Doing Damage Control After Richmond

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

Philadelphia Enquirer.

Because this year, on MLK Day, a gun-rights rally took place in Virginia. The kind featuring thousands of mostly white people, many of them carrying guns, some allegedly from right-wing hate groups, and all united in their fervent desire to carry weapons that kill.

I support the right to keep and bear arms. But the spectacle of a reported 22,000 people — many of them white and armed — converging on the Virginia Capitol was reminiscent of a gigantic lynch mob, and it was chilling that such a gathering took place on the only national holiday honoring a black man.

Next up, UNC Radio.

According to Devin Burghart, an expert on white nationalism and far-right paramilitary organizations, the language of some who support the sanctuary resolutions in Virginia bears unmistakeable links to anti-government movements from decades past.

Specifically, Burghart points to the visible influence of the idea of “posse comitatus,” Latin for “power of the county.”

Burghart says the “posse comitatus” theory claims that the political will of the people is at its most potent at the county level, and as such, the most important holders of public office are county sheriffs.

“An elected Sheriff answers only to the citizenry,” wrote Sheriff Scott Jenkins of Culpeper County, Virginia, in a recent Facebook post on the Sheriff’s Office page. “I will always respect the rule of law but I don’t need to wait for a court to interpret my duty for me.”

Sheriff Jenkins has been an outspoken supporter of the Virginia sanctuaries, vowing to deputize county residents to resist state laws regulating guns, should they pass.

“This notion of county supremacy and the ideas of the ‘posse comitatus’ that go all the way back to the 1970s, and the idea of the sheriff being the most important law enforcement officer in the land is one that has deep and deeply troubling roots in this country,” said Burghart, executive director of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights. “The ideas originated in the racist right.”

Finally, NYT.

RICHMOND, Va. — Around 22,000 people came here on Monday to protest potential new restrictions on guns under consideration by the new Democratic majority in the General Assembly. Most of the protesters were outside the grounds of the State Capitol, and most appeared to be carrying weapons: handguns, shotguns, carbines and semiautomatic rifles. There were armed men in camouflage and military-style equipment threatening insurrection if the state’s elected representatives acted contrary to their wishes.

Walking through the crowds, I saw Gadsden flags emblazoned with “Don’t Tread on Me” and “Come and Take It” banners alongside “Blue Lives Matter” patches sewn into vests and T-shirts with oft-used quotations like Thomas Jefferson’s famous claim that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

The rhetoric may have been violent, but the overall event was calm — a “peaceful protest,” Brian Moran, the Virginia secretary of public safety, told The Washington Post. A model of democratic assembly.

But that “peace” can’t be separated from intimidation; progressive groups urged members not to go to the Capitol to avoid violent confrontation with extremists. There were no counterprotests or rival demonstrations. The Second Amendment had effectively limited the First.

[ … ]

These dynamics carried over into the creation of the United States. At its founding, the United States was a white republic whose Constitution reflected settler preoccupation with racial control. As it grew and expanded, so would Americans’ racialized understanding of rights, responsibilities, personhood and citizenship.

“Radicalized understanding.”  “Racist.”  “White supremacy.”  “Deeply troubling.”  “Lynch mob.”

So let me break all of this down for you in four words.  Let me explain what all of this is about.  This is damage control.

They wanted violence.  They wanted negligent discharges.  They wanted fights.  They wanted arrests.  They got none of that.

Now, as if Bloomberg sent out the message that this was an awful event that the enemy won, his apparatchiks are doing damage control.  That’s how you know Richmond was a success.

The best thing of the three commentaries was this quote.

Mack is founder and president of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and gained prominence in the 1990s. He was a plaintiff in a successful lawsuit resisting requirements that law enforcement perform background checks on gun buyers as originally intended by the Clinton-era Brady Bill. He says he’s in touch with some of the sheriffs supporting Second Amendment sanctuaries today.

“A lot of those sanctuary cities and counties across the country don’t go far enough,” said Mack. “What do you do if they still come in and try to take law abiding citizens’ guns? [The sheriffs] need to actually intervene and interpose and not let it happen.”

Yes.  This.  And this is what I’ve been saying all along, haven’t I?

You need to fisk your local Sheriff and his deputies.  If they aren’t on board, they need to be replaced.  You need to fisk your county commissioners.  If they aren’t on board, they need to be replaced.

Then after lining up your assets, you can work your county attorney to ensure that he’s fully on board, or that he’s replaced soon enough by being fired by the very commissioners you put on the board.  The attorney is the linchpin of this whole process, because the commissioners aren’t going to do something he suggests against.  The Sheriff might (if it’s Sheriff Mack), but it would be better to fisk everyone and get all necessary parties on board.  That’s your leverage.  Understand it.  Use it.

Listen.  The second amendment sanctuary movement is a God-send.  This provides structure.  This provides the ability to turn national politics into local politics.  Bloomberg wanted to go local.  Very well.  He’s won some of the battles.  But by going local and getting everyone on board with the 2A resolutions, that affects not only local, but national politics and policy as well.

Do you understand?  This is your chance to become involved in local politics and have a national effect.

That’s why the communists are scared of the movement.  They should be.  It’s grass roots.  It’s organic.  It’s local.  Most of all, it’s righteous.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. On January 23, 2020 at 10:43 pm, Jim said:

    The county attorney in VA is legal counsel to county government. The key law enforcement officer is the county Commonwealth Attorney, the chief criminal prosecutor and popularly elected.

  2. On January 23, 2020 at 11:54 pm, George 1 said:

    Armed and White. Remember that. It will eventually be against the law to be armed and white.

  3. On January 24, 2020 at 1:19 am, jack said:

    TFW Herschel gets InstaLaunched! Congrats!

  4. On January 24, 2020 at 8:38 am, Name (required) said:

    I agree: they are scared, and attacking us with their old, standby magic words, like racist.

    The magic words are not effective once you decide you don’t care. Do you want to see real panic on the Left? Not caring that we’re called racist will cause real panic.

  5. On January 24, 2020 at 8:46 am, Fred said:

    At its founding, the United States was a white CHRISTIAN republic. FIFY

    First they removed the republic, then they removed Christ, guess what’s next.

  6. On January 24, 2020 at 9:39 am, X said:

    I agree that the 2A Sanctuary movement is an excellent, grassroots means of resistance using local institutions. But people need to really think this through to its logical endgame.

    When the state bans the sale of ARs and mags, and bans the sale of ammo without state permission, are local sheriffs going to tell FFLs to go just ahead and sell that stuff illegally anyway, and post deputies outside the businesses to use force of arms to prevent the state cops from raiding them?

    I doubt it.

    When state cops and deputies jointly respond to a call for, let’s say, a domestic (which might be bogus and filed by a disgruntled woman for revenge), are the deputies on the scene going to prevent the state cops from searching for weapons and making a weapons arrest?

    I doubt it.

    If deputies and state cops jointly respond to a traffic accident and a banned or unregistered weapon or 30-rd mag is found in a vehicle, are the deputies going to use force of arms to prevent the state boys from making an arrest?

    I doubt it.

    When someone wants to buy more than one handgun a month, are the sheriffs going to tell the FFLs to sell as many as the customer wants, and then arrest the state police if they try to shut down the business?

    I doubt it.

    Will sanctuary counties vote to use public money to create a legal defense fund to defend residents arrested by state cops for weapons violations?

    I doubt it.

    Sanctuaries are an excellent idea and should absolutely be pursued, but let’s not delude ourselves as to how much “sanctuary” they will actually be able to provide. Sanctuaries are a rearguard action that will PARTIALLY help people avoid criminal liability for the stuff they’ve already got, but in no way will they be able to actually restore 2A rights to the status quo ante.

  7. On January 24, 2020 at 10:03 am, Jerry said:

    I truly wish I could have made the journey to Virginia but alas financially it was unfeasible.

    That said, this article was terrific but I worry that we as a bunch of constitutionalists that we are in danger of getting too deep in the weeds and getting bogged down in the minucea.

    Remember, keep it simple. If we keep to simple facts supported by historical documents and data we will go far. If we get verbose in our arguments we open the opportunity to have those same words parsed by our opposition.

    Keep it tight, keep it simple, keep it on point.

  8. On January 24, 2020 at 3:11 pm, formwiz said:


    Philadelphia has an Inquirer.

    Although it often reads like an Enquirer.

    Monday showed the good guys are winning.

    It also showed the bad guys are running scared.

  9. On January 24, 2020 at 3:15 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    Ah. I hadn’t even noticed that. We’ll leave it like it is.

    Or maybe I’m so witty that I intended to do that. I’ll let readers make the call.

  10. On January 24, 2020 at 5:24 pm, Fred said:

    The inquire / enquire thing really bothers me. There are ignorant 22 year old know it all editors at the major publishing houses that are changing the Holy Bible based upon word doc editor or something. An inquiry, as we know, is an investigation. It’s the word still used by Scotland Yard for a criminal probe. To enquir, is to ask a question or two. Far be it from me as to proper English, but is the Bible not worth preserving?

    So, when seeking God, make an inquiry that includes an enquiry of Him directly, and throw your junk bible in the trash and get a Holy Bible.

  11. On January 24, 2020 at 9:14 pm, millard fillmore said:

    We went to Richmond on the 13th and the 20th.On the 20th,the local police blocked entry into the designated parking lot at the local baseball stadium to cut the size of the crowds,sending people on an hour long circle that came back to the same roadblock.The downtown municipal lots were also closed,even though the holiday meant they would be empty of worthless bureaucrats.Classy,aren’t they?The democrat legislators and the 2 racists and a rapist at the head of Virginia’s government hid in a secret location,like the cowards they are.On the 13th,we got into the legislators’ office building,but after some bank officials with blue and red lapel pins visited them,the legislators were no longer available to talk to their constituents.So I guess the bankers are now Bloomberg’s,and maybe the Hungarian billionaire’s bagmen.I took all of my money out of their bank. This Bill of Rights protection movement is much bigger than the politicians are willing to admit,and they know it,and fear it.Elections are always coming up,and fear is the proper attitude for the tyrants of Virginia’s government.Careers are going to end,peacefully,I hope,but they will end soon enough.

  12. On January 24, 2020 at 9:19 pm, Herschel Smith said:


    So did you get to the rally at all?

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You are currently reading "Doing Damage Control After Richmond", entry #23105 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Second Amendment and was published January 23rd, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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