Thank you for teaming up with @KatzOnEarth for this joint report. I’d been receiving his free versions but this put me over the top & I’ve now subscribed to his Long Version. Great reporting & excellent collaboration. Keep up the great work!

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For years I wondered why grown men would become so enraged over laughably reasonable regulation—background checks? Assault weapons ban? Those wouldn’t limit anyone’s pursuit of happiness. But it’s not about gun rights. For the NRA it’s about gun sales and membership revenue. For the average gun owner, it’s about meaning—the prospect of someone diddling with their identity, the font of their value in this vale of tears—some false threat to some threadbare meaning in life is what troubles the men who have no serious threats, or serious meaning. They certainly don’t face famine, war, pestilence, religious persecution or prison without trial, like our progenitors faced. Jefferson, Adams, Paine, Hamilton, Franklin and Washington would be rolling their eyes at these “patriots,” who inherited a nation fashioned by the Enlightenment, not the NRA. Get a life with purpose, guys. A purpose that actually means something.

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Hmmm. I live here. Read all of this before you jump on me.

A number of my friends went to Richmond today. Most of the 60 something's went last night so they did not have to drive I-81 traffic to I-64. I do not necessarily think you are getting the true picture. I recommend a Google of local Virginia news for the past couple of months.

On Nov 8 the Dems owned both houses of the General Assembly. Gov. Northram (who is a piece of work on the left) after being brought down on gun control in July, was seeing victory. One of the first bills would have removed legally purchased weapons from the hands of law abiding citizens and if they refused, they would become felons. That included a wide variety of multi shot guns and rifles. My dear old Dad's shotgun among them.

That made the conservatives and gun owners like me a bit riled up.

You must know Gov. Northram dressed in black face for his college medical school yearbook. Then lied and said that isn't me even though it is on his page. Before long under heat to resign, he said no. BUT he offered to Moonwalk like Michael Jackson at the press conference. The wife called him down. So I offer this up that he doesn't always use good judgement.

Soon the counties were up in arms, first in my area in the state. Then all over. Even VA Beach where an employee killed 12 this summer and why Northram called a special session in July. The counties first the localities passed the 2nd amendment sanctuary status. 105 of them. It is all symbolic, but the Labradoodle news media and the President fanned the flames.

The person in the Gen. Assembly who offered up the bill that fired everyone up, withdrew it. He was getting plenty of hate. This was Not covered well by the Labradoodle media even on the local level.

Of course you can read a great account of how 4Chan set about to stir up the militias, neonazis, Supremists. Check out mediamatters.org and of course all the bad guy group's all have FB pages. Lay odds Antifa was there, today too. I prayed a lot this would go off safely. I worried about our VA State Police, too. They were out in force. Tough men and women who are also children of someone, siblings and spouses and parents to their own families.

This Constitutional rally Just became another way to spread hate. We need so much to protect our rule of law and Constitution. It is under attack from so many directions. But even those who go after it are afforded it's benefit.

I covered our Sanctuary county meeting. Hundreds came, never saw so many pick up trucks on my life! They included public officials, the sheriff to be, doctors, veternarian, board members, the powerful spoke along side a newspaper editor, hunters, father's, mothers and neighbors. Friends who are polar apart from me politically. We make our relationship on what we have in common and are civil in our disagreement.

But I understand. I would not give up my Daddy's shotgun. I am not the one you have to worry about. They aren't either. When a retired FBI agent spoke to safer communities that day he spoke of how the law abiding, like that guy in the Texas Church a couple of weeks ago, are what really deters crime.

I have no problem with background checks, or people mentally ill not allowed weapons. I covered VA Tech April 16, 2007. My Daddy a VA Tech grad had been dead one whole week. He would have been stunned at what happened. I still am.

Like most of us we do not understand why people join hate groups, shoot school kids or do the multiples of hateful things that happen. I have kids of color. I know what that does. As MLK said, Love conquers all hate.

We need to be vigilant to do the right thing. We need to keep dialogue open. We need to protect our Constitution and the rule of law.

And most importantly:

Love our neighbors as ourselves.

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This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night. What a warped mentality that warns of tyranny while plunging headlong into fascism.

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That's a charming picture on the wall behind Mr. Shoaff. It's an ace "spade" playing-card with a skull overlay. It's not subtle. Also, I don't know if he realizes he basically paid for a sad tracing of the symbol worn by the children's comic book character, "The Punisher." That's okay, though. Because, that's probably the most attractive item of decor he has going on, there. And, from the way he talks, I'd say it very much reflects the thoughts going on in his mind.

In fact, many people are saying Shoaff is a dysfunctional mess that should be in court-ordered therapy.

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