But guns make a safer, right?

Courtesy of NPR:

Fearing potential violence, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is declaring a state of emergency and is banning firearms and other weapons on the Capitol grounds in Richmond ahead of a gun rights demonstration planned for next week.

“We have received credible intelligence from our law enforcement agencies that there are groups with malicious plans for the rally that is planned for Monday,” Northam said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Gun rights supporters are preparing to converge on Richmond for a lobbying day and a rally Monday morning. They’re opposed to efforts by Virginia Democrats — who’ve just taken over control of the Virginia legislature following the November 2019 elections — to pass a slate of gun control bills backed by Northam.

The event, hosted by Virginia Citizens Defense League, is expected to draw thousands of armed demonstrators, some from out of state. Organizers have said they hope to hold a peaceful event.

But Northam said officials have heard reports of “out-of-state militia groups and hate groups planning to travel from across the country to disrupt our democratic process with acts of violence.” He said they “are coming to intimidate and to cause harm.”

Why is it that gun rights activists always seem to reinforce the very reasons that most of us think they should get a background check before they ever lay hands on a weapon?

In fact the FBI took the threats so seriously that they just went out and arrested the group behind them.

Courtesy of WaPo:

The FBI has arrested three alleged members of a white-supremacist group on federal gun and alien-harboring charges, amid growing concerns about safety surrounding planned gun rights protests in Virginia’s capital next week.

The charges announced Thursday grew from an investigation of a collection of online extremists who refer to themselves as “the Base,” which is the English translation of al-Qaeda. According to experts who track hate groups, its members promote racist views and seek to unite different hate groups in preparation for a race war.

Officials said Brian Mark Lemley Jr., 33, and William Bilbrough IV, 19, both of Maryland, were charged with transporting an alien and conspiring to harbor an alien. Lemley is also charged with transporting a machine gun. Also charged is Patrik Mathews, 27, who has been living in Newark, Del. He is accused of transporting a firearm and ammunition with the intent to commit a felony.

The three are expected to make an initial court appearance this afternoon in Greenbelt, Md.

Federal officials moved on the trio partly out of concerns they might engage in violence at a gun rights rally planned for Monday in Richmond, according to people familiar with the investigation. The Virginia General Assembly’s new Democratic majority is advancing four bills that seek to restrict some people’s access to firearms.

The “Base?” Could this perhaps be that Republican base we hear so much about?