Monday, April 27, 2020

VA-ALERT: VCDL's Historic Lobby Day 2020, Part 4 of 6

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VCDL Lobby Day 2020

This is Part 4 in a 6 part series documenting VCDL's Lobby Day 2020, which was held on January 20, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia.

You can read the previous parts by clicking on the part number:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4. Lobby Day 2020 arrives and the deterrents failed:  an eye-popping, 100% peaceful event, with a massive turnout of patriots determined to save the Commonwealth from tyranny.  Also a birds-eye view: select video from the VCDL president's body camera


After leaving the packed pre-Lobby Day dinner that Sunday night, I headed to my hotel in Richmond.  As I approached downtown, I could see gun owners walking around mostly in groups.  Some were checking out the "cage", Northam's version of the Berlin wall.

At my hotel, it seemed like almost everyone I saw there was a gun owner.  Some I recognized, and others I didn't.  Talking to people and listening to conversations, it was clear there was a strong contingent of those who had come long distances to be part of the event.

Walking out to where the valet had parked my car, I passed a military-looking vehicle parked in an alleyway.  It was Alex Jones of InfoWars and his team.  They wold be one of many who would cover the event the next day.

As I was getting ready to go to sleep, the question on my mind was whether all the days and weeks of fear mongering by Northam, the news media, and various others, about the event being potentially dangerous, would mean a low turnout?  Would the gun controllers and the alarmists get what they wanted - a diminished Lobby Day they could easily write off?

Or was this going to be a historic event with a long reaching impact?

In a few hours, those questions would be answered, one way or the other.


The early morning of Monday, January 20, 2020 was clear and the day would prove to be beautiful, but very cold.

My morning was filled mostly with press interviews.  Meanwhile, buses from across the state and across the country had been arriving since well before 8 am.  Arriving buses were parked on streets that were blocked off for that purpose and the passengers had to walk a few blocks to get to the Capitol.

Many of the gun owners coming by private vehicles, parked at the Flying Squirrels baseball team's parking lot, where they were greeted by VCDL volunteers and put on shuttle buses.  The four shuttle buses VCDL leased were having a hard time keeping up with all the people arriving.  Some of the gun owners decided to walk the mile or so to the Capitol rather than wait for the shuttle service.

Over 20 lobbying teams were assembled and dispatched, unarmed, into the General Assembly Building to lobby for all of us.  Bearing "Guns SAVE Lives" stickers and VCDL's Gun Bill Analysis document to give to the various legislators each team had been assigned to cover, the teams worked through the building over the next two and a half hours.

Outside, tens-of-thousands of well-armed gun-owners filled streets around the Capitol, which had been closed to traffic for that purpose.

Gun owners bearing patriotic signs and posters were everywhere!

Another six thousand or so unarmed individuals went through security screening to enter the "cage," putting them near the podium where the speakers would be.  (The Governor's "cage" was intentionally sized to minimize the number of people that could be inside it: six thousand was the limit that had been set.)

Thanks so much to those in the "cage" for doing what I know wasn't an easy decision for any of them.  But it paid off.  Photos of the rally taken from a distance showing the masses of people inside and outside the cage were stunning.

Looking at aerial photographs of the entire crowd, it's been estimated there were over 50,000 people there.  The estimate from the Capitol Police was 22,000, which is nothing to sneeze at, but is clearly low.  Their estimate probably didn't include all the nearby streets that weren't directly around the Capitol, but were packed with people from wall to wall.

Lobby Day turned out to be a completely peaceful event with a massive turnout of friendly, but determined patriots, from all walks of American life, who wanted their message of "no more gun control" to be heard.  

In the end, Northam and the other Democrat gun-controllers had failed to derail Lobby Day.  All their fear mongering, along with the roadblocks they tried to put up because of their hatred and disdain for gun owners, were for naught.  

Our voices were heard and will continue to be heard at the polls and in the General Assembly for a long time to come.

And, as a final reminder of who we are (hats off to those who did this), the streets and Capitol grounds were cleaner after we left than they were before we arrived!  In fact, local media noticed that one could tell exactly where the cordoned area ended based on the cleanliness of the streets!  In my body cam video, below, you will see one officer noting in amazement just how clean we had left Capitol Square (near the 42:00 minute mark).  The police were accustomed to other groups leaving their trash everywhere for someone else to clean up.  

We are nothing like those other groups.

Thanks to all of our Lobby Day speakers for doing such a great job!  In order of appearance:
  • Senator Amanda Chase
  • Delegate Nick Freitas
  • Delegate John McGuire
  • Antonia Okafor, founder "Empowered 2A"
  • Cam Edwards, editor of, host Cam & Co.
  • Dick Heller, of DC vs Heller
  • Sheriff Scott Jenkins (Culpeper County)
  • Sheriff Danny Diggs (York County)
  • EM Brendon Mooney
  • Jan Morgan, political analyst at Fox Business, range owners, and rep. for "2A Women"
  • Anthony Myers, 2A activist from Suffolk
  • Jeff Katz, Richmond talk-radio personality on WRVA
  • Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America
  • Keynote: Stephen Williford, hero from Sutherland, Texas who stopped a mass public-shooting in a church in 2017 using his AR-15


Thanks to EM Matt Gottshalk and his team for putting together fantastic video coverage of Lobby Day 2020!  

Matt said that all day long people, seeing that he was with VCDL, approached and thanked him for all VCDL does.

Click here to watch the official VCDL Lobby Day video.


I was wearing a body camera on Lobby Day.  I put together an edited video showing a birds-eye view of that event from my vantage point, including some peaks behind-the-scenes.  (In the very first part of the video Jim Snyder used my body cam to film a press interview I was doing outside the Commonwealth hotel.  That small segment is in black-and-white and everything else is in color.)

I was pleased with the quality of the video - it was the first time I had used that camera and I didn't know what to expect.

Click here (youtube) or here (vimeo) to watch the body cam video.



Part 5. Postscript: the positive effects of Lobby Day 2020 on the upcoming 2020 and 2021 elections, gun-control bills in the General Assembly, and the perception of gun owners in the press


Part 6. Lobby Day 2020 news articles, photos, videos, and gun-owner comments: wall-to-wall coverage of that historic event!

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To view the archives, click here.

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