It seems that the rights of Americans are being attacked from all sides, not the least of which is the right to bear arms. Regarded as one of the most crucial rights in protecting American freedom, along with the freedom of speech and assembly the right to bear arms ensures that even if the government gets out of hand, it won’t meet a defenseless public when it oversteps.
Almost anyone who is a student of American and world history would agree that the government has overstepped its bounds, as were set up in the United States constitution. It’s no wonder then, that those who support the government’s overreach, would want to de-fang the only group that could reign them in: the well-armed civilian.
While the National Rifle Association has a long history of working as a watch-dog in Washington to protect second amendment rights, according to Mother Jones News, there’s a new sheriff in town, and it might be even scarier (to the left) than the NRA.
“Van Cleave’s Virginia Citizens Defense League, a no-compromise, far-right gun rights group that he once boasted was ‘proud’ to have been labeled an ‘extremist’ organization,” Mother Jones’ Matt Cohen reported earlier this year.
The reporter made a case for the NRA scaling down in the face of several pressures, not the least of which is the severe monetary strain that it bears, attempting to keep up with inundation of anti-gun legislation constantly pushed by the left.
Joshua Powell, the NRA director’s former chief of staff said, “It is important to have an institution that represents Second Amendment supporters, gun owners. This is part and parcel to the fabric of our country. The Second Amendment is not going anywhere.”
The Virginia Citizens Defense League, headed up by Philip Van Cleave was brought into being in 1994, just about the time that congressional Democrats pushed through aggressive gun control laws, including a decade-long ban on assault weapons that kicked off the modern gun control debate afresh.
Van Cleave is confident that either his splintered coalition of smaller groups, to step into the NRA’s shoes as the organization scales back. “There’s not going to be a void there,” he says. “Somebody’s going to fill that.”
To hear it from Cohen’s account, however, groups like Van Cleave’s and the NRA are vulturous organizations, dangerous and willing to exploit any opportunity to wave around their beloved guns:
“As the coronavirus sent much of the country into lockdown this spring, more new armed groups emerged in protest. Members of the Michigan Liberty Militia stormed the state’s capitol building in protest of the ‘tyranny’ that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was imposing with her strict stay-at-home orders,” Cohen wrote.
“As unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder spread across the country, so too did armed militia groups, from Portland to Wisconsin, Texas, and Virginia, where authorities claim that the anti-government extremist group known as the ‘boogaloo boys’—whose rise this year started at the Lobby Day rally in Richmond—stoked violent confrontations between police and Black Lives Matter protesters.”
To make matters worse, anyone who ascribes to these values is painted as conspiracy theorists and wackos, you know, the kind of people that should never be able to carry a firearm, much less form a citizens militia.
“In the aftermath of the election, as Trump refused to concede and peddled conspiracy theories about election fraud, thousands of his supporters—including violent extremist groups like the Proud Boys—marched in DC to protest the results,” Cohen ranted in his diatribe against the growing pro-gun movement.
“Though DC law forbids carrying firearms in most public places, including at public demonstrations, the Oath Keepers, an extremist militia group, posted a note on its website to supporters saying that “our men will be standing by, awaiting the President’s orders to call us up as the militia, which would override D.C.’s ridiculous anti-gun laws.”
While it was likely meant to serve as a warning to Americans who might see groups like the NRA and Van Cleave’s growing organization (VCDL) as a threat to security, Cohen ended his piece sharing their frustration at being blocked from one of their event platforms by a pro-gun group, reminding members that they will not be thwarted from their plan to protect American freedoms.
“VCDL is going to do that…but on steroids!” the email stated. “Our job is to protect that [Second Amendment] right by whatever means is necessary.”
Seems like a pretty great mission statement to me. But then again, I’m not scared of guns.