Anatomy of a Smear
Virginia’s Democrat governor paints gun owners as terrorist, racist, kooks.
To force unconstitutional gun control measures on a wary public, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the Democrat machine in Richmond recently tried to depict law-abiding gun owners as terrorists, racists, and lunatics.
The leftist effort to deprive Virginians of their basic civil rights did not go unnoticed. As President Donald Trump correctly stated in his tweet of January 17:
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 Virginia in 2020. Thank you Dems!
We’ll have to wait to see what the future holds, but there can be no doubt that lies and hoaxes are the glue that holds the Left together. They can’t win in the arena of ideas, so they make stuff up – every single day.
The centerpiece of this propaganda push was a calculated ruse in which left-wingers pretended the Virginia State Capitol was about to be overrun by white-supremacist terrorists on so-called lobby day January 20, an annual outing organized by the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) at which Second Amendment activists traditionally visit state lawmakers to remind them about the importance of gun ownership rights and hold a rally outside the General Assembly in Capitol Square.
The lobby day itself moved forward without problems.
Only one individual was arrested, the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg reported: a 21-year-old from Richmond was arrested for donning a mask in public.
And as Stephen Gutowski reported at the Washington Free Beacon:
The event’s peaceful procession marked a stark contrast to mainstream media portrayals of a rally filled with white nationalists and others prepared to do violence. The day’s rally concluded without a single incidence of mayhem or civil unrest. Music, shared food, and chants of ‘USA!’ made for a festive, fraternal atmosphere as marchers displayed their support for Second Amendment rights in Virginia.
But that’s not how Democrats wanted the day’s events to unfold. They were hoping for Charlottesville 2.0.
“Northam would have liked violence,” conservative activist Kat Stansell said in an interview.
“I think in a way he was disappointed,” said Stansell, whose nonprofit group, United in Strength for America, worked with American Policy Center, to hold a pro-Second Amendment conference near Richmond the weekend before the Jan. 20 rally.
Conservatives have every reason to be suspicious of Northam. He is the vicious racial demagogue who was behind a malicious, Al Sharpton-style racist offensive directed at Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie during the 2017 campaign.
Northam smeared his GOP opponent for daring to point out the Democrat’s support for lawless so-called sanctuary cities that harbor illegal aliens and resist federal immigration enforcement.
“VA is an inclusive and diverse community – we won’t put up with Ed Gillespie’s racist rhetoric and fearmongering,” Northam said at the time in a tweet despite the complete absence of any racist rhetoric or fearmongering by his adversary.
Working with a leftist super-PAC, the Northam campaign put out a video ad showing a man driving a pickup truck bearing a “Gillespie for governor” bumper sticker trying to run over a group of minority children. This kind of character assassination is business as usual for the Left, which helps to explain why left-wingers failed to condemn the ad.
Northam has race problems of his own.
He appeared in a medical school yearbook in a photo as one of two persons either wearing blackface or donning a Ku Klux Klan costume – he refused to say which he was. When the issue blew up in early 2019, Northam initially gave a non-specific admission that he had done something wrong before weakly withdrawing it a day later. No one believed him when he recanted.
To advance his policy agenda and distract from his own adventures in racism, Northam fantasized there would be violence at the lobby day rally and issued Executive Order 49 on January 15, which declared a state of emergency from 5 p.m. on Friday, January 17 to the same time on Tuesday, January 21. The order, of dubious legality, took the unprecedented step of suspending the right to carry arms in Capitol Square, something activists routinely did there at past rallies.
A few years before that in 2012, Northam, as a state senator, voted in favor of legislation that made it unlawful to ban firearms in the event of an emergency declaration. The measure became law in Virginia and is known as § 44-146.15,
Gabriella Hoffman pointed out at The Resurgent.
Executive Order 49 was largely redundant. A ban on guns was already in effect for executive-branch buildings. A few days before the order, Democrats on the legislature’s Joint Rules Committee, whose rulings on Capitol policy do not have to be approved by the full legislature, muscled through a prohibition on guns in the Capitol. Before that, they had been allowed if the person carrying the gun had a concealed-carry permit. The new ban applied to General Assembly members, even if they were law enforcement officers, the Washington Post reported.
This newfound interest in abridging Virginians’ rights in a state that has traditionally given a lukewarm reception to gun control, came about as a result of changed political circumstances. Virginia became a Democrat “trifecta” state in November, when the General Assembly flipped over to Democrat control, giving that party control of both legislative chambers plus the governor’s mansion.
The takeover was aided by an ocean of campaign cash from gun-grabbing Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg, of course, is the man who said last September that Communist China, which has millions of people locked up in gulags, was not a dictatorship. In December, Bloomberg’s friends in the People’s Republic scolded Americans for their love of the Second Amendment. State-run media there described the Second Amendment as a “serious problem” and declared that there must be “change” in how Americans view “private ownership of guns.”
Next, Northam lied about what happened in Charlottesville in 2017 to justify his extreme measures.
After regurgitating some dull gubernatorial boilerplate about democracy and diversity of opinion, he wrote, when “political discourse breaks down, the Commonwealth suffers.”
Northam continued, “Three years ago, Virginia and the nation, watched horrified as civil protest was marred by violence and hate. The events that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia demonstrated what can happen when peaceful demonstrations are hijacked by those who come into the Commonwealth and do not value the importance of peaceful assembly. We lost three Virginians. We must take all precautions to prevent that from ever happening again.”
Except that’s not quite what happened in Charlottesville.
Three Virginians did die that day but only one person, a single counter-protester, was killed at the ill-fated “Unite the Right” event, which piggybacked on top of a planned protest over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. President Trump was pilloried ad nauseam for saying “there is blame on both sides” for the civil unrest at the event, a factually accurate statement. There were a fair number of non-extremists at Charlottesville, but the conflict there was largely between right-wing fascist wannabes and the left-wing fascist poseurs of antifa who assaulted their enemies at the event and who, even now, try unconvincingly every day to pretend they’re not fascists.
Two Virginia state troopers were accidentally killed in a helicopter crash a few miles outside the city. Of course, every sudden death is a tragedy, but Charlottesville wasn’t the activist-led massacre Northam wants you to believe. The two police officers weren’t killed by protesters of any political stripe, but Northam knows that saying three people died at the event instead of one person is more effective as propaganda.
Northam justified his state of emergency, writing that of the “tens of thousands of advocates” planning to show up at Capitol Square on January 20, “a substantial number of these demonstrators are expected to come from outside the Commonwealth, may be armed, and have as their purpose not peaceful assembly but violence, rioting, and insurrection.”
In reality there were only three potentially violent would-be troublemakers – and they all got picked up by police on January 16, the day after Northam signed the executive order.
The three men arrested four days before the rally were members of “The Base,” a tiny, spanking new extremist group formed last year that until a few days ago no one had heard of. Even though whatever threat there may have been was neutralized with the arrest of the trio, Northam’s ban on carrying guns in Capitol Square remained.
Despite the best efforts of the mainstream media to paint the men arrested as MAGA hat-wearing, conservative, card-carrying NRA members, they failed to fit the bill.
According to documents filed by prosecutors January 21 in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the three men – Brian Mark Lemley Jr., Patrik Jordan Mathews, and William Garfield Bilbrough IV – planned to launch a terrorist attack in Richmond on lobby day. Lemley mocked those he expected to attend the January 20 rally as “MAGAtards, liberty militias, and libertarians.” He also admitted he was a Nazi and said, “Trump is a false prophet, Israel first fraud.”
The purpose of the group’s planned attack on the crowd at Capitol Square was to move the Left to act in hopes of starting a civil war. “Now the end goal is … to incite leftist violence … We want the left in America to become violent,” Mathews said. Before that he said, “we can’t let Virginia go to waste, we just can’t.”
This evidence gave ammunition to the mainstream media which used it to bolster its attack on innocent Second Amendment supporters, deliberately conflating them, the intended victims of a terrorist attack planned for Richmond, with the three white-supremacists already safely behind bars.
The leftist echo chamber known as MSNBC showed the way in smearing gun-rights supporters.
MSNBC host Craig Melvin claimed on television January 20 that “thousands” of “white nationalists” and “militia groups” were “swarming the state capitol in Richmond,” alongside “guns rights activists,” as Megan Fox reported at PJMedia.
But he was lying. The extremists so fervently projected by Melvin did not show up.
Even the predictable, pathological, Marxist liars at the hate group known as the Southern Poverty Law Center were unable to spin away the paucity of actual kooks at the rally.
In a January 24 website post, Brett Barrouquere lamented that “open racism was minimal in the signs and flags” at the rally and there was only a smattering of extremists.
“Extremists were sprinkled throughout a crowd of roughly 22,000 gun-rights activists that converged on a four-block-by-three-block area around the state capitol building on Lobby Day – an annual tradition in Virginia for citizens to meet lawmakers and discuss issues.”
Left-wing officeholders in Virginia patted each other on the back for a job well done, even though they had done nothing to make rally attendees safe.
Like a trained seal, House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, who less than a year before had been demanding Northam’s resignation over the yearbook photos, thanked the governor in a tweet “for his leadership in keeping our Capitol safe.”
Northam took credit for the absence of violence at the rally.
We are all thankful that today passed without incident. The teams successfully de-escalated what could have been a volatile situation. This resulted from weeks of planning and extensive cooperation among state, local, and federal partners in Virginia and beyond.
But Stansell wasn’t moved.
Northam’s high-profile posturing was never about keeping protesters safe, Stansell said, just as gun control isn’t about keeping Americans safe.
“This isn’t about protecting people; it’s about controlling people,” she said.