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Thread: Unlawful Signage in Wytheville is Back

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    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    Unbelievable. These haters of liberty are just feeling stronger every day. It must give them smug satisfaction to crush our American freedom.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Grassroots activism starts with one person doing something about the issue. Did you write a letter to the Powers That Be about the illegal postings? If so, you ought to share it with us, and the response if and when you get one. (Was this: "I've notified the town officers that the sign needs to come down.... For some reason they seem to think they are above the law" done by letter or by some other means?)

    Then, if the Powers that Be seem to be unwilling to comply with existing law, would be the time to ask for help in getting them to pay attention.

    I'm not trying to mess up your plans, but it seems to me that this sort of thing is best worked out between local citizens and their elected/appointed officials, as opposed to starting with a bunch of folks from outside the area dogpiling on them.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    Go to a meeting OCing and let them arrest you. It'll be "Danbus, Southwest Side". Tell them to go ahead and make your day, you could use the money :^).

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    skidmark wrote:
    this sort of thing is best worked out between local citizens and their elected/appointed officials, as opposed to starting with a bunch of folks from outside the area dogpiling on them.
    +1
    Carry On.

    Ed

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    ed wrote:
    skidmark wrote:
    this sort of thing is best worked out between local citizens and their elected/appointed officials, as opposed to starting with a bunch of folks from outside the area dogpiling on them.
    +1
    I'm not sure in this case Ed. I got involved with the Director of Public safety last year...I think.

    I kept an arms length from the issue but let them know I was watching. They took notice and I hope the Police department toned down their activities. Nice but very hard headed people and they don't seem to listen to the locals as well as they should.

    Bill, can you get a picture the next time you go there?



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    It also violates Virginia's constitutional prohibition against general orders of search and seizure (i.e, an order or warrant authorizing a search has to be specific both as to who is to be searched, and for what).
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Bill in VA wrote:
    Back in September of 2008 the Town of Wytheville put up two signs on the front window of the municipal building. For the record, there are no courtrooms, judges' chambers, etc... in this building, nor is this particularbuilding anywhere near our two courthouses. (See the original threads here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/14403.html and here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/16817.html ) As a refresher, there are two signs, one reads,"NOTICE/NO WEAPONS ALLOWED/The Possession of Any and All Dangerous Weapons is Prohibited on These Premises" and the other reads, "NOTICE/YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO SEARCH." The first of these signs is a violation of Virginia's preemption law, §15.2-915.The Town has no lawful authority to prohibit carriage of a firearm in the municipal building and any attempt to regulate such is a violation of state law.The long and the short of it is that my comments and Phillip's phone calls convinced the town fathers to remove these two signs back in October.

    Last month, however, while back inside the municipal building, I noticed these two signs were back up, but this time on the doorway leading into the Town Council Chambers room (alarge auditorium-type room where the town council meets and the public can attend.) I sent Phillip an email about this, he replied (as expected) that the law has not changed, the signage is still unlawful, and they need to come down. Yesterday, as I was inside the building I looked and yes, the signs are still there. I've notified the town officers that the sign needs to come down, but I think it'd be more effective to have fellow VCDL members also remind them that the signage is unlawful and a violation of VA §15.2-915. For some reason they seem to think they are above the law.

    OK, I am at a loss here....

    Where exactly in the code does it say a "sign" is unlawful and against the law?

    I can post all the signs I want. If they have no standing, I certainly cannot act upon them. But a sign by itself seems to not be covered.

    The preemptive law only stops the localities from actually charging you with gun crime not in the state code.

    Just saying.... :?

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    Founder's Club Member Skeptic's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Bill in VA wrote:
    Back in September of 2008 the Town of Wytheville put up two signs on the front window of the municipal building. For the record, there are no courtrooms, judges' chambers, etc... in this building, nor is this particularbuilding anywhere near our two courthouses. (See the original threads here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/14403.html and here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/16817.html ) As a refresher, there are two signs, one reads,"NOTICE/NO WEAPONS ALLOWED/The Possession of Any and All Dangerous Weapons is Prohibited on These Premises" and the other reads, "NOTICE/YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO SEARCH." The first of these signs is a violation of Virginia's preemption law, §15.2-915.The Town has no lawful authority to prohibit carriage of a firearm in the municipal building and any attempt to regulate such is a violation of state law.The long and the short of it is that my comments and Phillip's phone calls convinced the town fathers to remove these two signs back in October.

    Last month, however, while back inside the municipal building, I noticed these two signs were back up, but this time on the doorway leading into the Town Council Chambers room (alarge auditorium-type room where the town council meets and the public can attend.) I sent Phillip an email about this, he replied (as expected) that the law has not changed, the signage is still unlawful, and they need to come down. Yesterday, as I was inside the building I looked and yes, the signs are still there. I've notified the town officers that the sign needs to come down, but I think it'd be more effective to have fellow VCDL members also remind them that the signage is unlawful and a violation of VA §15.2-915. For some reason they seem to think they are above the law.

    OK, I am at a loss here....

    Where exactly in the code does it say a "sign" is unlawful and against the law?

    I can post all the signs I want. If they have no standing, I certainly cannot act upon them. But a sign by itself seems to not be covered.

    The preemptive law only stops the localities from actually charging you with gun crime not in the state code.

    Just saying.... :?
    Oh, so a sign restricting a drinking fountain in the county office to whites only is OK then? After all, it's just a sign.

    How about a sign that tells women they must wear a burka under penalty of death? Just words, just a sign.

    How about a sign "Juden Verbotten"? No harm there either?

    The sign is an an attempt in and of itself to get people to comply with something that is clearly illegal.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    Skeptic wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Bill in VA wrote:
    Back in September of 2008 the Town of Wytheville put up two signs on the front window of the municipal building. For the record, there are no courtrooms, judges' chambers, etc... in this building, nor is this particularbuilding anywhere near our two courthouses. (See the original threads here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/14403.html and here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/16817.html ) As a refresher, there are two signs, one reads,"NOTICE/NO WEAPONS ALLOWED/The Possession of Any and All Dangerous Weapons is Prohibited on These Premises" and the other reads, "NOTICE/YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO SEARCH." The first of these signs is a violation of Virginia's preemption law, §15.2-915.The Town has no lawful authority to prohibit carriage of a firearm in the municipal building and any attempt to regulate such is a violation of state law.The long and the short of it is that my comments and Phillip's phone calls convinced the town fathers to remove these two signs back in October.

    Last month, however, while back inside the municipal building, I noticed these two signs were back up, but this time on the doorway leading into the Town Council Chambers room (alarge auditorium-type room where the town council meets and the public can attend.) I sent Phillip an email about this, he replied (as expected) that the law has not changed, the signage is still unlawful, and they need to come down. Yesterday, as I was inside the building I looked and yes, the signs are still there. I've notified the town officers that the sign needs to come down, but I think it'd be more effective to have fellow VCDL members also remind them that the signage is unlawful and a violation of VA §15.2-915. For some reason they seem to think they are above the law.

    OK, I am at a loss here....

    Where exactly in the code does it say a "sign" is unlawful and against the law?

    I can post all the signs I want. If they have no standing, I certainly cannot act upon them. But a sign by itself seems to not be covered.

    The preemptive law only stops the localities from actually charging you with gun crime not in the state code.

    Just saying.... :?
    Oh, so a sign restricting a drinking fountain in the county office to whites only is OK then? After all, it's just a sign.

    How about a sign that tells women they must wear a burka under penalty of death? Just words, just a sign.

    How about a sign "Juden Verbotten"? No harm there either?

    The sign is an an attempt in and of itself to get people to comply with something that is clearly illegal.
    Ya beat me to it Skep. I might add, which you pointed out too, that a sign is a command to do or not do something. When in a government building it carries the authority of the state, that the state is commanding you. Problem is that the state doesn't have that authority to command such. If it's an illegal command then the sign is illegal and should be removed.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    The sign is a prelude to a trespassing charge. If you choose to ignore it, you may be charged. You could win in court but at some expense to both your wallet and nerves.

    I know...You'll sue and buy a new 1911 in Tahiti where the women don't wear no tops. Easier said than done and better avoided.

    You need to have legitimate direction in a public building. It;s like putting a fire exit sign on a second story exit with no outside steps.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Where exactly in the code does it say a "sign" is unlawful and against the law?
    I see and understand your point, LEO, but I don't think it's germane to the discussion. A sign prohibiting the possession of firearms by a government entity (with certain exceptions, of course) communicates something that is untrue, and claims authority the entity doesn't have.

    So while no one may be charged, tried and convicted of the "crime" of displaying such an "unlawful" sign, that's not what anyone is advocating, anyway. We understand that these extra-legal signs are essentially lies, and we get angered when our governments lie to us. We want them to stop the lies, and remove the signs.

    And for the record, no, I don't believe that posting a sign next to a water fountain stating "For Whites Only" is illegal. Incredibly offensive, yes. Colossally stupid, yes. You'd better not enforce what the sign says, yes. But illegal? I'm not sure what law it violates. And if there is such a law, then we need to expand it to include all signs that prohibit lawful behavior, such as carrying a gun.

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    Skeptic wrote:
    Oh, so a sign restricting a drinking fountain in the county office to whites only is OK then? After all, it's just a sign.

    How about a sign that tells women they must wear a burka under penalty of death? Just words, just a sign.

    How about a sign "Juden Verbotten"? No harm there either?

    The sign is an an attempt in and of itself to get people to comply with something that is clearly illegal.
    OMG... here we go again....

    If we are not bringing up some comparison to Nazis.... we bring up black and white race issues.

    They have no other logical or valid argument so this is the last step at creating a defense for their case.

    After all... who would want to jump into that discussion... :?

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    TexasNative wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Where exactly in the code does it say a "sign" is unlawful and against the law?
    I see and understand your point, LEO, but I don't think it's germane to the discussion. A sign prohibiting the possession of firearms by a government entity (with certain exceptions, of course) communicates something that is untrue, and claims authority the entity doesn't have.

    So while no one may be charged, tried and convicted of the "crime" of displaying such an "unlawful" sign, that's not what anyone is advocating, anyway. We understand that these extra-legal signs are essentially lies, and we get angered when our governments lie to us. We want them to stop the lies, and remove the signs.

    And for the record, no, I don't believe that posting a sign next to a water fountain stating "For Whites Only" is illegal. Incredibly offensive, yes. Colossally stupid, yes. You'd better not enforce what the sign says, yes. But illegal? I'm not sure what law it violates. And if there is such a law, then we need to expand it to include all signs that prohibit lawful behavior, such as carrying a gun.
    TN...

    I completely understand what you are saying.

    But the member did not say that. He said the signs were "illegal" and I asked for the code showing how.

    these signs is a violation of Virginia's preemption law,
    the signage is still unlawful,
    the signage is unlawful and a violation of VA §15.2-915



    It is not a violation of the preemptive law from what I have read.
    The signs are not unlawful from what I know.
    The signs are not a violation of 15.2-915.

    But the author wants the reader to believe his own lies. So we have lies working on both sides now.

    Do the signs misrepresent what is allowed? From the preemptive law.. I guess they do.

    But the sign itself does not appear to be a chargeable offense and is not a violation of state law. If it is.. please show me. I would love to see it.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    But the member did not say that. He said the signs were 'illegal' ...
    Two points here:1) With all due respect to Bill, I think he was a bit careless in his wording, as you pointed out, and 2) you're focusing in on the details of specific sentences and ignoring his overall point, and the action he wants to happen.

    Bill didn't say he wants someone to be arrested or go to jail for posting the sign; he said he wants the signs to come down.

    So yes, the "tree" you're focusing on claimed the signs were illegal, but you're ignoring the "forest" that calls for removal of the signs, and nothing else.

    And my last point: let's not descend into that sewer of claiming someone else's intent, or jumping to the worst possible conclusion about another poster. As I discussed above, I think Bill chose his words poorly, but to call his statements "lies" goes overboard. You don't know that, and I think you should apologize to Bill for calling him a liar.

    Unless, of course, Bill wants to come on here and clarify that he does indeed think that posting the signs is a crime under current law, and people should be tried and convicted for it. In that case, I withdraw everything I've said here.

    ~ Boyd

    P.S. And Bill, I don't intend to badmouth you, and I don't claim that I don't make the same mistake that I think you made here. I knew what (I believe) you meant, but as we've learned time and time again here in the OCDO forums, imprecision in what we write can cause useless digression and discussion. Folks will often choose to interpret our words in the most damaging light possible.

    And LEO, I think you're committing the same unfounded accusation that you're often the target of.

    I'm starting to get unfocused myself, so it's time for me to shut up. At least for a while. :P

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    Well. Since you have a civil right to keep and bear arms under both the US and Virginia constitution. And since there are numerous laws requiring the government NOT to violate those rights. I would further say the sign is a blatant attempt at rights violations. Willfully violating ones rights in Virginia is illegal. Since this is common knowledge and not a gun law I see no reason to cite. I think it's very fair to say the sign is illegal.

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    You may well have a point, ravonaf, but even so, Bill didn't seem to make that claim. If that's what he was thinking, he said absolutely nothing to advance that point beyond merely saying the signs were illegal.

    As to your specific point, I think your claim is debatable and not a slam dunk. Beyond it being a rights issue, there are huge differences between abuse of power based on someone's race vs. what someone chooses to carry to defend themselves. I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with you, but just that I don't think it's a sure thing.

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    TexasNative wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    But the member did not say that. He said the signs were 'illegal' ...
    Two points here:1) With all due respect to Bill, I think he was a bit careless in his wording, as you pointed out, and 2) you're focusing in on the details of specific sentences and ignoring his overall point, and the action he wants to happen.

    Bill didn't say he wants someone to be arrested or go to jail for posting the sign; he said he wants the signs to come down.

    So yes, the "tree" you're focusing on claimed the signs were illegal, but you're ignoring the "forest" that calls for removal of the signs, and nothing else.

    And my last point: let's not descend into that sewer of claiming someone else's intent, or jumping to the worst possible conclusion about another poster. As I discussed above, I think Bill chose his words poorly, but to call his statements "lies" goes overboard. You don't know that, and I think you should apologize to Bill for calling him a liar.

    Unless, of course, Bill wants to come on here and clarify that he does indeed think that posting the signs is a crime under current law, and people should be tried and convicted for it. In that case, I withdraw everything I've said here.

    ~ Boyd

    P.S. And Bill, I don't intend to badmouth you, and I don't claim that I don't make the same mistake that I think you made here. I knew what (I believe) you meant, but as we've learned time and time again here in the OCDO forums, imprecision in what we write can cause useless digression and discussion. Folks will often choose to interpret our words in the most damaging light possible.

    And LEO, I think you're committing the same unfounded accusation that you're often the target of.

    I'm starting to get unfocused myself, so it's time for me to shut up. At least for a while. :P
    TN, no accusations here...

    I could see his intent... but when you make the same, IMO, error.... three times I have to question what is being presented. Once in error, twice makes you take a second look. But three times in the same post identifies to me that the author clearly believes signs are illegal.

    I have my doubts and would like the author to take a second look and perhaps think about what they are saying. If they have something to back it up.. Sweet!!

    It was not a one time thing you can gloss over.. Remember... it was presented three times in the same post. I saw no mentioning of it being an opinion either.

    I only asked for someone to show me a law that says the signs are "illegal". As of yet.. I have not seen anyone do it. They did talk about Nazis... as always happens here. But no state or federal code.

    I am genuinely interested in knowing.

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    I only asked for someone to show me a law that says the signs are "illegal". As of yet.. I have not seen anyone do it. They did talk about Nazis... as always happens here. But no state or federal code.
    § 15.2-915. Control of firearms; applicability to authorities and local governmental agencies. A. No locality shall adopt or enforce any ordinance, resolution or motion, as permitted by § 15.2-1425, and no agent of such locality shall take any administrative action, governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying, storage or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof other than those expressly authorized by statute. For purposes of this section, a statute that does not refer to firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, shall not be construed to provide express authorization. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a locality from adopting workplace rules relating to terms and conditions of employment of the workforce. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a law-enforcement officer, as defined in § 9.1-101 from acting within the scope of his duties. The provisions of this section applicable to a locality shall also apply to any authority or to a local governmental entity, including a department or agency, but not including any local or regional jail or juvenile detention facility. B. Any local ordinance, resolution or motion adopted prior to the effective date of this act governing the purchase, possession, transfer, ownership, carrying or transporting of firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof, other than those expressly authorized by statute, is invalid. (1987, c. 629, § 15.1-29.15; 1988, c. 392; 1997, cc. 550, 587; 2002, c. 484; 2003, c. 943; 2004, cc. 837, 923.)

    I would say posting the signs constituted an administrative action by an agent of the local authority. I would further say the signs are illegal.







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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Once in error, twice makes you take a second look. But three times in the same post identifies to me that the author clearly believes signs are illegal.
    And this is where we disagree, and only Bill can clarify. I think Bill worded his point incorrectly, three times (I'll take your word for it on the count).

    You think him saying the same thing three times means he wants someone arrested for the crime of posting extra-legal signs. I disagree.

    At this point, we'll have to wait and see what Bill says. You're ready to draw a conclusion based on what we currently have. I think you're jumping to a conclusion without sufficient evidence.

    By the way, doesn't that sound kinda familiar to ya? Have you ever seen that happen on this board? Huh? Do ya, punk? (sorry, I started channeling Dirty Harry there for some reason :P )

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    ravonaf wrote:
    I would further say the signs are illegal.
    You make an excellent point. Just because something is illegal doesn't make it a crime. There is no punishment listed in the law for a municipality (or an agent/employee thereof) violating these provisions, so no one is going to be arrested. That doesn't mean the prohibited actions aren't illegal.

    I made the fairly common error of equating "illegal" with "crime." So yup, I'll agree that the signs are illegal. Nope, putting them up is not a crime (an assumption I made all by myself).

    ~ Boyd

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    TexasNative wrote:
    ravonaf wrote:
    I would further say the signs are illegal.
    You make an excellent point. Just because something is illegal doesn't make it a crime. There is no punishment listed in the law for a municipality (or an agent/employee thereof) violating these provisions, so no one is going to be arrested. That doesn't mean the prohibited actions aren't illegal.

    I made the fairly common error of equating "illegal" with "crime." So yup, I'll agree that the signs are illegal. Nope, putting them up is not a crime (an assumption I made all by myself).

    ~ Boyd
    I don't remember Bill saying it was a crime punishable by arrest. Although I may need to go back and re-read. Like all things if push came to shove it would have to go before a Judge to decide. If the Judge agreed they are illegal and they where still not taken down then someone is going to jail. But I highly doubt it would go that far.

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    #1. I agree, Bill never said that. That's why I stated I made an incorrect assumption.

    #2. If a judge tells a municipality to do something, and they don't do it, the original issue is superseded by the failure to follow the judge's order. I believe it becomes Contempt at that point.

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    TexasNative wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Once in error, twice makes you take a second look. But three times in the same post identifies to me that the author clearly believes signs are illegal.
    And this is where we disagree, and only Bill can clarify. I think Bill worded his point incorrectly, three times (I'll take your word for it on the count).

    You think him saying the same thing three times means he wants someone arrested for the crime of posting extra-legal signs. I disagree.

    At this point, we'll have to wait and see what Bill says. You're ready to draw a conclusion based on what we currently have. I think you're jumping to a conclusion without sufficient evidence.

    By the way, doesn't that sound kinda familiar to ya? Have you ever seen that happen on this board? Huh? Do ya, punk? (sorry, I started channeling Dirty Harry there for some reason :P )
    Well, when someone says the same thing over and over... it is going to cause a conclusion by the reader. Mine is that he believes "signs" are illegal. He said so three times.

    What he meant.. it is not really open for debate. Only the author can clarify his meaning. My interpretation is not so bad in that he is being attacked and I never resorted to name calling.

    He posted something presumed to be fact... I questioned if there is such a law.

    See the difference in me and the other Citizens out there? :?

    Please note I did call upon the "forum", the "fellas" or even call him a weasel. I did not even QFT his post!!

    Only asking for the law so I can be better educated. Clearly, this is a law I do not know ahead of time so I am not "setting him up" either.

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    Perhaps under "Color of Law" best defines the inappropriate existence of such signs.

    Yata hey
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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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