Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Impact of Gun Control Laws Visible in Virginia Protests

By Ford Fischer and Matt Taibbi

With the evolution of gun control policy in the state of Virginia, the character of gun protests have changed, as Ford Fischer shows.

In a creative and provocative piece of video journalism from TK partners News2Share, Ford Fischer compares three years of “Lobby Day” protests by pro-gun activists in Virginia, who push for gun rights every Martin Luther King Day. You can see in this piece how the numbers have dwindled dramatically, coinciding with policy-driven changes in the law enforcement approach.

This is an interesting piece showing how, over time, public policy can impact demonstrator behavior. Former governor Ralph Northam watered down so-called “pre-emption” laws that made it difficult for localities to pass stricter gun control policies than the state. After the changes, the city of Richmond was able to impose much tougher rules with regard to carrying weapons, to the point where a major state gun rights umbrella group called the VCDL (Virginia Citizens Defense League) canceled “Lobby Day” protests this year.

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