What if these were left-wing protesters instead? Twenty-two thousand members of the Democratic Socialists of America, armed and threatening insurrection if the Commonwealth of Virginia didn’t establish a system for single-payer health care. How would the state authorities react? Would they give them a wide berth or would they assume hostile intent?
What if this were 22,000 black nationalists, similarly armed, similarly enraged at the prospect of gun control? Would the police have had the same light touch, watching and listening but allowing events to unfold?