You know what Harborfest really needs, aside from tall ships and nutrition-free foods and copious amounts of beer?
It needs more guns. Specifically, Harborfest needs a guy with a chip on his shoulder and a gun on his hip to use the festival to dare law enforcement to tell him that a weapon in a large crowd of revelers might not be a good idea.
So thank goodness Chester Szymecki Jr. came all the way from Yorktown to Town Point Park, carrying a holstered .45, along with his wife and several children, to make a case for the inviolability of his Second Amendment rights.
When officers pointed out to Mr. Szymecki that his decision to pack heat violated a local ordinance banning weapons at Harborfest - well, you can guess. He protested, was carted away in handcuffs, he says, and almost instantly became the kind of cause célèbre the state's gun-rights lobby needs to rally the faithful.
The local ordinance turns out to run afoul of a state law preventing municipalities from limiting where Virginians can carry a weapon. Since the Dillon Rule bars those same localities from doing anything unless Richmond gives them permission, cities are stuck.
The General Assembly has in recent years decided that the rights of gun owners overwhelm every other right there is, including the right of communities to enact common sense rules to protect public safety, or the rights of people not to be stuck with gun activists trying to make a point.
As always follows one of these stories, Virginia's firearm activists will fall in line to take aim at anyone with the temerity to suggest that their rights have limits.
These same groups have so completely cowed anyone who disagrees that Virginians might well wonder whether they live in the Old Dominion or the Wild West.
Suffolk's School Board, for example, was so creeped out that it moved its meetings to Kings Fork High School; a school is one of the very few places where guns can actually be prohibited.
Maybe Norfolk should follow suit and consider moving Harborfest to one of its schools - say, Granby High. After all, even children know that carrying a gun to a party is a bad idea.