Lock them up

9/15/2017, 12:10 p.m.

Just when we thought things were quieting down after Charlottesville, another right wing group of out-of-towners is planning to stir things up in Richmond.

CSA II: The New Confederate States of America based in Dandridge, Tenn., has advertised a “Heritage Not Hate” rally in Richmond at the statue of Confederate Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue.

This group, which reportedly was part of the white supremacist contingent at Charlottesville’s bloody protest in August, has no permit to hold a protest or rally in Richmond. After the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer in the Charlottesville event, Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued a moratorium on permit rallies around the controversial public monuments.

“We are not here to stir up any trouble,” Tara Brandau, one of the Confederate organizers, told a Richmond media outlet. She also said the people coming would be armed because Virginia is an open carry state for firearms.

We believe Ms. Brandau and any other person coming to Richmond for this unlawful rally should be locked up the minute they step out in a protest on Monument Avenue. The group already has defined itself as lawbreakers by scheduling and advertising a protest in open defiance of permit laws.

Saying they are bringing weapons is a clear indication of intimidation — that they won’t let the police or anyone else stop them from their terrorist mission of supporting the Confederacy.

Do we need another Charlottesville for people to understand the savagery the symbolism of the Confederacy engenders? These statues honor traitors of the United States, people who preferred killing others rather than releasing people from human bondage. These statues and what they represent are spurring the same sort of hatred and violence today. These neo-Confederate race haters would rather ride into town waving Confederate flags and guns, breaking the laws of the city and state, than to stand down and respect the diverse people of Richmond.

This smacks entirely of hate, not heritage, and is one more reason why the statues of Confederate traitors need to come down.

We call on Mayor Levar M. Stoney and Police Chief Alfred Durham to protect the law-abiding, peace-loving citizens of Richmond by rounding up these out of town criminals and locking them up.

Beyond holding an unlawful public rally, they potentially would be violating several state laws against carrying loaded firearms in public areas and brandishing weapons in a manner reasonably intended to intimidate others. Under the law, every gun carried could be confiscated by the state.

We hope Chief Durham will do his job by locking them up and taking their guns.