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Posted at 11:23 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Advocates for and against gun control to rally in Richmond on Monday

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

It's an annual pilgrimage: Advocacy groups take advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday to come to Richmond to rally supporters and meet with legislators.

The gun-rights and gun-control crowds are two of a large number such groups set to hold their lobby days Monday, with citizens from around the state crowding the hallways of the General Assembly Building and the visitors gallery of the State Capitol. A historic bell tower just down a hill from the Capitol -- a traditional spot for rallies -- is booked through the day.

But the debate this year will be especially emotionally charged, coming just over a week after the shooting of 20 people, including a U.S. congresswoman and a federal judge, at a political event in Arizona.

In the morning, the bell tower will be the spot for a rally by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a group that supports gun rights. The group's rallies are often attended by gun owners who openly carry holstered weapons.

Capitol rules allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns into the General Assembly Building and Capitol building. Del. Patrick Hope (D-Fairfax) has filed a bill that would ban firearms in the two legislative buildings--a likely target of ire from the VCDL. The first-term delegate says he was taken aback the first time he road the elevator with a man wearing a handgun strapped to his leg.

In the afternoon, members of the Virginia Center for Public Safety, Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws, and the Virginia Chapters of the Million Mom March will hold a prayer vigil and "lie-in" at the same bell tower to urge tighter gun laws in Virginia. Among their top priorities is changing a law that allows some weapons to be sold without background checks at gun shows.

In between the two, the Virginia 10th Amendment Revolution -- a coalition of several groups, including the Virginia Tea Party Patriots -- will rally at the bell tower. The group is pushing a legislative package that includes a bill endorsing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow all federal laws and regulations to be repealed if two-thirds of state legislatures agreed.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 14, 2011; 11:23 PM ET
Categories:  General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, Rosalind Helderman, State Senate  
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Comments

"The group is pushing a legislative package that includes a bill endorsing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow all federal laws and regulations to be repealed if two-thirds of state legislatures agreed."

There's an unsound concept. What a recipe for chaos for the sake of chaos.

Posted by: fluxgirl | January 17, 2011 1:01 AM | Report abuse

I'd guess a constitutional amendment that gives more power to state legislators would be popular among state legislatures.

Posted by: blasmaic | January 17, 2011 2:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm old enough to remember the University of Texas massacre. But don't the Virginia gun nuts and anarchists recognize the irony of holding a rally at the foot of a bell tower?

Have they not even seen any of the myriad WW II movies depicting German snipers using bell towers to kill American soldiers?

Posted by: edallan | January 17, 2011 7:09 AM | Report abuse

So the anti-gun group is conducting a "lie-in"? How appropriate!

Posted by: foad1234 | January 17, 2011 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Tea Party: strict Constitutionalists, except when they aren't.

Posted by: MissInformed | January 17, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Wow, "gun nuts and anarchists?" So much for more reserved discourse. Your hysteria is showing, Edallan.
Read the article more closely... "A historic bell tower just down a hill from the Capitol -- a traditional spot for rallies -- is booked through the day."
Perhaps you didn't clearly understand the "traditional spot for rallies" concept, or you maybe don't understand the concept of freedom of assembly.
Oh, and FYI... one of the people who helped to finally take down Charles Whitman was an armed civilian. In fact, many of the early responders were armed civilians.
Sheesh... PC at its finest.

Posted by: steves_59 | January 17, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Because extended clips that hold 30+ rounds are our God given right!!!11!!!11!!11eleven!!!one!!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 17, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The right to carry handguns, especially semi-automatics will diminish the rights of other people to shop, go to school, go to work, hold public meetings, convene government, music festivals, etc. b/c of the safety risk and cost to adapt venues to protect people from getting caught in the cross fire of a gun fight.

So while the gun carriers lobby for their rights how about thinking about the rights of other people to pursue their right to work or shop without fear of getting caught in the cross-fire of a gun fight .

The answer that we should all be carrying guns for self protection is so illogical...as seen in Tucson...We know that the Virginia Gun Show Loop hole guarantees anyone a gun, so the permit system doesn't work...The only way to protect the rights of people to meet, to work, to shop is to bring back the assault weapon ban..Otherwise the blood bath will continue and who knows you maybe setting, walking, or working near a target.....and will become one of the next gun right victims...

Posted by: jfristriut | January 17, 2011 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The answer that we should all be carrying guns for self protection is so illogical...as seen in Tucson...

Posted by: jfristriut | January 17, 2011 1:02 PM
___________________________________________

Uh, what? Had more people been carrying a weapon that day, maybe the loon would have only 1 or 2 people instead of 6 before he was taken out. You seem to have convinced yourself of something illogical.

Posted by: damnit79 | January 17, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

This administration has already done more for gun rights and loosening firearms regulations than in both of Dubya's terms combined. Look it up. Some people just don't know when to shut their traps. Besides that, I can't even think of what they might want to make guns less regulated in VA. Fully automatic deer hunting?

Posted by: booerns14 | January 17, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

These paranoid gun lovers are wasting what's left of their miserable lives on this issue, like they don't have enough gun rights? For Christ sake, deranged right wing political assassins can purchase guns in America. What more do these people want?

Posted by: vztownes | January 17, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

to vztownes: Paranoid gun lovers? Miserable lives? Right wing political assassins? What a bunch of hooey. I hope you aren't referring to Jared Loughner, who categorically didn't have any political views. I am not sure who you are referring to when you say "deranged right wing political assassins" but you sound like you are part of the problem, not the solution. Keep shrieking brother, someone will eventually hear you.

Posted by: steves_59 | January 17, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Del. Patrick Hope (D-Fairfax), needs to represent some district in Maryland or be based in DC.

Del. Hope just doesn't get it. Allow me to elaborate. It isn't the person with the CCW permit. It isn't the person who has it strapped to his leg. It's the moron who either steals a firearm, acts irresponsibly in a criminal matter or is untrained in it's usage, that you have to worry about.

I hope you people in Fairfax vote this Hope-guy out and get some change!!!!

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | January 17, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

rode not road

Posted by: rocotten | January 17, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

damnit79 wrote:
Uh, what? Had more people been carrying a weapon that day, maybe the loon would have only 1 or 2 people instead of 6 before he was taken out. You seem to have convinced yourself of something illogical.
_______________________________
Or maybe if more people had been carrying weapons that day the bloodshed would have been a lot worse. You gun lovers always assume that any person carrying a gun will be willing to pull the trigger on a human being within the range of a handgun and will also be able to hit the target. That's a lot to assume. I suggest you check with police officers who have been involved in a shooting incidents and talk with police chiefs and sheriffs who favor gun control. They certainly seem to think that at minimum, strict enforcement of present laws is necessary and stricter laws may be necessary.

Posted by: amstphd | January 17, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

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