Gov. Ralph Northam Has Backed Virginia Gun Owners Into A Corner–What Went Wrong?

Richmond, Va — Gun owners across the country are keeping a sharp eye on the fight over gun control in Virginia.  As soon as the voting polls closed in November of 2019, Virginians knew they were in for a rough ride at the hands of their new Democrat majority.   And the tension has just continued to rise on both sides since then.

No sooner had the radical left seated their purchased majority than they began filing terrible gun control bills.  Rightly worried they were about to lose their gun rights, gun owners pushed back locally.  Their “Second Amendment Sanctuary” effort swept the entire state.

The pro-gun coalition culminated Virginia’s Lobby Day, January 20th.  On that day, 20,000 armed gun owners marched in the streets of Richmond.  Their goal was to send a message loud and clear to their representatives: Do NOT pass any new gun control.

Gun owners also gathered to be heard at Judicial Safety Committee meetings.  When they objected to the terrible laws being proposed by their radical new legislators, the leftists thugs called Capital Police and cleared them all out of the room.

In summary, more than 20,000 gun owners traveled to Richmond.  More than 90% of the counties and municipalities held meetings –which gun owners attended by the hundreds –to vote themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries.  They wrote letters to the editor.  They formed huge Facebook groups of pro-gun Virginians.  And they bought LOTS of guns.  74,000 guns!

Lots of Effort for Very Little Results

Tens of thousands of man hours and likely hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent trying to stop gun control in Virginia.  What was the result of this monumental effort?

They were completely ignored.

Within HOURS of the Richmond rally, the anti-gun majority of the Virginia House of Delegates killed six pro-gun bills.  Several anti-gun bills worked their way through the House and Senate of Virginia before landing on Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk.  This last Friday, he signed five of them into law.

The Same Old Tactics Got The Same Old Results

We have a lot of respect for the older generations of gun owners who had the foresight to create Second Amendment organizations.  We respect that they knew enough to be on guard against any encroachment from the government.

But things have changed and our gun rights organizations need to change with them.  The days of the ‘gentlemen politician’ and the ‘gentlemen gun lobbyist’ are over.  Compromise is a noose, and gun owners are being hung out to dry by it every day.

We can see the logic of the old school of thought:  ‘Be willing to compromise so that you look reasonable and so that they’ll compromise on a few things when the time comes.’

But the time really never came.  We’ve incrementally LOST our gun rights by compromising–just one inch at a time.

An example of this older way of thinking happened on Friday, just after Governor Northam announced that he’d signed these five gun control bills into law.

Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League said that the bills that had been passed weren’t a total loss for gun owners because the pro-gun side had ‘watered them down’ before they passed.   He said, “While we still don’t like them, they’re not as bad as they once were.”   Van Cleave went on to say that the VCDL was planning several lawsuits to contest the new gun laws.

His last effort to find a silver lining was to say, “Nothing [Northam’s] doing today is necessarily permanent.”

This Battle Was Fought Long Ago

But Van Cleave misses the point.  Thousands of man hours and tens of thousands of dollars and the pro-gun movement in Virginia was completely impotent to stop Ralph Northam and his gang.

Worse, everything Northam and his crew have been able to accomplish is the result of the pro-gun side still using those old, failed tactics.

For the decade before Bloomberg came in and flipped the state, Republican legislators by and large totally sold out their base.  Republicans who were supposed to be pro-gun and pro-family and conservative had become so compromised and corrupt that their base walked away from them.

Who can mobilize the grassroots for a liberal sellout with an “R” after his name?  Who can gather thousands of gun owners behind Republicans who are co-sponsoring gun control in Richmond?  Nobody.  And so the base stopped voting and the compromise made itself at home.

That’s when Van Cleave’s organization should have been holding their Republicans legislators’ feet to the fire!  But they didn’t.  They thought that compromise was still their best long-term tactic.  That’s how things had always been done before.

But it cost them their entire state and it going to cost an entire generation their gun rights.

Keep That Poison Out Of Our State

Thankfully, gun owners across the country are waking up!  They’re realizing that we need to get rid of the old mentality where we never criticize a Republican and allow our ‘pro-gun’ legislators to sell us out bit by bit.

They’re realizing that rallies do almost nothing if the politicians know that come election time, gun organizations are still going to give them an ‘A’ rating simply because they have an “R” after their name and they’re ‘so much better’ than the guy running against them.

New Game, New Tactics

What do politicians respond to?  Political pain.  Angry calls, texts, and emails from angry voters.

They do not respond to rallies–especially rallies that aren’t even in held their district.  They don’t respond to the threats of a pro-gun organization who won’t even prune their own tree, much less send a grassroots army to chop down the enemy’s forest.

The solution for gun owners in Virginia–and every other state–is targeted, specific, concentrated political pressure.

The grassroots needs to bring that crushing pressure to bear on the weakest links of the anti-gun crowd–regardless of which party it’s in!

Because frankly, doing nothing for our gun rights is the same as being anti-gun.   Doing nothing while the enemy charges ahead is the same thing as helping the enemy.  It’s time that legislators hear that message loud and clear.

It’s time for the gloves to come off.  The left isn’t afraid to play down-and-dirty in the mud.  We shouldn’t be afraid to get right down in there and fight like mad dogs for our gun rights.  Punish the compromisers!

Toss them from their chairs and replace them over and over until they realize that selling out won’t get them anything but a ticket on the fast train out of town.