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Thread: Not open carry or firearm...but related! Va Knife laws vagueness.

  1. #1
    Regular Member DontTreadOnMeVa's Avatar
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    Not open carry or firearm...but related! Va Knife laws vagueness.

    Ok, I have been researching Va. knife laws and I am very frustrated. Between the, 'any weapon of like kind', vague references to Bowie and Dirks aspects of the law...I am really at a loss to decide what I can and cant carry, so I decided if the law is vauge and bad It should be changed. I am about to send this to my senator as a first contact to see that response I get, but first I would like to get feed back from some of you.

    *************************

    Senator Harry B. Blevins

    I am writing you today out of frustration and to request help. As a Virginian that exercises his second amendment rights, I thought researching and making sure I was complying with Va law regarding open and conceal carry of a firearm was difficult in many ways, until started looking at Va. knife laws. I am hoping you would consider sponsoring a bill that would clean up the vagueness in the law that makes impossible for someone to be sure of the legalities of Va. knife laws.

    First, I would like to explain why this is important to me. So far, Va has failed to pass a parking lot bill that allows one to keep a legal firearm in ones car at their place of work. I do expect this will eventually pass once there is a shift of power in the senate, but as it is I can not carry to and from work. This opens up a large part of my day(as I travel to and from work) that I am severely impaired in my ability to exercise my basic human right to self-defense. So, I decided to look into my other, and sadly less effective, options to protect myself and my family. One of them I decided was to start carrying a knife both as a utilitarian tool and to also to double as a defensive tool, but I was surprised to find that Va knife laws was so messy.

    Problems with the law currently include: One, there is a couple definitions prohibited types that are questionable, Bowie and Dirks are prohibited but not defined. Second, and made much worse is the fact also embedded in the law is the line later of 'any weapon of like kind' is also prohibited. Most officers I know, let alone jurors would not know how to define that makes given knife a Dirk or a Bowie, couple that with 'like kind' and law is so vague how is one to know if one is violating that? What is "like kind"??? I would say any knife being used for self-defense violate that in its most broad and open interpretation! As it stands, after spending quite a bit of time looking into this I am no better able to define that I can and cant legally carry regarding a given knife model. I am sure you would agree, the law should not be so vague that one can not tell if one is violating it or not.

    That I would ask you for help with is sponsoring a bill(s) that would do three things. One, remove the antiquated Bowie and Dirk language from the law. Secondly, remove the 'any weapon of like kind' regarding model of knifes can be carried. This would remove the pitfall that makes nearly any knife open to interpretation as being in violation of the law. Lastly, I would ask that you sponsor a knife preemption bill for all the very same reasons that Va has firearm preemption, which I believe enjoyes your support.

    Virginians deserve the law to be free of broad vagueness especially regarding issues concerning the most basic of human rights, self-defense.

    For Freedom,

    Will xxx
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Va Beach, Va. 23452

    Ps-If it would be helpful I could send you a draft of such bills to consider for proposal, if that would be helpful.

    ***************************

    So, any input, advice or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    There is also no state preemption of laws related to knives - local municipalities can and do enact their own ordinances.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.Ē Archilochus, 650 BC

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

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I had this argument with Leo229 a year or so ago. As usual he has a friend who's an expert (Cops are always experts in their own minds.)

    I am a knife maker and black powder shooter. I'm not an expert, I just know more than 229 or his friend!

    A dirk is simple. It was derived from the Ballock dagger and is a short sword, generally 12 to 19 inches. It has a distinctive shaped hilt.


    A bowie is a little harder. The original didn't have the distinctive clip we think of now, it was more like a long carving knife.

    Later Bowie's have the abrupt clip, some with absurdly heavy blades.



    Now what idiots with expert friends will arrest you for is open to discussion.
    Last edited by peter nap; 10-18-2011 at 12:21 PM.

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    On a related topic, does anyone know if VCDL is looking at going after the useless bans on any of those other types of weapons in the coming year? I know we've tried to expand the CHP to a CWP, but it would be nice to get rid of a lot of these bans all together. I'm sure the anti-P4P crowd would much prefer it that way.

    Personally, there are times and places that I would love to be able to carry a spring-loaded baton.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Being this is an open carry forum the key words in 18.2-308 are " hidden from common observation".
    I often carry a fixed blade knife.

    A SOG Contour
    www.themartialist.com/sogcontour.htm

    Or

    A CRKT Hissatsu
    http://www.themartialist.com/pecom/hissatsu.htm


    It does suck that some areas attempt to restrict personal defense tools.

    The VA Supreme court has already decided these aren't weapons or weapons of like kind:


    http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/2074072.pdf


    MCmillian Vs Commonwealth = scuba knife


    Farrakhan v. Commonwealth = kitchen knife


    Thompson v. Commonwealth = butterfly knife
    Last edited by Marco; 10-18-2011 at 01:34 PM.
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    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    Thanks for the post and request DonttreadonmeVA! This is a significant issue, which is often forgotten. Since nothing in the name of VCDL links it directly to firearms I don't see why they might not support something like this; but even if they don't take it up it's something worth pursuing!

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    Regular Member DontTreadOnMeVa's Avatar
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    "Lastly, I would ask that you sponsor a knife preemption bill for all the very same reasons that Va has firearm preemption, which I believe enjoyes your support."


    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    There is also no state preemption of laws related to knives - local municipalities can and do enact their own ordinances.
    I know there is no state preemption related to knives, that is part of the problem in my eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I had this argument with Leo229 a year or so ago. As usual he has a friend who's an expert (Cops are always experts in their own minds.)

    I am a knife maker and black powder shooter. I'm not an expert, I just know more than 229 or his friend!

    A dirk is simple. It was derived from the Ballock dagger and is a short sword, generally 12 to 19 inches. It has a distinctive shaped hilt.


    A bowie is a little harder. The original didn't have the distinctive clip we think of now, it was more like a long carving knife.

    Later Bowie's have the abrupt clip, some with absurdly heavy blades.



    Now what idiots with expert friends will arrest you for is open to discussion.
    ...also add the "like kind" issue and then how broad does the definitions become?

    Wile it is nice that a kitchen knife or a suba knife is found in a case to be not a concealed weapon....that does not help in illumiating the law specificly as to what is concealed weapon and/or of like kind to one of the specified like kinds. I would argue that if the knife is not obviously being carried for work/non-defensive reason you might be at risk to that language in the law.

  8. #8
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    If I recall correctly the case law regarding the kitchen knife directly relates to the knife being carried as a defensive piece. I'll need to go back and re-read the case though.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontTreadOnMeVa View Post
    Lastly, I would ask that you sponsor a knife preemption bill for all the very same reasons that Va has firearm preemption, which I believe enjoyes your support.
    To borrow and slightly alter a quote from Alan Gura:

    "If the President canít take your knife away and the Governor canít take your knife away but the mayor takes your knife away, you still donít have a knife."

    TFred

  10. #10
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    The reading gets interesting around pg 8

    http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/2074072.pdf

    And I believe it lays the ground work for protection under 15.2-915


    TJMOOC.
    Last edited by Marco; 10-18-2011 at 05:17 PM. Reason: forgot link
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    Quote Originally Posted by VApatriot View Post
    I know we've tried to expand the CHP to a CWP, but it would be nice to get rid of a lot of these bans all together. I'm sure the anti-P4P crowd would much prefer it that way.

    Personally, there are times and places that I would love to be able to carry a spring-loaded baton.
    As you probably already know, a bill do do just that was introduced last legislative session. Like the state preemption bill, they didn't make it. I hope to see both of those introduced again next year. Of course I'd rather just see the whole concealed weapons law disappear altogether.
    Last edited by nova; 10-18-2011 at 07:16 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nova View Post
    As you probably already know, a bill do do just that was introduced last legislative session. Like the state preemption bill, they didn't make it. I hope to see both of those introduced again next year. Of course I'd rather just see the whole concealed weapons law disappear altogether.
    The concealed weapons laws aren't going to disappear until the P4P faction stops feeding them!
    Of course CWP isn't likely to happen without the support of the full gun community, so the whole thing is going to stagnate.

  13. #13
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    brass nuckles/batons off the list too. I wish we could carry any weapon with the CHP. It's so stupid you can carry a handgun/rifle permit CC or OC no permit, yet cannot carry a baton/brass nuckles, etc.. Would love to carry a baton. I know when I go on my bike rides, sometimes this "mohawk dog" trys to get me, well she doesn't have the "mohawk" haircut anymore its coming up on winter. But she tried to bite me at the ankles a few days ago. This summer, she and this other dog, same bread, tried to attack me when I was walking. Both charged me and came within 10 feet. This is where a baton could come in handy, because you can get charged with "brandishing"
    Last edited by ocholsteroc; 10-18-2011 at 10:14 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?

  14. #14
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    brass nuckles/batons off the list too. I wish we could carry any weapon with the CHP. It's so stupid you can carry a handgun/rifle permit CC or OC no permit, yet cannot carry a baton/brass nuckles, etc.. Would love to carry a baton. I know when I go on my bike rides, sometimes this "mohawk dog" trys to get me, well she doesn't have the "mohawk" haircut anymore its coming up on winter. But she tried to bite me at the ankles a few days ago. This summer, she and this other dog, same bread, tried to attack me when I was walking. Both charged me and came within 10 feet. This is where a baton could come in handy, because you can get charged with "brandishing"
    Where do you get Brass Knuckles and Batons.
    BK's are OK OC and Batons aren't mentioned at all as far as I can see.
    You do need to engrave "Not For Sale" on the Brass Knuckles to offset 18.2-311.
    Last edited by peter nap; 10-18-2011 at 10:40 PM.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    This is what I found as far as current local ordinances. I agree that preemption is needed as well as cleanup of existing law. I don't know why anyone would care whether I carried a dirk or dagger vs another hunting knife. They are all sharp. :-) I have a few fixed blade knives I would like to CC but can't because they fall into those categories.

    (the board removes all spaces) :-(....--Moderator--fixed it for you : )

    Amherst Co. VA 12-25 in any park to have in his possession any knife with a blade of more than three (3) inches

    Ashland, VA 12-12 hidden from common observation, clasp knife having a blade more than (3 1/4) inches in length,

    Chesterfield, Co. VA 15-210 to operate a taxicab at any time with a knife with a blade longer than 3"

    Danville, VA 39-31. & 23-52. to operate a taxicab at any time with a knife with a blade longer than 3" / No Knife on buses and at bus stops

    Farmville, VA 18-48 to have in his possession a clasp knife having a blade more than three and one-quarter (3 1/4) inches

    Fauquier Co. VA 16-7 for any person to use, carry or have in his possession any knife with a blade of more than 3" in any park.

    Hanover Co. VA 22.1-47. operate and drive a for-hire car with a knife with a blade longer than three (3) inches in length in his possession,

    Henrico Co. VA 21-139. operate and drive a for-hire car with a knife with a blade longer than three (3) inches in length in his possession,

    Norfolk, VA 47-6. on any public/private/parochial/elementary/middle/high school, including buildings & grounds, W/blade 3" or longer

    Petersburg, VA 74-207. on any public/private/parochial/elementary/middle/high school, including buildings & grounds, W/blade 3" or longer

    Pulaski, VA 70-132. Parades/Rallies/Noncommercial Gatherings No participant shall carry knives/edged weapons, either openly or concealed.

    Richmond, VA 66-347. knife having a blade more than 3 1/4 inches in length./ drive a taxicab with a blade longer than three inches
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 10-19-2011 at 04:59 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    .... I know when I go on my bike rides, sometimes this "mohawk dog" trys to get me, well she doesn't have the "mohawk" haircut anymore its coming up on winter. But she tried to bite me at the ankles a few days ago. This summer, she and this other dog, same bread, tried to attack me when I was walking. Both charged me and came within 10 feet. This is where a baton could come in handy, because you can get charged with "brandishing"
    Pepper spray. Stream rather than fog. The bigger the better. You do NOT want to get close enough to a dog to use a baton if there is any way to avoid it.

    Read somewhere that dogs can suffer fatal breathing problems if peppersprayed. Too bad. Owners need to control their animals. A bite can cause serious bodily injury or death if you fall from your bike. If you take a daily aspirin (and if you are not doing that, why not?) a bite can cause fatal bleeding. Two good reasons to use a highly effective method of protecting yourself from a dog chasing you. (You do report them to animal control, don't you?)

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Almost Skid...
    Use Bear Spray. It is hotter than standard Pepper and uses a Halon Carrier that has more range but spreads more also. Stick a can in your water bottle holder. It shouldn't hurt the dog. It works better on people too.

    (You do report them to animal control, don't you?)
    Geeses Skid...telling him to call the dog catcher

    There are levels of humanity.

    Down below most are Child Molesters..

    Below them come Tim Kaine, members of his staff, Dog Hunters who run dogs through other peoples property, Tax Collectors. Necrophiliacs, Satan Worshipers and people of that class..

    But on the VERY BOTTOM of the trough come,
    DOG CATCHERS




    Besides, calling them could be dangerous:
    http://news.oldva.org/?p=95

    Henrico Dogcatchers Shoot Each Other

    This is like a scene from the Keystone Cops. Three Dogcatchers go out to find a rabid fox. The 20 pound fox attacks one officer, all three fire and the officer being attacked, gets shot.
    It’s a little hard for me to understand. I’ve killed a number of rabid animals and….was once bitten by a rabid fox. None moved fast enough to be a problem unless you’re showing off, as I was the time I was bitten. I’ve never known a fox, rabid or otherwise to carry a gun, so why was there a massive firefight?
    I’ve always held the belief that anyone who wishes, should carry a gun…..I may rethink that idea!
    Last edited by peter nap; 10-20-2011 at 12:20 AM.

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    Box cutters are not a "weapon of loke kind" as determined by the Virginia Supreme Court in a case that went before them a couple years ago. They said that the state legislature could add it to the list of banned concealed weapons if they wanted to but at the time it was not one. I have not seen it added to 18.2-308 yet. Don't know if any cities expressly forbid them to be carried.

  19. #19
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobeewan View Post
    Box cutters are not a "weapon of loke kind" as determined by the Virginia Supreme Court in a case that went before them a couple years ago. They said that the state legislature could add it to the list of banned concealed weapons if they wanted to but at the time it was not one. I have not seen it added to 18.2-308 yet. Don't know if any cities expressly forbid them to be carried.
    That's exactly right!

    Now the funny thing is that since Va. is a Dillon Rule state, all those silly a$$ Muni Laws listed above that specify blade length except as noted,are unenforceable.

    They could pull a cabbies license for carrying but they couldn't charge him with a crime ..IMO.
    These are the only legitimate ones in the list that I see.

    Norfolk, VA 47-6. on any public/private/parochial/elementary/middle/high school, including buildings & grounds, W/blade 3" or longer

    Petersburg, VA 74-207. on any public/private/parochial/elementary/middle/high school, including buildings & grounds, W/blade 3" or longer


    But...we keep quoting them as if they're the Gospel.
    Last edited by peter nap; 10-20-2011 at 03:50 AM.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Who amongst us is going to voluntarily/consensually offer his blade to be measured?

    If carrying a gun is not RAS nor PC, then neither should carrying a knife be.

    Besides, my knife is a working tool of my trade.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.Ē Archilochus, 650 BC

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

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    Regular Member Cmdr_Haggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    ...
    Now the funny thing is that since Va. is a Dillon Rule state, all those silly a$$ Muni Laws listed above that specify blade length except as noted,are unenforceable.
    ...
    One thing that always sits in the back of my mind is my family. While the municipal codes for some things might be unenforceable, do I risk my family's well-being to play the odds. Not many of us can afford to lose our livelihood tempting fate and the wrath of asinine "feel good" laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    ...
    They could pull a cabbies license for carrying but they couldn't charge him with a crime ..IMO.
    ...
    If I'm a cabbie and they pinch me on some asinine "feel good" law, they might not be able to charge me with a crime, but taking my hack license might be just as bad. See above.
    As Steve Lee says, "I like guns," and have no plans to get rid of them. My kids will be taught, as I was, about gun safety.

    Life is good.

  22. #22
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cmdr_Haggis View Post
    One thing that always sits in the back of my mind is my family. While the municipal codes for some things might be unenforceable, do I risk my family's well-being to play the odds. Not many of us can afford to lose our livelihood tempting fate and the wrath of asinine "feel good" laws.



    If I'm a cabbie and they pinch me on some asinine "feel good" law, they might not be able to charge me with a crime, but taking my hack license might be just as bad. See above.
    I understand Cmdr!
    The problem is that's the chilling effect I continue to harp on.

    That's the reason the Militias are ineffective to the point of being laughable. They march around and talk tough until they're needed, then they hear mama.

    I honestly do understand but back to the real world. If you're not willing to come out swinging, you have to fork over your lunch money.

    I don't often quote the founding fathers because they are so often quoted by people like the above militias, but Franklin knew the problem even then.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
    Or as Country people back home say "Root Hog or Die".
    Last edited by peter nap; 10-20-2011 at 12:05 PM.

  23. #23
    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Where do you get Brass Knuckles and Batons.
    BK's are OK OC and Batons aren't mentioned at all as far as I can see.
    You do need to engrave "Not For Sale" on the Brass Knuckles to offset 18.2-311.
    Oh... Thank you. I did not know that about BK's.
    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?

  24. #24
    Regular Member Cmdr_Haggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    ...
    I honestly do understand but back to the real world. If you're not willing to come out swinging, you have to fork over your lunch money.

    I don't often quote the founding fathers because they are so often quoted by people like the above militias, but Franklin knew the problem even then.

    ...
    If I might give an example: I don't agree with the GFSZ Act. As much as I want to see this law repealed, I won't come out swinging by walking onto school grounds with a gun; I'll press for my "good folks" in Congress or the Assembly to do right. Often on the forum I've seen it asked who would be a test case for XYZ law; not many have raised their hand to volunteer - not because there are no brave souls to do so, but likely because there are other obligations in life beyond the good fight.

    There is a saying, attributed to various persons, which I'm sure we've all heard. We have four boxes from which to defend Liberty - the soap box; the ballot box; the jury box; and, should all else fail, the cartridge box. No doubt Franklin went in that order, too, advocated the first three defenses before being forced to resort to the final one.

    Now, I've not been called to jury duty, but I'm always on my soap box in defense of our rights. Come November I hope we're all at our ballot boxes. And should we prevail, there will be no need to reach for the cartridge box. Well, self-defense and good old target plinking notwithstanding!

    You know, I wouldn't mind being in the jury box for a self-defense case. It might do well to remind the courts that jury nullification is very much a valid course of action.
    As Steve Lee says, "I like guns," and have no plans to get rid of them. My kids will be taught, as I was, about gun safety.

    Life is good.

  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cmdr_Haggis View Post
    If I might give an example: I don't agree with the GFSZ Act. As much as I want to see this law repealed, I won't come out swinging by walking onto school grounds with a gun; I'll press for my "good folks" in Congress or the Assembly to do right. Often on the forum I've seen it asked who would be a test case for XYZ law; not many have raised their hand to volunteer - not because there are no brave souls to do so, but likely because there are other obligations in life beyond the good fight.

    There is a saying, attributed to various persons, which I'm sure we've all heard. We have four boxes from which to defend Liberty - the soap box; the ballot box; the jury box; and, should all else fail, the cartridge box. No doubt Franklin went in that order, too, advocated the first three defenses before being forced to resort to the final one.

    Now, I've not been called to jury duty, but I'm always on my soap box in defense of our rights. Come November I hope we're all at our ballot boxes. And should we prevail, there will be no need to reach for the cartridge box. Well, self-defense and good old target plinking notwithstanding!

    You know, I wouldn't mind being in the jury box for a self-defense case. It might do well to remind the courts that jury nullification is very much a valid course of action.
    That's an excellent example so I'll explain the facts on it.

    Very few of us would be a good test case. It took years to find Heller but I'd like to remind you that Chippers are a very small minority in Virginia. I grew up carrying a gun as did my peers. The 2% that are the loudest about their RIGHTS with a CHP, are mostly City People, Golly Gee Kids and Transplants.

    For every one person that gets a CHP to be safe from the dreaded GFZ, thousands of us drive past schools armed, just as we've always done here.

    I've done my Jury Duty and from the looks of the paperwork I've been getting the last few months, I'll have to do it again.

    I've voted in every election since I was 18 and that was a very long time ago.

    I have no idea if I'll ever have to jump on the cartridge box but if I do, I want people I can depend on by my side, not people who just give the cause lip service. They always have and always will....hear Mama Calling!

    Now I don't agree with Thundar for example, about his feelings about VCDL as a whole. I'd trust Philip or Dale with my life, the same with many other VCDL members and hierarchy.....but I'd rather have Thundar on my side than a hundred EM's that want to trade MY rights, for a quick CHP victory in the General Assembly.
    Last edited by peter nap; 10-20-2011 at 02:32 PM.

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