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Thread: Richmond Advocacy Day Reports

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    I would but I just got back and am lucky to have the energy to type this at all. I'll report later.

    Would have been great if I spelled advocacy correctly.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote: I gave the website "protesteasygunslies.com" to 3 TV stations to included in their piece. None have included it.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    peter nap wrote: As expected, horrible reporting.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I think they were talking about the Senate Courts of Justice Committee's public hearing. That may not be that far off since they packed the room early and no one could get in.

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    hlh wrote:
    The AP news said that the anti-gun folks out numbered the pro-gun by 3-1??!! That's not what I saw! As usual, the media lies! I only saw maybe 30-40 folks with the yellow "gun show loop hole" stickers. Were they all hiding somewhere?
    Hmmm... They're on the money when they say that the liars were vastly outnumbered (Though I can't definitively tell you the numbers as I didn't spend my time counting.) "Tensions escalated as about 100 supporters of a bill that would close the so-called gun show loophole lay on the Capitol lawn to honor victims of gun violence. About 200 opponents surrounded the group"

    As far as the 3-1 reference "Earlier in the day, families and friends of the Tech shooting victims packed the Senate Courts of Justice Committee’s public hearing on the gun show loophole legislation. Bill supporters outnumbered by about 3-1 opponents sporting buttons reading ‘Guns Save Lives.’" It sounds like they're referring to the hearing that started around 8:30, which was packed full when I got into the building. I cannot say what the ratio was in that meeting, but very few "Close the gunshow loophole" stickers were seen outside of that area with the sole exception of during the actual lie.

    Was anyone in the senate hearing that can speak to the attendance?

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    Regular Member IanB's Avatar
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    Here's the deal: The anti's packed the room with their people (read: people they bussed in to inflate numbers) early in the morning, taking all the seats. After the room reached capacity (with a majority of their folks inside) the police started enforcing occupancy limits at the door turning away VCDL supporters. I would agree it was 3:1 in their favor when a show of hands was requested. Lesson learned: Get our people in the room early and make sure our numbers are seen.

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    Naked - hopefully you and I can help put to rest any arguement that the numbers were greater in the afternoon or all day long - especially with the footage I got from the crowds at the rear showing the signs the VCDL put out. Lots of orange stickers, and we had packed one guys' office with about 20 people and he was definately pro gun. I missed a few of my representatives but I still stopped by and talked to their office folks. More video to follow, I'll get you my tape this Thursday night.

    News 4 at 5 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ2Q3nOwOxc

    News 5 at 5

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEmwFH0jyr4



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    Regular Member IanB's Avatar
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    I have 3 tapes

    Too tired to mess with them right now. All I'm planning on doing is dumping them onto google video as 3 large, long videos and posting them for folks to review. The first two will be from inside the hearing which most did not get to see. The first one is like 40 minutes, second one 30, and third is roughly 30.

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    Arrive early stay late at the Virginia General Assembly.

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    I think I was one of the lasts ones let in, just before the hearing started. It was very lopped sided as far as antis and us. I was stuck behind a pole in the middle of the room and could see too much in front of me.

    The impression I came away with, was that no body would have been too upset if none of us had gotten in. Including some of the senators.

    Some of Va.’s top cops sounded liked they took their speeches from the Brady Handbook. Especially the part about the 23 - 40 something % of gun show dealers being unlicensed. There was one senator (couldn’t see who it was) asked about the percentage of firearms used in crimes that had been purchased from a individual, but none of them could give an answer.

    I did ask several of the antis if they had ever been to a gun show, couldn’t find a one that said they had.

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    hlh wrote:
    Why is it we didn't pack the pack the Senate committee meeting when we outnumbered them?
    The Committe meeting being discussed I believe started at 0830...most of the VCDL/other pro 2A folks arrivied between 9:30 and 10:00. If I remember correctly, it was some sort of last minute change that caused the bill to be heard early this morning.

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    Despite being out numbered in the committee meeting, our people did a great job of getting around and talking to the delegates and senators or the representatives of those not in their offices. I didn't go to a single floor of the building where I didn't see at least oneother group wearing the orange "Guns Save Lives" stickers. The stickers were even being passed out to and worn by groups of people who had shown up to lobby for other causes.

    Our true force was really seen when everyone was out on the lawn. We so clearly out numbered them that even the anti-gunmedia wasn't able to avoid reporting that fact.

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    We totally outnumbered the antis. The building was packed with people, and you couldn't walk two steps without rubbing shoulders with VCDL members. Later, when we were getting ready to show up for the lie-in, Dave Vann handed us signs to put on our backs. I volunteered to be a "sign taper". The crowd of VCDL supporters was huge, and every time we thought we were done, more orange stickers wandered out of the building. Finally we had to stop and go down to the bell tower. I couldn't see the MMMs at all, because all I could see was a sea of pro-gun signs. It was bitter cold out, but sunny and clear and no wind, so it wasn't too uncomfortable. The MMM's had a generator to power their PA system, but all I could hear was the motor, puncuated by some shrill whining noises.

    Last year we had like 50 people and that was a big turnout. This year completely blows that away.

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    hlh wrote:
    bayboy42 wrote:
    hlh wrote:
    Why is it we didn't pack the pack the Senate committee meeting when we outnumbered them?
    The Committe meeting being discussed I believe started at 0830...most of the VCDL/other pro 2A folks arrivied between 9:30 and 10:00. If I remember correctly, it was some sort of last minute change that caused the bill to be heard early this morning.
    Most certainly arranged so that they could pack the room and not us!
    Yeah....the GA had our schedule and knew we'd be arriving between 930 and 1000....so they planned the meeting for 0830...sure There was a VCDL update so folks were free to show up earlier then 930 and many did:shock:

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    I was able to get into the sub committe meeting. Was that a joke. Yes we were outnumbered but the capitol police officer guarding the door would not let in people with the gun save lives buttons, but she would let in the antis with a yellow sticker. We watched this happen several times. When the antis talked we would remain calm and quite. When we were allowed to talk, The NRA guy, Phillip Van Cleave and another they were heckled and jeered and nothing was said by the chairman. 1 time he told a heckler to be quite so Phillip could finish taliking. 1 Senator was wearing a VT ribbon around her neck. IMHO they have already made up there mind and this was just a dog and pony show.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    . . .The MMM's had a generator to power their PA system, but all I could hear was the motor, puncuated by some shrill whining noises.
    Are you talking about the feed-back from the microphone or the about the speaker?

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    I just sent Philip Van Cleave an email with a scenario I had encountered during the MMM demonstration. I thought it was pertinent for this thread...

    I, first, want to start by saying thank you for all the work you and the VCDL leadership did in putting the events and agenda of the day together. It was very well done and VCDL was extremely well represented. The caliber of people that were there in support was top notch. Please pass on my thanks to the rest of the VCDL leadership.

    I brought my son and we had a chance to run into Jeff Knox of The Firearms Coalition. This was one of the highlights of our day. Because Jeff Knox lives in the same Senate District, we had a chance to speak with Senator Charles Colgan together. It was a pleasure to be in the same room with Mr. Knox while we were addressing our district senator.

    Here's a story that I wanted to pass onto you that occurred during the MMM demonstration on the Capitol Lawn. Myself and my son were in the thick of it, right up front directly next to the PA system. As the MMM began to kick off their demonstration, a number of the organization and supporters placed a banner in front of me, my son, and several other pro-rights activists blocking our view to the speaker and attempting to keep our message from being heard and seen by the press.

    My son (a 12 year old, patriotic American) was standing in front of the banner and I was forced behind it. Ok...fine by me. One young college student saw my son with his "Guns Save Lives" sticker and attempted to coerce my son back behind the banner. At which point, a woman standing nearby said "Let him in, maybe it'll change his mind" and they ushered him in front to see everything. This couldn't have gone any better. My son knows all too well the lies that anti-gun groups spew and now he was going to hear it right from the horse's mouth. He later relayed that he can't believe how naive some people can be.

    While the speakers were addressing the supporters that attended, myself and a number of VCDL members and other concerned citizens held up pro-gun signs above the banners. While we did this, those holding the banners stretched to lift the banners higher. Fortunately for us, we had taller men to hold up our signs above their banners.

    I was appalled by what I next witnessed...

    Doug Smith spoke. He is the clergyman that offered the invocation before all the speakers began to address their supporters. After Doug Smith prayed with the crowd, he exited the circle near where I was with another student that had complained about the people behind them (us). They had claimed that one of the activists (who was a Richmond resident and did not appear to be a VCDL member) was causing trouble. So, Doug Smith began to speak with him and a verbal altercation ensued. The VA Capitol Police were summoned and began to adress the few people involved, including Doug Smith. What happened next sends chills down my spine.....Doug Smith, the clergyman, cited to the police that this Richmond resident was causing trouble.

    Of course, knowing this was completely false (because I was standing right there), I interjected and told the VA Capitol Police officer that the man was doing nothing wrong and that the clergyman was blatantly lying. It behooves me that a man of the cloth, who preaches God's word, would lie to anyone, much less a police officer.

    The police officer could do nothing. Nothing wrong had been done, no law had been broken.

    After some more time had passed, we continued to stand with our signs perched up over the banners. One of the women holding the banners then began to loudly complain about the citizen once again. Who, of course, was still doing nothing, but standing with his sign also perched above the banner. The man said to the woman that he is doing nothing wrong. The woman, upset, exclaimed that she was going to summon the police again. On her way out of the crowd, she literally pushed me out of her way.

    I said to one of the MMM supporters, at this point, that everyone is here for a peaceful protest. There's no need for this. He retorted saying "It would be peaceful if you all weren't being jackasses". The woman returned to her post, but was not accompanied by an officer.

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    I video taped Philip Van Cleave being interviewed bySandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post Staff Writer at the clock tower, the article that she wrote in the washington post is light on thecontents of thatinterview but at least she didn't get anything wrong from what he said.I'll be posting to youtube in the next couple of days, hopefully later tonight.

    I tried to get a few of the students on tape but they declined to be taped and interviewed. I wanted to ask them what they knew of this loop hole, and had they ever been to a gun show. The young women said off tape no to both questions. A foreign guy who I talked to at some length said he supported the 2nd amendment, and liked to shoot guns, had been to a few gun shows, and if people wanted to have them they should. But he was concerned that crazy people wanted to get them and wanted to keep them out of their hands. I told him that concerned me and I thought most gun owners felt the same way as well, but wouldn't he be better served getting legislation passed for mental health checks and laws instead of lobbying for something that had nothing to do with the VT tragedy? The gentlemen stated that wasn't the point, if there was a way to keep a person from getting such easy access to a gun (no background check for private sales) that was the point. We couldn't continue as he had to go and I had to take a phone call but it was a pleasant exchange. Some others didn't want to talk to me because they said some pro-rights people had gotten nasty with them and they felt like they wouldn't be heard and talking was pointless.

    This guy interviewed me and took photos of my step son, but didn't use any of the material except for my 11-year olds photo holding a pro rights sign. I haven't been able to see the video yet.

    The story should be in today's paper. I didn't use any of your quotes,
    but I did use an image of your stepson holding a sign in a video I shot
    and produced for the web about yesterday's events. Both the story and
    video should be available today at http://www.pilotonline.com

    Regards,

    Julian Walker
    Staff Writer
    The Virginian-Pilot
    Richmond Bureau
    1111 E. Main St., Suite 301
    Richmond, VA 23219
    (804) 697-1564 office
    (804) 304-7402 mobile

    I also have pretty entertaining video of about 20 of us in one of the representatives offices (don't know the guys name) but there was an orange haired dude with a orange goatee and laptop in there with us (someone email me the representatives name please if you were there) - if you were there I need the representatives name for the video so I can post that to youtube as well. I have lots of other footage I'll be putting together another video later on.

    All in all it wasn't a bad day. I wish I had been a bit more organized and I think it could have been run a bit better. That aside it looked like almost 300 people that were pro-rights at the bell tower at 1, wow. Some things to consider for this next time though - we probably ought to have signs on our fronts as well as our backs so when the cameras sweep the crowds it doesn't look like it's one group that is all for control. I got some rear shots and was standing by the news cameras so I was able to get the people who had their backs turned and signs showing - that was a good idea. Next year I'll be better prepared.


    PS - thanks to Dan Vann (sorry if I butchered your name) for the signs and others who helped distribute them. The shot of my 11 year old wouldn't be out there with the sign without it. He had a good time - it was nice to meet up with you folks and enjoyed meeting Olivers_AR

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    Lone Star Veteran DrMark's Avatar
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    My two brothers and I got there a few minutes after 1000, and were told that all of the teams had already left, so we set out on our own.

    We met with our Delegate (Brenda Pogge), and she remembered getting letters from us (she's been responding too). She's squared away on the issue of guns. She was also pleased to hear that our family gave her 8-10 votes in her primary victory, where she won by only 20-something votes.

    One brother & I met with our State Senator (John Miller). He's a newly-elected Democrat in a district that has traditionally been Republican. He seems to have a copy of the Governor's script (close the "loophole," no guns on campus or in libraries) but doesn't seem overly dogmatic about it. We had a pleasant discussion, explaining our perspectives on those issues.

    We went by the office of my other brother's State Senator (Tommy Norment), but he wasn't in. We chatted with his aide for a while on the issues.

    We were also present for the protest, our signs held aloft. I'd guess we outnumbered the antis by about 2 to 1.

    I saw (and chatted with) a lot of familiar faces, including several folks from here.

    On the drive home, we agreed that it was time well spent.



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    All in all, a good trip. I got down there right around 0900. Didn't make it into the Senate hearing room, as it was jammed. The lobby area outside the hearing room was pretty full of orange "Guns Save Lives" stickers, buttons, and badges. I ran into a few compatriots from Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. [Note to self: Get some buttons.] We broke up into teams, with each team lobbying a half-dozen legislators. After lobbying, we headed out to lunch. I hooked up with some Opencarry folks for a trip to Padow's deli. Left my suitcoat on for the most part, as they don't have an ABC license. The Opencarry guys, of course, uncovered as is their wont. They got the hairy eyeball from a few of the Other Side(tm) who were also having lunch there.

    After lunch, we repaired to the Capitol lawn, where we watched the Virginia Center for Public Safety, Marching Mommies, ProtestEasyGuns, and a bunch of students bussed in from various places around the Commonwealth, demonstrating in favor of regulating private sales. I had a couple of discussions with some of their people. The general tone of all the interactions I was involved with, or saw, was civil.

    What the news stories don't show, is that we outnumbered them.

    Philip Van Cleave, president of VCDL, has a good writeup on the organization's website.

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    VA-ALERT: Lobby Day - HUGE success!



    -----Original Message-----
    From: Philip Van Cleave


    Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 12:52 AM
    Subject: VA-ALERT: Lobby Day - HUGE success!






    We estimate that almost 400 gun owners showed up at the General

    Assembly today!



    There was a SEA of orange "Guns Save Lives" badges on all floors.



    It was truly impressive. The cavalry had arrived!



    The metal detectors were going off almost continuously at times and

    the overwhelmed police had to bring in extra people to handle the huge

    load to check CHPs!



    Once inside, people were assigned to a team. The teams went through

    the building talking to Delegates and Senators and leaving VCDL

    Legislative Analysis documents with aides. I talked to some aides who

    were quite impressed with the quality of the VCDL people and the sheer

    number of members that seemed to be everywhere.



    Elevators were jammed with people and even the stairs were jammed!



    GUN SHOW BILL



    I arrived at 8:30 AM for the hearing of SB109, Senator Marsh's "Gun

    show loophole" (AKA, the private sales registration) bill in the

    Senate Courts of Justice. Testimony on the bill began at 10 AM. The

    antis got 35 minutes to speak, as did our side. Only two or three VT

    parents spoke, the rest of the speakers were either police (disgracing

    the badges on their uniforms) or lobbyists.



    The antis brought up their usual baloney and misleading "facts."

    Colonel Massengil and the Superintendent of State Police (who was in

    uniform) spoke in favor of the gun show bill. Massengil tried to

    tout himself as being pro-gun.



    When asked by one of the Senators how many criminals got their guns at

    a private sale at a gun show, the Superintendent had to admit that he

    didn't know.



    While the antis spoke, all the gun owners were quiet and did not

    disrupt or heckle them.



    But, when our turn came to talk, things were different.



    Joel Patridge, the NRA lobbyist for Virginia, was heckled and applause

    at the heckling drowned him out at one point. He looked at Senator

    Marsh, the committee chairman, to bring order. But Marsh, who had

    been running the meeting with an iron fist before, just sat there for

    a while and then weak-wristedly brought down the gavel and the room

    finally came to order.



    I spoke after Joel, and it was even worse. Again, as I spoke the

    antis heckled and were very unruly, clapping loudly and long at the

    heckling. When there was an outburst, I would stop speaking and wait

    patiently for Marsh to get around to bringing order. The suddenly

    weak-wristed Marsh would eventually get around to bringing order.



    When I started pointing out that the bill would be onerous on dealers,

    gun shows, and private sellers, Democrat Senator Saslaw shamelessly

    playing to the hecklers, ask me if the VT parents had been

    inconvenienced. ( More on Senator Saslaw other antics in an upcoming

    alert.)



    Again unruly applause and heckling took over the room as Marsh sat

    there impotently.



    In the end the committee decided to vote on the bill on Wednesday at

    the 2 PM meeting. I will be there for the vote. I am optimistic -

    delaying the vote was probably done because Marsh didn't have the

    votes to pass his bill. But it isn't over until the fat lady sings.



    ***If you have NOT contacted your representatives on HB 109, PLEASE DO

    SO NOW!***



    Our side presented itself well and the antis showed themselves to be

    their usual rude and inconsiderate selves.



    THE "LIE"-IN



    At 12:45, EM Dave Vann was taping signs on member's backs with

    messages like, "Freedom is NOT a loophole." The members then headed

    over to stand around the antis when their protest started at 1 PM.



    We had about 200 people show up at the protest, dwarfing the

    approximate 100 antis!



    As I approached the protest, I was taken aback by the image of all

    those white VCDL signs blanketing the protest, drowning out the antis'

    messages.



    And the antis got mad. They tried to get us kick out, but the police

    told them that their protest was a spectacle, which draws spectators.

    He pointed out that we weren't doing anything but standing and

    observing, all of which is protected by the First Amendment.



    The antis, fuming, walked away from the police officer to pout

    somewhere else.



    We had one member assalted by an anti who shoved him out of the way,

    saying, "This is OUR protest!"



    Nice people, aren't they?



    --



    It is 10:30 PM as I write this and I am STILL at the General Assembly

    listening to key mental health bills. Activist Roy B. Scherer was

    kind enough to loan me his computer to type this alert while I am

    waiting for a bill to come up.



    It looks like we may well end up with a good, supportable, mental

    health bill. But the Devil is in the details and we will be looking

    at the final wording to see if it satisfies our concerns and watching

    the bill to see that bad wording isn't slipped in.



    I will be at the General Assembly again on Tuesday (tomorrow) the

    Senate is going to hear the library ban bills, amongst other anti-gun

    bills.



    I will advise the outcome of those bills.



    ANY INTERESTING LOBBY DAY STORIES?



    I am collecting interesting stories of things that happened on Lobby

    Day. Either interaction with the antis or perhaps with Delegates and

    Senators. If you have such a story, email it to me.



    I have not seen the news, but we should have been all over it. I was

    interviewed by the AP, WRVA (radio station in Richmond) and TV stations.



    Thanks to leadership and many of our EMs for their help making Lobby

    Day a success!



    VCDL - good turnout, good work - I'm proud of you guys!



    -------------------------------------------

    ************************************************** *************************

    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.

    (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization

    dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to

    Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.



    VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org

    ************************************************** *************************



  24. #24
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    Two new videos that I have up

    Philip Van Cleave being interviewed by washingtonpost

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nomPbywpL4Q

    A bunch of us in the office of Delegate Lacey Putney

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKu0Ek09-8Q

    More to follow


    corrected name of delegate in post and in video

  25. #25
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    Later tonight (as in sometime after 8PM) I'll post up the link to view thedebate from the Senate hearing room as well as the tape from the speeches at the lie-in.

    Isqueezed in right before they closed access to the room so I missed thestart of the first speaker (representing a police or gov agency). It was so packed I couldn't spread the tripod legs so the first vid will be a little shaky, only had one leg down for support. Due to me moving locations and swapping tapes/battery I missed the first progun speaker but at that point had the tripod legs extended so it's steady. I'll have all of that as well as the MMM lie in speakers tonight.

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