News & Politics

Now We Know Why VA Was Afraid of Violence at Gun Law Protest: Antifa's Showing Up.

Anti-fascist counter-demonstrators cross the Burnside Bridge across the Willamette River from the west side of the city to the east side in search of the far-right group, the Proud Boys, in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

I guess we now know why Virginia Governor Ralph Northam outlawed all weapons at a pro-gun rally organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL), the state’s best known pro-Second Amendment group. Antifa’s showing up.


Northam issued an emergency declaration for the capitol grounds in Richmond for Monday’s rally banning all weapons including, “sticks and bats to chains and projectiles.”

The rally was organized by the VCDL, which Northam hastened to point out had only ever hosted peaceful rallies,

“For years, Virginia citizens who want to speak up and defend gun rights have peacefully assembled here at our capitol. In fact, many of them did it so this past Monday.”

Virginia’s gun groups have never seen any violence at their gatherings. Virginia is an open-carry state, which means guns can be visible and carried openly.

But something changed.

Northam said that “intelligence” reports came in suggesting “threats of armed confrontation and assault on our capitol.”

Now why would that be?

Democrats have laid out their plans to curb gun use by law-abiding citizens by, among other things, rationing guns and limiting ammo. And the pro-Second Amendment groups have been meeting, rallying and lobbying, cramming public hearings and peaceably assembling.

But, what ho, we find that Antifa, the so-called, self-styled anti fascist group is now showing up to Monday’s event. Antifa is a group that uses violence, and the threat of violence, while wearing masks and acting exactly like the people it purports to be against.

Now, we’re told, Antifa is going to the VCDL rally to help them.

Huh. If so, they should leave behind their traditional “sticks, bats, chains and projectiles” that Antifa uses with regularity.

Vice News and other media outlets breathlessly reported Friday that Antifa and the right-leaning Second Amendment supporters have much in common and so will stand shoulder-to-shoulder on Monday to battle against the state.

“I think it’s been pretty important for us to focus on the fact that gun control in America has a legacy of racist enforcement,” said Antifa Seven Hills spokesperson James (who asked that his name be withheld to avoid getting doxxed online). “Like taking guns away from black people, because black people were perceived as a threat to property and the sanctity of the state.

This is our fight as much as anyone else’s,” James, who identifies as an anarchist, added. “It’s our state, and we are left largely out of the debate. The presence of an armed left is not discussed, it’s not understood.”

“James” is absolutely right about gun control being hard on African Americans, but resist these attempts at Antifa rehabilitation.

I’ve been following the Leftist groups on the West Coast, mostly Portland, Oregon, for 20 years at I’ve interviewed a series of anarcho-communists and Antifa (usually the same people and you can’t tell me otherwise) people who tell me they typically “strap up” for rallies. But many more of them use “sticks, bats, chains, and projectiles.” We’ve also seen Molotov cocktails, flag staffs, brass knuckles and other weapons used with relative impunity in Portland.

Screenshot/Stumptown Matters/With Permission

Governor Northam claimed that “we have received credible intelligence from law enforcement agencies that there are groups with malicious plans for the rally that is planned for Monday. This includes out of state militia groups, and hate groups planning to travel from across the country to disrupt our democratic process with acts of violence. State intelligence analysts have identified threats and violent rhetoric similar to what has been seen before such as at Charlottesville.”

On the streets of Portland and elsewhere, and even in Charlottesville, Antifa supporters, claiming they’re getting rid of and shutting up  “fascists,” start the violence. When Antifa doesn’t show, there’s no violence.

It would be a refreshing change if Antifa turned the corner from violently canceling the civil rights of law-abiding citizens to becoming peacefully engaged in supporting their rights to free speech. But I’m dubious.

I can imagine a scenario in which Antifa members in Richmond on Monday would turn on the peaceful VCDL rally-goers because they’re “fascist right-wingers.” Being a “fascist right-winger” is a fungible commodity. You’re a fascist when they say you are.

Here’s Northam’s statement this week about Monday’s weapons ban: