The Brandon Howard for Hopewell City Council Campaign Addresses False Claims Made by Richmond Attorney Steven Helm
Among the claims made in the meme which has now been shared approximately 4,000 times is that Mr. Howard claimed he lived in Richmond. This never occurred as he told him he has a business there. Also, he is the Founder of Right to Bear Arms Virginia which obviously covers Richmond. He said that he was frightening people which also did not happen. As evidenced by the footage taken, Mr. Howard's engagement with the community was all positive. He accused him of patrolling the neighborhood. This did not occur and though he may have been walking around, it is important to distinguish that he was not "patrolling." One does not need permission to enter another city, either.
Then there is the person who has spread this misinformation. Steven F. Helm is a formerly disbarred attorney in Richmond, VA once found guilty of stealing nearly $200,000 from clients of his, was sentenced to years in prison on mail fraud and tax evasion charges and now is only in Richmond and as an escape from his previous criminal life in Roanoke, Virginia. He blamed all of these criminal acts on depression, by the way.
The significance of all of this is that while there is much work to be done in criminal justice reform in this country, and Mr. Howard has stated he stood with peaceful protesters, there are those who could have benefited from having their own protection to keep their businesses safe while the worst of the week's events were taking place. As a citizen and community activist dedicated to public safety and the second amendment, that is exactly what Mr. Howard was speaking to those in the area about, gun rights to protect their investments. He even spoke to protesters as well.
The end result of the slander from Helm is that there are currently thousands of shares of people posting Mr. Howard's photo captioned with false information about how he was looking for trouble in Richmond at best and at worst, hunting people. This type of reckless behavior runs the risk of encouraging vigilante justice and even a threat on Mr. Howard's life. Given this widespread assault on the second amendment and attempt at slandering those that defend it such as Mr. Howard, the public deserves to know the truth about the false information they may have seen.
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