More Additional Deliberations On Virginia Anti-Paramilitary Law

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

Via Uncle comes this post from Tam.

All these people wanting you to set your hair on fire and run in circles with them about ZOMG THE DEEP STATE IS TRYING TO OUTLAW GUN TRAINING IN VIRGINIA haven’t even read the existing law. Consider that fact when deciding how much credence to give to their mouth-noises.

Calm your tits, Herschel, and do thirty seconds of research before running to your keyboard for a change.

Uncle says of this in the comments that “I’m guilty of not reading the whole thing. And MattW is too.”

Okay, whatever.  That’s fine with me.  But I’m not.

So let’s try this again.  I saw the strike-through upon initial read, as well as the italics associated with the addition.  That’s not the point as I’ve pointed out and am doing here again.

So quoting from a recent analysis.

First of all, I was also aware that Senate Bill No. 64 was an amendment to the existing code, not a new code.  However, as I stated in the comments to my analysis, “This seemingly would also prohibit open carry (Virginia is an open carry state) as well as congregations of individuals as happened in Charlottesville. Finally, you’ll notice that the code is “amended and reenacted.” Apparently, no one has enforced a provision to prohibit tactical training thus far. You can bet your bottom dollar they will now.”

Taking a deeper dive into these waters, Max asks this. “Would you want some dudes down the road training in firearms and explosives with the purpose of conducting terrorist activities? I don’t think so.”

But that’s exactly what’s happening as we speak.  There are Islamist paramilitary training compounds operating around the nation today, one of them in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  I recall discussing this face to face a few years ago with John Guandolo at Understanding the Threat.  To the best of our knowledge, this camp is still in operation with no pressure to cease operations.  And take special note – South Carolina also has a law similar to the one in Virginia, i.e., S.C. Code 16-8-20.  To date, no officer of South Carolina has used this law to shut down the camp in Rock Hill.  One of those training camps is also in Virginia, and the Sheriff has defended them.

So there will indeed be bias in the application of this Virginia law.  Besides, what constitutes a “terrorist activity” is in the eyes of the beholder.  To some, an Islamist training camp constitutes a terrorist threat.  Others couldn’t seem to care less (viz. the officers of SC).  To some, patriots training for protection of home and hearth, or for protection against a tyrannical government, constitutes a terrorist threat.

Max and others have to remember that the way this all plays out will be a function of overzealous prosecutors and jurors who are soccer moms from Alexandria, Virginia, whose husbands probably work in some sort of government work.  To them, an open carrier is a terroristic threat, and especially two open carriers who go to dinner with their families.  Two or more guys who go rucking in the mountains while carrying rifles as part of their own personal fitness training would certainly be perceived by soccer moms in Alexandria as a threat.  Remember what David Codrea has recently observed concerning this: “Eyes of the beholder.”

[ … ]

So the law existed before, but it will be reenacted with some modifications.  I see this as a threat to liberties, and the enforcement of it may become a model for other states.

So this amended code does several things.  Virginia is an open carry state.  I don’t really care that some folks like to conceal or that others like to bang on open carriers.  Carry however you wish, just don’t dictate to me how I carry or preach to me what you think is the best tactical approach.  I’ll decide that for myself given the circumstances and my desire for comfort at the time, and whether I have to engage in non-permissive carry.

As regular readers know, I have been from the beginning an outspoken and vocal proponent and supporter of open carry.  North Carolina is a “gold star” open carry state.  Virginia is also an open carry state.  I’ve done some work to make South Carolina an open carry state, albeit to no avail at the moment.

One thing it does is make open carry suspect now.  The amendment includes ” … Assembles with one or more persons with the intent of intimidating any person or group of persons by drilling, parading, or marching with any firearm.”

Intent is an irrelevant feature of the amendment to the code.  An overzealous prosecutor and a soccer mom from Alexandria, Va., can determine anything they want.  I’ve seen it happen in the Charlotte, where the CMPD stopped a black man who was openly carrying.  The Fourth Circuit had to slap down the CMPD.  To this day the CMPD doesn’t accept that ruling.  I know this because I’ve debated CMPD cops about it, and I’ve been told that to this very day they would do the same thing.

This amendment to the code can be applied to step back from being an open carry state.  That bothers me a great deal.  It’s my right for it to bother me a great deal.  I don’t really care what you think about open or concealed carry.

There is another thing this does.  This is an reenactment of the same code that is in existence at the moment.  My brother is a lawyer.  I happen to know that there is a debate about what exactly it means when a statute is “reenacted,” as opposed to legislative inactivity or simple amendment.  I do not now and did not at the time of penning the initial post have the time to go through all of the administrative interpretations in Virginia on how this code had been applied in the past, and whether the legislature will be overruling or affirming administrative application of it, or simply putting it back into the public consciousness.  Again, the legislature isn’t merely amending the code.  They are reenacting it.  That’s slightly different.

Virginia has turned blue.  Progressives now control the governor’s mansion, the house and the senate.  That means that they will get to nominate and appoint many administrative officers and judges.  A reenactment of this code, once again, places it into the public consciousness with both the public and the officers of the state.

You do what you wish in Virginia, just make sure you don’t openly carry while wearing a Gadsden flag t-shirt in a Charlottesville ice cream shop.  You may be arrested for being one-or-more people parading around with firearms for the purpose of intimidation.

And if you teach or train others to perform properly with firearms, you may have a target on your back.  We’ll see how all of this plays out.  The worst may come to pass, or Lord willing, this may have minimal effects.  I hope for the later rather than the former.

So Tam, like you have probably done, I’ve done some looking at how long we have readers.  It’s somewhere around two minutes.  I simply cannot write down an essay every time I post.  No one would read it, and no one would read it if you did that either.  Thanks for playing, but when you wrote that I had not even read the existing law, not only were you incorrect, you didn’t really know that.  You didn’t know that because you didn’t call me or write me to ask.  That’s what you should have done.  If you had, I would have sighed and typed out a long note sort of like this post.  And then you would have known.  You may have disagreed, but that’s okay.  Disagreeing is fine.  Assuming something you don’t know isn’t.

Do you do that with your gun articles too?


  1. On December 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm, NOG said:

    Tam and others indeed made a huge error. They are NOT lawyers. They do not understand legal language. They cannot understand just how this language can be used as a weapon against gun owners. She “worked” in gun shops and writes opinions about guns in gun rags. It shows. She should stick to what she knows and should never try to give legal opinions (which is what she did with her snark). For the CMPD “officers” who refuse the court ruling, the only recourse is to file complaints with the state LEO licensing agency. They violate the law, they only will learn if it hits them personally. That will teach others their actions have consequences. Suing them does not affect them personally (only the poor taxpayers) unless the chief gets mad at them for bad publicity.

  2. On December 3, 2019 at 1:04 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    I’m trying to say that we all need to follow Matt 10:16. Gun owners have been “had” for decades now. The overall community still funds Wayne so he can have half million dollar bonuses and house his sweet little blonde.

    To this day the only people who understand incrementalism is the progs. Gun owners have been slow to learn.

  3. On December 3, 2019 at 2:52 pm, Fred said:

    Tam and Uncle are the NRA. That’s all you need to understand. I hope they come around one day.

    “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – attributed to Clemens.

    I much prefer seeking the truth, not a truth or my sides truth. I gave money to the NRA. Then I saw what they did to Louisiana. I got burned, but I began to study closely the words vs. actions of the NRA. I gave them money that once and that was the last. Interestingly I cared much less about them before I contributed what I considered to be an investment in my future. That’s what bothers me about NRA members, be it willful or just ignorance, it’s the mis-allocation of resources to an outsource lobbyist. If you were hiring a private teacher and your child was not making demonstrable, measurable progress in skills, you would fire the teacher, right? We haven’t recovered a single right, at all, whatsoever, ever in the history of the NRA…at least not a one that it first didn’t throw us under the bus about. That’s bad money after good.

  4. On December 3, 2019 at 4:38 pm, MTHead said:

    God help us if we have to live our life’s by the reasonableness of lawyers!
    I remember of an English gent who found a sawed-off shotgun someone had thrown over his back fence into his garden. The man wrapped it in a blanket and took it to the police station.
    After which he was summoned to court and given 18mos. in prison. See the law was wrote against POSSESSION of the firearm. Didn’t matter where he got it.
    Presumptions that government is doing something for you, are naïve to say the least. Extortion is their best day.
    Max seems to forget all laws are only used the way government wants to use them. Not how their meant to be used. One need only look at all the gang activity that just never seems to have the RICO statues used against them. Nor the thousands of criminal acts that no one seems to care about. But all of a sudden the communist want to reinvigorate something they never used in the past?
    It seems as a ‘tactical’ trainer he’s not very aware to the threat that’s in his face. And thinking the new commissar will be like the old one…. well good luck with that.
    Max, your really questioning a nuclear physicist’s intellect? OKKkkk then.

  5. On December 3, 2019 at 5:07 pm, Francis W. Porretto said:

    Be not troubled, Herschel. Tam is a bit screechy, and given to insulting people who disagree with her. I regard you as a more reliable source…though I make a point of checking everything.

  6. On December 3, 2019 at 5:24 pm, Jack said:

    (I) see a bigger problem contained in this post.
    Do you?
    Lawyers….ha, there zits of Puss filled stank.

  7. On December 3, 2019 at 6:59 pm, dad29 said:

    I’ve read a lot of what Tam writes on guns, cameras, cars, food, yadayada. I’ve never been convinced that she’s a rock-hard 2A supporter. Further–given what we’ve seen particularly during the last 3+ years–how she could even THINK about ‘trusting the Gub’mint’ tells me she’s not taking near enough awareness-vitamins.


  8. On December 3, 2019 at 8:53 pm, RedinOleVirginny said:

    I enjoy your blog and thank you for the thoughtful posts – and the true concern about your fellow Southerners. No sarcasm.
    I’d like to add this. I know a lot of people all over Virginia. Trained/trained with many of them. Most are very fine people – who are also SERIOUS people.
    In my opinion this is going to get very ugly in Virginia. Lists were made long ago. It will start with night letters and go from there.
    Isaiah 41:10
    ” Fear not, for I am with you;
    be not dismayed, for I am your God;
    I will strengthen you, I will help you,
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

  9. On December 4, 2019 at 10:16 am, Heywood said:

    I know nothing about “Tam’, but any weasel that doesn’t have the balls to contact you before penning that tripe is a world class d0uchenozzle in my book.

  10. On December 4, 2019 at 3:45 pm, Sanders said:

    I’m not sure who Tam is, unless it is that chick who shoots her guns without cleaning them to prove something or other?

    But I do know that when gun grabbing democrats are monkeying with any laws that relate to firearms, the end result will not be a benefit to firearms owners. THAT has been proven time and time again. What we have here is militant communist democrats running amok without any kind of effective political opposition. It will not end well – for anybody. It never does.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control and was published December 3rd, 2019 by Herschel Smith.

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