As I  travel around the district, the top issue is the 2nd Amendment, hands down. Concerned citizens worry that the government will not only restrict their rights to purchase guns and ammunition, but that their guns will be confiscated. This appears to be “the red line” that cannot be crossed. The militia so noted in the 2nd Amendment is the very force that required arms as protection against a tyrannical government.

The right to keep and bear arms is the basic right of self-defense. Without access to “arms” we know what would happen. The bad guys would find their way to guns and the rest of us would be defenseless. If we are unarmed, we make it easy for predators. And predators spawn more predators.

More than 20,000 patriots gathered in Virginia this past Monday to protest that state’s drive to undermine the Second Amendment. It is a testament to the cause that this event was violence-free. Even though many attendees carried weaponry, they saw no reason to use it. When you look around the crowd and you know guns are at the ready, does that keep violence in check? Does that put transparent barriers around the use of arms? It appears so.

The crowd at the gun rights rally in Richmond fills the area near the Capitol, where no weapons are allowed. (Julia Rendleman for The Washington Post)