Ralliers March for 2nd Amendment Rights in Richmond



Reuters, Stephanie Keith

Lalita Durbha, Reporter

Gun violence is currently a hot topic in the nation. This issue was recently brought to the limelight in Virginia. Over the long weekend, citizens held a rally in the capitol city advocating for guns and their right to retain ownership.


Thousands of Virginians, nearly twenty two thousand, lined the streets of Richmond with posters in support of keeping their 2nd amendment rights. Ralliers held signs with phrases such as “It’s the Bill of Rights, NOT the Bill of Limitations,” and “Guns are a right not a privilege.” Speakers made their closing remarks around noon and ralliers dispersed soon after.


The rally prompted a considerable amount of concern. Citizens and law enforcement worried that a rally of that manner would bring forth a spew of gun violence. A major root of this concern stemmed from the fact that the majority of ralliers were making their voices heard outside the official rally area. Around 6,000 were rallying inside compared to around 16,000 outside. Law enforcement made it clear that guns were prohibited inside this area. Out of these borders, however, was an open carry area. The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, went as far as to declare a temporary state of emergency around the capitol grounds.


Many, including Northam, were pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the event. Even with many concerns, only minor arrests were made for wearing masks and bandanas in public after repeated requests to take them off. 


Delegates brought the topic up for discussion in the courthouse the next day. Both Republicans and Democrats spoke on the issue and possibilities for the future. Republicans were able to use the rally as basis for their argumentation. The nonviolent outcome was proof that guns do not need to be revoked in order to create a peaceful community. The Democrats begged to differ, arguing that even with thousands at the rally, the elections that won the Democrats the majority also spoke for the thousands that remained against the ideals of the ralliers.


Gun control is, and will continue to be, a pressing matter with rising support on both sides of the issue. The rally in Richmond showed the importance of the issue and set a precedent for future discussions on gun control.