With the Virginia gun rally taking place today, authorities and the state residents fear that it might take a turn for worse in Richmond. In a bid to keep the protests in control, since the rally is expected to draw a huge crowd, Governor Ralph Northam and the law enforcement authorities have begun enacting measures to ensure the rally does not turn into violent clashes or massive unrest.
Gov. Northam has declared a state-wide emergency and banned arms and ammunitions in the vicinity of the Capitol Building.
The primary reasons behind the massive protest taking place in the form of Virginia gun rally are due to the state’s history of having non-restrictive gun control laws that have passed in the state legislature in the recent days.
The arrest of seven members of a neo-Nazi extremist group known as The Base, just days before the rally in Richmond, has exponentially raised fears of rally taking a negative turn. Sources have revealed that out of the seven arrested members, three were planning to participate in the rally.
As per sources, multiple pro-gun rights groups like armed militia, right-wing extremists, and local Antifa will be participating in the Virginia gun rally. These pro-gun rights groups include the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Gun Owners of America, Oath Keepers, White supremacists, and Three Percenter Movement.
The Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) is known for supporting gun rights like allowing concealed weapons in local government buildings, community centers, and even parks since it was established in 1994.
Similarly, the participation of the other groups like Gun Owners of America, Oath Keepers, White supremacists, and Three Percenter Movement; and Virginia’s history of having protests going wrong leading to the protestors getting injured have added to the concern that the Virginia gun rally might go awry.
Springfest Riot in April 2010 near the campus of James Madison University led to dozens getting injured and many being arrested. The unrest during the Unite the Right rally at Charlottesville in 2017, where three died and more than 33 people were injured, had a deep impact on the minds of the protestors and the residents.
These incidents indicate that the authorities need to be prepared for any possible incident and employ more efforts than setting up chain-link barriers and asking everyone to pass through metal detectors to ensure there is no re-run of such horrifying incidents at the Virginia gun rally in Richmond.