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Thread: Gary...TCDL website.

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran
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    Gary,

    Are you still around, or is TCDL active? Haven't seen you post in a while.

    I sent you an e-mail to the address givenin the "Contact" link at the TCDL website and it got returned as"failed" (@frontier.net)....I hope you got the mail sent to the other address (@txcdl.org).

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  2. #2
    Accomplished Advocate
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    May 2006
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    I haven't had contact with Gary or Paul for months. I don't know the status of TxCDL at this point in time. If nothing can be communicated, the former members may have to help start a new organization.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    Nov 2007
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    New Braunfels, Texas, USA
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    I emailed them back in october, this is the reply i got.

    Hello Maveric. Thanks for your inquiry. Things have been a little slow lately. TCDL has been in existence for about a year now and that seems to be the way it usually goes. Being an all-volunteer organization has its limitations. One of those is that folks have other obligations that they have to attend to. Activity seems to come in spurts. I thought I responded to your inquiry regarding a petition. I apologize if I didn't. Here's what is going on behind the scenes. Currently we are adding about a dozen new members a week. At last count our membership was over 600. When folks join TCDL they are added to a data base that can serve as a petition. If you read on the website Membership Form page it states that one of the purposes of the data base is potential use as a petition. TCDL VP Paul Koenig and I have been working on the details of a legislative draft and various strategies. We have also been planning several key meetings with various legislators to gain as much political support in Austin as possible. The purpose of the forum is for members to have an avenue to discuss issues, ask questions, and share experiences. I participate in and monitor several gun related forums and actually activity seems to be in a lull across the board. Maybe it has something to do with the change in the weather and people participating in activities with their families or job related business. I know I personally have been absolutely swamped at work lately as we wind down our physical year budgets, etc. You see, as with most members, Paul and I both have full-time jobs besides TCDL. I am a hospital director and basically am on call 24/7. I'd love nothing more than to devote myself totally to TCDL but right now its not possible. As it is I spend almost every extra-curricular minute I have doing something for TCDL - much to my wife's dismay at times. I admit I sometimes become frustrated with the seemingly slow movement and, what appears to be, a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the general membership. But I have to remind myself that it takes time to build a great organization. We have really made tremendous progress since the inception and I am very much encouraged that we will have a bill ready for presentation for the next legislative session. Organizationally, the plan has always been to divide the State into regions with individual directors or leaders over each region. Texas is so big and our membership is wide spread. Each director would help organize local members and spearhead promotional activities. The first attempt at this kind-of fell apart. Many folks went into this very gung-ho but I guess when they discovered what kind of commitment and time and effort was required their enthusiasm waned. Making another stab at this is one of the many things on my plate right now. Secondly, we have a firm affiliation with Second Amendment Sisters. Together we are planning a women's shooting activity. There have been some delays in this as well while we work out all the details. Funds have been a major issue because we chose early on not to charge a membership fee in an effort to gain numbers as rapidly as possible. As an example, in the last several months we have had a total of $50 donated to TCDL and very few sales of the TCDL merchandise. Without funding we are limited in the amount of advertising, networking, and promotion we can do. Paul and I have been taking all operating expenses out of our own pockets for a long time. In addition, I am working on finalizing our organizational structure so we can incorporate. Right now I am overdue getting the next newsletter out and I have several webpage updates that I need to get posted. Don't get me wrong. Inspite of the occasional setbacks and seeming lulls in activity, enthusiasm still runs high and new memberships continue to come in at a steady rate. I receive dozens of emails from members weekly and I try to respond to them in a timely manner. Typically, I am up until 1:00 or 2:00 AM nightly corresponding with members and our affiliate organizations across the country. So... you can see - it's a lot of work for just a handful of folks to pull off. I've about got the next newsletter ready to come out and I'm waiting on some meeting appointments in Austin for Paul and I to go to. Currently we have a total of 4 regional directors. Texas Panhandle, DFW, Houston/Galveston, and the Bryan/College Station area. In the newsletters and on the website we have repeatedly outlined what members can do to promote the cause: (1) Talk it up among friends, family, and co-workers. We need many, many more members. (2) Educate yourself on the issues. One way is thru the TCDL forum. Another is thru the opencarry.org website. This forum is a gathering place of members from around the country who currently open carry. There you will discover and learn about the issues surrounding open carry and the pitfalls we want to avoid as we move toward open carry in Texas. (3) Write to your legislators. Turn up the heat so they know there is an organized, growing grassroots movement of support for open carry in Texas. (4) Posters, pamphlets, and business cards are available from TCDL that you can post at your local gun shops, shooting ranges, etc. (5) Participate in the TCDL forum. Help keep dialog alive and post interesting articles that are thought provoking or educational. We have many members in the San Antonio area. If you are interested in becoming a leader in that area I'd love to talk to you about it. I actually have a couple of folks in that area who have shown some willingness to function in a leadership capacity. I could put you guys together and you could see about organizing your district. One of the best places to promote TCDL is at gun shows. Our brothers at AZCDL have told me that they gain about 50% of their new memberships at gun shows. You have to set up a booth, man it, and pass out our literature and talk and talk and talk. You can do local advertising in the newspapers and organize local TCDL meetings. Of course, there is going to be a need for fund raising to pull some of this off, so that will need to be a chief topic of conversation. I sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm, support, and willingness to help. We can certainly use you to help us keep the momentum strong. Just tonight we had a new member join us from The Colony. Here is his statement: "It's about dang time we started this. I've been emailing the state for years and haven't had much luck." There are hundreds of TCDL members of like sentiment. We do need your help. Carefully review what I've told you in this email and give it some thought. Please let me know if you would like to make a further commitment as a leader. If I can answer any more questions or provide you with any information - please don't hesitate to contact me. Again, thank you for your support of TCDL! Best regards, Gary Williams President, Texas Citizens Defense League

    sorry for its length, but theres the last thing I've heard from them.

    Take it easy

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran
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    Thanks for your responses, guys.

    I asked about this because I've had problems donating toTCDL (and I have also bought some merchandise)so I have had to cease further support. But I did learn that few members -- HARDLY ANY -- put their $$ where their mouth is...that's not cool.

    I hopeTCDL gets its act together in the future, but I'm out for the present...I tried.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

  5. #5
    Arizonatexan
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    Hello everyone. Yes, it has been a little while since I posted anything. I've been out of the country on business. Unfortunately, I have to work for a living too. I'm disappointed that some are so quick to bail out. I've tried to help you understand how much work, dedication, patience, and long-suffering this processtakes. Our primary goal was to concentrate on membership growth. Again, unfortunately, I can't be the sole recruiter. It takes all of us, working together, to keep things going. Even while I've been away, new memberships have continued to roll in. That is encouraging. We currently have about 800 TCDL members. It is not my intention to let you or anyone down, but I'm just one guy. John D. is one of the few who has supported TCDL financially, and for that, I am extremely grateful. We opted to not charge a membership fee with the thought that membership might grow faster. The down-side is that not having much in the way of funds has hampered our ability to advertise and promote.

    Over a year ago when I joined OCDC there were only a handful of Texans on the forum. I lived in Arizona at the time. There was a lot of talk about "somebody ought to do something" but nobody was willing to pick up the gauntlet and run with it. There were many nay-sayers who said it was no use because Open Carry would never happen in Texas anyway. Well, I didn't listen to them. I started talking to and emailing my friends and family members and testing the waters to see just how much interest there was out there. Much to my surprise the response I received was an overwhelming "yes - go for it." So I did. I started networkingwith other organizations and individuals around the country who are respected in the 2nd Amendment and Open Carry movements and I received a lot of very sage advice. Organizational decisions have not been made in a vacuum. One of the things I was told was to expect waxing and waning; highs and lows; periods of encouragement and discouragement. Believe me we've had plenty of all that.

    Thank you Maveric for posting my email with which I answered your inquiry. In that email I invited you to join in a leadership capacity. I never received a response back. Paul created and paid for the TCDL forum. After some initial interest and a big flurry - posts on that site have dwindled down.I don't know about you guys - but I still believe, whole heartedly, that we can get Open Carry in Texas. I believe we have a good shot at the 2009 legislative session. I haven't given up. For some reasonthere does seem to be an overwhelming lackadaisical attitude among my fellow Texans. Maybe its because they have never experienced Open Carry so they are not fighting to keep from loosing something they already have. Getting concealed carry in Texas was no walk in the park, if you recall. So maybe many are satisfied with the status quo. I'm not. I don't believe in mediocrity.

    Fortunately, these sentiments are not mine alone. Out of the 800 some-odd TCDL members there are about 50 to 75 or so who have been loyal and steadfast. They have worked hard in their own neck of the woods to talk it up and keep the dream alive. My hat is off to them!This is not an arm-chair movement. This is a battle that, to be won, will take a lot of us - thousands of us - speaking with one voice and being dedicated to a common cause.

    I'm just like most of you. I have family and work obligations too. For a year I spent the majority of my spare time working on TCDL - to the neglect of my family and other activities. For months, night after night,I've stayed up until the wee hours of the morning answering emails to interested folks who have questions and encouraging them to do what they could to help. The big picture is that we have come a long way but we still have a long way to go.

    I'm taking two weeks off over the Christmas holiday for a much needed break. I will be sending out a newsletter to all TCDL members and doing some much needed TCDL maintenance. I'm asking you to please continue to support this great cause and help me! This is not my movement. This is your movement. TCDL needs you! Texas needs you!

    Gary Williams

    President, TCDL



  6. #6
    Regular Member
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    Sounds like the organization is getting too big for its current form. That's a good thing . Maybe a few citizens can stand up and volunteer to take on specific tasks to free up the current leadership to do other things.

    The sign of a truly good leader is that he knows when he needs to step aside and delegate. Let's hope the leaders of TXCDL are good leaders.

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