nd Amendment. My right to not be a victim,” pink and white signs held by women said. 

“For me as an African American on MLK day it’s critically important that we preserve the ability to defend ourselves and our loved ones and I will not allow anyone to push the narrative that there are racist people at these rallies. It’s not true,” a man named Mark from Northern Virginia, who traveled two hours to attend the event, told Washington Free Beacon reporter Stephen Gutowski. “The governor who is known for blackface and-or possibly having a Klan’s hood on has the audacity on MLK day to declare an executive order that would prevent people from lawfully protesting. This has been a long-standing rally where people have come and protested and then on top of that, to add insult to injury, he wanted to push forward the narrative that white supremacists are stirring up issues. I feel comfortable here, haven’t had any issues here, I don’t know what the problem is.” 

“The real reason I’m out here is that I do not support in any way, shape or form Gov. Northam and the Democrats’ gun control. What I also don’t support is the fact that every news piece you’ve seen on this this weekend, they’ve always brought up the issue of race as though it’s nothing but white rednecks and hillbillies out here who care for the Second Amendment when actually black Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Americans in general care about the Second Amendment,” another man told Breitbart. “I work at a gun store part-time and I can’t tell you the number of customers I see from all races, all colors, all creeds who care about the Second Amendment and who just want to peacefully live their lives, enjoy their rights and the Second Amendment. So that’s why I’m out here, big media, mainstream media be damned.” 

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Estimates from the event show at least people 22,000 showed up, with more than half armed with handguns and rifles. Many chose to open carry outside of the perimeter, which is legal in Virginia. Thousands patiently waited in line to speak to their legislators, urging them to vote against proposals limiting magazine capacity, firearm confiscation, the banning of sporting rifles and more. 

“The police [were] very clear in saying they have not had a single arrest during this rally and we have been standing here all morning,” CNN reported near the end of the event. “There are thousands, if not tens of thousands of people here.” 

When the event ended in the early afternoon, participants proceeded to pickup after themselves, leaving the area cleaner than they found it. To give context, more than 200 people were arrested the day of President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York state Senate candidate charged in riot Trump called acting attorney general almost daily to push election voter fraud claim: report GOP senator clashes with radio caller who wants identity of cop who shot Babbitt MORE’s inauguration. There were heaps of trash and broken windows everywhere.

But despite a peaceful event without incident, Northam’s smears and lies continued.

“We are all thankful that today passed without incident. The teams successfully de-escalated what could have been a volatile situation. I will continue to listen to the voices of Virginians, and will do everything in my power to keep our Commonwealth safe,” Northam said.

Because there were no incidents, there was no de-escalation as Northam falsely claims.

If Second Amendment supporters who made it to Richmond were leftists, they would be hailed as heroes in the media. Regardless of the smears and lies, they prevailed by lawfully and peacefully exercising their rights.

Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.