Blame Game Set for Va. Gov. Northam’s Gun-Free Kill Zone

Saturday, January 18, 2020
By Paul Martin

By James G. Robertson
January 18, 2020

The political battle lines have been drawn over Virginia governor Ralph Northam’s declaration of an emergency kill zone on the Capitol grounds for Lobby Day, Jan. 20. As of Friday night, after a Virginia district court rejected a legal challenge to the governor’s gun ban, the ban appears to be in place, unless a last-ditch appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court can succeed in overturning the ban this weekend.

As it stands, an area bounded by 9th, Broad, Bank, and Governor streets around the Richmond Capitol has been declared an emergency gun-free zone. One section of the appeal to the Supreme Court argues:

These events merely underscore the Petitioners[‘] concern raised at oral argument before the trial court, that people who choose to show up armed to Lobby Day — and there will be many who seek to — will be forced by this EO into the unprotected chaos of the surrounding streets, rather than the “shelter” of the Capitol grounds. The EO’s ban on firearms on the grounds for this permitted event has increased the risk of problems despite the purported justification of “avoiding another Charlottesville.”

Philip Van Cleave, president of the VCDL, discussed the logistics of the rally on the Cam Edwards YouTube channel on Thursday:

… 9th Street is right there, that’s the street that touches the Capitol square … 9th street will be blocked off so that people can stand there and they will be able to hear the speakers[.] … If you are on that street, you can carry[.]

Capitol police expect to funnel as many as 10,000 people through magnetometers into the outdoor gun-free kill zone that will be contained by fencing around the Capitol grounds. Thus, any violent extremists motivated by mass murder will be able legally to carry their weapons onto 9th Street and have a free fire zone into the trapped and defenseless crowd.

Similarly, it will be legal to carry anywhere on the streets surrounding the kill zone. Trapping people in an enclosure won’t make them safe, and the prospect of mixing bad and good actors in the streets is an object lesson in the futility of gun-free zones.

The Rest…HERE

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