I attended the rally and was filled with pride and excitement being among so many great Americans and Virginia Patriots! The following day I heard Governor Northam complimenting his ‘team’ for ‘de-escalating’ the situation. What pure BS! There was never a situation that warranted de-escalation. The declaration of a ‘state of emergency’ was nothing less than a government over-action and a ploy to restrict both the First and Second Amendment rights of Virginia citizens who were seriously concerned about the direction of their government. The organizers advertised that a non-violent rally of possibly 50,000 Americans intended to communicate to the Virginia Government their opposition to the bevy of proposed gun control bills that would not have prevented prior gun tragedies or those that will almost certainly occur in the future.
The Governor’s emergency declaration was intended to;
– scare people into not attending an assembly which the Governor warned could involve controversy and possible violent behavior,
– inhibit the rally goers on the capital grounds from using small wood support sticks and poles to attach flags and poster board signs to assist in their exercising free speech,
– mis-represent the gathering as an event promoting white supremacists and having a substantial number of outside agitators,
– liken the advertised rally to the previous tragic event in Charlottesville and
– prevent rally participants on the Capital grounds from lawfully carrying firearms either openly or concealed, consistent with their inalienable and Constitutional right to bear arms.
The Governor justified that preventing rally goers from bringing firearms onto the Capital grounds was necessary to ensure safety when the result was just the opposite. The government estimated 6,000 citizens on the Capital grounds, carrying firearms, would have been a sure way to prevent criminals and agitators from initiating mayhem. Forcing rally participants to rely on the Government for safety is exactly what we are saying is unacceptable. The presence of a large crowd of armed, law abiding citizens would have been the best way to prevent violence from being initiated by extremists because the bulk of attendees would not have permitted their event from being high-jacked for another purpose. Thankfully, approximately 16,000 Virginia Patriots, most of whom were armed, surrounded the Capital grounds and had their fellow Patriots’ backs. That statement is not at all to disparage the large contingent of law enforcement officers that were at the rally as well. They did their job as ordered and were professional and congenial with the rally attendees who overwhelmingly support the law enforcement community that honors the Constitutional rights of the citizens they serve.
The Governor’s declaration was never necessary just because there was internet chatter and some expectation that there might be violence or an attempt to storm the Capital. Negative internet chatter of possible mayhem constantly exists and leaders should not over-react, in an abundance of caution. The news reports of there being several arrests in Washington State of members of one radical group indicates that law enforcement was doing its job of responding to law breakers.
The Governor mischaracterised the vast majority of citizens who planned to attend the rally as potential violent criminals and racists and insulted Virginians that only intended support of their Right to exercise inalienable and Constitutional rights to bear arms for self protection and as a guard against tyranny. He is unfit to occupy the highest office in Virginia and if he had any honor or personal integrity he would apologize to the citizens and resign. However, considering that he did not resign previously when it was learned of his potentially racist past, there should be no expectation that he will do the right thing now.
The violence in Charlottesville was the result of a failure by Virginia’s government to effectively address an effort by a radical group to contest the removal of Confederate monuments and to promote their radical white nationalist philosophy. While I strongly oppose white washing history by the removal of historical monuments, any assertion that justifies favoring one racial group over another is equally abhorrent. The truth is that our government was incompetent in separating the rally goers and counter protesters and bears a high level of responsibility for that tragedy. Also, the Governor chooses to exaggerate the dimension of the tragedy with his announcement that the result was the loss of three lives when only one death was relevant to the on-ground conflict. The two police officers that died when their helicopter crashed was not contributed to by the demonstrators or counter protester activities. In reality the Government failed to properly prepare for the Charlottesville event and over-reacted to the planned pro-Second Amendment rally and the Governor only seeks to divert attention from their culpability. Also, the Governor’s comparison of the Charlottesville event and Monday’s rally is nothing short of a conscious, deliberate effort to deceive the public and impugn the character of the citizens who intended to peacefully voice there opinion on a serious public issue. The Governor purposefully mischaracterized Monday’s rally because it fit his ideological bias that gun right supporters are racist and have violent tendencies. Monday’s rally had no racial overtones in contrast to the Charlottesville event and there was no legitimate, substantive evidence otherwise. Obviously us Deplorables couldn’t possibly have a legitimate, positive message to promote (sarcasm intended).
The Governor has said that the gun control proposals being pushed by the Democrat majority are both common sense and have passed Constitutional scrutiny but he is wrong on both counts and he should be smart enough to know that rather than to just try to hoodwink Virginians. Anyone with any critical thinking ability would realize that;
– Limiting gun purchases to one a month or authorizing local governments to create more dangerous, gun-free-zones would not make citizens safer when the truth is the opposite.
– Requiring all private gun transfers to be contingent on background checks thru Federally Firearm Licensed dealers would not actually prevent criminals from acquiring lethal tools.
– Outlawing semi-automatic firearms, some with features that might intimidate persons in-experienced with weapons, would not make future gun tragedies less damaging.
– Requiring registration of certain firearms accomplishes nothing and is just a precursor to having information that could be used for eventual confiscation and is fully unacceptable.
– Criminalizing the possession of magazines holding more than 10 rounds would not meaningfully reduce the damage associated with firearm violence. Plus, the decision that a magazine with only 10 rounds is safe and permissible, where anything larger is not, is just nonsense. Such thinking is arbitrary rather than based on any facts. This conveniently ignores that it takes minimal skill for a firearm operator to change magazines of any size in mere seconds.
– Existing laws should be enforced to address individuals with firearms who demonstrate an imminent threat to themselves or others rather than designing a new Red Flag law that would clearly be challenged based on a ‘possible’ threat rather than an ‘actual’ threat.
As for the Governor’s claim of the Constitutionality of the Democrat gun control proposals, evidence exists to the contrary. The Supreme Court Heller ruling in 2010 established that bearing arms is an INDIVIDUAL right. By extension, since the whole of the populace constitutes the militia, individuals would be authorized to possess weapons of a type consistent with those normally carried by military members. While the Supreme Court has yet to formally confirm that specific concept, logic and critical thinking skills virtually guarantee that result when an appropriate case makes it way to their docket. The historical background writings of the Constitution’s Framers establish that the meaning of guaranteeing the inalienable right of the People to bear arms is to primarily protect against tyranny. The existing majority of the Supreme Court are Constitutional literalists thankfully and that is further evidence that any class of firearms in general use by the populace is legal for individuals to own and bear. The Supreme Court’s McDonald ruling has since affirmed that the Heller ruling applies to states as well as the District of Columbia thus gun rights apply in all political jurisdictions.
Relevant to the Heller ruling, Justice Scalia wrote in essence that gun rights are not absolute, consistent with other Bill of Rights amendments, and the Government has some authority. But I believe that authority is limited to areas that do not ‘infringe’ on the citizens’ rights. In my opinion that would relate only to the government dictating whether firearms must be carried either openly or concealed, limiting the carrying of firearms from places of adversarial activities such as state legislature buildings and Courthouses plus at military or nuclear facilities, or on private property. That would not include schools, recreational facilities or any other government properties. Also, it should be declared that only non-citizens and those with documented, dangerous mental impairments are prevented from access to firearms. Felons who have fully paid their debt to society or those with any convictions of domestic violence should have full firearm rights. No other Constitutional Right is contingent on specific behavior and thus all such rights should not be conditioned. You simply don’t have to earn a right by conducting yourself any specific way. Liberty can be temporarily restricted by a prison sentence as part of a penalty for violating the law but that liberty should be reinstated once the penalty has expired. That concept is becoming an accepted realization as evidenced by the current movement for ex-felons to have voting rights.
What we saw at the rally was an impromptu, small segment of Virginia’s Militia. That should have sent a clear message to the Democrat controlled legislature that the masses oppose their ‘feel good’ proposals that would diminish individual liberty, impose unnecessary bureaucratic procedures and make criminals out of law-abiding citizens. They cannot mask their real intent though which is to eliminate the citizens’ right to own and bear any firearms with the imposition of felonious penalties. Democrats should take seriously the message that the great citizens of Virginia will not comply with what they truly believe are unconstitutional laws and will not stand idly by when there are legislative attempts to limit their liberty. While we may expect that the Senators and Delegates will attempt to represent the small number of constituents who voted them into office, (as opposed to the majority of citizens that did not participate in voting), the Governor has a higher responsibility to represent ALL of Virginia’s citizens. That relates to the heretofore silent majority as well as those that participated in the last election. The pro-Second Amendment rally and the overwhelming support for protecting gun rights, as evidenced by the establishment of sanctuary areas in virtually all of Virginia’s cities and counties, should dictate that the Governor veto any contentious gun control laws that pass both bodies of the legislature.
As a realist I lack optimism that our Governor will do the right thing but will instead support more ineffective gun control that will only further divide us as Virginians. As of now the Governor’s legacy will most certainly reflect the scandal of his documented racist past behavior. On the other hand, by vetoing the ineffective, Democrat ideologically based gun control proposals it would cement him as a pro-liberty politician that represented the whole of Virginia’s citizens rather than just its liberal leaning segment. I would love to be proved wrong and would be only too pleased to advertise a public apology should one become appropriate. But I won’t hold my breath.
We can write a story of tragedy to triumph–COVID-19 is Good Friday to the Easter Sunday that awaits
Today is Good Friday. Many of us aren’t feeling so good these days and few will experience a traditional happy Easter on Sunday. But what if the tragic story of COVID-19 has a happy ending and prompts a triumphant shift in humanity’s destiny just as in the well known story of Easter? These three days of Easter weekend represent a time when heartache, agony and despair were replaced with the ultimate victory–the promise of a brighter future than ever imagined before.
As the entire world (a world most consider broken and in need of serious saving) faces this crisis, we are in the process of writing a chapter in history that all future generations will recount. Let’s not forget, even in our worst moments, that we each have the power to make choices and take actions in our own lives to create a happy ending to this chapter we’ll one day read about in history books. If we look for the silver linings in the cloud that is COVID-19 and pledge to use this trying time to take steps to make changes to improve our own lives, the lives of our family and of the world (in whatever ways our heart calls us to do so), we can experience the Easter that awaits us. From small acts of kindness towards our friends to loving gestures among our families to heartfelt generosity to complete strangers–we can rewrite this tragic period of our present into an Easter-like triumph in the future.
What can YOU do in your own life to get us one step closer to our happy ending? DO IT! What matters is your heart. LET IT!
I wish you a blessed Easter–please stay safe and happy and healthy,
The next days of staying at home
Working from home is not new to me. Although I like seeing people and talking and visiting, I frequently spend solo time in my little study to think and to write. My most recent book, A WARRIOR OF MANY FACES, went online at Amazon and Kindle on Thanksgiving Day, 2019.
Recently I came upon a quote from the late English humorist and writer, Jerome K. Jerome. I was actually looking for quotes for a book I’m working on when I came across the following: “It is impossible to enjoy idling unless there is plenty of work to do.” Written by Mr. Jerome many years ago, the quote could almost fit today. It is so strange to be asked to stay at home. But we all know that “social distancing” and working from home is going to be the way we must be, at least until this recent health crisis is over. The Rabbi of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh ( the site of a terrible shooting) tells us online that he would like to see us all use the terms “physical distancing and social connecting”.
I’m lucky too in a way. I love spending time with my housemate and wife, Bryane, a beautiful and talented writer and artist. Even though it is only the two of us (plus our tuxedo cat, Baby), I’m never bored around her. So, a voluntary or even compelled lock-in is not the worst thing.
Another quote from Jerome could easily have been written today. “I like work. I can sit and look at it for hours.” I know the feeling. Sometimes I sit and think about what I am writing and how to put it in words. Finally, I do get something on paper, but from now on I’ll also think of Mr. Jerome. I wonder what he might have to say as he looks at people all over Virginia, America and the world forced to sit at home and many people even being paid to be idle. Ironic isn’t it that Jerome K. Jerome died in 1927.
Let’s all try to make the most of being home. I know I will.
Charles “Chips” Lickson, JD, Ph.D.
Front Royal, Virginia
Just ‘thanks’ for keeping the community informed
This is a really tough time for the publishing industry as ad volume is on the downswing. Your on-line service to the local community who cannot afford paid subscriptions is an especially important link to accurate information about the COVID-19 public health crisis.
And frankly, everyone in Warren County owes the Royal Examiner and its editorial staff a huge thank you for the hard questions asked that led to the uncovering of the EDA scandal. Without those hard questions, Warren County residents would not have known the extent of the harm done to our community.
So thank you to the publisher, Mike McCool, to the reporters and editorial staff. In my opinion, you are all heroes who are doing their best to serve the community.
Front Royal, Virginia
A very interesting way with words
Our Interim Town Manager, Matt Tederick, has a very interesting way with words. The way he can skirt around an issue is a huge criterion of the game of politics. He has mastered this very well.
An example of this is in the article from the Royal Examiner titled, (Council poised for a decision on the CDBG pavilion project despite added costs). Mr. Tederick states, (needless to say we’ve had some challenges with the CDBG in general. One of those challenges was the approval of amendments to bylaws to address personnel changes in the Facade Advisory Board).
Here is where Mr. Tedericks skill comes in to play. He states several members got off the board, we have to add new members. What he doesn’t say is, these several members are the town employees he fired. If this isn’t skirting around an issue, I don’t know what is. This amendment to the bylaws would make him the program’s Grant Administrator, another role added to his list. It would also make Director of Finance B.J Wilson as the Assistant Project Manager and Chris Brock who is Interim Planning and Zoning Director as Project Manager.
It seems Mr. Wilson has become Mr. Tederick’s go-to guy lately on several issues. But then again, like every other town employee, I’m sure he is afraid for his job. Becoming the next victim on Mr. Tederick’s list is not part of Mr. Wilson’s agenda.
Also in this article is the funding issue for the pavilion. Since the construction estimate has increased from $140,000 to $283.349., this leaves a difference of $143.349. This would be split 50/50 by the state and the town or $75,000 each. The Town Council seems poised to give Mr. Tederick the okay to spend this $75,000 even though it is not in this year’s budget.
This kind of action seems to me there is a lack of financial understanding and competency from Mr. Tederick and the Town Council. With the economic instability we now face, and will face for several years to come, it doesn’t take an economist to know we should be using less money from this year’s budget and moving more money to future budgets. Is spending now and not looking into the future Mr. Tedericks and Town Council members’ way of doing their personnel finances? One would think not.
On a different note, several weeks ago Mr. Tederick stated the Council should consider an assistant Town Manager due to the workload of the Town Manager. I assumed the workload of being Town Manager and running who knows how many LLC’s, Mr. Tedericks workload would be too great. So why has he taken on other roles if his workload is so great?
Let’s count them.
1 – Interim Town Manager
2 – Grant Administrator
3 – FOIA Officer
4 – Town Director of Emergency Management
5 – Running his multiple LLC’s.
Absurdity to its highest level. I do believe we may be in the presence of a real-life superhero. At least according to the Town Council. And so goes the Front Royal saga of destruction.
The Cross: Gift from the Savior
But how? Understand that the Savior of mankind had to be more than just a man; otherwise, man would be saving himself, and that is impossible. Clearly then, the Savior had to be God! For again, only God can forgive sin and save sinners. Jesus spoke to the absolute necessity to see and believe this truth when He said, “…if ye believe not that I am He (God), ye shall die in your sins.” (Jn. 8:24) Meaning to be cast from God’s presence and light into eternal darkness and damnation. Jesus also said, “…I am come that they might have life…” (eternal life) (Jn. 10:10), which He gives by dying in our place on the Cross! Jesus was saying to the Jews that in spite of their Covenant history, they did not have life and were dead (lost) UNTIL HE CAME! Note that this lost, hopeless state applies to Gentiles also; indeed, to all people of the world.
To help believe that Jesus was the God-Man on the Cross, consider the definition of Incarnate: Embodied in flesh, esp. human form. Also consider Incarnation: 1. The assumption of Jesus Christ of bodily form. 2. The bodily form assumed by a deity.
Jesus Christ, as a man, did not exist before being born of Mary. In this regard, God said, “…thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” ( Heb.1:5) Please note there is no separation between Jesus as man and Jesus as God! So as the Incarnation reveals, the Creator Father God dwelt with His creation as the begotten God-Man (flesh), Jesus Christ! And, thereby, entered the blood line of mankind. In so doing, He shed His own blood as a sacrifice for mankind’s sin!
ENTER: God’s Lamb, The Lamb Of God!
Cries for a Savior were answered at the Cross. The King of the Jews, the King of Israel; yeah, the Eternal Father God who said, “…I am the first and the last, and beside me there is no God.” (Isa. 44:6), was buying back what was lost to Him to establish a holy nation and an everlasting kingdom! Being fully (100%) man and fully (100%) God, Jesus as a man died, but Jesus as God did not. So the 100% God (Jesus) raised up the 100% man (Jesus) from the dead with a new and glorified body!
Jesus, speaking in the first person singular as a man and as God said: “…destroy this temple (kill me) and in three days I will raise it up.” (Jn. 2:19). By saying “I will”, Jesus is saying He is God, for it shows Him present (alive) in the past, present and future at once (the same time), having no constraints as to time or space. Existing not only from the “beginning”, but from everlasting! So, He is alive as God while dead as a man, and is speaking from all time frames because His is an uninterrupted and never-ending life!
So, because of His glorious resurrection, I can shout with the song writer who said, “He’s alive… He’s alive and I’m forgiven. Heaven’s gates are open wide!” Eternal thanksgiving to my Lord and praises to the Darling of Heaven; and oh that I could bow before Him and kiss His lovely feet!
His message? I love you. My life, death and resurrection in your place for your life. So respond with the hymnal writer who said, ” I am coming Lord to thee, dear Lamb of Calvary. Humbly at thy cross I bow. Save me Jesus, save me now.”
Reverend Jess Shifflett
Front Royal, Virginia
Christ is alive, He is living today
“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” – John 21:25
The Season of Easter is the high point of the Christian Church year. Traditionally, worshipers participate in an extended feast wherein the paschal candle is lit at every service as a sign of the risen Christ. Scripture readings highlight every Christian’s connection to the death and resurrection of Jesus. The scripture readings proclaim the power of the resurrection that gives strength in suffering, unity in diversity, consolation in sorrow, perseverance in adversity and faith in times of doubt. On this, the holiest day of the year and for the entire Season of Easter, many Christian’s greet each other with the words, “Alleluia! Christ is risen! Alleluia!”
Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is one of the principal doctrines of the gospel.
If Christ be not risen, our faith is vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). The essential New Testament revelation balances on this as a historical fact. On the day of Pentecost, Peter argued the necessity of Christ’s resurrection from the prediction in Psalm 16 (Acts 2:24-28). Christ also clearly prophesied his resurrection (Matthew 20:19; Mark 9:9; 14:28; Luke 18:33; John 2:19-22). Thus we can preach that Jesus is alive; that He has risen as He said He would and that He is the Son of God as He claimed to be. Christ is alive! He is living today.
The Bible informs us that Jesus did appear many times after his death and resurrection:
- The empty tomb – Resurrection Sunday – Matthew 28: 1-10, Mark 16: 1-8, Luke 24: 1-12, John 20: 1-9.
- To Mary Magdalene at the garden – Resurrection Sunday – Mark 16: 9-11, John 20: 11-18.
- To other women, “the other Mary,” Salome, Joanna, and others, as they returned from the tomb – Resurrection Sunday – Matthew 28: 9-10.
- To Simon Peter alone – Resurrection Sunday – Luke 24: 34, 1 Corinthians 15: 5.
- To the two disciples going to Emmaus – Resurrection Sunday – Mark 16: 12-13, Luke 24: 13-32.
- To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) in the upper room – Resurrection Sunday – Luke 24: 36-43, John 20: 19-25.
- To the disciples again (Thomas being present) – Following Sunday – Mark 16: 14, John 20: 26-31, 1 Corinthians 15: 5.
- To seven disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee – sometime later – John 21: 1-23.
- To the eleven at an appointed place in Galilee – sometime later – Matthew 28: 16-20, Mark 16: 15-18.
- More than 500 brethren – sometime later – 1 Corinthians 15: 6.
- To James, but under unknown circumstances – sometime later – 1 Corinthians 15: 7.
- To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet and there they saw him ascend “till a cloud received him out of their sight” – Forty days after Jesus’ resurrection – Luke 24: 44-49, Acts 1: 3-8.
In addition to the above appearances, Christ will return by way of vision and appear to Stephen, several times to Paul, and finally to John to give him the final Revelation:
- Paul at Damascus, speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Savior – several years later – Acts 9: 1-19, 22: 3-16, 26: 9-18, 1 Corinthians 9: 1, 15: 8.
- Paul tells us in Galatians 1:17 that he went immediately into Arabia and then returned to Damascus and three years after his transforming vision of Jesus, he went up to Jerusalem to see the Apostles. During Paul’s 3 years in Arabia he received the Gospel from the Lord (Galatians 1:11-17). He made a visit to the Throne of God (2 Corinthians 12:1-4) where he saw things he was not permitted to reveal. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, when Paul recounted all the Lord’s post resurrection appearances, he included himself as one who had seen Him. So, at some point, he apparently did have a physical meeting with the Lord.
- Stephen in his dying vision saw “Jesus standing on the right hand of God” – sometime later – Acts 7: 55-56.
- John of Patmos experienced a vision of the resurrected Christ described in Revelation – many years later – Revelation 1: 12-20.
It is implied in the words of Luke (Acts 1:3) that there may have been other appearances of which we have no record.
2 Corinthians 13 cites that, “in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses every word shall be established.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ has been established as fact. The scriptures tell us of the many appearances of Christ and the witnesses who experienced the events encompassing the resurrection. In Christ we can be confident of our salvation and in Christ we can be confident of our own resurrection.
The apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:13, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” We should find the assurance of our salvation in the truth of God’s Word. We should have trust that we are saved based on the promises God has declared.
A final note: Ephesians 5:13-15
Children of Light
13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise.
Mark P. Gunderman
Stephens City, Virginia