From For Liberty by Norm Leahy.

Thousands of gun rights activists assembled in Richmond, Virginia Monday morning to demonstrate in favor of the Second Amendment, and against a series of Democrat-backed bills that would restrict those freedoms.

It all went off without a hitch, as hundreds of protestors made the rounds of legislators’ offices to advocate for gun rights. The general mood inside the offices? “Good conversations” and polite exchanges of views.

It’s a far cry from the pre-event narrative coming out of Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) office last week.

Northam issued an executive order banning weapons of all types from the capitol grounds, saying that  “[a]vailable information” indicated a substantial number of non-residents intended to join the lobby day event.

Northam said these people “may be armed, and have as their purpose, not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection.”

That’s not just incredible for any elected official to say. It also struck some as a deliberate smear of the thousands of peaceful protestors by linking them to the rest of a handful of white supremacists who had discussed attending  — and disrupting – Monday’s event.

Nevertheless, Northam’s assertions were enough to convince a state judge to allow his temporary weapons ban to go into effect, and for law enforcement officials to require any gun rights advocates who wished to rally on the capitol grounds to pass, unarmed, through metal detectors.

Thousands of protestors refused to make that concession, and instead, stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the streets surrounding the capitol.

It was a powerful – and peaceful — rebuke to the Governor’s fear-mongering. And the day’s events were also an equally powerful reminder of how many different types of people support the right to keep and bear arms.

Image Credit: By KAZ Vorpal (Flickr: Declaration of Independence, with Firearm) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons