GQ Declares Nonviolent Richmond Gun Protest Violent After Admitting It Was Nonviolent

GQ Declares Nonviolent Richmond Gun Protest Violent After Admitting It Was Nonviolent

Mainstream media outlets are desperate to turn what was a peaceful protest against new gun laws in Virginia into a white supremacist neo-Nazi riot, reminiscent of the Charlottesville “Unite the Right,” rally three years that resulted in 11 arrests and one death.

Monday’s pro-gun demonstrations in Richmond, Virginia however, could not have been more calm, possessing all the elements and fanfare of a Fourth of July celebration.

Sure, a Fourth of July holiday with guns can sound quite alien to urban elites who have never laid a finger on a firearm, but for thousands across the country, guns are a part of everyday life.

It’s no wonder then, that many in the media stoked fears of violence fed by Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam who declared a “state of emergency” in the days leading up to the rally.

Despite the lack of violence at the 22,000-person second amendment rally, the magazine GQ decided to declare the protest violent anyway.

“That Pro-Gun Rally in Virginia Wasn’t Exactly ‘Peaceful,’” titled a piece in GQ on Wednesday.

After the author, Talia Lavin, admitted the protest ended peacefully, Lavin argues that the real violence stemming from the protest came from the arrests made prior to the demonstration, the ripple effects of the government’s declaration, and her imaginary consequences of what is to come if the Virginia state legislature defies the demands of the massive crowd.

“There was, it was true, an absence of immediate bloodshed,” Lavin conceded. “But what abounded, in that armed and insurrectionist sea of humanity, was the promise that bloodshed might happen at any time, should the will of the mob be thwarted.”

In other words, the Brooklyn-based writer argues that the armed citizens protesting in Richmond were violent by, in her words, threatening an all-out civil war if the state passed restrictive gun laws. On Monday however, there were no calls to shoot up the Democratic state legislature or the state governor, but there sure were calls to use the power of the ballot box to throw out government officials infringing on their constitutional rights.

Lavin also pointed out that Northam’s “state of emergency” declaration prompted the cancellation of dozens of events and led many to flee the city out of fear of what the media portrayed as another Charlottesville threatening to erupt. If people leaving town to avoid the gun rally qualifies as violence, which it doesn’t, that’s on Northam for perpetuating gun-hysteria, not the peaceful demonstrators.

Lavin argues that protestors were heeded to because America has an “exceptional tolerance towards armed white gunmen,” that oppresses minority gun ownership.

“In America, if you are white, you can wear a mask and carry a gun and hang a governor in effigy, and go home quietly at the end of the day, unmolested,” Lavin wrote, never mind that the Richmond crowd was an extraordinarily diverse group celebrating individual rights to self-defense. This kind of racist stereotyping however, has become the norm among many urban elites.

Of course, her narrative that only armed white men would have the privilege of protesting was busted by a number of non-white gun owners in attendance.

In another double-standard deployed among urban media types, Lavin omitted that Northam wore blackface, while characterizing the Richmond gun crowd as racist white men. Good thing the crowd reminded the public of Northam’s infamous yearbook photo sporting Northam’s high school costume.

Lavin also accurately notes that three individuals arrested before the event were allegedly part of a white supremacist group who were planning to inject chaos by spraying bullets into the crowd. While no one can be certain of the arrested individuals’ intentions, the potential perpetrators wouldn’t have gotten far surrounded by a crowd of highly armed firearms enthusiasts ready to protect themselves. It’s almost as if guns make lives safer.

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]
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