Exactly! It depends upon what you mean by the word "emergency".
This is a discussion on The reason for Northam's "state of emergency" on Lobby Day within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; A poster on the VCDL Facebook page posted weeks ago that he had submitted a FOIA request to VA Gov. Northam's office seeking the source ...
A poster on the VCDL Facebook page posted weeks ago that he had submitted a FOIA request to VA Gov. Northam's office seeking the source of the "credible threats" that caused him to declare a state of emergency and ban guns and on Capitol Square and restrict access to the square. Northam stated at the time, "Intelligence shows 'a threat of an armed militia groups storming our capital.'" If you remember, a request from the VCDL and GOA for an injunction against the ban was fast tracked through the courts, up to the VA Supreme Court, but the courts would not issue the injunction. The poster in question finally got the response to his FOIA request, which was a roughly 1,000 page document that has some redactions. He has sent copies to the VCDL and the GOA. I will be interested to hear those organizations' detailed analysis, which I am sure will be forthcoming.
The poster reported that his initial reading of the document indicates the "credible threat" was based pretty much solely on media reports. If you remember, the media was reporting at the time:
- Up to 100,000 people might show up, although it was always unclear what that was based on.
- Militia groups were planning to show up, although they never threatened violence as far as I know. One group said they would be available for security and crowd control.
- There had been some vague threats found on social media, although I did not hear that any of those were investigated. There are always threats out there on social media 24/7/365.
- Three white supremacists had been arrested in Maryland just before that, although their relationship to Lobby Day, if any, was never clear.
What I find interesting is:
- From what has been posted so far, there was no hard LE intel that led to the emergency order. In fact, the chief of of the Capitol Police, who I assume would have access to all that was known about the situation, came out publicly at the time and said he did not think the order was necessary, nor did he think the rule banning guns in the legislative office building was necessary.
- Some selected people who toured the Capitol Grounds on the days leading up to the event were questioned by state police investigators. The investigators said they were determining if these people were gathering intel for some terrorist action. Nothing came of it.
- Nothing happened at the event, despite something like 20,000 people wandering around outside the perimeter with guns, including long guns. You would think that if a governor declared a state of emergency about anything based on "credible threats" at least some of the threats would have at least partially come true. One Richmond resident, a young black gal, was arrested for violating the states ban on face coverings (a possible felony). There is no indication she was even part of the rally. She was likely just in the area and was trying to keep warm. FWIW, some of the armed militia groups were wearing face coverings, but the cops said nothing to them.
- Northam came out and praised the cops for averting the threat and keeping the peace. Keep in mind the ratio of available LEOs to cover the event vs. armed attendees was probably around 1:10 and most of the cops did not have long guns. If a group of armed citizens had wanted to start something, the LEOs would have been overwhelmed with not a lot of backup, because most of the "backup" was all there already. A well-planned guerrilla action could have easily been pulled off.
So what we know so far is that a governor can declare a state of emergency for a political rally that threatens his agenda, an order that does nothing buy take away gun rights, all based pretty much solely on media reports, and it will not be opposed by the courts. One implication is that media reports not validated by LE, can be used as reliable evidence to support an executive action. So really, what is to stop any governor in any state from declaring a state of emergency that takes away gun rights for any reason he wants?
Attack Squadron 65 "Tigers", USS Eisenhower '80 - '83, peackeeping w/Iran, Libya, Lebanon and E. Europe
Exactly! It depends upon what you mean by the word "emergency".
“Propaganda will never die out. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which they can fight for productive ends and help to bring order out of chaos.”
-- Edward Bernays
More political theater. The governor holds the "bully pulpit" and chose to use it as a venue for portraying his opponents as dangerous terrorists, thereby discrediting the demonstrators as a group.
Remember the "big lie" theory: if you tell the lie often enough and loudly enough many people will accept it as truth. Much easier to accomplish when you have fawning sycophants in the mainstream media repeating the lie for you, over and over and over again.
Politicians ALWAYS feel threatened when their constituents gather to protest them.
If they could only get rid of that pesky 1st amendment they would not need safe spaces
This is exactly why I held the opinion that I did when it came to playing by his rules.
We get the government we deserve.
When your guilty conscience tells you that you are doing something gravely wrong, and that those upon whom you are inflicting that wrong have every right to take action in redress of that wrong, the resulting paranoia can cause you to see every imaginable possibility as an imminent threat, and therefore, an emergency worthy of extraordinary reaction. Especially when you are beholden to outside political and financial interests.
In light and darkness alike,
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
I fervently hope and pray that Virginians wake up and toss these cretins out on the keisters. But I'm also doing more than just hoping and praying: I am becoming politically active, attending local (Republican) meetings, emailing delegates, placing voicemail messages, and generally working to toss these cretins out on their keisters. Of course, it's guerrilla warfare, so I'm being polite, calmly reasoned, and acting generally obsequious even when I disagree. But I'm taking notes, and their words, actions and votes will be held against them! And I will be letting my friends, neighbors, co-workers and even passersby know.
You can't truly call yourself "peaceful" unless you are capable of great violence. If you're not capable of great violence, you're not peaceful, you're harmless.