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Thread: Roanoke Civic Center's Stance on firearms

  1. #1
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    After reading ProShooter's post on the Richmond Coliseum I sent a follow up on an email to the Roanoke Civic Center on a previous similar topic and thought I would put the response I got from the Roanoke Civic Center after following up on a previous inquiry to there firearm policy.


    Subject: concealed weapons
    From: "Robyn.*****@roanokeva.gov" <Robyn.******@roanokeva.gov>
    Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 7:00:13 PM
    To: **********@yahoo.com

    Hi, **********--

    Thanks for your inquiry. I hope that I can help clarify any confusion about the firearms policy at the RCC. If you will notice in the content of our website and in the text of posters or signage in the facility, the word "illegal" precedes "weapons." Several years ago, when the word "illegal" was absent from the text, a gentleman with the Civic Liberties Union contacted me about the code because he has a concealed weapons permit and he interpreted our statements to mean that we would not allow him to enter our facility with a firearm. At that point, and at the direction of the City Attorney, we changed all verbiage pertaining to firearms to reflect the word "illegal" so as not to confuse anyone. Basically, if you present a valid concealed weapons permit and you are carrying a firearm, we cannot deny you entry into the facility. However, I would like to point out that we prefer no one to bring in firearms for many, many reasons, and our staff will most likely ask politely if you would consider returning it to your vehicle. We make this same request to off-duty officers and surprisingly many comply.


    Our position for asking is simple: Most events held here are not of the nature to inspire or instigate fights. Firearms are extreme weapons to use should a fight escalate between patrons. We would rather have someone fight the old fashioned way if necessary than with a gun because rarely does anyone die from a fist-fight and the chance of an innocent bystander also getting hurt is almost nonexistent. Our facility has a capacity of approximately 10,600 and if we have a full-house, then anyone carrying a firearm has 10,600 opportunities to do irreparable damage. As most everyone will agree, not all who carry weapons, legally or otherwise, are mentally stable and one way to prevent catastrophe is to remove opportunity. Just a few short years ago, someone with a permit and gun was allowed into a basketball game at the Greensboro Coliseum. He moved around in his seat and his gun went off, shooting himself in the leg. That could easily have been a child or innocent person who came out for a night of fun.


    That said, if you come to the RCC and show your concealed weapons permit, you will not be denied entry. However, we ask you to consider the possibilities of all that could go wrong and keep in mind the reason why everyone you see entering the doors is coming here -- to enjoy sports, entertainment, a show, meeting, or expo. They aren't coming to defend themselves against someone with a gun. I imagine that in the near future, there will be changes to the law to prevent anyone from bringing a concealed weapon (legal or not) into a public assembly facility where there are risks for greater damages (much like a football stadium or gathering of multitudes of people) to innocent people.


    I hope this clears up any questions you may have about our policies and procedures with regard to firearms on this property. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
    Thanks,
    Robyn

    Robyn ******| Assistant General Manager | Roanoke Civic Center | Global Spectrum p: 540.853.6861 | f: 540.853.2748 RoanokeCivicCenter.com
    This response does not answer directly the open carrying of a firearm, which should be allowed since it is legal. So I am going to follow up on that.


    ETR: Edited to remove proposed response since it has been decided to not be to the point and futile.

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    It seems like they are missing the point.

    Fist-fighting... really? It seems that they do not understand the possibilities of the necessity of a gun because they seem to think that all confrontations/altercations/whatever are consented/planned to through the course of a small argument between two people who then escalate it to a fist fight.

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    How cute, she has an opinion on the matter.

    She might want to think again if she believes things "will change in the near future"

    I bet those kids on April 16th thought they would just be going to class that day. Evil people don't care what people think should happen at events, they have their own intentions.

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    IMO I wouldn't get into "reasoning" about it with this type of person. You can tell, she is an anti. Fistfights leading to a gun fight? You can clearly tell where her opinion is. It is futile for you to argue with this person.

    Facts are facts. OC is legal. OC cannot be denied. Convey that to them.

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    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    I wish people would understand that I don't want to take a firearm to a sporting event because I think I might have to use it while I'm inside with 10,000 people crowded around me. I want to take a firearm to a sporting event, or anywhere else for that matter, so that I have it when I'm going to and away from the event.





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    Yeah I am glad I posted here before firing off an immediate response that was not to the point.

    Make note to self to allow a thinking period between receiving an email and sending a response when opinions and/or emotions are involved.

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    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    Thndr wrote:
    Yeah I am glad I posted here before firing off an immediate response that was not to the point.

    Make note to self to allow a thinking period between receiving an email and sending a response when opinions and/or emotions are involved.
    Well said, good point, and way-to-go!

    If it would make any difference, I'd really enjoy fisking her response to you that you quoted above. But the only folks that would read it are ones that already agree with me, so I won't bother.

    Plus, I'm a lazy SOB.

    ~ Boyd

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Thndr -

    Do thank Robyn for taking the time to clarify the policy of the Roanoke Civic Center, and possibly thank her for the RCC recognizing that state law prohibits them from restricting your right to carry.

    Beyond that, the rest of her corresponsence to you is just so much wasted electrons. As others have stated, she is expressing opinions. She also has a wonderful imagination, as demonstrated by her saying "I imagine that in the near future, there will be changes to the law to prevent anyone from bringing a concealed weapon (legal or not) into a public assembly facility where there are risks for greater damages (much like a football stadium or gathering of multitudes of people) to innocent people." If she really believes that, she must have a large stock of cold-weather clothing, as it will be a cold day you know where before that bill gets passed.

    Robyn is an anti - there is nothing to be gained from trying to debate with her over the issues. All it will do is make your forehead flat .

    If you want to be snarky, make an appointment to meet Robyn at RCC and thank her in person for RCC's recognition of your right to carry. Of course you will be OCing when you meet with her, won't you?

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    I wonder if she is so concerned about the beer that is freely distributed at those events.

    How many innocent people have been killed by drunks leaving football or baseball games? I guess only certain types of dead people matter.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I'm not so sure she is anti.

    I contacted them about their policy in conjunction with a story about abuses of preemption in the state.

    Her response was :

    We've been told by the Civil Liberties Union and our attorneys that the word "illegal" in our references to weapons keeps us in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth. Obviously, we can't deny entry to anyone with a gun.

    Naive maybe, but not necessary anti.

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    Here is the response I got from Robyn upon confirming that open carry was legal as well. I find it interesting how she included another individual that I have no link to into my email. I am assuming that Don L. is an individual on this forum and wrote them as well. Anyhow yeah I get a anti vibe from her but cannot say for sure as she is speaking on behalf of a company she works for so.....

    From: "Robyn.*******@roanokeva.gov" <Robyn.*****@roanokeva.gov>
    To: *******@yahoo.com
    Sent: Thursday, June 11, 2009 12:13:23 PM
    Subject: Re: concealed weapons

    Hi, ****** --
    I just sent the following message to Don ******. Let me know if you need anything else.

    No, it does not only apply to CHP holders. We've been told by the Civil Liberties Union and our attorneys that the word "illegal" in our references to weapons keeps us in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth. Obviously, we can't deny entry to anyone with a gun. But I wouldn't be honest with you if I didn't also say that we are part of a large membership of public assembly facilities across the continent that are not fans of people carrying weapons of any kind into our buildings. The only justification anyone can ever give us is that they carry them because they can. I hope this better explains our policies and procedures, as well as our willingness to comply with the law. We follow the rules whether we like them or not. Please let me know if there's any further information you need. Thanks,
    Robyn

    Robyn ******* | Assistant General Manager | Roanoke Civic Center | Global Spectrum p: 540.853.6861 | f: 540.853.2748 RoanokeCivicCenter.com
    ETA-Edited to add emphasis on some lines I found interesting noting that they are a private entity managing buildings for the City which owns the building.

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    Robyn has obviously never attended a Brazilian football match. No one is ever shot. All fatalities are from blunt force trauma, stabbing and suffocation.

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Thndr wrote:
    Here is the response I got from Robyn upon confirming that open carry was legal as well. I find it interesting how she included another individual that I have no link to into my email. I am assuming that Don L. is an individual on this forum and wrote them as well. Anyhow yeah I get a anti vibe from her but cannot say for sure as she is speaking on behalf of a company she works for so.....
    Yep, he's here somewhere!

    Actually, we've had several communications and I have also had them with Richmond, Va Beach, Norfolk , Harrisonburg and Wytheville.

    Part of the email was private so I won't say more than she isn't anti gun.

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    Understood,

    That is why I said that I could not say for sure, sometimes you have to go along with something whether you agree completely with it or not. Such as working for a company that prohibits firearms on the premises but to provide for your family you go along with it.

    Anyhow hopefully this will shed some light on the subject for others in the Roanoke area. The only info I had seen previously was from a PM between a fellow member and I stating he got the same response basically.

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    Her responses are remarkably funny.
    James Reynolds

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    peter nap wrote:
    I'm not so sure she is anti.

    I contacted them about their policy in conjunction with a story about abuses of preemption in the state.

    Her response was :

    We've been told by the Civil Liberties Union and our attorneys that the word "illegal" in our references to weapons keeps us in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth. Obviously, we can't deny entry to anyone with a gun.

    Naive maybe, but not necessary anti.
    That is very possible. Some people just don't know any better.

    Others are willfully ignorant :celebrate

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    ProShooter wrote:
    Her responses are remarkably funny.
    Would that be Robyn Schon?



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    "our buildings"

    Exactly... they are OUR buildings... not THEIR buildings...

    TFred


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    Repeater wrote:
    The dumb ones are almost always cute.
    Carry On.

    Ed

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  20. #20
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    Apparently, the Civic Center is having a hard time being successful:

    Civic center seeks formula for success

    The Roanoke Civic Center will cost city taxpayers nearly $3 million in 2008. Roanoke officials are looking for a solution that will help the facility hold its own.

    Over the past several years, the Roanoke Civic Center has struggled to find consistent success.

    "Even though we get our money for that evening, it really cuts into our potential to make additional admission taxes, facility fees, concessions, other ancillary revenue streams we miss because of low attendance," said Robyn Schon, the civic center's acting director.

    That lost revenue, coupled with debt service on the $14 million special events center built over two years, has left Roanoke taxpayers paying more than $1 million annually to keep the civic center afloat. The projected subsidy for 2008 is $2.7 million, according to the city's department of management and budget, largely because of increased debt service on construction on the special events center.

    In search of new management


    Subsidies aren't unusual for municipal facilities. Even Salem, with high-profile sports events and a steady stream of summer business from the Salem Avalanche, has run an annual subsidy of about $1.1 million for the past three years.

    But Roanoke officials have taken action they hope will decrease that subsidy and make the civic center more successful.

    In June, after a failed search for a new executive director, the city issued a request for proposals seeking a private company to manage the Roanoke Civic Center.
    Schon said she'd like to see "a progressive company that has buying power."

    "We need a company that has latitude and flexibility to do the deal in the best possible manner, as opposed to a government facility," Schon said. "We don't have the buying power because we can't take risks with the taxpayers' money to gamble on talent. ... A private company has got more power to book on a consistent level, and if they've got multiple venues, they can make a package deal."

    The city received five responses to its request, which closed in July. The selection committee is negotiating with two finalists:
    • Global Spectrum, an 8-year-old company based in Philadelphia that operates arenas, stadiums, amphitheaters, convention halls, ice centers and fairgrounds around North America. Its parent company is Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.
    • SMG, a 29-year-old company, also based in Philadelphia, which operates a similar array of facilities around North America and Europe. Its Virginia sites include the Richmond Coliseum and Charlottesville's John Paul Jones Arena, where it partners with Red Light Management.
    Any sort of management contract would be subject to approval by the city council, said Roanoke Assistant City Manager Jim Grigsby.

    And that's where politics come into play.

    The civic center came up as a municipal campaign issue in April, when then-Councilman Brian Wishneff said the city had created a "white elephant" by building the special events center there instead of at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. In particular, he targeted the city's subsidy of the civic center, which at that point had grown to more than $3 million to support the debt service on construction of the convention center.

    From 1994 to 2001, the subsidy hovered between $600,000 and $1 million annually. Since then it's risen because of expansion costs and the loss of revenue from its sports franchises.

    Council members want that subsidy down. But they've got their own concerns as well.

    Vice Mayor Sherman Lea, for instance, wants the civic center's management in local hands, citing EventZone and Jefferson Center's management as possibilities.

    "I'm not sold on bringing somebody from out of town to run things, because I don't know that they have the real interest of the city at its heart," Lea said.

  21. #21
    Regular Member TexasNative's Avatar
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    ed wrote:
    The dumb ones are almost always cute.
    Hmm...I know of a dumb one that is about as far away from cute as you can get.

    Not that I mean you, Ed. No, really.

    ~ Boyd

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    ed wrote:
    Repeater wrote:
    The dumb ones are almost always cute.
    That one was easy to disprove:celebrate:what:



  23. #23
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    Bottom line is that municipal owned civic centers and coliseums are subject to preemption in Virginia - OC or CC as you will.

    Legal firearms are carried by responsible people as the last defense to acquiring an early epitaph........ not for settling arguments.

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

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    Despite some errors and bias, at least Ms. Schon provided a fairly honest response and did not completely duck the issue. I actually think she did a good job stating the position of the management.



    She clearly states that they don't want you to carry, but can't stop you.

    At least she didn't spend a week modifying their website and then lying about it .






    Edit: extra word
    Remember Peter Nap and Skidmark. Do them proud. Be active. Be well informed. ALL rights matter.

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  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    riverrat10k wrote:
    Despite some errors and bias, at least Ms. Schon provided a fairly honest response and did not completely duck the issue. I actually think she did a good job stating the position of the management.



    She clearly states that they don't want you to carry, but can't stop you.

    At least she didn't spend a week modifying their website and then lying about it .






    Edit: extra word
    They were pretty honest about it to me.
    I was a little shocked to find the ACLU had contacted them. Since when did they become pro gun?

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