RICHMOND, Va. — In the days leading up to a pro-gun rally, politicians in Virginia worried about potential violence between protesters and counter-demonstrators. Those fears turned out to be unfounded — in fact, pro-gun advocates even took time to clean up following their demonstration.
An estimated 22,000 people showed up at the rally in Richmond on Monday — many of whom wore bright orange "Guns Save Lives" stickers, which were handed out by the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Many of those stickers ended up on the ground, but one attendee from Salem, Virginia, encouraged fellow protesters to clean up the mess.
Elyas Christley traveled to Capitol Square, joining other gun-rights activists voicing their opposition to plans by the state's Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.
Christley grabbed a black plastic bag and yelled his "trash call" at 8th and Main Streets, urging people to clean up the mess littering the roadway.
"Let's go. Clean it up!" he yelled over the crowd that filed out of the Capitol Square. "We are going to package this up and put it in [Governor] Ralph Northam's mailbox."
Within half an hour, a trash bag was filled with stickers, plastic bottles, and food wrappers.
"We want to show an example to everyone else," Christley said. "This is how you protest peacefully."
This story was originally published by Brendan King on WTVR in Richmond, Virgina.