Thread: Richmond Advocacy Day Reports
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.
Ch 4 News report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGTTjc3gcfc
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?
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.
hlh wrote: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"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?
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?
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.
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
News 5 at 5
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.
Arrive early stay late at the Virginia General Assembly.
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.
Why is it we didn't pack the pack the Senate committee meeting when we outnumbered them?
hlh wrote: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.Why is it we didn't pack the pack the Senate committee meeting when we outnumbered them?
bayboy42 wrote:Most certainly arranged so that they could pack the room and not us!hlh wrote: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.Why is it we didn't pack the pack the Senate committee meeting when we outnumbered them?
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.
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.
hlh wrote: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:bayboy42 wrote:Most certainly arranged so that they could pack the room and not us!hlh wrote: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.Why is it we didn't pack the pack the Senate committee meeting when we outnumbered them?
We're going to have to get quicker on our feet to respond to the foul play of the other side.
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.
Tomahawk wrote:Are you talking about the feed-back from the microphone or the about the speaker?. . .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.
ccloud43 wrote:Next time we need a lot of video cameras filming this kind of prejudice.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.
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.
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
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