Richmond Times-Dispatch

Reader points to contrast inmethods of protest

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EDITOR, TIMES-DISPATCH:

Courtney Champion’s recent letter, “Lawmakers must review open carry legislatio­n,” is predicated on inaccuraci­es from its opening sentence to its closing statement.

Jan. 20 was Lobby Day, and the “heavily armed extremists” in Richmond that day actually were respectful, law-abiding citizens; more than 22,000 men and women, most of them state residents, did not “descend” upon Virginia’s Capitol to “incite fear and suppress civil discourse.” Despite ample publicity and dire warnings of impending violence, they peacefully assembled for no reason other than to show support for their Second Amendment rights. They patronized local stores and interacted with the owners; they ended the rally at a reasonable hour, and they left the city as clean as they found it.

In stark contrast, for several weeks over the summer, “peaceful protesters” wreaked havoc in Richmond. They blocked city streets, overtook public spaces, vandalized property, broke windows, set fires and stole from local store owners. Hurling insults and projectile­s, they misdirecte­d their anger at police officers who were attempting to maintain order under impossible conditions. State and local leaders looked the other way as the city was damaged, chaos reigned and local businesses were shuttered.

Reasonable people can debate sensible gun safety measures, but spinning the Jan. 20 Lobby Day rally as anything other than a peaceful assembly — or the summer protests as anything other than lawlessnes­s — is not constructi­ve to the dialogue and will do nothing to impact public safety. PATRICIA A. MEADOWS.

POWHATAN.

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