On July 2, Fairfax County, Va., police received a 911 call from a Reston restaurant. Six armed men were seated at a table. Cops rushed to the scene. The men said they were “exercising their rights as citizens of the commonwealth,” a police spokesman told the Washington Post. And so they were. Packing a pistol in public is perfectly legal in Virginia. And three times in the last month residents have been spotted out and about in Fairfax with guns strapped to their hips.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, an organization of thousands of Virginia gun owners, said members were involved in all three incidents. He said, “This is a good opportunity to educate people. We have this inherent right, and not many people exercised it.” Police commanders have issued a reminder to officers that “open carry” is the law of the land in the Old Dominion. Police are baffled by the sudden display of weaponry but assume it was done to make some sort of statement.