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Thread: Open Carry in a VA State Park

  1. #1
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Open Carry in a VA State Park

    OK here is my question. Is it really legal to OC in a VA State Park? I researched the topic a little and I can find the code which says it is ok to CC in a VA State PArk and expressly forbids any other form of carry.

    4VAC5-30-200. Firearms.

    No person except employees, police officers, or officers of the department shall carry or possess firearms of any description, or airguns, within the park. This regulation shall not apply in areas designated for hunting by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. This regulation also shall not apply to the carrying of concealed handguns within state parks by holders of a valid concealed handgun permit issued pursuant to 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

    I have read in the news where the governor has 'reportedly' stated that this section of the law is not to be enforced. But in searching the governor's website I cannot find any official document that states such. So my question is what is to prevent a sheriff or police officer (or even DGIF) from enforcing this? I figure it would not be initially in your favor should some LEO decide that he didn't get the memo and the memo isn't law anyway. I did not see any official looking letter on VCDL's website either. Of course in a year or two with the UN Small Arms Treaty it might not matter anyway since I believe the current administration is attempting to end-run the constitution and the spineless representatives in DC may allow it (sans Rand Paul).

    From this I can CC and maybe OC but OC would be at risk of being a test case which I really would not like to be.
    Last edited by nuc65; 06-18-2011 at 09:11 AM. Reason: punctuation
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

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    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    I believe on 7/7/2011 is legal to start carrying. I THINK. I saw it somewhere on this forum.

    Here it is!

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...fective-7-7-11


    McDonnell finalizes CC and OC in State Forests, effective 7/7/11
    http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=6750


    Virginia: Governor McDonnell Confirms Changes to Allow Lawful Carry of a Firearm in State Forests!

    Sunday, May 08, 2011

    On May 6, Governor Robert F. McDonnell approved changes to the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Virginia State Forest Regulation 4VAC10-30-170. The approved changes went into immediate effect.

    The changes will permit law-abiding Virginians to carry a firearm in State Forests. These changes now allow for both the lawful carrying of concealed firearms by those who possess a concealed carry permit, as well as open carrying for anyone in lawful possession of a firearm.

    The new language to the Administrative Code is below:

    4VAC10-30-170. Explosives, firearms, etc.

    No person shall bring into or have in any forest any explosive or explosive substance. This regulation shall not apply to the lawful carrying of firearms and firearm ammunition.

    Please contact Governor McDonnell by e-mail and thank him for improving Virginia’s regulatory environment for lawful firearm owners!
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 06-18-2011 at 12:10 PM.
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

  3. #3
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    I believe on 7/7/2011 is legal to start carrying. I THINK. I saw it somewhere on this forum.

    Here it is!

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...fective-7-7-11
    1 - State Forests are not State Parks.
    2 - As of 6/7/11 a NEW comment period began regarding the change in VAC related to carry in State Forests. The 7/7/11 date is not to be taken as official and the new law of the land. If you want to take your chances you need to be prepared for the possible consequences.
    3 - OC in State Parks: per http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/virginia.pdf that restriction was lifted 1/20/11.

    stay safe.

  4. #4
    Founder's Club Member Tess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    1 - State Forests are not State Parks.
    2 - As of 6/7/11 a NEW comment period began regarding the change in VAC related to carry in State Forests. The 7/7/11 date is not to be taken as official and the new law of the land. If you want to take your chances you need to be prepared for the possible consequences.
    3 - OC in State Parks: per http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/virginia.pdf that restriction was lifted 1/20/11.

    stay safe.
    Skidmark is right, but it is also important to note the law did not change; the governor's order directs the law not be enforced.

    In a letter dated Jan. 14, McDonnell (R) directed the Department of Conservation & Recreation to cease enforcing regulations prohibiting open carry. The governor, referring to an opinion he had formulated as attorney general in September 2008 at the request of then-Sen. Kenneth Cuccinelli (R), said the agency had exceeded its statutory authority in banning people from carrying firearms openly.
    (Source: Washingtoon Post, 1/19/2011)

  5. #5
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    1 - State Forests are not State Parks.
    2 - As of 6/7/11 a NEW comment period began regarding the change in VAC related to carry in State Forests. The 7/7/11 date is not to be taken as official and the new law of the land. If you want to take your chances you need to be prepared for the possible consequences.
    3 - OC in State Parks: per http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/virginia.pdf that restriction was lifted 1/20/11.

    stay safe.
    Opps I am sorry, I thought it was State parks
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

  6. #6
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    LAw versus enforcement

    I was also taken by the VA state parks vs state forest. But the fact that the newspapers and the VCDL page might state that the governor declares no enforcement does not save you from the law. I would like something more tangible because I believe that if one carried and were taken to courts the courts would not care what the newspapers reported, nor even a purported letter from the governor, the courts probably will only care about the letter of law.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

  7. #7
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuc65 View Post
    I believe that if one carried and were taken to courts the courts would not care what the newspapers reported, nor even a purported letter from the governor, the courts probably will only care about the letter of law.
    So, in essence it's a trick, designed to lure people to OC and then arrest them and say 'oh sorry, we don't go by the Governer's rule, it's still a law'.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

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    Activist Member Wolf_shadow's Avatar
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    IANAL but IIRC it is an administrative code written by the state park system that prohibited OC. It was not a state law passed by the legislature and signed by the Govner.

    Does VAC carry anymore than a trespassing charge?

  9. #9
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf_shadow View Post
    IANAL but IIRC it is an administrative code written by the state park system that prohibited OC. It was not a state law passed by the legislature and signed by the Govner.

    Does VAC carry anymore than a trespassing charge?
    Yes. It's a Class 1 Misdemeanor - up to $1,000 fine and/or 12 months in jail.

    stay safe.

  10. #10
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    So, in essence it's a trick, designed to lure people to OC and then arrest them and say 'oh sorry, we don't go by the Governer's rule, it's still a law'.
    I don't think the governor would be complicit in such. What I think is that if one were arrested the system would prosecute you irregardless of what the governor said. I cannot find a letter from the governor directing all the LEAs to ignore this rule so how would one protect oneself from an overzealous officer. Because as is the subject of numerous posts there are no overzealous officers, and all LEOs are fully conscious and fully informed of the law.

    I am cynical enough not to trust a boon on the word of the newspaper, or on the word of handgunlaw.us. Outside of what is printed in the law, including the rules of the various state agencies why would I trust the government, because they have my best interest at heart?
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    So, in essence it's a trick, designed to lure people to OC and then arrest them and say 'oh sorry, we don't go by the Governer's rule, it's still a law'.
    The Governor is the boss of all the Executive Branch employees. If he says not to enforce a section of the Virginia Administrative Code then that's the way it works out. Yes, someone could decide to bring enforcement action against an individual but the courts would have to go along with the Governor's declaration. As for the continuing and future employment of the folks who decided to try to enforce the VAC after the Governor said not to - well, I leave that to your imagination.

    Why certain folks presume that everything is a vast conspiracy against them, with the intent to land them in jail if the cops do not kill them before they get there, is beyond me. Understanding the workings of the Virginia Administrative Code is not that arcane nor that difficult for most 6th graders. Heck, even graduates of most law schools can figure it out if given a basic cheat sheet.

    stay safe.

  12. #12
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    The Governor is the boss of all the Executive Branch employees. If he says not to enforce a section of the Virginia Administrative Code then that's the way it works out. Yes, someone could decide to bring enforcement action against an individual but the courts would have to go along with the Governor's declaration. As for the continuing and future employment of the folks who decided to try to enforce the VAC after the Governor said not to - well, I leave that to your imagination.

    Why certain folks presume that everything is a vast conspiracy against them, with the intent to land them in jail if the cops do not kill them before they get there, is beyond me. Understanding the workings of the Virginia Administrative Code is not that arcane nor that difficult for most 6th graders. Heck, even graduates of most law schools can figure it out if given a basic cheat sheet.

    stay safe.
    It isn't so much the issue that it is a conspiracy only that I can find no directive from the governor's office stating such. I can only find it in the newspapers and miscellaneous websites. Point me to the official written word and I would be more than happy to conclude that I would have no problem if I were to OC in a VA state park.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    So, in essence it's a trick, designed to lure people to OC and then arrest them and say 'oh sorry, we don't go by the Governer's rule, it's still a law'.
    Comments like this do nothing to define the legal status and only serve to interject negative bias. That and you are wrong.

    Violation of the VAC rules may have legal penalties attached to them. The Governor may direct, with force of law, that they not be enforced or create a new standard.

    Governors historically have issued executive orders based upon the authority inherent in the constitutional duty of a Governor to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

    Prior opinions of the Attorney General recognize that the Constitution grants to the Governor a general reservoir of powers as chief executive of the Commonwealth.

    Thus, the authority of the Governor to issue executive orders is well established in the law and history of the Commonwealth.
    http://www.oag.state.va.us/OPINIONS/...ns/05-094w.pdf
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

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  14. #14
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuc65 View Post
    It isn't so much the issue that it is a conspiracy only that I can find no directive from the governor's office stating such. I can only find it in the newspapers and miscellaneous websites. Point me to the official written word and I would be more than happy to conclude that I would have no problem if I were to OC in a VA state park.
    You are going to have to contact the Governor's Office, or the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, if you want to see a copy of the letter that he sent. Correspondence of that nature is not normally made public.

    However, I seriously doubt that the following, among many others, would report that he did in fact send such a letter instructing the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Recreation if that were not the case.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/...-parks-forests

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/vir...celebrate.html

    http://hamptonroads.com/2011/01/mcdo...ns-state-parks

    http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/stor...1705&catid=283

    http://athleticbusiness.com/articles...%20restaurants

    http://thepocomokepubliceye.blogspot...n-guns-in.html

    http://www.nraila.org/legislation/read.aspx?id=6129

    http://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/pre...in-State-Parks

    http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2...rea-ar-785950/

    stay safe.

  15. #15
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Comments like this do nothing to define the legal status and only serve to interject negative bias. That and you are wrong.

    Violation of the VAC rules may have legal penalties attached to them. The Governor may direct, with force of law, that they not be enforced or create a new standard.

    Governors historically have issued executive orders based upon the authority inherent in the constitutional duty of a Governor to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

    Prior opinions of the Attorney General recognize that the Constitution grants to the Governor a general reservoir of powers as chief executive of the Commonwealth.

    Thus, the authority of the Governor to issue executive orders is well established in the law and history of the Commonwealth.
    http://www.oag.state.va.us/OPINIONS/...ns/05-094w.pdf
    The governor may direct the executive branch but does not direct the judicial branch. You all can quote to your hearts content the newspapers and other media sites, but I have seen misinformation in print enough times that I don't have to trust my life to the word of newspaper which may sway public opinion but does not carry the weight of the law.

    It seems that here everyone is bent on saying don't worry about it. The newspapers all said such and such, and the governor wrote a letter. I do not think it unreasonable to ask to see the official letter in order to protect myself. I do not understand why you all vehemently deny that the official letter is needed and continue to point to newspapers and MM sites. Skidmark's case should be an indicator, imho, that the various LEAs don't always play by the rules, in fact how many times has it been pointed out the 'rules' that LEOs don't have to play by.

    So, I inquire, why is it so upsetting that I ask to see the 'official' directive?
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

  16. #16
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Comments like this do nothing to define the legal status and only serve to interject negative bias. That and you are wrong.

    Violation of the VAC rules may have legal penalties attached to them. The Governor may direct, with force of law, that they not be enforced or create a new standard.

    Governors historically have issued executive orders based upon the authority inherent in the constitutional duty of a Governor to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

    Prior opinions of the Attorney General recognize that the Constitution grants to the Governor a general reservoir of powers as chief executive of the Commonwealth.

    Thus, the authority of the Governor to issue executive orders is well established in the law and history of the Commonwealth.
    http://www.oag.state.va.us/OPINIONS/...ns/05-094w.pdf
    Sorry, Grapeshot, in my previous post I neglected to point out that this directive was not an executive order issued by the governor. I searched and read all of his executive directives and it was no place to be found. This is why I am looking for it. I would be happy to be incorrect if someone can point me to a copy or even send me a copy I have yet to see this purported letter.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

  17. #17
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    You are going to have to contact the Governor's Office, or the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, if you want to see a copy of the letter that he sent. Correspondence of that nature is not normally made public.

    However, I seriously doubt that the following, among many others, would report that he did in fact send such a letter instructing the Secretary of the Department of Conservation and Recreation if that were not the case.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/...-parks-forests

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/vir...celebrate.html

    http://hamptonroads.com/2011/01/mcdo...ns-state-parks

    http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/stor...1705&catid=283

    http://athleticbusiness.com/articles...%20restaurants

    http://thepocomokepubliceye.blogspot...n-guns-in.html

    http://www.nraila.org/legislation/read.aspx?id=6129

    http://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/pre...in-State-Parks

    http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2...rea-ar-785950/

    stay safe.
    While I was at SML (VA Park) a preceding weekend I took note of the various agencies that were on hand in an enforcement capacity. Parks and Recs officers were not there. There was a Bedford County Sheriff, a local police officer and a state police officer. I wouldn't trust that groups outside of the conservation department would have received any training on 'rules' that weren't in the books or that they received a copy of the memo. Nor do I believe that they would care if I pointed them to all these newspaper sites. Instead if in doubt they would look up the rules for the state parks and say, see, right here in black and white.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

  18. #18
    Regular Member doug23838's Avatar
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    NUC

    Why don't you come to the VCDl picinic at Pocahontas St. Park in Aug? I'd bet there will be some folks who will OC at the picnic in the park. If anyone gets arrested, I'm sure it'll make the news.

    As for Pocahontas State Park, the signs at the parking areas USED to say: Firearms prohibited except those with concealed carry permits. That has since been taped over.

    I think they all got the memo. If you're still nervous about OC at the state park, then cover up.

  19. #19
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug23838 View Post
    NUC

    Why don't you come to the VCDl picinic at Pocahontas St. Park in Aug? I'd bet there will be some folks who will OC at the picnic in the park. If anyone gets arrested, I'm sure it'll make the news.

    As for Pocahontas State Park, the signs at the parking areas USED to say: Firearms prohibited except those with concealed carry permits. That has since been taped over.

    I think they all got the memo. If you're still nervous about OC at the state park, then cover up.
    I think it's time for me to get the official memo Doug. I don't believe they could successfully prosecute at this point even if they wanted to. I think that it would become an estoppel by entrapment but I sure would like to get User's opinion on it.

    I'll see if McDonnell's office will turn a copy loose tomorrow, certified if possible.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Comments like this do nothing to define the legal status and only serve to interject negative bias. That and you are wrong.

    Violation of the VAC rules may have legal penalties attached to them. The Governor may direct, with force of law, that they not be enforced or create a new standard.
    I have to assume that you guys who talk about being 'negative' on LEO actions just do not read the paper or visit websites, where there is a growing concern that we are heading to a police state. If ANYTHING, my comments, which are often couched as hyperbole, show 'central tendency', not negative bias.

    LEOs who chase after and smash cameras and point guns at people videoing; LEOs who openly state 'we'll find a reason to arrest you, it's not difficult'.

    What more do you need to even rise to the level of paranoia and conspiracy to make the people so afraid of LE that they just cower and babble and give away their rights. ONCE you are IN THE SYSTEM you can (though not all do) find yourself in a finance sucking liberty destroying loop and you barely get out with your sanity. They want to clear cases and indict someone, and they don't really much care if they got the right guy in a LARGE number of cases.

    One example of evidence planting is too much. We see hundreds. That LEOs can LIE is just wrong. I fear them MUCH MORE than I fear any single criminal and you're just naive if you don't see the threat they pose if you get on their wrong side.

    People talk about the vast majority of cops being good. It's BS. The vast majority are crooked and corrupt (some to a smaller degree). I doubt you could find one who has not take a bribe, looked the other way, received payoffs or taken money or drugs from the scene at some time in their career. It's just too tempting and I would not want to be in that position because I'm human and they don't pay LEOs enough to prevent this temptation.
    Last edited by Badger Johnson; 06-19-2011 at 06:42 PM.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

  21. #21
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I hate it when you're subtle Badger...How do you really feel?

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    I admit to some passion, here, along with some exaggeration. But for gawd's sake, it's a gun-related, rights related board. If you can't vent here, where can you vent.

    In real life, as I said, I'm very nice, calm and have good relations with the LEOs around here. I'm an email buddy of one of the Captains in the Spotsy. Sheriff's office, and a former workout partner of the Chief in Albemarle Co. But when I see good people being jerked around in the news, it gets me in a tizzy.

    I realize that many, many cases go down rightfully and the ones that make the news are sensationalized. Most of the time when I go off like this, you and the Mods call me for it but at least one other poster comes back and says 'oh, yeah, B, you're right'.

    So, I'm not alone. (Paranoids love company?)
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

  23. #23
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    I admit to some passion, here, along with some exaggeration. But for gawd's sake, it's a gun-related, rights related board. If you can't vent here, where can you vent.

    In real life, as I said, I'm very nice, calm and have good relations with the LEOs around here. I'm an email buddy of one of the Captains in the Spotsy. Sheriff's office, and a former workout partner of the Chief in Albemarle Co. But when I see good people being jerked around in the news, it gets me in a tizzy.

    I realize that many, many cases go down rightfully and the ones that make the news are sensationalized. Most of the time when I go off like this, you and the Mods call me for it but at least one other poster comes back and says 'oh, yeah, B, you're right'.

    So, I'm not alone. (Paranoids love company?)
    Maybe working toward passing a law that makes it illegal for a LEO to lie, cheat, steal, be a separate class of citizen would be a way to go?
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

  24. #24
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I called the Governors office today and since I'm not in good standing with them because of my constant hammering over the State Forest lunacy, got the telephone shuffle.

    I finally got fed up and just sent an FOIA which is what I should have done in the first place.
    I'll post a copy of the memorandum when it comes in.

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