Fact Check

No, 23 People Weren't Killed at Virginia 'White Supremacist' Gun-Rights Protest

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Published Jan. 21, 2020

Virginia State police keep watch over a crowd gathered in front of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia on January 20, 2020. - Several thousand gun rights supporters massed near the Virginia state capitol Monday for a rally under heavy surveillance and a state of emergency declared by authorities fearing violence by far-right groups. Dressed in hunting jackets and caps, rally-goers were checked for weapons as they passed through tight security before entering a fenced off area of Richmond's Capitol Square for the so-called "Lobby Day" event. (Photo by Roberto SCHMIDT / AFP) (Photo by ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images) ( ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)
Image courtesy of ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP via Getty Images
At least 23 people were killed at a Jan. 20, 2020 Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia.

On Jan. 20, 2020, the Genesius Times website published an article positing that at least 23 people were killed at the Second Amendment rally held that day in Richmond, Virginia:

BREAKING: 23 killed at Virginia white supremacist gun-rights protest, dozens injured

At least 23 people were killed at the white supremacist Second Amendment Rally in Richmond, Virginia today, authorities reported. Many more were injured. Details are forthcoming.

UPDATE: Governor Ralph Northam has issued a statement condemning the senseless violence and the gun rights activists. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those innocent victims today. We must do everything we can to end the mass killing of innocents!”

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

We strive to provide the most up-to-date, accurate fake news on the Internet. Our team of journalists, hacks, and starving writers only want one thing: to make you laugh and/or cry.

In point of fact, despite widespread concerns about the possibility of violence due to the proliferation of firearms and rumors that counter-protesters would attend, the rally concluded uneventfully, with no reports of arrests or injuries.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


Genesius Times.   "BREAKING: 23 Killed at Virginia White Supremacist Gun-Rights Protest, Dozens Injured."     20 January 2020.

Associated Press.   "Pro-Gun Rally by Thousands in Virginia Ends Peacefully."     20 January 2020.