In the true spirit of non-violent demonstrations espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King, this Monday, the holiday in his name, will see what is expected to be a massive, and potentially violent demonstration in Richmond Virginia over gun rights. The chosen day is not a coincidence.
Besides legitimate demonstrators in support of preserving what they consider their rights under the Second Amendment, far right, white nationalist militias and racist groups plan to attend. Among those are groups that call for race wars and intend to use violence at demonstrations such as these to foment those wars.
For those of us not in the know, apparently the term of art is “boogaloo.” Among certain groups this has come to mean a civil war. Some take it further and use it in the context of a race civil war. Increasingly, it is being adopted by gun rights activists, especially by those that believe the government will come to take their guns.
The FBI expressed a “fair sense of worry” over the demonstration and last week arrested members of “The Base” which they described as a “racially motivated violent extremist group.” Nothing says Martin Luther King Day like racist violence.
At issue is the newly elected Virginia legislature and their intent to pass three gun safety laws. The three provide for universal background checks for the purchase of any gun, a limit on purchases to one a month, and the ability for local jurisdictions to temporarily ban guns at public events. There are others under consideration, but they probably will not make it out of committee before the session ends.
Based on law enforcement advice and intelligence, including indications some groups were calling for a boogaloo on Monday, Governor Ralph Northam temporarily banned weapons from the capital grounds until after the demonstration. This in itself was a cause for demonstrations and law suits. The ban was upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court. The city is bracing for a very bad, no good day. Authorities are concerned it could be worse than the demonstrations in Charlottesville a few years ago. Hopefully, with precautions in place, cooler heads will prevail.
In his own low key way, the President of the United States poured fuel on the fire with a tweet yesterday. Instead of cooling tensions, he said,
“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away. Republicans will win in 2020, Thank you Dems!”
That tweet will be interpreted as a green light for many of these hateful groups. I hope that I am wrong.