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I went to the pro-gun rally in Virginia. It was not what I expected

 
Coastie Patriot
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01/27/2020 08:18 AM

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I went to the pro-gun rally in Virginia. It was not what I expected
“Why would you want to take guns away from law-abiding citizens?” said Mike Black, 54, of Dublin, Va., at the massive pro-gun rally in Richmond Monday. “I’ve had this gun for God knows how long, and I’ve never shot anyone.”

I traveled to Richmond from Washington, D.C., with another student journalist. It was the first time I covered a pro-gun rally. What I found there was not what I expected.

We met the night before to discuss our strategy. Some of it was mundane, like what angle we wanted to cover, who would carry the camera bag and what time we should arrive. But other parts of the planning were more serious: stick together, look out for anyone who could be a white supremacist. We planned where we would meet if people started shooting.

Along with much of the country, we paid careful attention to the media coverage preceding the rally.

The New York Times reported that “a sense of crisis enveloped the capital of Virginia on Thursday.” NBC News ran a headline saying, “As gun rights rally looms in Virginia, Richmond Resident Fear Another Charlottesville.” And on the morning of the rally, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin said, "Right now thousands of gun-rights activists, white nationalists, militia groups are all swarming the Virginia state capitol in Richmond.”

And some of the coverage was warranted. There were credible threats, according to officials, that led Gov. Ralph Northam to declare a state of emergency ahead of the rally and ban weapons from the capitol grounds. Northam warned that armed militia groups planned to storm the capitol.

Days before the rally, the FBI announced the arrest of three Maryland men suspected of belonging to a neo-Nazi hate group called the Base. The men had weapons and discussed attending Monday’s rally. A day later, three more men with ties to the neo-Nazi group were arrested in Georgia.

But what I saw in Richmond surprised me.

The sheer number of firearms was astounding. Almost every protester was carrying one, either a handgun or a rifle or both. Many others brought shotguns, sniper rifles and even tomahawks. Militia groups from across the country clad in camouflage fatigues, some wearing body armor, marched down the street in formation, to the tune of a fife and drum.

But although seeing such a large concentration of high-powered weapons was a shock, it quickly felt normal, and strangely safe. The crowds at the rally were relaxed and even jovial at times, and surprisingly diverse.


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Coastie Patriot
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Well, I mean, no one can tell the difference anymore between what's real and what's fake.

Anyway, the point is, I can tell you all of this, right out in the open, because it doesn't matter who knows about it. They won't know whether to believe it or not.-
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01/27/2020 08:21 AM
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Re: I went to the pro-gun rally in Virginia. It was not what I expected
They're law abiding people.

So what would you expect?
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01/27/2020 08:28 AM

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Re: I went to the pro-gun rally in Virginia. It was not what I expected
“Why would you want to take guns away from law-abiding citizens?” said Mike Black, 54, of Dublin, Va., at the massive pro-gun rally in Richmond Monday. “I’ve had this gun for God knows how long, and I’ve never shot anyone.”

I traveled to Richmond from Washington, D.C., with another student journalist. It was the first time I covered a pro-gun rally. What I found there was not what I expected.

We met the night before to discuss our strategy. Some of it was mundane, like what angle we wanted to cover, who would carry the camera bag and what time we should arrive. But other parts of the planning were more serious: stick together, look out for anyone who could be a white supremacist. We planned where we would meet if people started shooting.

Along with much of the country, we paid careful attention to the media coverage preceding the rally.

The New York Times reported that “a sense of crisis enveloped the capital of Virginia on Thursday.” NBC News ran a headline saying, “As gun rights rally looms in Virginia, Richmond Resident Fear Another Charlottesville.” And on the morning of the rally, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin said, "Right now thousands of gun-rights activists, white nationalists, militia groups are all swarming the Virginia state capitol in Richmond.”

And some of the coverage was warranted. There were credible threats, according to officials, that led Gov. Ralph Northam to declare a state of emergency ahead of the rally and ban weapons from the capitol grounds. Northam warned that armed militia groups planned to storm the capitol.

Days before the rally, the FBI announced the arrest of three Maryland men suspected of belonging to a neo-Nazi hate group called the Base. The men had weapons and discussed attending Monday’s rally. A day later, three more men with ties to the neo-Nazi group were arrested in Georgia.

But what I saw in Richmond surprised me.

The sheer number of firearms was astounding. Almost every protester was carrying one, either a handgun or a rifle or both. Many others brought shotguns, sniper rifles and even tomahawks. Militia groups from across the country clad in camouflage fatigues, some wearing body armor, marched down the street in formation, to the tune of a fife and drum.

But although seeing such a large concentration of high-powered weapons was a shock, it quickly felt normal, and strangely safe. The crowds at the rally were relaxed and even jovial at times, and surprisingly diverse.


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 Quoting: Coastie Patriot


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01/27/2020 08:32 AM
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Re: I went to the pro-gun rally in Virginia. It was not what I expected
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