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Patrolling in front of someone’s home with an assault weapon is a threat of violence, intimidation … and we all know it


by A Siegel

Delegate Mark Levine (45th district) has been a leading voice for sensible gun legislation.  As he summarized it in his campaign website,

Take on the NRA

Mark wants to require universal criminal and mental-health background checks and to ban high-capacity magazines and assault weapons. He supports re-instituting the limit of private gun purchases to one per month.

Sensible measures like this are, along with Trump, core to why Virginians voted overwhelmingly to put Democrats in charge in Richmond.

A portion of Virginians, a minority of Virginians, vehemently disagree with moves to address gun violence and to implement common-sense gun legislation.  Delegates twitter feeds, phone lines, and offices have been packed with those incensed at the Delegates working to execute Virginians’ preferred policies.

From law-and-order rejecting declarations of gun sanctuaries to the massive show of weaponry in Richmond, a minority of Virginians are showing publicly their vehement rejection of the voters’ will — with much of this clearly intended to intimidate (with potential armed violence) and some almost certainly crossing the line into (what certainly should be) illegal activity.

Such is the case with what Mark Levine has been facing. He, and other delegates, has received death threats during the legislative session. And, he has had an ever-so peaceful Republican official marching outside his home with assault weapons.


Mark Levine has referred to the matter to law enforcement officials, asserting that this violated Virginia statute.

As to this attempt at armed intimidation, Levine explained

“I just don’t think decisions in America should be made at the point of a gun,” Levine said. “I think that happens in Syria and Somalia and Russia, North Korea, but I think in our country, politicians shouldn’t make up their mind because they’re afraid of being shot.”

Seeing this photo brings back memories of an event ever so many years ago.

  • In college, one Saturday night, a few of us were drinking beers downstairs in my house’s dining room. A pounding on the door and I went there.
  • A man, mid-30s, pretty drunk: “Hey, I’m here for the party.” There is no party.
  • “My buddy who lives here invited me to your party.” Who’s your buddy? Something like “Joe Schmo”. Sorry, he doesn’t live here.
  • “Look, I’m a cop, I have a gun (pulling his shirt tight to show a significant bulge underneath the t-shirt”) and you will let me in.” My response: tTo be clear, you are not here with my permission and I stepped out of the way.
  • He went downstairs and took a beer. I went upstairs and called the police.
  • When they came and started to ask him questions, he tried to pull the gun. They manhandled him to the ground rather than shooting him. Unbelievably, an unloaded Magnum .44. The lead officer, an undercover detective, was visibly shaken when he told me this as he told me that they had been seconds away from shooting him over what was an unloaded weapon.

In terms of ‘suffering gun violence’, this is really down the spectrum. I slept that night, didn’t have a second of time in hospital, wasn’t shot, and didn’t lose a loved one, but let us be clear: this was gun violence and intimidation.

Thus, when I saw that Mark Levine had referred this as a potential violation of law, I thought it was for this armed intimidation. But, well, not according to the article discussing Levine’s referral for legal action: it was for publishing a personal address, with purpose of intimidation, and not for the clear effort to intimidate through marching in front of a home with an assault weapon.


Imagine this, it is evidently legal in the Commonwealth of Virginia to ‘peacefully’ march up and down the street in front of someone’s home. Evidently nothing to see here.

While the House of Delegates passed assault ban legislation last week, the Senate Judiciary committee voted earlier today to kick the can down the road for another year … another year in which people can march up and down in from of Mark Levine‘s home — and potentially yours or mine.






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