Yes, I'm going. And if you live in Virginia and are concerned with the threats our new power-drunk lawmakers are making, so should you. Yes, I know it'll be a circus. But it will be a historic one. It stands to become more of an open, very vocal, very well-armed 2A protest than the annual lobbying event it typically is, but that's to be expected. It's no secret that our rights have been threatened since the day they were proclaimed in the Constitution, but the enemy has never before been this vehemently outspoken against them. They're not even bothering to obscure their agenda anymore. No sooner had the November election results been announced than the river of pre-filed anti-gun bills started to flow; all of them purportedly common sense and what the majority of Virginians have always wanted. All solutions in search of a problem that's never before existed.
And the facts still just plain don't matter to anyone on the other side of the fence. And why don't they, one might ask?
Simple: strategic use of propaganda to achieve a totalitarian agenda. And don't discount the useful idiots. They're everywhere these days.
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people eventually will come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
- Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich
Virginia has since spoken. 127 counties and cities statewide have declared themselves '2nd amendment sanctuaries' or better yet, passed Constitutional resolutions; both strong statements of noncompliance if the new majority in Richmond insists on passing unconstitutional bills into law. Lobby Day expectations, as a result, have been intensifying.
That said, if you plan on going to Lobby Day, heed this warning: go prepared. Bring along things you wouldn't normally bring on trips to the store or on your way to and from work. You may find yourself spending an extra night or two away from home and you absolutely do not want to find yourself depending on the very system that's doing everything in its power to make us dependent. Richmond, after all, is a city. Upwards of 230,000 people live there. And where's the worst place to be if SHTF? Anywhere but home, for starters. Some suggestions:
Bring enough supplies to keep you warm, fed, hydrated and entertained for 72 hours at the minimum. Bring your own water; one gallon per person per day. Bring food, extra food and snacks. Wear clothing appropriate to the environment and bring a change of the same. Bring outerwear-it's winter and chances are you'll be outside the entire time where it's guaranteed to be cold. Be prepared for wind and windchill and the event of precipitation; rain, freezing rain or snow.
Bring first-aid items and preferably, a well-stocked trauma kit. God forbid if something pops off, all hospitals and emergency services could become overwhelmed. You'll be at their mercy. Remember, even without proper training, you could still become a first responder.
I can't say this loud enough: FILL YOUR GAS TANK. Do so upon arrival and keep it topped off. Do not as Franklin Horton’s characters did in The Borrowed World. They found themselves in a SHTF situation three-hundred miles from home in this same, exact city. And they ran out of gas nowhere close to home. That fictional scenario changed me for life after reading it and it's a good habit to develop and maintain.
By all means, bring whatever you deem necessary to defend yourself and those with you, and that includes your concealed carry handgun(s) along with your permit and photo ID. Don't let Northam and his cronies scare you - they cannot invoke laws in the event of emergency fictitious or otherwise. They can only set rules for the capitol grounds and surrounding buildings that will keep us on the street and sidewalks if we choose to arm ourselves. Regardless, your right to self-defense cannot be taken from you unless you relinquish it. In the end, it's your life. It belongs to you and it’s yours to defend.
Bring body armor if you're so inclined. Bring a kevlar helmet and plate carrier with level III plates if you must. (I am) Bring a gun belt and a rifle or two-hell, bring all of them, but please refrain from displaying all your cards and firepower unless it's called for. Like it or not, there exists a cultural stigma in this country for anything freedom-loving, patriot or militia related. It's a shame, a product of the propaganda war against us, and total shame, but the end result and us feeding into it gives off the wrong impression. And, rest assured, there will be agitators there specifically targeting all tacticool Timmies. Best to follow the grey man mantra and blend in with the crowd-any crowd.
Use your instincts. If something feels wrong, it probably is. If you feel exposed or unsafe, you probably are. Distance yourself from the masses and stay alert. Look over your shoulder every so often. Glance at rooftops. Watch everything and everyone. Pay specific attention to eyes and hands and record as much of the event as you can including all interactions with the opposition. And don't forget to smile confidently.
And this brings me to a final thought: we must all be prepared ahead of time for the likelihood of communications outages. 50-100k people are expected to descend upon Richmond on Lobby Day and with that, there'll be a good chance of cell phone networks becoming overloaded. Access to the internet will go first, followed by intermittent outages or an inability to make calls. Texting tends to get through when calls don't, but it can fail just as well and that makes radio part and parcel of a solid backup plan. You've probably heard it said before that Baofeng UV-5Rs and the like are the most viable option and I tend to agree. A close second would be the FRS / GMRS transceivers available for purchase in stores such as Walmart and Costco. Baofengs give the added benefit of frequency agility, allowing you to transmit on virtually any frequency they're capable of receiving. They can do this without being preprogrammed, meaning you can dial in a frequency, key the push to talk and make comms.
Below, you'll find a link to an ICS-205 communications plan I created for Lobby Day that lists the frequencies we intend to use. Changes will be made on the fly should this deviate or not work out for us for any reason. For those of you who've contacted me about radio programming, I'll attempt to meet with as many of you as possible prior to, during, or following the event. If not, the frequencies can be keyed in manually. Also below is a link that gives a quick and dirty method on how to do so.
How to program your Baofeng by GeekPrepper
These frequencies aren't magic and only account for short-range communications. Long-range is another story. I'll be bringing along portable HF equipment for that purpose in the event it's needed, which I know isn't feasible for everyone. At the bare minimum though, we all should have something to utilize should you become separated from your group, or far worse, in the event of an emergency.
See you there.