Report from the ground at the Richmond Gun Rally
CSPOA Certified Constitutional Instructor,
Institution on the Constitution group leader
Jan 21, 2020
I am convinced that the political managers of the Charlottesville Va.
ncident of August 2017 mishandled
the event which resulted in three deaths and numerous injuries
look at the 2020 Virginia Lobby Day Rally.
Upon arriving by
we were met by street LEOS who boarded the bus
announced the rules for the day and gave general instructions to the driver. We were instructed to stay with our group and the bus was escorted by a LEO for a journey of about 4 blocks. We exited the bus about 5 blocks from the Capitol grounds. Upon exiting the bus, I introduced myself to a home
town reporter who had sought out our bus. Two minutes later, we were consumed
the crowd and the two of us
lost contact with
for the rest of the
LEOs were present at every turn on our walk to the Capitol Grounds. The Capitol Grounds w
fenced in on what appeared to be two sides of the Capitol Building. There was only one entrance with about 12 rows each secured by those body scanners that are commonly used for such events. LEOs were placed on rooftops, and around the perimeter in convenient numbers that would allow anyone to reach them within seconds to report any threat. I felt as secure there as I feel as I write this from my office.
My thought was "Who would be crazy enough to shoot a
group of 30,000 armed patriots?"
As I understand
permits for all other groups were canceled for the day. There were no other groups present that could have caused a safety issue. However, there was one person who kept putting a face mask on. After being instructed
ree times by law enforcement to remove it, h
e was arrested.
The crowds were entering the grounds from 7:30 am until about 10:30 just before the event started at 11:00 am. The armed attendees were shoulder to shoulder down each street both parallel to the sides of the Capitol Building as well as the streets going away from the building. The number has been estimated by Richmond officials to be 22,000 plus. There was one report from
aerial view that it was 100,000 to 120,000. I think that is too high. I would estimate I could see 10,000 at any one time from inside the
. However, th
is somewhat limited. There were associates of mine approximately 4 blocks out
were unable to get any closer. They estimated the crowd to be in excess of 100,000 but they had no view from the inside.
A message from inside the Capitol B
"those outside were just a bunch of
owners just ignore them they will go away". What an attitude!
The ridiculous building code of Richmond City requires a permit to build a platform higher than 4 inches off the ground. This and the terrain around the capital made it difficult to see the speakers. This year the speakers were on the capit
l steps with the attendees downhill
which blocked our view as each person had to stand about 4 to 6 inches lower than the person in front of him. The speakers themselves were not elevated high enough to offset this and I was not able to see any of the speakers.
Aside from the fact that there was no violent incident to my knowledge, the thing that struck me the most was that there were
of Patriotic, Constitutional, Liberty Loving Virginians, both entering and exiting the event
just walking up to LEOs shaking their hands and thanking them for their service. In fact, I would suggest that LEOs at this event were gratified more than at any other event in their years of service. That, I
was not something they experienced the day before at the Womens
arch in D.C.
did not see
A SINGLE Confederate flag on the site. To my knowledge, there was no restriction or encouragement not to bring them. So exactly where are all the white supremacists
While Virginians should be ashamed and hold officials accountable for the2017 incident in Charlottesville, the U. S.
itizens owe a debt of gratitude to the professional and successful LEOS that organized and managed this event. This should be used as a model for other cities to follow.
I could see down 2 streets and there were thousands, shoulder to shoulder, as far as one could see, slowly advancing up towards the entrance.
The "22,000 plus"
a minimum of 40,000 to 50,000
CSPOA Certified Constitutional Instructor
Institution on the Constitution group leader
635 Thompson Ridge Circle
Ferrum, Va. 24088
Video: Cochise County, AZ Sheriff Mark Dannels Speaks on Border Crisis
At our CSPOA conference in October, Sheriff Dannels gave a powerful firsthand account of his dealings with the drug cartels and threats against him and his son, who serves as a police officer in his jurisdiction. We're making this entire segment available to you right here.
Professionally produced video of the entire conference (over three hours) divided into several segments and featuring the presentations of about eight sheriffs from around the nation, can be purchased for $20. A link to the entire day's speeches will then be emailed to you.
Pima County AZ Sheriff
Speaks Out On Red Flag Laws
The following is taken from a Facebook post by Sheriff Mark Napier.
I have been asked if I support Red Flag Laws. It was my intent to wait to comment in respect for my fellow sheriffs who I believe prefer we state a joint position in opposition, as opposed to individual ones. However, I have been repeatedly asked and the ask deserves a more timely answer.
The short answer is no. Red Flag Laws as we currently conceptualize them are problematic for many reasons. First, they erode due process. People of all political stripes should embrace due process. As currently framed, there are not enough due process checks/balances in Red Flag Laws. This is an important consideration as the lack of due process impacts a constitutional right under the Second Amendment. Second, what defines mental illness or being dangerous and who defines that. Further, what is the barometer for these conclusions and what expertise does the declarant have for making them. This is a slippery slope that should concern all of us. Over time and through societal changes we have experienced many evolutions with respect to what constitutes mental illness and a danger to society. What might that standard be in five years and who may be deciding it? None of us can know that. Third, there already exists laws that do remove the right to possess firearms from persons adjudicated as dangerous or suffering mental illness. We should enforce the laws we have.
As a law enforcement officer for three decades I most certainly share the justifiable concern over gun violence. I DO! Many of you read about it in the paper... law enforcement officers live it, see it and experience it first hand. One violent gun death is too many. That bears repeating... one death is too many. The problem is far more complex than the availability of firearms. We need to attack root causes of gun violence and larger societal issues regarding a lack of respect for life, incivility, how we treat mental illness, a culture that celebrates violence, racial injustice, poverty, substance abuse and other contributory factors. We should pursue these issues in a bipartisan manner.
Red Flag Laws you could argue are well intended. Yes I know many of you strongly do not think so. My objection is that they are the wrong tool to really address gun violence for the aforementioned reasons.
I can support fully the Second Amendment, while finding gun violence a serious and increasingly devastating issue that absolutely must be addressed. It is not, nor should it be, a dichotomous argument.
I am sure that I will receive as a result of this post some nasty comments. Probably from people who did not read the entire post or decided to read into it. However, I am not alone in believing that gun violence is a very serious issue that must be attacked, that Red Flag Laws are simply not the right answer and that constitutional rights and due process rights must be protected.
If you read all the way to this point... thank you.
CSPOA Statement of Position on
so-called "red flag laws" or
Emergency Protective orders
First and foremost:
"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (2nd Amendment, U.S. Constitution).
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (4th Amendment, U.S. Constitution)
"No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"(5th Amendment, U.S. Constitution).
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (14th Amendment, U.S. Constitution)
With any law proposed or passed by any legislature in The United States, the first question which must be asked when considering enforcement of such law, is, does this law pass Constitutional muster? And if it is a state law, then the Constitution of the applicable state must also be consulted.
That being said, all the red flag or ERPO laws we have seen, proposed or enacted, violate one or more of the provisions of the Federal and/or state constitution where they are located. It is regrettable that in most of the debates and discussions on this matter, only the 2nd Amendment is mentioned when asking the Constitutional muster question.
The bills that we have seen thus far violate multiple provisions of the Bill of Rights, most importantly Due Process.
Many states have laws for involuntary mental health commitment of people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. Many of these laws do have protections for the rights of citizens, including hearings where the subject can present his/her side of the story, and the requirement of some sort of adjudication prior to detention, including the right to oppose the petition itself, and to be present at any hearing. These mental health laws detain the subject, rather than an inanimate object. Obviously, a gun is not the only weapon that can be used to harm someone, and these red flag laws do nothing about them. These mental health procedures should be used instead of these "Red Flag" emotional responses to criminal gun use that are prone to abuse.
Here are some of the provisions that any law that takes away private property must contain.
Application of the 4th Amendment's warrant and probable cause requirements
The right to be present, with counsel, at any hearing where a court order or warrant might be issued
The right to present witnesses for the defense
Criminal penalties for filing a false or malicious petition or report, which must be filed under oath.
Notice and opportunity, absent exigent circumstances, for the subject to lawfully dispose of any weapons before confiscation
Protection of third parties' rights if the weapons in question belong to them
Without these protections of rights, CSPOA strongly opposes any laws that seek to take away the aforementioned Constitutional rights of any citizen. The link below is to an article by Congressman Jim DeMint that explains the political issues inherent in these unwise laws.
USA Today: Red flag laws to fight mass shootings? Fine for an ideal world, but we don't live in one.
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