When Virginia state Sen. Amanda Chase announced her 2021 gubernatorial run back in February, she touched on how her tendency to attract controversy might affect her chances.
“I don’t care about controversies,” she said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Bring it.”
It’d be impossible to sum up the controversies Chase has involved herself in. She left the Republican caucus because, after losing the statehouse in 2019, they continued with the same state Senate leadership as before. She’s been accused of spreading hoaxes about Black Lives Matter and antifa.
The first paragraph of the Times-Dispatch story described her as “the gun-carrying Republican state senator from Chesterfield County,” which should tell you her feelings on the Second Amendment. And now, she can be described as the state senator who met with rifle-toting Black Lives Matter activists.
According to the Times-Dispatch, the meeting occurred at a Second Amendment rally near the Virginia state capitol in Richmond on July 4.
“We need to do more LOVING rather than hate,” Chase wrote in a Facebook post that attached pictures from the event.
“I’m tired of this fighting!!! We are Americans!! We need to do more listening and talk to one-another. We may disagree but we can respect and love each other.”
If Chase likes controversy, she certainly got it at the Independence Day rally, which featured armed Black Lives Matter protesters and figures from the far, far right. It was a strange melange of characters attending, and the less said about the far-right weirdos, the better. That’s been covered in pretty extensive detail elsewhere.
Chase’s meeting with the Black Lives Matter activists hasn’t gotten much oxygen, however. No matter what your feelings about her, it should have. For an encounter between a firebrand state senator and a group of armed protesters, there was a surprising show of public comity.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers will find offensive:
“Look at all this peace,” one of the protesters said. “We’re supposed to hate each other, right?”
“I know, but we don’t,” Chase said. “Do we refuse to let the media to pit us against each other?”
“I walked away from the media,” one of the protesters responded.
Unsurprisingly, everyone in attendance was a fan of the Second Amendment. As for Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, who signed a number of sweeping gun control regulations into law earlier this year, Chase said that “he does not get it.”
“We believe in a Second Amendment because we believe in our basic ability to protect ourselves,” she said. “I hate to say it, [but] it’s not just black people who are bullied. I got bullied, too. I have people who don’t like my politics who want take me out, I get threats, too. And when you get threats … you’ll learn [just how] important that Second Amendment is.”
There was, given the event, plenty of talk about guns. There was also talk about abortion and the alleged mistreatment of Black Lives Matter protesters.
It made for an interesting 10 minutes of footage. And, best of all, there wasn’t any of the shouty exchanges which pass for debate in these dour times.
Chase may not be your cup of tea. That said, I don’t know many other lawmakers who’d have waded into this event with a rifle of their own and then sought out the Black Lives Matter contingent to hear what they had to say.
Perhaps it’s all just an Amanda Chase campaign advertisement for the 2021 gubernatorial race. If so, it’s an awfully good one.
Also notice the fact that, at an event where nearly everyone was armed, there wasn’t any violence. Nor was there any violence during a massive Second Amendment rally in January; Gov. Northam went apoplectic about the event, saying that “armed militia groups planned to storm the capitol.”
That rally drew more than 22,000 people, according to the Times-Dispatch. No one did any storming, much less any shooting.
Guns aren’t machines of death. People can talk to each other civilly about race. Firebrand conservative politicians can get along with Black Lives Matter protesters. And everyone can agree the media is a slanted, narrative-making machine no one can or should trust.
The odds of Chase becoming the Old Dominion’s next governor are pretty low. That said, you can’t deny she’s going to make the 2021 race interesting, whether you like her or not.
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