Matt is concerned about both optics (the Charlottesville effect) and the possibility of a false flag attack to be pinned on gun owners. I generally like what Matt writes and agree with him that there is a possibility of either or both of these happening. There might be 5000 people attending the rally or even way more but if a 3 people with Nazi paraphernalia show up, likely Feds or leftists trying to make us look bad, that is who the media will focus on. Then again, the media is also going to find the guys with the scariest looking guns and plaster pictures of them on every story because the Lügenpresse is the enemy of the American people. There is also a not-insignificant chance of some leftist dressing up as a 2nd Amendment supporter that fires into antifa to provide a pretext for even more sweeping gun control at the state and Federal level which Trump, still stung by getting played by the media after Charlottesville, will roll over and sign. Or the chance that overeager antifa will catch a 2A supporter away from the crowds, attack him and get shot and killed when he legally defends himself. While it would almost certainly be self-defense (Virginia at present does not have a "duty to retreat"), the media would portray it is a gun owner gunning down a peaceful protester. So lots of potential downside here.
What is my problem with Matt's essay?
First is his conflation of "accelerationists" with "Neo-Nazis". He knows better but he says things like "The Neo-Nazis and other “accelerationists”" and "actual neo-Nazi “accelerationist” idiots". I have to think Matt understands that there are a lot of people who are “accelerationists” and basically none of them are "Neo-Nazis", an essentially non-existent group. I would call myself a mildly “accelerationist” guy, I understand the reasoning behind speeding up the inevitable collapse while we still have a demographic critical mass, but I am not a "Neo-Nazi" under any reasonable definition of that term. Calling "accelerationists" neo-Nazis is clumsy and intellectually lazy.
Second, while I understand his concerns, his strategy seems to be one of retreating. We will look at his proposed alternative to protesting in Richmond, something the U.S. Constitution guarantees in the First Amendment....:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
...as well as in the Constitution of Virginia...
Article I. Bill of Rights
Section 12. Freedom of speech and of the press; right peaceably to assemble, and to petition
That the freedoms of speech and of the press are among the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained except by despotic governments; that any citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; that the General Assembly shall not pass any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, nor the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances.
...in a moment. The citizens of the commonwealth of Virginia have the right and I would say the responsibility to petition the government for the redress of grievances and by any measure the laws being proposed by the Virginia Assembly are unjust, tyrannical and unconstitutional. The VCDL has a good list of them here. These new laws include things like expanding "red flag laws", requiring a background check for the private sale of firearms, banning guns in local government assemblies and restricting the purchase of handguns to one per month. None of those will do anything to reduce gun crime and those laws are just the beginning. As an aside, the VCDL is doing more for gun rights right now than the neutered and cowardly NRA. The NRA should be on the front-lines of this fight but are so caught up in the internal battles over corruption in their own leadership that they are incapable and unwilling to step up, which is also why I didn't renew my membership this year.
Matt's proposed alternative plan is this.
I’d continue to marshal our forces for maximum effect at local county and city council meetings. The 2A sanctuary county movement has been extremely effective at getting positive attention through this means. We should keep attending every local political meeting in force. Make your local politicos feel the heat. Keep pressing at the county and city level. Experiment with holding “unorganized militia” flash mob events. Be imaginative, and always use friendly local terrain to your advantage.
That sounds fine. Matt describes Richmond as hostile territory, unfriendly ground. He might be right but then again, Richmond, Virginia is the state capitol of Virginia. In other words, if you are a citizen of the commonwealth of Virginia, your own state capitol is now enemy territory that you should avoid. While I think that the sanctuary county and city movement is great and it is also a great idea to show up to local government events to express your opinion, the laws of the state of Virginia are made in Richmond. As some people have noted, it wasn't that long ago that Richmond was friendly territory but now it is enemy occupied. As the population of Northern Virginia, home to many of the denizens of the Deep State Swamp, continues to explode, the people of the rest of Virginia will have even less say over their governance. Already three counties near D.C. have almost one quarter of the total population of Virginia. How far can we retreat because it seems to me that pretty soon people in Virginia are going to have to comply with these laws, move out of the state or start shooting.
While the downsides of showing up to the rally are real and serious, we are no longer in a position where we can watch from the sidelines. The downside of not showing up is that a small, easily ignored rally will embolden the Virginia law-makers to pass all of these laws they are proposing and start working on new ones. If people can't be bothered to show up to express their opinion, the legislature will assume they don't care. I am under no illusion that this rally will stop the march of the Leftist assembly but it might be a significant enough show of force to give them pause, especially for newly elected legislators who want to get re-elected next time around. Ultimately Virginia is a lost cause, demographics plus a population in NoVa invested in expanding the state, will ensure that but there needs to be a stand made, if for no reason other than as a message to Richmond, D.C. and our state capitols around the country that we won't keep retreating.
It all seems a little schizophrenic to me. On one hand you have people talking about citizens forcibly resisting attempts to confiscate firearms, with some people even talking about ambushing law enforcement. On the other hand, we are told that peaceably assembling in your own state capitol is too risky and that we should restrict ourselves to impotently shouting at county officials when the real action is taking place in a capitol city that is off-limits to American citizens seeking to peaceably assemble and redress the government.
Don't protest in Richmond, things could go wrong and you could lose your state forever! Guess what, your state and this country are already lost thanks to the idea of incremental surrender. Virginia is going the way of California and is only slightly ahead of Florida and Texas and eventually the rest of the country, helped along by too many of our people being afraid of getting in trouble. The only question left to decide is whether we go extinct completely or begin to prepare to rebuild after things collapse.
The real harm of Charlottesville was not just that it was a headshot to the "Alt-Right", as that movement was full of weirdos (Richard Spencer), grifters (Milo) and egomaniacs (Vox Day). No, the long-term harm comes from the way the ghost of Charlottesville now serves to frighten anyone of the Right from assembling out of fear that something will go wrong. Guess what, things are already going wrong. Inaction is ensuring that. After Charlotteseville, far too many "leaders" on the Right invoke it as a way to scare people into doing nothing but wait for the train to the gulag.
If you are afraid of getting in trouble, causing family members stop talking to you, perhaps losing your job or worse going to jail or even worse yet getting killed, I understand that but you need to recognize this. We are in an existential struggle for survival. This isn't about who wins the next election or marginal tax rates or the Social Security retirement age. Our people are being frog-marched to the edge of the cliff and still we are being told to stop struggling or we might get into trouble. We are already in trouble. If you aren't willing to take a punch, find a new job, spend some time in jail or even lay down your life, you aren't really in this fight. I am just a guy blogging in Indiana but I know that saying what I say, using my real name, has closed most doors to jobs in corporate America. It also means that anyone with access to Google can find my home and threaten my family. It would be easier to just shut up and try to ride this out as best I can, hoping that the remaining 30-40 years of my life will pass without too much pain but I am not willing to do that. I will stand my ground and speak my mind for the sake of my family, for my posterity and for my people.
We have been playing the game of incremental surrender for decades. It is the way "conservatism" has worked and most of the political Right in this country has operated on this principle. "OK, we will surrender on gay marriage because that is a lost cause but that is the absolute final straw" turned into "The conservative case for trannies in your daughter's locker room and bombing Iran because they are mean to the gays" in just a few years. Virginians aren't going to get their state back, not without a lot of ugliness. Every day heritage Americans who love the 2nd Amendment die and new, non-white children of immigrants are born who will grow up to vote neo-Maoist in 18 years. You think that your sanctuary county is going to save you? Governor Northam can ask for and get however much funding he wants to start hiring hundreds or thousands of LEOs specifically tasked to hunt down non-compliant gun owners. Surrendering Richmond means surrendering Virginia. These are not the times for internet tough guys to anonymously talk about fighting back against armed law-enforcement while at the same time preaching timidity.
The Left understands the power of intimidation. That is why James Fields is a political prisoner in the aftermath of Charlottesville. They know most people on the Right are decent, respectable people with something to lose and they use our fear of losing our jobs and health care and pension to cow us into silence while their black-clad mobs of antifa who have nothing to lose and nothing to fear run roughshod over our streets.
We stand at the end of the age. What was built over the course of thousands of years is now ready to be snuffed out in but a few decades. Now is not the time for passivity or for the timid. These are days that demand need the bold. We must stay alive and free as long as we can to fight but staying alive and out of prison is not a goal in and of itself. If you are a citizen of the commonwealth of Virginia who cherishes the rights so many good men died to secure for you, please show up and let your voice be heard. Know that there are risks and the consequences can be severe but has there ever been anything worthwhile that you couldn't say that about?
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.