-----Original Message-----
From: VCDL President

Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 2:13 PM
Subject: VA-ALERT: VCDL UPDATE 11/27/2007


VCDL's Gun Dealer Legal Defense Fund -- help fight Mayor Bloomberg's scheme to cripple Virginia firearms dealers. See:


VCDL's meeting schedule:


VCDL UPDATE 11/27/2007 - Defending your right to defend yourself

1. Plan now to attend Lobby Day!

2. Democratic Gun Rights Activists Seek Senate Power

3. Debate: USA Today vs. GOA: 2nd Amendment before the U.S. Supreme Court

4. Supreme Court gun cases: spin vs. research

5. Fairfax County's School Board and Board of Supervisors plan to urge the General Assembly to pass more gun control

6. Again(!) Why would I need a gun in a restaurant?

7. Open Carry in VA Stops Another Crime

8. Roanoke Times: Gun bans defy common sense

9. Roanoke Times: flogging that gun show horse

10. VCDL member LTE: keeping Richmond Times Dispatch straight on gun shows

11. VT resident: the practical side of our multi-million $ campus alert system

12. Dykers in Goochland lose on appeal of anti shooting range ruling

13. Yet another Virginia outlet refuses ads for guns

14. Student carry on campus in the national debate

15. Another home invasion in Virginia

16. WSJ article notes wave of home invasions; but warns against getting guns!

17. USA Today: Castle laws gaining ground

18. Boston Police to search homes for guns without warrants

19. Videos from VCDL meeting Thurs

20. Mayor Bloomberg is on receiving end of out-of-state law suit!

21. Candidate Edwards says handgun ownership not a right

22. Open Carry catching on in Utah even without any restaurant ban on concealed carry

23. Police in NYC are trafficking drugs into VIRGINIA!

24. NEW Book on the Second Amendment

25. Gun Guide For Journalists

26. Gun shows and events!


1. Plan now to attend Lobby Day!


EM Dave Vann advises that the RSVPs for Lobby Day are continuing to come in. We need a big turnout to send a strong message to the General Assembly: We want less gun control, not more. We also need to make sure our representatives understand and support VCDL's legislative agenda for next year. The agenda will be covered when we meet at the General Assembly to start lobbying.

Lobby Day this January is on the 21st, which is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

If you are coming, bring at least one other person with you - a spouse, a coworker, a friend. The more, the better.

We are keeping a count on the number coming, so if you are coming, please RSVP to Dave Vann at:

I am keeping a count of those who are planning on spending the night in Richmond Sunday night. If we can get enough people, we will go to a local restaurant for a pre-Lobby Day briefing and get together. So be sure to mention if you will be interested in attending the briefing.


2. Democratic Gun Rights Activists Seek Senate Power


EM Michael Stollenwerk is quoted in this Washington Post article.

Senator Saslaw, in Democratic leadership and no friend to gun owners says, "What more do they need? ... They got everything. What more could you do? Require every home to come with a surface-to-air missile?"

And that neatly sums up what he and other elitist anti-gun politicians think of gun owners: we've got everything and the poor anti-gunners have nothing.

Senator Saslaw, as long as there are places I can't protect myself, I have plenty of needs left to fulfill.


Democratic Gun Rights Activists Seek Senate Power

Contentious Issue Could Get More Play Than Under GOP

By Amy Gardner

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, November 18, 2007; C05

The Virginia General Assembly could become more friendly to gun rights advocates despite gains by Democrats in state elections this month, several lawmakers and advocates said.

But the specter of the April massacre at Virginia Tech could soften the effects of that change as relatives of victims prepare to push for greater restrictions on gun sales and possession, particularly on college campuses.

Democrats will control the state Senate with a 21 to 19 majority when lawmakers begin their new terms in January, but those who support stricter controls on gun possession and purchases will hold only a narrow majority in the Senate Democratic Caucus. Several Democratic proponents of gun rights are seeking seats on the committee that considers gun bills, and the possibility looms that the issue could get greater attention in coming months than under the moderate Republicans who had controlled the Senate and the committee.

Under Republican control, for example, the committee voted to restrict purchases at gun shows, a measure that has attracted overwhelming opposition in the House.

"The Courts Committee will become more friendly to the Second Amendment," said state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax), an avid defender of gun rights. "The most interesting change is the internal battle in the Democratic Caucus."

Attention to gun restrictions has ebbed and flowed in Richmond in recent years, but several factors could push the issue forward when lawmakers convene in January.

One is the Virginia Tech shooting, which could create a surge of demand for new gun controls. Gun rights activists will be braced to oppose such legislation. Many colleges and universities have policies prohibiting gun possession. Gun rights advocates are also planning to push protections for permit holders that would supersede those campus policies.

"If you have a permit, then no state agency should be able to override that," said Michael Stollenwerk, a member of the gun rights organization Virginia Citizens Defense League. "Most students who carry guns are going to have a concealed handgun permit."

Another issue fueling the debate is the effort by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to clamp down on the illegal sale of guns in Virginia, which he says have been used to commit crimes in New York. Bloomberg and most gun control advocates in the legislature want to close what they call Virginia's gun show "loophole," which allows gun owners who are not licensed dealers to sell guns at such shows without performing the required background checks.

Opponents of the idea say criminals and gun traffickers, the sources of most guns used in violent crime in urban areas, don't buy guns at gun shows. They say the proposal would restrict the ability of law-abiding gun users to purchase a firearm.

"I think the Senate will continue to look at guns the way that Mark Warner looks at guns," said Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath), referring to the former governor's tendency to support gun rights. "In that respect, I don't think we'll be out of step with the majority of Virginians."

The issue of gun rights in Virginia has long cut more along rural and urban lines than partisan ones. With rural Virginia's historic power in Richmond and its stiff control over the relevant committees in the General Assembly, lawmakers have long leaned toward the protection of gun rights.

Even Democrats from urban areas, such as Warner and his successor, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, have been cautious about embracing gun controls.

But the dominance of rural sentiment is shifting. Urban Democrats, mostly from Northern Virginia, will now control most committees and the Senate Democratic Caucus. Democrat Richard L. Saslaw of Annandale, the likely new Senate majority leader, supports changing the law governing gun shows and also supports allowing colleges to ban guns on campus, even among permit holders. He sees no reason for more gun rights to come out of the Senate.

"What more do they need?" he asked. "They got everything. What more could you do? Require every home to come with a surface-to-air missile?"

Saslaw wouldn't say whether he feels strongly enough about the issue to try to block Democratic gun rights advocates from sitting on the crucial Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

Both Deeds and Sen.-elect J. Chapman Petersen, a Fairfax Democrat who defeated Republican gun control advocate Jeannemarie Devolites Davis on Nov. 6, are lawyers seeking such posts. Both have voted in favor of gun rights.

If Democratic leaders allow the courts committee to lean toward protecting gun rights, the likelihood is good that the full Senate and the conservative House of Delegates would approve such legislation.

The bills would then go to Kaine, who is a bit of a wild card in the debate. The governor has supported gun rights but also has favored measures that restrict access to guns in cases where he believes public safety is at stake. Kaine has said he would support closing the gun show loophole if it came to his desk. His spokeswoman, Delacey Skinner, said he has not decided yet how to approach other proposals that might emerge from the legislature next year.

"He's going to want to hear from gun rights advocates; he's going to want to hear from his public-safety advisers; and he's going to want to hear from campuses," Skinner said.


3. Debate: USA Today vs. GOA: 2nd Amendment before the U.S. Supreme Court



Our [USA Today] view on The Second Amendment: High court has rare chance to guide gun-control debate D.C. case offers opportunity to balance private rights, public safety.

By the end of this month, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to wade into a historic, grammatical and constitutional thicket over the ever-contentious Second Amendment.

That's the one that reads, in the Founders' peculiar phrasing, capitalization and seemingly casual use of commas, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The high court's action could negate gun-control regulations across the nation. Alternatively, it could destroy the longstanding rallying cry of the gun lobby that weapons' ownership is an unfettered right. Or - and this would be the ideal - it could sensibly define the limits of both individual gun ownership and government's ability to control it. [PVC: I agree! Here's the correct definition: No limit for individuals and no ability to control it for the government.]

The last time the court ruled was in 1939, when it said that a bootlegger's sawed-off shotgun had no "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia." Based on that logic, judges for decades have rejected arguments that controls on gun ownership and use are prohibited by the Constitution.

But early this year, the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit read the Second Amendment differently. It overturned Washington's handgun ban, saying an individual's right to bear arms doesn't have to be linked to the role of a militia. In an unusual twist, both sides in the case have asked the high court to intervene.

The Supreme Court could reject this case as it has other gun-related issues. But when appeals courts disagree and longstanding precedent has been challenged, as in this case, there is an expectation that the court will act. And that's where its opportunity lies.

Conservative and liberal scholars have increasingly agreed that the Second Amendment constrains government's ability to control guns. At the same time, all but the most rabid gun advocates believe that the right to bear arms is not absolute. Government has an obvious interest in limiting ownership of stinger missiles and other weaponry the Founders couldn't have imagined.

Even the appeals court that knocked down Washington's law was at pains to say "reasonable restrictions" could still pass constitutional muster. Suggested examples included prohibiting drunks from carrying weapons and banning guns in polling places, surely a modest start.

Left unsettled, though, is just where the limits lie. Is there a difference, for example, between outlawing stingers that can shoot down airplanes and outlawing automatic weapons that can mow down children in a schoolyard?

If the court can draw a distinction, perhaps it can alter the nation's paralytic debate over gun control. This page has long suggested that the proper starting point is registration of guns and licensing of their users. That does not infringe the rights of gun owners, but it can instill safety skills and avert tragedies such as last spring's massacre by a mentally disturbed student at Virginia Tech.

If the Supreme Court decides to unsnarl the opaque phrasing of the 18th century, it should not take guns away from those who use them responsibly. But neither should it require states and cities to disarm themselves in the fight to contain the toll that the misuse of guns imposes on society.



Opposing view: More arms, less crime

Supreme Court should reject D.C. ban, uphold ownership rights.

By Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America

The Supreme Court should agree to hear District of Columbia v. Heller and uphold the majority opinion of the federal appeals court.

Heller presents the Supreme Court with a clear choice as to whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms or a collective right of states to have a militia. Judge Laurence Silberman's opinion for the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit presents a strong case for individual rights.

In recent years, the Supreme Court has already stated that whenever "the people" is mentioned in the Bill of Rights that it refers to the same "class of persons." So if "the people" in the Second Amendment doesn't refer to all of the people, then it doesn't in the First or Fourth Amendments either.

In the USA, the people are the sovereigns. They are the "We the People" who established and ordained the government, and they were expected to own firearms in the defense of their free society. More than that, people were required by the legislatures to own and possess firearms.

Those who would claim that the National Guard fulfills this function in modern society are forgetting that the Guard is ultimately controlled by the federal government, rather than We the People.

One of Washington's principal arguments for its gun ban is that it's needed as a crime-fighting tool. Say what? In 2005, FBI data reported a murder rate there of 35 per 100,000 residents. Compare that with the nearby suburban county of Fairfax, Va. (with nearly twice the population ... and the traffic); the murder rate there was 0.3 per 100,000.

John Lott, senior research scientist at the University of Maryland and author of More Guns, Less Crime, has shown through his massive analysis of crime data, for each county throughout the country, that laws that encourage folks to carry concealed weapons lower crime. Washington's crime will come under control when its citizens are able to defend themselves with guns.

The district already has an effective crime-fighting tool if it will use it - the Second Amendment. [PVC: Can't you just see the anti-gunner's heads spinning and throwing up pea soup at the very thought of that statement? ;-) ]


4. Supreme Court gun cases: spin vs. research


Much is being publicized about the U.S. Supreme Court having accepted the 2nd Amendment case in Washington D.C., with the articles and links below being just a sample. At the end is Alan Korwin's well researched analysis.


Video of plaintiffs' view:



Typical Media view:

The CNN article: <>

By Bill Mears

CNN Washington Bureau

November 20, 2007

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether the District of Columbia's sweeping ban on handgun ownership violates the Constitution's fundamental right to "keep and bear arms."

The justices accepted the case for review, with oral arguments likely next February or March. A ruling could come by late June, smack in the middle of the 2008 presidential election campaign.

At issue is one that has polarized judges and politicians for

decades: Do the Second Amendment's 27 words bestow gun ownership as an individual right, or do they bestow a collective one -- aimed at the civic responsibilities of state militias -- making it therefore subject to strict government regulation.

City leaders had urged the high court to intervene, saying refusal to do so could prove dire.

"The District of Columbia -- a densely populated urban locality where the violence caused by handguns is well documented -- will be unable to enforce a law that its elected officials have sensibly concluded saves lives," wrote attorneys for the city.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and other officials held a public rally in September, with the message that more handguns will only mean more serious crime.

"I see the results of gun violence every day," said Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier. "The weakening of the district's gun law will inevitably lead to an increase in injury, and worse, death."

A federal appeals court in March ruled the handgun ban to be unconstitutional as well as a provision that rifles and shotguns -- which are legal to own in the city -- be kept in the home unloaded and fitted with trigger locks or disassembled. The rifle regulations are not at issue before the Supreme Court.

The city's 31-year-old law has prevented most private citizens from owning and keeping handguns in their homes.

Only Chicago, Illinois, and Washington among major U.S. cities have such sweeping handgun bans. Courts have generally upheld bans in other cities of semiautomatic weapons and sawed-off shotguns.

Several Washingtonians first challenged the law, some saying they wanted to do something about being constant victims of crime.

"I want for myself the right to protect my home and my family in the event of a violent attack," plaintiff George Lyon said in March after winning a lower court victory. "The District of Columbia is not what I call the safest jurisdiction in the world."

The city reported 137 gun-related murders last year.

The Supreme Court's conservative majority has been supportive of local jurisdictions crafting gun-control laws. But the high court in 2003 refused to accept an appeal challenging California's ban on assault rifles.

Similar weapon control laws in other cities also could be in jeopardy, and Maryland, Massachusetts, Chicago and San Francisco, California, have filed briefs supporting Washington.

The National Rifle Association and other groups support the gun owners, but both sides have privately expressed concern over how the justices will decide the issue, because the legal and political implications could be sweeping in scope.

Recent polling finds gun control remains an important political issue with voters. An NRA convention in September attracted seven Republican presidential candidates.

In June, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation to strengthen the national system that checks backgrounds of gun buyers. It followed the April shooting at Virginia Tech in which a gunman killed 32 students and faculty on campus.

Legal experts said that given the unanswered constitutional questions, it was little surprise the justices decided to tackle the case.

"This issue is so monumental and so sweeping, and such a change from prior rulings on gun control that it was basically on a freight train to the U.S. Supreme Court for the justices to finally decide," said Thomas Goldstein, an appellate lawyer and founder of the popular Web site.

A separate petition by five city residents asked to be included in the case. A federal court earlier had rejected that appeal on standing grounds.


Also in the media this week:

Washington Times editorial: <> Washington Post: <> Letter to the Editor responds to the Washington Post:


Christian Broadcast Network: <>


And finally, research in greater depth by gun author Alan Korwin:

Supreme Court Takes Its 96th Gun Case

64th gun case since Miller in 1939

Recognition of individual right to arms could be reversed

by Alan Korwin, Co-Author Supreme Court Gun Cases

Nov. 20, 2007, Washington, D.C. -- The Supreme Court today decided to hear the District of Columbia v. Heller civil-rights case, characterized by many as its first gun case since the Miller case in 1939, a common error.

Specifically, the Court agreed to resolve this issue:

"Whether the following provisions -- D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 -- violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes."

The cited provisions are: 1 - The ban on handguns not registered before 1976; 2 - the ban on carrying an unlicensed handgun; and 3 - the ban on keeping an operable firearm at home. The Court didn't address the Parker case, involving five of the original litigants who seek to join this case. The Court could add that later, decide it separately later, or ignore it. News on that should come out after Thanksgiving.

The High Court has been ruling on guns and gun rights since 1820, with 31 cases addressing the subject before Miller and 63 cases afterwards until this one. The widely quoted Miller case concerned two bootleggers and a sawed-off shotgun. Miller was murdered before his case could be retried as directed by the Supreme Court, leaving that short, controversial decision to be interpreted in many ways.

In the Court's 92nd gun case, U.S. v. Bean (2002), it decided that a man deprived of his right to keep and bear arms, due to a questionable felony arrest in Mexico, could not sue in federal court to regain those rights, since the federal bureau in charge of reviewing such gun-rights cases had failed to act.

The 93rd gun case, Brosseau v. Haugen (2004), asked whether a police officer shooting an escaping felon in the back was an excessive use of force. The Court avoided this question, resolving only a side issue of the officer's immunity from a lawsuit after the shooting. The case involved a rather wild fracas and an awkward shot at a driver through the rear driver's side window.

In its 94th such case, Small v. U.S. (2005), the Justices decided that a felony conviction in a Japanese court, which used procedures far below American standards, was not sufficient to deprive the defendant of his right to buy and possess a firearm.

The 95th case, Castle Rock v. Gonzalez (2005), confirmed a long-standing rule that, even though an armed violent spousal abuser under a restraining order had repeatedly threatened his estranged wife, the woman had no grounds to expect police protection. Some claim this is not a gun case per se, even though the husband shot her three children to death, before he was shot to death by police. Others have suggested that, since police have no duty to protect you, the right to self preservation, and the tools to make it effective, must be inherent under due process.

Ms. Gonzalez had assistance from civil rights groups and a firm with 1,000 lawyers but still lost the case. Although counterintuitive, police only have an obligation to society in general, not to specific people. Justice Scalia, in the 7-2 decision said there is no federal constitutional right to police protection, which leads some observers to infer a right to self protection. The Court said states were free to craft laws to fill the gap, but states have not. It is not the most clear-cut of the Court's many related cases, but it does firmly establish police "no duty to protect."

The new case now granted review, District of Columbia v. Heller, is somewhat different, since the parties are arguing specifically over the Second Amendment itself, and not the firearms they choose to bear or how they put them to use. The District of Columbia has, since 1976, denied its citizens any right to keep and bear an operable firearm even in their homes. Some credit this law, and the related city bans on obtaining or carrying a firearm, with forcing its law-abiding, defenseless citizens to live in one of the murder capitals of the nation, where only the criminal element (and

authorities) are armed.

Discussions of the first 92 cases are compiled in Supreme Court Gun Cases, published by Bloomfield Press, which for the first time dispelled the notion that the High Court had been quiet about the subject of guns. The Court's decisions use some form of the word "gun" (rifle, shotgun, handgun, firearm, etc.) more than 2,900 times. Fourteen of the cases deal specifically with using guns in personal self defense.

News outlets, universally calling the Heller case the first gun case in decades, are merely repeating each other, rather than doing research that would easily show it's not true. (Going against the tide at this point might be hard for most news organizations.)

The case could be pivotal however, since the Justices could use it to effectively overturn gun laws at the state and federal level that civil-rights advocates have for years claimed infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. The D.C. law is an extreme example, they say, though New York City, Chicago and even some entire states have highly restrictive laws against private possession of arms, which tend to increase crime rates.

There is also a chance this decision, expected next year with a hearing as early as March, could set a precedent by finding against an individual right to keep and bear arms, which is what the mayor of D.C. and his supporters seek.

That would reverse two centuries of consistent rulings that have recognized an individual right to keep and bear arms for self defense and all other lawful purposes.

In private, pro-gun-rights groups and anti-gun-rights groups express dread at the chance the decision will go against them. A strong, broad decision in either direction could tear at the fabric of the nation, leading some observers to expect a carefully crafted and narrow decision that avoids the most delicate or volatile issues.

Not even the Justices know what they will ultimately decide, but the case is sure to be closely watched by pro-rights and anti-rights advocates, and wild speculation is running rampant. People are "counting votes" based on past decisions and known or supposed preferences. The ruling is unlikely to close the debate on gun rights, with parties remaining heavily committed to their own points of view, and the freedom of the country literally hanging in the balance.


5. Fairfax County's School Board and Board of Supervisors plan to urge the General Assembly to pass more gun control


Well they're at it again in Fairfax County!

Both the School Board and Board of Supervisors have included anti-gun positions in their legislative agendas urging the General Assembly to restrict YOUR right to keep and bear arms:

School Board Draft Legislative Agenda: See <>, at pg 34:

"The FCSB supports legislation to prevent weapons violations and to protect citizens, specifically authorization for localities to ban possession of dangerous weapons in recreation centers and prohibition of the sale of look-alike firearms, particularly BB and pellet guns, to minors. The FCSB supports interpretations and provisions of law that allow local school boards to be rigorous in banning the possession of weapons on school property in order to protect the safety of students in the school environment."

County Supervisors Draft Legislative Agenda: See <>, at pg 5:

Summary of County Initiative item 4: (1) Allow County to preempt state law and ban gun carry on all County property, with a permit holder only exemption; and, (verbatim) (2) "Oppose any state or federal legislation that would make it easier to traffic in illegal weapons."

VCDL Analysis: Looks the like the current elected leaders of Fairfax County don't believe in your right to self-defense and are living in the past. They even want to repeal concealed handgun permit holder's right to carry in vehicles on K-12 school grounds!

Hello!? Did they not watch pro-gun Democrat Chap Petersen crush anti-gun Republican (and Bloomberg backed) Devolites Davis on election day??

We're not sure the Fairfax County School Board took the time to ask for public comment, but the Board of Supervisors did, and the comments were 2 pro-gun & 0 anti-gun out of the 3 speakers at the hearing. To watch the video, go to,

then move toggle button at bottom of video to 58:30. At the end of the hearing, Supervisor Connolly said the record will remain open for more public comment until their next meeting in December when they will vote on the final form of the agenda.

ACTION ITEM # 1: If you are a Fairfax County Resident, email the Board of Supervisors and the newly elected Supervisors to tell them to delete the anti-gun agenda items!

Sample message:


Subject: Please remove anti-gun item from the County's Legislative Agenda!

Dear Supervisor:

I urge you remove an anti-gun item from the from the County's Legislative Agenda.

I specifically object to the effort to ban gun carry by law-abiding citizens on County property. The right of self-defense does not end just because a citizen sets foot on County property paid for with taxpayer dollars in the first place.




ACTION ITEM # 2: If you are a Fairfax County Resident, email the School Board and the newly elected members to tell them to delete the anti-gun agenda items!

Sample message:


Subject: Please remove anti-gun items from the School Board's Legislative Agenda!

Dear School Board Member:

I urge you remove the 3 anti-gun items from the from the School Board's Legislative Agenda, which are: (1) To "ban possession of dangerous weapons in recreation centers," (2) prohibit "sales of BB and pellet guns to minors," and (3) to support "interpretations and provisions of law that allow local school boards to be rigorous in banning the possession of weapons on school property."

The School board needs to stick to education and stay away from anti-gun politicking. Frankly, restrictions on gun carry by law-abiding adults on school grounds are already too onerous, and I will be urging my legislator to conform Virginia law to federal law and that of many other states so as to fully de-criminalize concealed handgun permit holder gun carry on ALL portions of school grounds and at school events.

Simply telling criminals and madmen who seek to murder people "I'm unarmed, please don't hurt me" does not work.



P.S. To send the school board action email to the newly elected Springfield District School Board Member, go to <> and copy/paste your email there!


6. Again(!) Why would I need a gun in a restaurant?


Member Colonel Tony Wilbur sent this one.


Police: Teen Stabs 2 At Restaurant

November 17, 2007

ASHBURN, Va. -- Police said a teen stabbed two people when he was refused alcohol at an Ashburn restaurant Friday night.

Detectives in Loudoun County obtained warrants charging Sean P. Shanahan, 19, of Leesburg, with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding after the 10:20 p.m. incident at the Mezza Grill in the Broadlands Shopping Center, police said. He turned himself in at the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office on Saturday evening.

Police said Shanahan was escorted out of the restaurant after trying to buy alcohol. Detectives allege he then pulled a knife and stabbed two employees in the parking lot. Each suffered multiple stab wounds, police said.

Both victims were flown by hospital to Inova Fairfax Hospital. One remained hospitalized in stable condition Saturday. The other was treated and released.

Shanahan was being held without bond at the Loudoun County jail.


7. Open Carry in VA Stops Another Crime



Letter to the Editor

Daily Press - Newport News, VA

Armed for safety

November 21, 2007

I have seen many good letters to the Daily Press regarding gun control. I have to share an experience that may change the minds of naysayers.

On a recent evening after dark I was in the driveway placing license plates on my wife's vehicle when a young male approached me. Due to his demeanor I was intimidated somewhat. He became much more aggressive, demanding a cell phone, and I told him I did not have a phone and stood up. When he spotted my Glock .40 pistol in a holster on my right hip, he mumbled something and started to leave very quickly.

After I called the Hampton Police, he was captured two blocks away after a short chase. An officer informed me the man had just carjacked someone a short while earlier and I just prevented myself from becoming another victim.

More and more responsible citizens are arming themselves for protection. It appears to be putting a dent in the plans of would-be robbers.

People should not be afraid of the person who is properly carrying a handgun; they need to be defensive against the individuals who use them in the wrong manner. I will not be a victim.

Doug Hall



8. Roanoke Times: Gun bans defy common sense


VCDL member Bradford Wiles is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Tech. He wrote an article that appeared in the Roanoke Times on Monday (see the link and article immediately below). I am pleased the article appeared at all. Mr. Wiles then sent me an email, pointing out that the Roanoke Times' editing of his original LTE was unacceptable, leaving the most important part of his original LTE out entirely and changing wording in other places where it was not necessary.


Roanoke Times

Gun bans defy common sense

Bradford Wiles

19 November 2007

Wiles is a graduate student in human development at Virginia Tech. He lives in Craig County.

In the months following the murders here on Virginia Tech's campus, many difficult issues have been raised. Among them are gun control laws, with many calling for outright gun bans on campuses. The Virginia Tech Review Panel opined that there should be an all-out ban on guns on campus, in spite of the fact that it is already illegal to carry guns concealed without a permit and against school policy to have them on campus.

Larry Hincker believed that Virginia Tech had a sound policy preventing students from bringing guns to campus. However, there is an important distinction that needs to be addressed. What Hincker really meant is that Virginia Tech had a policy prohibiting people from bringing guns to campus, but it did nothing to prevent someone with no regard for the law or policy from bringing a gun to campus and killing.

Many citizens are concerned that allowing students to arm themselves for self-defense would be a bad idea because they could be involved in illicit drug use and binge drinking on campus. Because of this, their approach is to prohibit the possession of firearms on campus.

I am certain that there are already prohibitions on drug use and public intoxication, just as there were prohibitions on drinking in the 1920s and 1930s. Did prohibition prevent drinking then? Do prohibitions prevent drug use and binge drinking now?

I also believe that murder, attempted murder, and aggravated assault with a firearm are all illegal and thus prohibited. If we made this more illegal, would that help? We do have capital punishment in Virginia, and even so we still have murders. Laws are not a deterrent when someone is determined to commit heinous acts of violence and then end his or her own life.

Maybe if we put up signs that say something to the effect of: "If you are planning on shooting and killing your classmates and professors and then yourself, we're sorry but that is not allowed here." Guns are prohibited on campus -- that would make a difference. Does anyone think that someone bent on murder will pay attention to signs?

When I think of those children and adults murdered here at Tech, the flow of emotions including grief, regret and helplessness are overwhelming. I am deeply saddened by the tragedy here, and knowing that it could have been minimized had someone been able to shoot back is truly the most difficult feeling of all.

But put the emotions aside again and reflect on the logic of what happened here. When the perpetrator was shooting and killing students, the police were called. Why are the police called to stop a gunman? Are they superhuman? No. They have guns and can shoot back.

I am not a policeman, but I am able to defend myself immediately when I have my gun. When properly armed, I don't need to wait nine minutes for the police to come to save me. When seconds count, the police are still minutes away. While I am not interested in chasing down a criminal, or policing my campus for petty crimes, I am very interested in assuring my own safety, which the police both cannot, and are not obligated, to do.

When I discuss this issue with my classmates, it always becomes perfectly clear that in spite of anybody's general feelings about gun control, the reasonable, common-sense position is that if someone were to come into our classroom and start pointing a gun at us and threatening our lives, we would all be glad that I had mine so I could shoot back and prevent the murder of an innocent student or teacher.

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