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Thread: VA-ALERT: Attorney General Cuccinelli responds

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    One of our members has just forwarded to me an email he received from the Attorney General's office. The email addresses a previous VA-ALERT ("Et tu, Cuccinelli") from a couple of weeks ago.

    In that alert I pointed out that the Attorney General's defense of the GMU gun ban went overboard by drifting away from using legal arguments and into gratuitous, emotion-laden, fabricated scenarios - such as a child in the GMU library possibly getting hit by an accidental discharge caused by a gun owner.

    I had heard earlier through the grapevine that the Attorney General wasn't going to respond to VCDL's complaint until after the litigation between GMU and Rudy DiGiacinto was over, so I was surprised to receive the email below, which is included in its entirety.

    In the response, which VCDL promised to release as soon as we got one, the Attorney General says his office is "...zealously representing our client, George Mason University..."

    Boy, that's an understatement! It's like an attorney publicly slandering his best friend in order to win an otherwise indefensible case. Gun owners were painted as dangerous, unstable, and irresponsible people who put the public at risk.

    If the Attorney General feels he has a duty to defend GMU, fine. But why did that defense HAVE to include impugning gun owners?

    In defending himself for saying at a VCDL meeting that GMU did not have the legal authority to ban guns, Cuccinelli says, "I understand how my misstatement about the pre-emption law created expectations inconsistent with any regulation of firearms whatsoever other than by the General Assembly."

    Cuccinelli's comments about the GMU gun ban can be seen at 5 minutes and 30 seconds into

    http://www.youtube.com/user/vaguninf...20/3bx1ZIusXiU

    With all respect to the Attorney General, this is NOT, nor has it ever been, about local preemption (which I agree doesn't apply, as GMU is not a locality). Two of Cuccinelli's predecessors, Bob McDonnell and Jerry Kilgore, wrote Attorney General opinions on State Parks saying that the agency did not have the power to regulate carry, transport, and possession of firearms because the General Assembly has preempted the entire field of firearms and has not given State Parks any such authority.

    I think the situation is clear: GMU, which is just another state agency, also has no special firearms regulatory dispensation, and would similarly not be able to control firearms beyond state law.

    Finally, in the email below, Cuccinelli writes, "As much as I might wish to discuss the present case and its policy implications for future legislation in some level of detail, I cannot at this time because the lawsuit is still ongoing. However, at the conclusion of the case, I look forward to the opportunity to address its policy implications and those of the anticipated ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the McDonald case with the VCDL and other Second Amendment supporters."

    Once the case has been heard, VCDL will be happy to invite the Attorney General to present the policy implications at a VCDL meeting. This is an important issue for gun owners statewide and we will need to know exactly where we stand.

    -----------

    Thank you for contacting the office of Attorney General Cuccinelli. Please find a note that the attorney general asked me to share with you:

    Dear friend:

    My office recently filed a brief in DiGiacinto v. The Rector and Visitors of George Mason University, a case that has been ongoing since November 2008. My friends at the Virginia Citizens Defense League and other Second Amendment supporters have taken issue with that brief and – based on the language used in it – have challenged my longstanding commitment to the right to keep and bear arms.

    The Office of the Attorney General files briefs like this on a regular basis, defending our clients (agencies, colleges, and universities of the commonwealth) in litigation in both state and federal courts. As a matter of process, I don’t wordsmith each and every brief filed by my staff, nor did I in this case. However, I have reviewed the brief and the legal arguments contained therein, and acknowledge that the OAG is zealously representing our client, GeorgeMason University. So long as a Virginia law is validly enacted and not apparently repugnant to the Constitution, I have a duty to defend it.

    If the 2005 pre-emption law that I had strongly supported as a state senator had been applicable to state government entities (as I incorrectly recalled in 2008) and not merely to local government entities, then there would be no DiGiacinto case. I understand how my misstatement about the pre-emption law created expectations inconsistent with any regulation of firearms whatsoever other than by the General Assembly.

    I, and the Office of the Attorney General, defend the rule of law. In this case, we are defending a validly enacted regulation, and we must do so zealously with every legal argument available to us. While I may not always agree with a particular policy position, I will defend Virginia laws and regulations as well as the constitutions of Virginiaand the United States. To do otherwise would validate my opponent’s accusations during the campaign that I would bend the law to suit my personal views. I have not. I have issued legal opinions that are contrary to my policy views because they are based on the law as it is and not the law as I might like it to be. Laws, and not politics, dictate legal outcomes.

    As much as I might wish to discuss the present case and its policy implications for future legislation in some level of detail, I cannot at this time because the lawsuit is still ongoing. However, at the conclusion of the case, I look forward to the opportunity to address its policy implications and those of the anticipated ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in the McDonald case with the VCDL and other Second Amendment supporters.

    Sincerely,
    Ken


    -------------------------------------------
    ************************************************** *************************
    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 [http://www.vcdl.org/]
    ************************************************** *************************

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    From AG Cuccinelli's letter, this sentence would seem to be the point of contention:

    In this case, we are defending a validly enacted regulation, and we must do so zealously with every legal argument available to us.
    I thought, and I thought that the AG thought as well, that the regulation was not validly enacted, because the State Code did not grant the University the authority to regulate firearms.

    I guess we'll wait and see.

    TFred


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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Remember, Ken Cuccinelli said on the campaign trail that he did not have to enforce laws with which he disagreed.

    He also as much as admitted in this e-mail that he had no problem on the campaign trail answering questions to which he didn't know (or care) the answer.

    I am SO happy I never trusted this guy and literally wrote in "None of the Above" for the AG race.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Isn't it interesting that he can't talk about this lawsuit but can be all over Fox news and everywhere else talking about the healthcare lawsuit. I call shenanigans.

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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    longwatch wrote:
    Isn't it interesting that he can't talk about this lawsuit but can be all over Fox news and everywhere else talking about the healthcare lawsuit. I call shenanigans.
    He can't talk about this lawsuit because he's the defendant's (GMU)attorney. The plaintiff can if he wants to, but not his attorney unless the plaitiff actually gives him/her permission. For that matter, GMU can also talk about it, but why should they? When this is done, I'd like to hear his explanation of these apparently opposite views.

    I haven't seen Fox News, but I did read his comments in the paper. It seems like he said two things: 1) why Virginia is filing it's own suit,as opposed to joining the other states in a class action; 2) the basis for Virginia's suit (feds overstepping commerce clause). Stating the basis isn't much of a discussion.

    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

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    2a4all wrote:
    longwatch wrote:
    Isn't it interesting that he can't talk about this lawsuit but can be all over Fox news and everywhere else talking about the healthcare lawsuit. I call shenanigans.
    He can't talk about this lawsuit because he's the defendant's (GMU)attorney. The plaintiff can if he wants to, but not his attorney unless the plaitiff actually gives him/her permission. For that matter, GMU can also talk about it, but why should they? When this is done, I'd like to hear his explanation of these apparently opposite views.

    I haven't seen Fox News, but I did read his comments in the paper. It seems like he said two things: 1) why Virginia is filing it's own suit,as opposed to joining the other states in a class action; 2) the basis for Virginia's suit (feds overstepping commerce clause). Stating the basis isn't much of a discussion.
    Cuccinelli'scampaign is having a conference call on the 16th exclusively devoted to discussing the health care lawsuit.

    Cuccinelli went so far at the VCDL meeting as to invite somebody to sue GMU to be allowed to open carry there. After doing that, he really should have had special counsel brief and argue the GMU suit.

    The Coochtruly dropped the ball here: "As a matter of process, I don’t wordsmith each and every brief filed by my staff, nor did I in this case." i.e. he didn't even readthe briefuntil after it was filed, and his office failed to notice that it had any policy/constitutional implications.

    "So long as a Virginia law is validly enacted and not apparently repugnant to the Constitution, I have a duty to defend it." The Attorney General is arguing in the brief that the regulation DOES NOT violate the constitution. How is that supposed to squarewith his supposed "longstanding views on the right to keep and bear arms?"

    And how about: "While I may not always agree with a particular policy position, I will defend Virginia laws and regulations as well as the constitutions of Virginiaand the United States. To do otherwise would validate my opponent’s accusations during the campaign that I would bend the law to suit my personal views. I have not. I have issued legal opinions that are contrary to my policy views because they are based on the law as it is and not the law as I might like it to be. Laws, and not politics, dictate legal outcomes."

    But the law of the DiGiacinto case, including the level of scrutiny to be used in 2A cases, and what constitutes "sensitive areas" has yet to be written. Cuccinelli is not hemmed in by the law here: he is zealously representing GMU within the arguable bounds of the law.

    Cuccinelli desparately wants to have it both ways.




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    The Donkey wrote:
    SNIP Cuccinelli desparately wants to have it both ways.
    Doesn't make sense. We've seen the guy take principled stands on guns thatriskedhis re-election. Whatever might be going on, I don't think it is this.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    I would like clarification of this statement:

    "If the 2005 pre-emption law that I had strongly supported as a state senator had been applicable to state government entities (as I incorrectly recalled in 2008) and not merely to local government entities,..."

    So he is saying that the state agencies are not subject to pre-emption, and can make up their own laws (couched as "regulations")? Pre-emption only applies to rules promulgated by local govt. entities?

    Something is fishy and it ain't in Denmark.
    Remember Peter Nap and Skidmark. Do them proud. Be active. Be well informed. ALL rights matter.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    TFred wrote:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    In defending himself for saying at a VCDL meeting that GMU did not have the legal authority to ban guns, Cuccinelli says, "I understand how my misstatement about the pre-emption law created expectations inconsistent with any regulation of firearms whatsoever other than by the General Assembly."
    Well Ken Brady (Cuccinelli),iIt is quite clearthat the GMU gun ban is wholly repugnant to Article1, Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution. Any clear reading of the Virginia constitution would raise serious doubts about the legislatures ability topass any legitimate law that infringes on the ability to keep and bear arms in Virginia, let alone a complete gun ban.

    Your quisling words about not wordsmithing your underlings is equivalent to "I didn't inhale".

    There was an argument made that was based not upon fact, but upon emotion and is quite insulting to gun owners. Ifholstered handgunsare dangerous because of the accidental discharge possibility, when will you lead the fight to disarmall LEOs in the Commonwealth?

    Wake up and smell the coffee Virginia. Ken Brady is worse than a gun grabber, he is a closet gun banner.


    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Thundar wrote:
    Wake up and smell the coffee Virginia. Ken Brady is worse than a gun grabber, he is a closet gun banner.

    I just don't think that this is in any way true. At worst I think you can accuse Ken of playing politics with our rights in this case, but he his not a gun grabber/banner.

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    Regular Member Thundar's Avatar
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    VApatriot wrote:
    Thundar wrote:
    Wake up and smell the coffee Virginia. Ken Brady is worse than a gun grabber, he is a closet gun banner.

    I just don't think that this is in any way true. At worst I think you can accuse Ken of playing politics with our rights in this case, but he his not a gun grabber/banner.
    I never said he was a gun grabber, I said he was worse because he is a closet gun banner.

    Why do I say this? Because he has used his official position to advocate the states authority to effect a total BAN on the bearing of arms which contradicts the basic tenants of theVirginia constitution based upon fear mongering and a grossly over broad definition of sensitive places.

    Ken Bradyis worse that the overt gun grabbers and banners out there. They are open and honest in their actions. Ken hides in the closet and stabs us in the back when we least expect it. Hopefully gunrights advocateshave a long memory in the Commonwealth and ensure that Kenny has won his last election in Virginia.

    The "official duty" and obligationthing is total crap. We have heardit from other statistpoliticians as they urinate on our rights. We now here it from thispolitical hackas well.
    He wore his gun outside his pants for all the honest world to see. Pancho & Lefty

    The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us....There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! ...The war is inevitableand let it come! I repeat it, Sir, let it come . PATRICK HENRY speech 1776

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Just a question from the far left field bleachers.

    Has anyone considered that supporting the emotional "It's for the children" rationale may be a way for the AG to fulfill the duties of the office to defend the Commonwealth while positing the least supportable argument? That leaves the issue of the "legality" of whether or not GMU even has the authority to create a rule as the focus of the case.

    Just wondering out loud.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    skidmark wrote:
    Just a question from the far left field bleachers.

    Has anyone considered that supporting the emotional "It's for the children" rationale may be a way for the AG to fulfill the duties of the office to defend the Commonwealth while positing the least supportable argument? That leaves the issue of the "legality" of whether or not GMU even has the authority to create a rule as the focus of the case.

    Just wondering out loud.

    stay safe.
    Of course. That was one of the early possibilities I was considering. The beauty of that strategy is that he uses all those fluff phrases that the liberals love to hear, but which make absolutely no impact on the mertis of the case.

    They're being "had" without even knowing that they're being "had". If that is what he did...

    TFred


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    TFred wrote:
    skidmark wrote:
    Just a question from the far left field bleachers.

    Has anyone considered that supporting the emotional "It's for the children" rationale may be a way for the AG to fulfill the duties of the office to defend the Commonwealth while positing the least supportable argument? That leaves the issue of the "legality" of whether or not GMU even has the authority to create a rule as the focus of the case.

    Just wondering out loud.

    stay safe.
    Of course. That was one of the early possibilities I was considering. The beauty of that strategy is that he uses all those fluff phrases that the liberals love to hear, but which make absolutely no impact on the mertis of the case.

    They're being "had" without even knowing that they're being "had". If that is what he did...

    TFred
    "However, I have reviewed the brief and the legal arguments contained therein, and acknowledge that the OAG is zealously representing our client, GeorgeMason University. So long as a Virginia law is validly enacted and not apparently repugnant to the Constitution, I have a duty to defend it."

    I think that you have to take his word for it.


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    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    The Donkey wrote:
    I think that you have to take his word for it.
    Why? He's a politician.
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population. -Albert Einstein

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    He's tap dancing now. He would've been better off not responding at all then to send out this half-baked reply.

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    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Can Cuccinelli be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    Remember, Ken Cuccinelli said on the campaign trail that he did not have to enforce laws with which he disagreed.

    He also as much as admitted in this e-mail that he had no problem on the campaign trail answering questions to which he didn't know (or care) the answer.

    I am SO happy I never trusted this guy and literally wrote in "None of the Above" for the AG race.
    The candidate for Attorney General, Mark Obenshain, apparently disagrees with Ken on "enforceability" of campus regs:

    Obenshain: Gay bias stand a disservice


    State Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, the Republican nominee for attorney general, says he would have not written an opinion like Ken Cuccinellis from 2010, telling state colleges and universities that they could not have policies banning discrimination against gays and lesbians.

    Had I been asked to issue an opinion on the matter, I would have made it clear that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or any other irrelevant factor in Virginia, a clarification the governor rightly made in his executive directive, Obenshain said in an interview.

    Cuccinelli is now the Republican candidate for governor.
    Well, that begs the question that's important to our community: Is discrimination against armed self-defense, regardless of carry mode, equally irrelevant?

    Here's a headline that would get the voters' attention:

    Obenshain: Gun bias stand a disservice

    Deeper in the article, Cuccinelli's spokesman defends Ken:
    The position is consistent with that of five of his predecessors as attorney general, both Democrats and Republicans, Cuccinelli spokesman Richard Cullen said.
    Cullen is a known anti-gun republican. As a former Fed, he persecuted gun dealers here in Virginia. And that leads to the next question: Can Cuccinelli be trusted?

  18. #18
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    The candidate for Attorney General, Mark Obenshain, apparently disagrees with Ken on "enforceability" of campus regs:

    Obenshain: Gay bias stand a disservice


    Well, that begs the question that's important to our community: Is discrimination against armed self-defense, regardless of carry mode, equally irrelevant?

    Here's a headline that would get the voters' attention:

    Obenshain: Gun bias stand a disservice

    Deeper in the article, Cuccinelli's spokesman defends Ken:


    Cullen is a known anti-gun republican. As a former Fed, he persecuted gun dealers here in Virginia. And that leads to the next question: Can Cuccinelli be trusted?

    I'm not sure what this proves Repeater. IMO, Cuccinelli is far from antigun...not perfect, but good enough.

    Mark Obenshain is a family friend and the AG's race is probably the most contested but Mark's position on guns is uncertain, he sponsored the Voter ID bill which gets him an F- in my book and he is opposed to Sunday Hunting. He's in rough water right now.

    Because of Jackson, we will be lucky if Cuccinelli wins. Jackson could well hand us a Democratic Grand Slam.

  19. #19
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Repeater View Post
    And that leads to the next question: Can Cuccinelli be trusted?
    And the only answer that makes any difference is that we can trust Cuccinelli FAR more than we can trust McAuliffe. This election, as with EVERY election in the foreseeable future is a two way race. Voting for anyone OTHER than Cuccinelli is a vote for McAuliffe.

    TFred

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    And the only answer that makes any difference is that we can trust Cuccinelli FAR more than we can trust McAuliffe. This election, as with EVERY election in the foreseeable future is a two way race. Voting for anyone OTHER than Cuccinelli is a vote for McAuliffe.

    TFred
    +1
    Yes I carry a Bible and a Gun, your point.
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  21. #21
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    And the only answer that makes any difference is that we can trust Cuccinelli FAR more than we can trust McAuliffe on guns. This election, as with EVERY election in the foreseeable future is a two way race. Voting for anyone OTHER than Cuccinelli is a vote for McAuliffe.

    TFred

    Fixed it for you. Sure, this is a gun forum, but the statement is not completely true without the addition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    And the only answer that makes any difference is that we can trust Cuccinelli FAR more than we can trust McAuliffe. This election, as with EVERY election in the foreseeable future is a two way race. Voting for anyone OTHER than Cuccinelli is a vote for McAuliffe.

    TFred
    Indeed, and a McAuliffe win is bad for all gun owners. Similarly, the democrat attorney general candidate Mark Herring proudly supports all kinds of restrictions on our 2A rights.

    Don't turn Virginia into Maryland!

  23. #23
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    Fixed it for you. Sure, this is a gun forum, but the statement is not completely true without the addition.
    Please don't ever "fix" my posts. I say exactly what I mean 99.99% of the time, and that 0.01% is usually a typo. When I do make mistakes, I am quite open to own up to it, upon discovery. If you want to say something different, say it yourself, don't insult me by presuming you can "correct" what I wanted to say.

    You are right, this IS a gun forum, therefore, when a comment is made about a particular candidate or candidates, one may assume it is the context of guns or RKBA or some very similar topic.

    When you add the phrase "on guns" you take what I said and make it NOT about guns. We choose to disagree on the candidates stand on non-gun issues, YOU are the one who took what I said and made it not about guns, and speaking on non-gun issues would technically be a violation of the forum rules, if you want to get all rulesy about it.

    I would appreciate it if you do not do that in the future.

    V/R,

    TFred

  24. #24
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Please don't ever "fix" my posts. I say exactly what I mean 99.99% of the time, and that 0.01% is usually a typo. When I do make mistakes, I am quite open to own up to it, upon discovery. If you want to say something different, say it yourself, don't insult me by presuming you can "correct" what I wanted to say.

    You are right, this IS a gun forum, therefore, when a comment is made about a particular candidate or candidates, one may assume it is the context of guns or RKBA or some very similar topic.

    When you add the phrase "on guns" you take what I said and make it NOT about guns. We choose to disagree on the candidates stand on non-gun issues, YOU are the one who took what I said and made it not about guns, and speaking on non-gun issues would technically be a violation of the forum rules, if you want to get all rulesy about it.

    I would appreciate it if you do not do that in the future.

    V/R,

    TFred
    No problem. You're free to be as incorrect as you please.

  25. #25
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tess View Post
    No problem. You're free to be as incorrect as you please.
    Not the reply - or attitude - I would expect from a long-time member here.

    Are you sure you want to turn this board into a general political forum?

    More importantly, do you think John or Mike want you to turn this board into a general political forum?

    Disappointed.

    TFred

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