Tuesday, May 1, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 5/1/12

Not yet a VCDL member? Join VCDL at: http://www.vcdl.org/join.html
VCDL's meeting schedule: http://www.vcdl.org/meetings.html
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT: http://www.vcdl.org/help/abbr.html

1. The Commonwealth finally formalizes the legality of open carry in State Parks!
2. VCDL table at the Washington County Gun Show on May 5-6
3. VCDL-RRRC Defensive Pistol Shoot on May 12
4. VCU "timely" notification
5. Talk about false editorializing by the "newsleader"
6. Virginia Tech publishes final 'Weapons on Campus' regulation
7. JMU Board of Visitors moves forward on weapons ban regulation
8. Criminals pose as police for home invasion [VIDEO]
9. F3 Tactical to give VCDL discount!
10. Stand Your Ground laws and WasPo's persistent misunderstanding
11. Florida vs. Virginia: Comparing self-defense laws
12. Zimmerman/ Martin
13. Much needed improvements to FOPA introduced in Congress
14. Does the Second Amendment protect non-violent felons?
15. Churchgoer with concealed carry permit stops man with shotgun
16. Maryland judge blocks ruling striking down "good and sufficient reason" requirement
17. Michael Bloomberg's gun-control guy dreams of building a rival to the N.R.A., some day
18. After Armageddon - a look at the aftermath of a massive disaster situation [VIDEO]
19. A heavy handed look at gun rights
20. Press misreports Exmore, VA gun law
21. Farmville corrects a bad ordinance after VCDL contacts them
22. Congressional candidate addressed VCDL meeting in Annandale
23. False rumor - Congressional bill does not give IRS the power to remove a person's gun rights
24. Mob beats tourist in Baltimore, caught on camera
25. VCDL member shoots huge, hairy intruder
26. Senate candidate Radtke on the Second Amendment
27. Bank of America is officially anti-gun!

1. The Commonwealth finally formalizes the legality of open carry in State Parks!

VCDL's efforts to finalize the removal of the ban on open carry in State Parks has finally been achieved! We have been legally open carrying in state parks for over a year now based on the Governor ordering State Parks not to enforce the ban on open carry. This step formally changes the law to remove the open carry ban.

From examiner.com: http://tinyurl.com/7xh6knt


In an announcement posted today in Virginia's Regulatory Town Hall, the Virginia Department of Conservation served notice to the public that the "[r]epeal of § 4VAC5-30-200 [which] prohibits the open carry of firearms in Virginia State Parks" will be published as a final rule on May 7th in Volume 28 Issue 18 of the Virginia Register of regulations. . . . This action by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's administration is the final chapter in a decade long regulatory fight to legalize gun carry in Virginia State Parks that spanned three state Governors and three Attorneys General. The legal journey began in 2002 by way of a Virginia Attorney General Opinion requested by then Delegate, and now Senator Dick Black (R - Leesburg).

. . .

But Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave says "it's not over." There are still "a number of obscure state regulations banning gun carry without statutory authority and we are going to ferret them out," added Van Cleave.

2. VCDL table at the Washington County Gun Show on May 5-6

On May 5 and 6, 2012 VCDL will again have a table at the WASHINGTON COUNTY GUN SHOW at :

Washington Co Fair Griounds
549 West Main St
Abingdon VA 24210
( I-81, Exit 14)

We arte looking for helpers for this event; Saturday 9 AM--5 PM; Sunday 9 AM--4PM.

If you wish to volunteer, contact Al Steed Jr. at:


3. VCDL-RRRC Defensive Pistol Shoot on May 12

Mark your calendars!

On May 12, 2012 the Roanoke Rifle and Revolver Club (RRRC) will again host the VCDL--RRRC Defensive Pistol Shoot.

This event is open to all who wish to attend. Shooter sign-in starts at 9 AM---shooting to start at 10AM.

A free hot dog lunch will be at 1:30 PM.

SPONSORS are being sought for this event!

More details will be posted closer to the shoot date.

4. VCU "timely" notification

EM Leonard Harris emailed me this:


So this happened one block from where I work now (and an intersection I pass by every day to and from work.)

And they won't let us staff or the students carry yet?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: VCUALERT/GA/VCU <vcualert@vcu.edu>
Date: Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Subject: Timely Warning

Timely Warning Notice:

In compliance with the provisions of the federal Jeanne Clery
Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus crime Statistics Act
of 1988 Virginia Commonwealth University is giving notice of an armed

Richmond Police were notified of an armed robbery of a non-student at
the corner of Pine and Grace streets. The incident happened at
approximately 9:20 a.m. VCU Police were notified at 9:50 a.m.

The suspect is a light-skinned black male, approximately 5 feet, 8
inches tall, to 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing approximately 175 to
200 pounds. He was wearing a camouflage jacket and black pants. He has
no facial hair, and was not wearing any head coverings. He is armed
with a small black handgun, and was last seen traveling on foot
towards Belvidere and Broad streets.

The victim and suspect were passing by one another, and the suspect
asked to speak with the victim. The suspect then pointed the gun at
the victim, and demanded the victim hand over everything. The suspect
left with the victim's wallet, which included $93 cash, an ID card and
a social security card.

It can be assumed that conditions continue to exist that may pose a
threat to members and guests of the community. Richmond Police and VCU
Police have increased patrols in the area.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to share this information
with other members of the community, are asked to be aware of their
surroundings, report suspicious activity to police and use the campus
escort service by calling 804-828-9255.

Anyone with information pertaining to this crime can contact the VCU
Police Department at (804) 828-1234 or text VCUTIP to 274637

Virginia Commonwealth University is dedicated to promoting a safe and
secure environment for learning, living, working or visiting. This
notification is part of our efforts to prevent and solve crimes. To
report a crime in progress or an emergency on campus, call 804
828-1234. For off campus emergencies, dial 911. VCU's annual safety
report is available at:


5. Talk about false editorializing by the "newsleader"

From newsleader.com: http://tinyurl.com/6o24xvn

Virginia Tech right to say no to guns
April 10, 2012

With campus carry laws being considered across the country in wake of violent outbreaks, Virginia Tech settled debate on the issue recently by publishing a formal addition to the Virginia Administrative Code that prohibits guns on campus. [PVC: NOT TRUE. Like GMU, guns carried by guests are only forbidden in buildings and at events.]

Guns cannot be carried onto campus or stored on campus. Visitors may not bring guns on campus even if they have a valid concealed carry permit. [PVC: (Sigh) NOT TRUE. See my previous comment.]

As the school approached the fifth anniversary of the April 16, 2007 shooting by Seung-Hui Cho that killed 32 people and wounded 25 others, this is a strong statement that guns are not welcome in the Virginia Tech community. It is also a statement that fewer guns, not more, is the answer to controlling gun crimes on America's campuses. [PVC: Oh, yeah - that worked out really well for VT back in 2007.]

The recent shooting at Oikos University in Oakland, Calif., brought renewed calls for campus carry laws to allow students others with concealed weapon permits to have guns on campus. The shooting ironically took place during the annual nationwide campus protest by Students for Concealed Carry. [PVC: And if Students for Concealed Carry get their way, such shootings will be far less frequent.] A campus carry bill is expected to be reintroduced in the Texas legislature next session. A similar bill was narrowly defeated in Texas due to the concern that increased insurance costs would result in a law allowing guns on campus.

Virginia Tech has made a strong statement in this debate and the right one. The answer to decreasing gun violence on college campuses is fewer guns, not more.

6. Virginia Tech publishes final 'Weapons on Campus' regulation

From monachuslex.com: http://tinyurl.com/7qpslxf

Virginia Tech publishes final 'Weapons on Campus' regulation
By John Pierce
April 11, 2012

In the April 9, 2012 edition of the Virginia Register, the final Virginia Tech 'Weapons on Campus' regulation was published and now has the force and effect of law.

The regulation, which is codified at 8VAC105-20-10 through 8VAC105-20-40, addresses the "carrying, maintaining, or storing" of both "firearms" and "weapons."

The regulation specifically separates the two terms and defines them broadly. In 8VAC105-10, firearms are defined as:

... any gun, rifle, pistol, or handgun designed to fire any projectile including but not limited to bullets, BBs, pellets, or shots, including paint balls, regardless of the propellant used.

Weapons are defined in the same section as:

... any instrument of combat, or any object not designed as an instrument of combat but carried for the purpose of inflicting or threatening bodily injury. Examples include but are not limited to (i) firearms; (ii) knives with fixed blades or pocket knives with blades longer than four inches; (iii) razors or metal knuckles; (iv) blackjacks, foils, or hatchets; (v) bows and arrows; (vi) nun chahkas; (vii) stun weapons; or (viii) any explosive or incendiary device. Stun weapon is defined as any device that emits a momentary or pulsed output that is electrical, audible, optical, or electromagnetic in nature and that is designed to temporarily incapacitate a person.

From a legal perspective, it is interesting to note that this definition of 'weapon' clearly would encompass even pepper spray carried by an employee or student for self-defense since it is ultimately carried for "the purpose of inflicting or threatening bodily injury" when necessary. And the exceptions to the general prohibition codified at 8VAC105-20-30 do not include any provisions that would allow even the most basic of non-offensive self-defense tools.

Since a jury recently held that Virginia Tech has a "special relationship" with students such that the students could be expected to be reasonably protected, forbidding such basic personal protection options to students will almost certainly give rise to future lawsuits against the university.

In any case, returning to an analysis of the regulation as promulgated, it addresses the behavior of two distinct groups of people.

The first group is comprised of "university's employees, students, and volunteers." This group of people is generally prohibited from "carrying, maintaining, or storing a firearm or weapon on any university property."

The second group is comprised of "[a]ny visitor or other third party." However, in attempting to bring this group under the auspices of the power granted to the University by their enabling statute at S 23-122 of the Code of Virginia, they limit the times that visitors and third parties are subject to the prohibition. The regulation only applies to those visitors and third parties who are:

* attending a sporting event

* attending an entertainment event

* attending an educational event

* visiting an academic building

* visiting an administrative office building

* visiting a dining facility

* visiting a residence hall

* attending any events on campus where people congregate in any public or outdoor area

In drafting the regulation, Virginia Tech clearly paid close attention to the holding in DiGiacinto v. Rector and Visitors of George Mason University which held that a campus regulation is constitutional where it "is tailored, restricting weapons only in those places where people congregate and are most vulnerable - inside campus buildings and at campus events."

One might argue that the last element in the Virginia Tech regulation is too vague and would have a chilling effect on non-regulated carry, exceeding the holding in DiGiacinto by not clearly defining "the open grounds of [the university], and ... other places on campus not enumerated in the regulation" where carry is not prohibited. But given the dicta in DiGiacinto, I believe the current court would ultimately uphold the regulation despite the thinly veiled attempt to impose what is effectively a total ban.

And Virginia Tech is not the only University to use the holding in DiGiacinto, coupled with the almost complete exemption to the Virginia Administrative Process Act (VAPA) that Virginia grants to colleges and universities operated by the Commonwealth to promulgate similar fast-track regulations.

Both Old Dominion University and Longwood University in Farmville Virginia published their final bans in the January 30, 2012 Virginia Register.

In the January 2nd, 2012 Virginia Register, VMI and William and Mary published their final bans and Richard Bland College published a proposed ban.

And in the December 5, 2011 Virginia Register, UVA and Virginia State University in Petersburg published their final bans.

Long-time readers of this blog will remember that I wrote about Attorney General Cuccinelli's opinion that UVA's policy prohibiting carry on campus is trumped by Virginia's concealed carry law but a properly promulgated regulation is not. Consequently, UVA used their VAPA fast-track powers to start this trend which has lead us to where we are today.

So where do we go from here? If we are serious about protecting the self-defense rights of adult students and employees of Virginia's many fine colleges and universities, then we need to make Administrative Agency preemption one of our key goals in the upcoming legislative session.

7. JMU Board of Visitors moves forward on weapons ban regulation

From monachuslex.com: http://tinyurl.com/7mo3qpf

JMU Board of Visitors moves forward on weapons ban regulation
By John Pierce
April 16, 2012

During a Friday April 15th 2012 meeting, the Board of Visitors of James Madison University, located in Harrisonburg, Virginia, voted to promulgate a regulation banning weapons on campus.

While the exact text of the proposed regulation has not yet been released, it reportedly closely mimics the policy previously in effect at JMU.

In replacing their policy with a promulgated regulation, JMU joins the over half-a-dozen other Virginia colleges and universities that have moved to replace policies with regulations following the opinion by Attorney General Cuccinelli that policies have no force against permit holders whereas regulations, which have the force and effect of law, trump Virginia's concealed handgun permit law. Attorney General Cuccinelli based his opinion on the holding in DiGiacinto v. Rector and Visitors of George Mason University and S 18.2-308(o) of the code of Virginia which states:

[t]he granting of a concealed handgun permit shall not thereby authorize the possession of any handgun or other weapon on property or in places where such possession is otherwise prohibited by law[.]

Since properly promulgated regulations have the force and effect of law, this generalized prohibition on the otherwise broad recognition of right-to-carry by permit holders withstands judicial review according to the Virginia Supreme Court.

This trend has also been facilitated by the fact that under current law, Commonwealth operated colleges and universities are largely immune to the requirements of the Virginia Administrative Process Act.

There are three distinct legislative remedies that gun owners need to seek in upcoming legislative sessions to address this problem.

1) Remove the generalized prohibition in S 18.2-308(o) and require all prohibitions on the right-to-carry be specifically added to S 18.2-308 by the duly elected legislature rather than by administrative agencies.

2) Enact a code section which extends preemption to the actions of administrative agencies. Virginia already preempts localities and their agents from regulating firearms in S 15.2-915.

3) Remove the fast track administrative powers of Commonwealth operated colleges and universities where such administrative action will impact visitors and third-parties.

Tomorrow's column will feature proposed legislation to accomplish these goals.

8. Criminals pose as police for home invasion [VIDEO]

Member Chet Syzmecki emailed me this:


Wow, what a terrible situation for this family that was unprepared.

From wavy.com: http://tinyurl.com/cnfxr2b

Perps pose as police for home invasion
Suspects still on the loose
By Jason Marks
April 11, 2012

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Virginia Beach police are investigating a home invasion in which the suspects pretended to be police officers to gain entry.

"It's sad that it happened so close to home, right across the street," a neighbor told WAVY.com.

"That's scary," Amanda Leach added. "Now, I really want to move."

The night of April 8, Johnson had a visitor to his Campus East home. It was his neighbor.

"He just came to the door real freaky and panicked," the neighbor recalled. "He said he just got robbed, and they tied them up."

The victim told the neighbor it all started with a knock on his door.

"He said two guys came to the door...He looked at his peep hole, and somebody was holding a badge up to the door, so he thought it was police," the neighbor explained. "He opened the door, and as soon as he opened the door, he was rushed by three individuals."

Once inside the Liberal Arts Court home, the armed suspects tied up the victim and his wife and stole items worth over $1,000.

"That's real scary," Leach said. "Oh my gosh."

Police said while the victim and his wife were tied up, the couple's children were sleeping up stairs. WAVY.com was told the suspects took everything of value, including the wedding rings on their fingers.

"Frightening," the neighbor said. "As law abiding citizens, we would like to think that police are here to help, but when you have other people posing as cops it's kind of scary. You're a little reluctant to open your front door, even if a cop is at your front door."

The victim said the suspects weren't wearing masks and were dressed as if they could be plain clothed officers. They are still on the loose.

If someone who says they're an officer knocks on your door and you feel uncomfortable, don't open the door. Police advise you to call 911, and the dispatcher will verify whether that person is really an officer.

9. F3 Tactical to give VCDL discount!

F3 Tactical, Inc.
13914 Metrotech Drive
Chantilly, VA 20151

is offering a 10% discount to all VCDL members who present a current membership card.

10. Stand Your Ground laws and WasPo's persistent misunderstanding

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:


From dailycaller.com: http://tinyurl.com/7w4hmy7

Why the Washington Post is wrong about Stand Your Ground laws
By Walter Olson
Senior Fellow, Cato Institute
April 9, 2012

The Washington Post has made clear its opposition to -- and persistent misunderstanding of -- the set of self-defense laws known as Stand Your Ground. Its March 29 editorial was headlined "A rise in homicides after 'Stand Your Ground,'" even though homicides per capita in Florida have dropped, not risen, since that state enacted its law. The editorial claimed that the law "immunizes an individual from criminal charges if he asserts he had a 'reasonable' fear of grave harm." This grossly misstates the law: individuals may assert anything they please, but it is up to legal finders of fact, such as a judge or jury, to ascertain whether a claimed fear was in fact reasonable.

On Sunday the Post ran a front-page piece by Marc Fisher and Dan Eggen pursuing its case against Stand Your Ground. The casual reader might well nod along with the piece in its thesis that the laws are costing innocent lives. Look more closely, and you'll realize things are more complicated.

Fisher and Eggen's core assertion is that "justifiable homicides" -- we'll get to how that category is constructed in a moment -- have jumped since the law's enactment. Interestingly, the paper is now relying on a different and much lower set of numbers than it used when it made the same assertion in its March 29 editorial. Back then, it cited calculations from the Tampa Bay Times that the annual average of justifiable homicides in Florida jumped from 34 before the law to more than 100 afterward. Now it turns out the actual numbers are more like 12 and 36. The new and lower number apparently excludes shootings by police, which aren't at issue in the current debate. It also excludes unsuccessful assertions of self-defense, which some higher tabulations have included.

In neither report does the Post come to grips with what those numbers actually mean. They represent not a rise in the rate at which some group is getting killed -- as mentioned, homicide rates per capita in Florida are down from 2005, not up, and violent crime rates in the state are sharply down -- but rather successful assertions of self-defense, in other words, a shift from one category of homicide to another. Of course the whole idea of the law was to make the self-defense justification more available where a homicide had occurred. Many casual Post readers will assume that dozens of persons a year now die in Florida who would have lived otherwise, but they will be wrong in that assumption.

Fisher and Eggen also struggle with keeping straight the different provisions in Florida's law. They lead with a dramatic anecdote arising from the law's defense-of-the-home "Castle" provisions, although George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin had nothing to do with those provisions. (As I and others have been arguing for a while, the calculation of Zimmerman's guilt or innocence is unlikely to be affected one way or the other by the terms of the 2005 Florida law, which lays out separate rules regarding self-defense in public places. )

And oh, how Fisher and Eggen do stack their lead anecdote. Their opening paragraphs tell of a youth who innocently "knocked at the wrong door" and was greeted by an irate homeowner who, seemingly without reason or provocation, blasted him in the chest, only to be set free by the police, since in Florida, the victim's father sorrowfully avers, it seems "the shooter's word is the law."

Pretty horrifying, right? It takes 17 paragraphs of unrelated matter before the first scraps of the other side of the story emerge: it was 4 a.m. and the youth, bipolar and "blitzed" on alcohol that night, was ignoring repeated pleas to leave a property with a young mother and baby inside; the husband/shooter (whom the Post never managed to reach for his side of the story) told police that he had asked his wife to call 911, which hadn't shown up; that he had warned the intruder many times, and fired only after being "lurched" at; he was then arrested, "but Assistant State Attorney Manny Garcia concluded that his actions were 'justified.'"

Maybe that all adds up to a case for reforming the Castle law, but it's an even clearer case for reserving judgment on a grabby Post lead until one learns what has been omitted from it.

And that's even more true of the statistics that the Post relies on about a supposed national spike in justifiable homicides. Why choose 2005 as a baseline? Supposedly because Florida enacted its law in that year (though most of the other states to expand their self-defense laws acted more recently, and as Dan Kahan of Yale points out in an interesting post, "stand your ground" has long been the majority rule in American jurisdictions, having indeed already prevailed in many states that acted formally to endorse the doctrine in recent years.)

But the Post's own graphic makes it clear that 2005 is a misleading year to pick as a base, since that one year happened to see a pronounced dip (to 192 from a range 10-20 percent higher than that) in the number of annual homicides deemed justifiable. To use that as a base year thus ensures that the number of such homicides in later years will show an apparently impressive spike, while using (say) 2003 or 2007 as the base would show a not-so-impressive rise. Again, check out the graphic here.

Strip away the layers of advocacy disguised as news -- and at a place like the Post, which really should know better -- and it becomes apparent that we are still a long way from being able to state with assurance how, and in which direction, "Stand Your Ground" may affect violence rates.

11. Florida vs. Virginia: Comparing self-defense laws

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:


From rvanews.com: http://tinyurl.com/bvqbmd8

Florida vs. Virginia: comparing self-defense laws

The death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin inspired national sympathies and vigils. The impunity of his killer, George Zimmerman, however, ignited anger and concern. At the heart of the matter is this simple question: were George Zimmerman's actions that night legally excusable, and does Zimmerman have protection under the law for shooting Trayvon Martin?

Martin's death occurred in Florida, which has a controversial "Stand Your Ground" provision in its self-defense laws. This provision allows citizens to use deadly force when they "reasonably believe" they are in imminent danger. Zimmerman told police in Sanford, Florida that he was acting in self-defense when he confronted and shot Martin. Currently, Zimmerman still has not been arrested.

Considering no weapons were found on Martin, the question raised is exactly how reasonable was Zimmerman's perception of his "imminent danger"?

How similar are Virginia's laws to those of Florida, and just how far can Virginians go to defend their life and property? I spoke with two local criminal defense attorneys to explore this question.

"The laws in both states are more similar than you would think," said criminal defense attorneys David Boyce and Matt Rawls, both of Boone Beale, PLLC.

According to Boyce and Rawls, the heart of both Virginia and Florida's self-defense laws is what is commonly known as the "Castle Doctrine." The phrase "your home is your castle" derives from this old English Common Law rule. This rule affords a person the right to use lethal force for protection inside one's own house. Similar principles and laws extend the right for people also to defend themselves and others outside of the home. Both Florida and Virginia have laws in place to guide their respective citizens in their homes, in public, and in their cars.


In Florida, if someone invades your home, the state recognizes a "presumed fear." Remember, under the "Stand Your Ground" doctrine you are entitled to use deadly force if you reasonably fear imminent death or great bodily harm. Florida law presumes this reasonable fear on your part because someone has invaded your home. This presumption can be rebutted, but it is a difficult obstacle for a prosecution to overcome. Moreover, in Florida, within your own home, you also have no "duty to retreat." This means you do not have to try to flee to another section of your house or try to escape before using deadly force to defend against an intruder.

Virginia, unlike Florida, does not recognize this "presumed fear." That means that just because someone has entered your home, there is no automatic presumption of an immediate fear of death or bodily harm.

"This may not be a huge distinction, but it is significant," said Rawls. "In Virginia, the use of deadly force in self-defense is permitted when a person has reasonable fears, under the circumstances, the he or she was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, and the person must not use greater force than reasonably appears necessary under the circumstances."

According to Rawls and Boyce, the presumed fear is the significant distinction between the laws in the two states. According to Boyce, "In Florida, the law presumes this reasonable fear. The presumption does not exist here. In Virginia, you cannot use lethal force just because someone has invaded your home. You must have a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm."

This distinction, though, while significant, is still not that great. "Even without the statutory presumption, if someone breaks into your home, it is very often reasonable to fear for your life," explains Boyce. "And like Florida, there is no duty to retreat. Especially in your own home," added Rawls.

Public Place

If you are in a public place in which you are legally allowed (e.g. public parks, sidewalks, restaurants, etc.), the situations in which you can use deadly force in Florida and Virginia are very similar. There is an important difference, though.

In both Florida and Virginia you may use lethal force to defend yourself from a reasonable fear death or great bodily harm. In Florida, though not in Virginia, you are allowed to use lethal force to "repel forcible felonies" (e.g. rape, arson, robbery).

Here's a hypothetical example to distinguish the laws in the two states. Imagine a person approaches you on the sidewalk and tries to steal your wallet. They have no weapon. In Florida, you are allowed to shoot them because they are committing the forcible felony of robbery. However, Virginia does not afford you that same automatic legal privilege to use lethal force. "Remember," says Rawls, "you must have a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm in order to use lethal force. Just because someone wants to steal your wallet, doesn't mean you have a reasonable fear they're going to kill you. And if they don't have a weapon, it's difficult to establish your reasonable fear in the situation."

Boyce added: "However, if that same robber brandishes a knife or a gun, and threatens you with it, both Florida and Virginia allow you to use lethal recourse to defend yourself without attempting to retreat first."

If, however, you are accosted by a drunk man on a public sidewalk and you approach that man and begin pushing him in retaliation, "you no longer have clean hands," legally speaking. Virginia has a "minutest of faults doctrine," which means that you cannot instigate behavior that would ultimately require you to defend yourself.

So, if you begin yelling and pushing the drunk man that originally accosted you and he then pulls out a knife or gun, you then have to try to extricate yourself (i.e. duty to retreat) before you can legally use lethal force.


Your automobile is considered your property and is treated similarly to the Castle Doctrine with the force you are legally allowed to use to defend yourself. This is true in both Florida and Virginia.

The two states differ, however, in the allowable force which can be used to defend yourself against a carjacking.

In Florida, you can use lethal force if someone tries to steal your car. This is true whether the carjacker is armed or not. Like with the Castle Doctrine, you have no duty to retreat. Also, remember that Florida permits the use of deadly force to repel forcible felonies. That means that Florida law permits you to shoot at a carjacker even after the car has been stolen and the carjacker is driving away.

According to Boyce and Rawls, this is another area where Florida law differs from Virginia. In Virginia, car owners have no duty to retreat, but, again, can only use deadly force to defend against a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm. In the example where a person steals your car is driving away, it is much harder under Virginia law to justify shooting the thief as he or she drives away.

Protecting your castle with deadly force

In early 2011, the General Assembly considered HB 1573, which would allow legal justification "...in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling..." The proposed addition passed the House of Delegates. However, it was "passed by indefinitely" by the Virginia Senate Committee for Courts of Justice.

12. Zimmerman/ Martin

Bill Sly emailed me this:


It has been a long time since I have written a "rant" but it is time that I must.

Being a gun owner, conceal carry permit holder, NRA Instructor and a general believer in my rights as expressed in the Constitution, I must speak out on the Zimmerman/ Martin case in a different context.

I very recently watched a female friend seem to side against Mr. Zimmerman when he shot young Martin in Florida. It seemed clear that she too, a generally conservative person, fell for the hype that Zimmerman was clearly wrong - tried, bartered, quartered, convicted and executed (according to some) by the court of public opinion, outcry, plea and racial courts.


I have to ask and I will ask during my next firearm classes this question, for men but especially for women; If a man suddenly slaps a woman or grabs from behind, pushes her down and announces that he is going to rape her, tell me, when does she have the "right" and the clear signal (to keep from getting criminally charged and convicted) to shoot him if she is armed?

Is it now?

Does she have to have witnesses to the event? (Zimmerman does-let's see what they say in court).

Does she have to wait until he rips her clothes off and binds her hands?

Does she have to wait (to prove) vaginal penetration?

Does she have to wait until she has been sodomized, raped and beaten?

Will he claim consensual sex?

What if she dies during this? Then can she shoot?

Unless there is rape, how will she be able to prove her case? Why did she shoot him?

Here it is. The court of public "execution" is generally contrived on innuendos, falsehoods, mis-statements, false beliefs, partial information with a toxic mixture of all of the above. None of us were there. We get spoon fed tidbits of whatever someone wants us to believe.

That young man also made a choice. He was not forced into any of his choices. It happened the way he wanted to. It ended differently than what he had planned. No one has discussed this action and the alternatives available to him.

Also, since he began the attack on Zimmerman let us go to the what-ifs remembering the attack was underway and progressing.

If had Zimmerman just laid there and took it until he could "prove" (in some minds) will that constitute the right to use deadly force? If he had waited five more seconds, how many more punches or head banging's would be delivered? How about 10 seconds or 15? How much more of a beating, damage or life threatening injuries does he have to endure in order to defend his well-being? How much before he can draw and fire, if he could? Would he have his gun taken from him then?

OR, if Zimmerman was NOT armed, the shooting would never have happened and we hardly have ever heard about this case or whatever happened to poor beat-up or dead Zimmerman. Clearly, he was on the losing end of the attack.

It is the "imminent fear" of grievous bodily harm, not the delivery and the amount of blows or potential fatal hits one must first take in order to defend their life and/or well being.
Zimmerman was not even in a "stand your ground" moment since he was attacked and down on the ground. He was on the ground, not standing with Martin in an aggressive position (as witnessed). So why is the "stand your ground" laws even applied here?

Martin made choices as well. Zimmerman did NOT draw or fire his gun until those choices were made, not be him, by young Martin. All the issues may be moot based on these actions alone; based on eyewitness accounts; on forensics, tapes and statements.

It is a shame a young man died but it appears that his action precipitated the response and it appears Zimmerman was merely responding to the attack.
Now it must be determined "how much damage must occur, or the intent to believe you were in fear of imminent grievous bodily harm", not whether it was race related or driven by such factors.

We were not there and I refuse to let the media use me as a tool to sit in judgment of either of them. That is for the prosecution and grand jury to decide and a judge, jury and defense to try in court, not TV.

Lives have changed forever. Instead of race baiting or rushing to judgments we really know nothing about, let us let the system bring out all the facts, not the media or other inspired issues.

This is the way I see it, not judging or blaming. There actions stand alone. I refuse to get caught up in the hype.

[PVC: I would note that Al Sharpton has gotten awfully quiet lately.]


13. Much needed improvements to FOPA introduced in Congress

VCDL EM John Pierce emailed me this:


From monachuslex.com: http://tinyurl.com/77txtjv

Much needed improvements to FOPA introduced in Congress
By John Pierce
April 10, 2012

Introduced by Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and co-sponsored by Representatives Bill Owens (D-NY) and Ted Poe (R-TX), House Bill HR 4269 would make several much needed improvements to the interstate-transportation portion of the Firearm Owners' Protection Act.

The Firearm Owners' Protection Act, or FOPA, was passed in 1986 in response to numerous reported instances of gun dealers being harassed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). In addition to the regulatory reform of the ATF, FOPA also addressed a number of other issues including machine gun ownership, registration, background checks, and interstate transportation of firearms.

At the time of its passage, the bill was known as the McClure-Volkmer Act after the bi-partisan duo who sponsored the legislation; Senators Harold Volkmer (D-MO) and Jim McClure (R-ID). Writing at the Volokh Conspiracy blog, Dave Kopel once called FOPA "one of the most far-reaching laws ever enacted by Congress to safeguard constitutional rights."

The interstate transportation portion of FOPA was designed to protect innocent gun owners who might happen to travel through a state with draconian gun control laws while in lawful possession of firearms. In order to enjoy the "safe passage" protections of FOPA, which are codified at 18 U.S.C. S 926A, a gun owner must meet the following requirements:

* The firearm must be unloaded

* The firearm must in a locked container

* The container cannot be within easy reach of the vehicles passengers

* The journey must start in a state where the person can legally possess and carry the firearm

* The journey must end in a state where the person can legally possess and carry the firearm

* It must be an uninterrupted journey (only gas and bathroom stops)

For example, you would be protected by FOPA if you were transporting an unloaded firearm in a locked case out of your reach through Maryland on a journey from Virginia to Pennsylvania but you would lose FOPA protection if you stopped in Maryland to visit family or decided to have Maryland be the end point of your journey.

It sounds simple enough right? But despite the relatively straightforward requirements and the clear congressional intent to protect otherwise innocent gun owners from onerous transportation laws, New York and New Jersey both have a history of ignoring FOPA and subjecting innocent gun owners to malicious prosecution.

HR 4269 attempts to remedy this by making the following changes to 18 U.S.C. S 926A:

Defining the travel thus protected as specifically including "temporary lodging overnight, stopping for food, fuel, vehicle maintenance, an emergency, medical treatment, and any other activity incidental to the transport." This would seem to overturn the disastrous ruling from the 3rd Circuit in Gregg C. Revell v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

In the case of prosecution, places the burden on the state to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt, that the conduct of the person did not satisfy the conditions" protected by the statute instead of requiring the gun owner to prove the elements as an affirmative defense.

Makes it clear that both firearms and ammunition are thus protected

But from a legal perspective, I believe the most important change that HR 4269 will make to 18 U.S.C. S 926A is to affirmatively create a cause of action against any person, state, or political subdivision of a state who deprives a gun owner of the safe passage rights granted by 18 U.S.C. S 926A. Even better, any plaintiff winning in such a suit may also be granted "reasonable attorney's fees" insuring that plaintiffs will not have trouble finding attorneys willing to handle their cases.

But none of this will happen if HR 4269 doesn't pass. You need to take action today. Contact your representative at (202) 225-3121 and urge them to support HR 4269!

14. Does the Second Amendment protect non-violent felons?

From monachuslex.com: http://tinyurl.com/7rkt78o

Does the Second Amendment protect non-violent felons?
By John Pierce
April 11, 2012

The answer, according to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, is "No".

The court ruled today against Thomas Pocian, who, in 1986, was convicted of felony forgery. Subsequently, in 2008, Pocian shot two deer with a rifle borrowed from his father. After reporting the deer to the DNR, he was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Wisconsin Statute S 941.29. The trial court convicted Pocian and he appealed based upon both constitutional overbreadth and as-applied challenges to the statute.

In evaluating the overbreadth challenge, the court started with the general proposition from District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), that state laws prohibiting "possession of firearms by felons" are presumptively lawful. They went on to note that the court had previously upheld the Wisconsin statute against an overbreadth challenges in State v. Thomas, 683 N.W.2d 497 (2004). However, since the ruling in Thomas was based upon a rational basis review, the court did not consider it precedential in light of Heller's admonishment that rational basis is not appropriate in reviewing Second Amendment challenges.

The question before the court then was what standard of review would be appropriate in the case at bar. Relying upon the analysis framework from United States v. Skoien, 614 F.3d 638 (7th Cir. 2010), the court of appeals determined that the statute should be analyzed using intermediate scrutiny. Under that standard, a statute passes constitutional muster if it is "substantially related to an important governmental objective."

Citing United States v. Williams, 616 F.3d 685 (7th Cir. 2010), the court held that public safety is an important governmental objective and denying firearms to convicted felons is substantially related to that objective. Williams went so far as to state unequivocally that even an absolute ban on the possession of firearms by felons passes constitutional muster.

As for Pocian's as-applied challenge, his argument was that since his crime was non-violent, the state's objective of increasing public safety was not served by denying him the right to possess firearms. Here, the court noted that public safety is more than just the prevention of physical violence but also includes the prevention of those other acts that we punish as felonies.

They ended their analysis by quoting United States v. Yancey, 621 F.3d 681 (7th Cir. 2010).

"[M]ost scholars of the Second Amendment agree that the right to bear arms was tied to the concept of a virtuous citizenry and that, accordingly, the government could disarm 'unvirtuous citizens.'"

The court did encourage Pocian and others similarly situated to seek changes through the legislature. However, in researching Wisconsin law, one sees that the same statute under which Pocian was convicted already provides a number of ways in which a prohibited person may seek relief from disability.

At the time I am writing this, Pocian's attorney has not announced whether or not they will appeal this decision further but given the analysis from the Court of Appeals and the availability of methods to petition for relief from disability, I fear any such attempt would be unsuccessful.

15. Churchgoer with concealed carry permit stops man with shotgun

John Wilburn emailed me this:

From buckeyefirearms.org: http://tinyurl.com/7mnnsd6

Churchgoer with concealed carry permit stops man with shotgun
By Chad D. Baus
April 5, 2012

A churchgoer near Spartanburg, SC is being credited with saving the lives of fellow worshipers after a man kicked in the door of their church and leveled a shotgun. In Ohio, the man who is being called an "everyday hero" might have been arrested.

From the Spartanburg Herald-Journal:

The Rev. Henry Guyton, pastor of the church, said Jesse Gates, who has attended worship services at the church on Upper Valley Falls Road as recently as Wednesday, came to the door about 10 a.m. on Sunday.

"He came in before the service and acted like he was having a heart attack," Guyton, 71, said. "He asked us to call Channel 7 news. I called 911 instead."

Sheriff Chuck Wright said deputies and Spartanburg EMS arrived, and checked out Gates, and Gates left.

About 11:20 a.m., Jesse Gates returned to the church. The Rev. Guyton's grandson, Aaron Guyton, 26, was in the recreation building separate from the church and saw Gates get a shotgun from the trunk of his car.

"At that point, I knew I had to do something," Aaron Guyton said. "I wanted to try to contain him outside."

Aaron Guyton went into the main building and locked the doors.

Henry Guyton said he was in the pulpit, preaching about how Jesus spoke the word of God and healed the sick, when Gates kicked open the side door of the sanctuary and entered with the shotgun, pointing it at the pastor and congregation.

Church members, including Aaron Guyton, a concealed weapons permit holder, acted quickly.

The article goes on to say that Aaron Guyton held Gates at gunpoint, as church members Jesse Smith and Leland Powers held him on the floor and waited for deputies to arrive. The Rev. Guyton said he stepped onto a chair, climbed down a 3-foot bannister surrounding the pulpit and took the shotgun from Jesse Gates.

"The gun was loaded," Henry Guyton said. "I said, 'Jesse, what did you do it for?' He said, 'They took my children and won't let me see them.' I'm glad the Lord took care of everything. The police did a good job too."

No shots were fired and no one was injured, according to deputies.

During a news conference Sunday, Wright called Aaron and Henry Guyton, Jesse Smith and Leland Powers "everyday heroes."

Gates, 38, has been charged with second-degree burglary (violent), disturbing a place of worship, kidnapping and three counts of pointing and presenting a firearm, Wright said. Arrest warrants state that Jesse Gates pointed the shotgun at Smith, Henry Guyton and Powers, and that he intended to kidnap the pastor.

Gates' sister, Angela Michelle Gates, 34, has been charged with accessory before the fact of a felony. Wright said Angela Gates went to the church with her brother and provided him with the shotgun he used during the incident.

Both siblings live at 115 Falcon Ridge Road, Boiling Springs, with their mother, Lt. Tony Ivey said.

Gates also had a hunting knife in his possession when he entered the church. Ivey said he was charged with violent burglary because he entered the building with deadly weapons.

Wright said that while Angela Gates has no prior criminal record, Jesse Gates' criminal history includes numerous convictions for burglary, grand larceny and forgery. He is a convicted felon and prohibited from having a gun or ammunition.

During a news conference Sunday, Sheriff Wright commended Aaron Guyton for having a concealed weapons permit.

"We're very fortunate we didn't have gruesome scenes to work there," Wright is quoted as saying. "I like the fact that a concealed weapons permit holder was prepared to protect the worshippers."

Wright made national headlines in October when a man attacked a woman at Milliken Park during the day, urging residents to obtain concealed weapons permits and arm themselves. Earlier this year, Wright praised a concealed weapons permit holder who shot and killed a would-be robber at a Waffle House on Chesnee Highway.

"I hope the bad guys are watching, because we are tired of your nonsense," Wright said. "People are simply protecting their families. Prepare yourselves, ladies and gentlemen."

The Herald-Journal quotes Rev. Guyton's wife, Joyce, 70, as saying she remained calm through the incident, even as Gates pointed the shotgun at her husband in the pulpit.

"He said, 'Come out of the pulpit,'" Joyce Guyton said. "He said it three times. He scared some of the members to death. Some of them crawled under the benches and chairs. I don't know if he was drugged or what was wrong with him, but he was bad."

Joyce Guyton said Gates had been attending services at Southside for about the past month, and church members remember him there from many years ago when he was a child.

"He told me he had just gotten out of prison for stealing," Joyce Guyton said.

She says Gates didn't ask for help.

"We help people who need help," Joyce Guyton said. "We've helped a lot of families over there. They've never come back with a gun."

Aaron Guyton said he's had a concealed weapons permit since 2009, and usually keeps his gun in the car during church. But after Gates showed up at the church the first time, Aaron Guyton said he decided to keep the gun in his back pocket the rest of the morning. He says he couldn't believe he almost had to use his gun inside the church he's attended all of his life. But he says he would have shot Gates to protect his grandparents, 8-year-old sister and 7-week-old cousin if his grandfather, whom he calls "Pops," hadn't been able to jerk the shotgun out of Gates' hand.

"Once we got him (Gates) on the ground, he was begging forgiveness," Aaron Guyton said. "It was the first time I ever had to draw my weapon on someone."

But when asked if he felt like a hero, Aaron Guyton replied, "I feel like I done what needed to be done. If my grandfather hadn't grabbed the gun, I was going to take his (Gates') life. I'm very proud of my grandfather. He moves quick."

In South Carolina he is an "everyday hero" who prevented some "gruesome scenes."

In Ohio, on the other hand, if a church member with a concealed handgun license brings their firearm to church as a means of protection against such an attack, the law calls for him to be arrested and charged with a felony of the fourth degree, and a conviction would earn him up to $5000 in fines and 18 months in prison.

How did it get this bad in the Buckeye State, where, once upon a time, state law encouraged citizens to bear arms at church services?[1] Will it take a church massacre (or massacres) in Ohio before the Republicans controlling the General Assembly do anything about it?

Our ancestors viewed guns in Ohio churches in a MUCH different light

On July 25, 1788, the first Ohio law to establish and regulate a militia was published. It mandated all men between 16 and 50 perform military duty. They were required to arm themselves with a musket and bayonet, a cartridge box, powder horn, one pound of powder and four pounds of lead. They also were ordered to drill every Sunday.

In 1791, the law changed the day of the weekly drills to Saturday. Those those who attended church services - with their guns - were exempt from drill.

How far we have sunk in Ohio, from a day when all men were not only allowed, but required by law to own firearms. Back then, Ohio law recognized that an armed society was a safer society.

Notice that churches were not legislated as victim zones, but rather that the law gave citizens incentive not only to attend church, but to do so while armed.

Misguided religious leaders partly to blame for the change

The earliest Ohio statute regulating or prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons appears to have been passed in 1917.[2] And the historical record proves many of our nation's gun control laws were passed with incredibly racist overtones.

The same type of bigotry exists today among those who continue the fight to disarm law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves, their children, their spouses, their property, and their homeland. And unfortunately, as noted by firearms researcher Dave Kopel, some of this anti self-defense bigotry can be sourced to certain religious institutions.[3]

According to Kopel, churchgoers have the "pacifist-aggression of certain religious officials" to thank for their defenselessness. That's because when Congress was considering reforms of the federal Gun Control Act, the Presbyterian Church (USA), sent a representative to testify to the Senate against the reforms. The Church representative declared that his church "has resolved, in the context of gun control, that it is against the killing of anyone, anywhere for any reason."

Kopel also notes that The National Coalition to Ban Handguns (later renamed the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence) was, in effect, founded as a subsidiary of the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church. And, Kopel discovered, Methodist publications tell women that they have a duty to submit to a rapist, rather than endanger the rapist by shooting him.

The roots of Ohio's anti-gun alliances can also be traced to these same sort of religious groups.[4]

I won't attempt to detail the strong Biblical support for bearing arms for self-defense here, but in addition to Kopel's article ("Is the Best Defense a Good Book?"), I highly recommend the online publication entitled "The Bible and Gun Control", and more specifically Essay 2, entitled "The Bible and Guns in America".[5]

Ohio law offers sheep attending places of worship to the wolves

Whether it be criminals in search of an easy mark, or terrorists in search of a place to inflict maximum damage, citizens who attend places of worship in Ohio have a reason for concern. Thanks to state law, CHL-holders are banned from attending worship services (or even entering the building) while armed, unless they have received special permission from church/synagogue/mosque officials. And obtaining this permission is exceedingly hard to obtain once the officials consult their uninformed, liability-conscious attorneys and insurance agents, who seem to labor under the false impression that an accident by an armed citizen is more likely than a violent attack by a crazed madman.

Every time I think about Ohio's prohibition on guns in places of worship, the names of congregations across the country echo through my mind:

* Wedgewood Baptist Church in Texas (1999 - seven killed).[6]

* Living Church of God in Wisconsin (2005, seven killed).[7]

* The Ministry of Jesus Christ in Louisiana (2006, five killed)[8]

* Youth With A Mission and New Life Church in Colorado. Four killed.[9]

The Solution

After each new multiple victim public shooting, gun rights advocates point out that nearly every shooting occurrs in a place where guns were banned, and predict that the death toll could have been far less had citizens been allowed their right to bear arms for self-defense in those locations.

There have been previous examples that prove this point - Appalachian Law School[10], a high school in Pearl, Mississippi[11], and New Life Church[12].

Many will recall that church leadership at New Life made a plan to allow their flock to protect themselves. Their plan included allowing armed church members to patrol the hallways. And after evil came knocking, that church's pastor told the world that had they not taken those measures, many, many more bodies would have been carried out of that church.

I know of another church that has taken similar measures. The church at which my late father-in-law pastored in Tennessee recognizes that large amounts of cash in the building on any given Sunday was an attractive target, and encourages ushers who had concealed handgun licenses to carry. No doubt at least some of those in the pews do the same, just as I did when I attended services there. The potential mass murderer or enterprising druggie hoping to steal thousands of dollars in tithe money will most certainly not be allowed to carry out his plan for mayhem in that place.

At most churches in Ohio, it is a different story altogether, despite the fact that research proves that at least 90% of multiple victim public shootings happen in places where guns are banned.[13] Yet legislators in Columbus have neither the wisdom nor foresight of the Colorado and Tennessee church leaders I just mentioned. This simply should not be.

ACT NOW: Ask the leaders in your place of worship if you and fellow CHL-holders can be a part of a ''security guard ministry''[14]. And tell your legislators that places of worship shouldn't be treated differently in the law than any other private property in the state of Ohio. Finally, please join me in praying that these decision-makers act to allow the flock their right to self-protection before the next wolf comes out of the woods.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

16. Maryland judge blocks ruling striking down "good and sufficient reason" requirement

VCDL Webmaster John Pierce emailed me this:


After Judge Legg handed down his ruling in Woollard v. Sheridan that Maryland's requirement of a "good and sufficient reason" to receive a handgun permit was unconstitutional, hundred of applicants including many Virginians flooded the Maryland State Police Licensing Division with applications.

However, Judge Legg subsequently issued a temporary stay of that order and the state is petitioning for a permanent stay pending appeal. Given those circumstances, Maryland has been returning applications unprocessed with the following letter ...

From monachuslex.com: http://tinyurl.com/6pupdxn

Maryland returns unprocessed handgun permit applications
By John Pierce
April 13, 2012

I wrote last week about Maryland's appeal in the Woollard v. Sheridan case. I also noted that Judge Legg had issued a temporary stay of the ruling pending a May 23rd final hearing on whether or not a permanent stay should be issued until the appeal is heard or rejected.

Today, I was emailed a copy of the following letter. It was received by one of the many people who had submitted applications to the state of Maryland after the original ruling struck down the requirement that an applicant have a "good and substantial reason" to receive a handgun permit. One would surmise that a similar letter has been sent to all of the hundreds of applicants who did likewise.

The person who sent me the email asked if it would be possible to seek a writ of mandamus forcing the state to process the application. However, if one reads the letter very carefully, you see that Maryland is not actually refusing to process the application. Rather, they are advising the applicants that, absent the "good and substantial reason" language that is once again required until either the stay is lifted or the appeals court rules, the application will almost certainly be denied.

I am of course deeply disappointed with the state of Maryland for having this requirement to begin with and for appealing Judge Legg's original ruling striking it down. However, given these facts, I am rather pleasantly surprised that Maryland chose to return the applications along with the accompanying fees rather than simply denying them. They could just as easily have kept the fees and summarily denied the applications,. Based upon the history of political bias against gun owners in Maryland, I would not have been surprised at all if that were the approach they had taken.

But there may be a reason for this act of unexpected 'generosity' by the state of Maryland. Despite the bravado with which the state is defending their decision to appeal, many legal scholars expect Maryland to lose and they may simply not want to face the flood of lawsuits that would arise from denied applicants in such an eventuality.

I should also note that there is another potential up-side for the applicants. On their permit applications, some states ask whether you have ever been denied a permit in another jurisdiction. By not being denied in Maryland, these applicants will not have to answer "Yes" to such a question if they apply in another state in the future.

There is an active, ongoing discussion of this issue at the Maryland Shooters forum.

17. Michael Bloomberg's gun-control guy dreams of building a rival to the N.R.A., some day

From capitalnewyork.com: http://tinyurl.com/85kolsg

Michael Bloomberg's gun-control guy dreams of building a rival to the N.R.A., some day
April 10, 2012

John Feinblatt, a 60-year-old West Village father of two, is that exceedingly rare gun-control advocate who feels that his side can play offense.

This may have something to do with the nature of his employment: He is Michael Bloomberg's chief policy adviser and he oversees Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition that, enabled by the mayor's money, continues to press a fight that the Democratic Party has long since abandoned.

"They say that people like Obama are going to take your guns away," said Feinblatt, sitting in a cramped conference room on the first floor of City Hall in a dark suit, blue-striped shirt and complementary tie, referring to the mighty National Rifle Association.

"I mean, Obama has done nothing virtually to tamper or restrict gun rights. You could argue he's gone the other way. Guns in national parks. Guns on Amtrak. And yet the N.R.A. is still raising dollars off the concept that Obama is gonna take your guns away."

Bloomberg and his coalition are hardly a counterweight to the national gun lobby, whose political strength is very well established. But it's not for lack of determination.

With grim regularity, every time there is a particularly shocking act of gun violence in the news, there is the mayor, talking about lax interstate gun regulations and the lack of will in Washington to do anything about it.

After the Trayvon Martin shooting, Bloomberg said, "The gun lobby is writing our nation's gun laws."

After the shooting of four police officers in Sheepshead Bay this weekend, the mayor said police officers would continue to get shot with illegal guns "until those in Washington stop cowering before the gun lobby."

Bloomberg has become, as UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, the author of "Gunfight," put it, "enemy number one" for the gun lobby, and "the face of the gun-control movement."

Feinblatt, a solidly built man with a ruddy face whose wedding to the city's Consumer Affairs commissioner Jonathan Mintz was officiated by Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion, believes the mayor's advocacy, and the attendant pressure he and the coalition (with its $4 million budget) have been able to put on some officials, has been having an effect.

"We have to, as we have on certain issues, show that there's a cost to your vote," says Feinblatt.

On March 20, Senator John Thune of South Dakota introduced the "Respecting States' Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act," which would require states that allow some form of concealed gun permits to recognize the concealed-carry gun permits of other states, even when those states have significantly weaker gun-access laws. The legislation offers marginally more expansive concealed-carry rights than an otherwise quite similar bill introduced the week before by two Democratic senators, Mark Begich of Alaska and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a version of which has already passed the House.

Feinblatt says that, in good part thanks to his organization's lobbying efforts, neither bill will pass the Senate, and that, therefore, both are dead. (Last time Thune introduced such a measure, in 2010, it got 58 votes in the Senate, two short of the number needed to overcome a filibuster.)

According to Feinblatt, "moderate senators" have flipped on the issue since then, though he declined to say which ones.

"I think we have turned the tide on this issue in the Senate," he said.

Even if that's true, it would amount to a small victory in a larger war that the N.R.A. is indisputably winning and will likely continue to win for the foreseeable future.

"Gun-control groups, whether it's the mayors group or Brady, those folks are playing defense, and they're not playing very good defense right now," said Harry Wilson, a professor of political science at Virginia's Roanoke College, who has written extensively on gun control. "At this point in time, I would say the N.R.A. and gun-rights groups are winning. But that's always open to change."

The N.R.A. has a lot going for it, including a tried-and-true communications and lobbying operation, and a well-organized, highly motivated membership that, in contrast to many Americans who support gun control, actually vote based on that issue.

Not even the Virginia Tech massacre or the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords did much to sway public opinion in any lasting way, or to change the basic dynamics of the political debate. So politically toxic is gun control understood to be that the Bloomberg-led coalition doesn't position itself as a gun-control group at all: it is very deliberately named Mayors Against Illegal Guns (as opposed to, say, "Mayors Against Guns"); it is a group that is against crime, not the rights of legal gun-owners, etc.

So, for example, they didn't oppose legislation that made guns legal on Amtrak and in public parks, but they do argue for a background-check system that will keep weapons away from people who probably shouldn't have them, like those on terrorist-watch lists or who have a record of mental illness.

But Feinblatt says that since its advent in 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has won a number of affirmative victories. The mayor has helped get gun-control-friendly state senators elected in Virginia, where many of the illegal guns found used in New York City crimes originate. The organization has helped convince the nation's biggest gun retailer, Walmart, to commit to tightening its sales policies. It has employed Kroll to conduct stings in Ohio and Virginia to demonstrate how easy it is to buy guns there via sites like Craiglist and GunListings.com, even when the buyer admits he'd have difficulty passing a background check. The organization is now in talks with some of those website operators and Feinblatt says a deal is likely.

Again though, these are relatively modest achievements.

"The battles that they're winning are very, very minor skirmishes," Wilson said.

This won't change until politicians believe the mayor's coalition, or someone, is in a position to make it worth their while--or survivable, even--to anger the N.R.A.

"Politicians believe that the N.R.A. is capable of moving an election, either toward them or against them," said Feinblatt.

They have their reasons.

In 1994, Republicans regained control of both the House and the Senate for the first time in nearly half a century, partly on the strength of a backlash against the prior year's passage of the Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act, which mandated the creation of a national background-check system known as NICS.

It has been basic, conventional wisdom roughly since then that Democrats in pro-gun parts of the country couldn't survive much longer if gun control remained an active issue.

"Because what you found was that people who were actually sympathetic to you were worried about jeopardizing Blue Dogs by taking votes on gun issues," says Feinblatt, who's worked on crime-related issues for decades. "And the myth sort of builds on the myth that builds on the myth that builds on the myth. And I don't think there's been a counterweight."

Al Gore's loss to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election, often attributed in part to his record on guns, also had a chilling effect.

"Al Gore didn't play his gun cards right on that one," said Wilson. "People still talk about Florida obviously, but those of us who focus more on gun control talk more about West Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas, which are states that Gore lost and should not have lost. And a lot of people like me point to guns, not as the only reason, but one of the big reasons he lost those states."

There are also some very basic structural imbalances. The intensity in the debate would seem to fall mostly on the side of the N.R.A., as reflected in their more than 4 million paying members. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, by contrast, has a database that grew from 70,000 to more than 230,000 after the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords, and then to 340,000 after the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The N.R.A.'s annual budget is $220 million, or about 55 times that of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

"The public sentiment isn't there," said Wilson. "It's not an issue that's of paramount importance right now, and again, without perceptions that crime is a serious problem and that somehow controlling guns can aid in that, absent those two things, you're really fighting upstream."

Even so, Feinblatt envisions a day when Mayors Against Illegal Guns will serve as counterweight against the N.R.A., a parallel organization of sorts. Feinblatt says the key to that ambition is demonstrating to legislators that the N.R.A. is not the only advocacy group capable of influencing public opinion.

"If you are for concealed-carry reciprocity, even though every D.A. in your state will say its bad, every police chief will say its bad, the citizens have a right to know that you're compromising public safety," he said.

By way of illustration, a spokesman for the mayor sent over some examples of the group's public lobbying efforts aimed at swingable officials, including a full-page ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer in which 50 Ohio mayors implored then-senator George Voinovich to fight a provision very similar to the concealed-carry reciprocity now under consideration in Congress.

Voinovich subsequently voted against the amendment.

"So, they actually, they had not met their match before us," said Feinblatt, of the N.R.A.. "And I'm not saying we don't have a ways to go. We do."

Feinblatt predicts that the organization will only become stronger in 2014, once Bloomberg's third term ends and he has more time and energy to devote to an organization that has the full-time equivalent of about nine staff members.

"Look, I think that the mayor feels very strongly about this issue," he said. "I have every expectation this is an issue that he will continue to work on and probably even with more jet propulsion, you could argue ... We always have to weigh lots of competing interests. He represents 8.4 million peple and there are lots of issues that need to be attended to."

18. After Armageddon - a look at the aftermath of a massive disaster situation [VIDEO]

Louis Klampfe emailed me this:


From YouTube: http://tinyurl.com/7lvmuwb

19. A heavy handed look at gun rights

The supposed gun-owning writer projecting his shortcomings on the rest of us.

From the Freelance-Star: http://tinyurl.com/836cg5k

Carrying a gun is a heavy load

I AM ALL for gun rights and that Second Amendment stuff. [PVC: I can already tell where this is going.]

I own guns—shotguns, rifles and a pistol—and I can use them with some proficiency. I have even won a few shooting contests over the years.

There was a time when I sometimes wore a gun on my hip, back when I was often forced to carry large sums of money.

The six-shooter was, as the federal government calls its nuclear missiles, a deterrent.

I never carried a concealed weapon, nor have I ever had the urge to do so. I always figured that if somebody was going to rob or mug me, they would probably sneak up behind me and either get the drop on me or whack me in the head with something. [PVC: Bad assumption, people have time to stop crimes with their handgun more often than not.]

In either case, I would likely be on the ground before I could pull my weapon, so it wouldn't be of much use to me. [PVC: Possible if you aren't paying any attention to the world around you. Otherwise, it doesn't happen that way all that often.]

A lot of people do carry guns for protection, they say. Maybe it makes them feel safer.

There are, however, two inherent problems with walking around with a loaded pistol on your person. First, if you have a gun, you are sometimes tempted to use it when you shouldn't. [PVC: What is this guy talking about? I've never experience that - if anything I'm more reserved. This is the problem with someone writing an article on something he hasn't ever tried himself. Based on this piece, I guess I'm qualified to write technical articles on open heart surgery!]

Second, if somebody overpowers you and takes the gun away, he can use it on you. If the mugger didn't have a weapon in the first place, you're supplying him with a quick means of taking your life. [PVC: Rarer than hen's teeth. Criminals see a gun in your hand and run. Very rare indeed for one to make a Darwinian move to take it away from you.]

I have seen macho guys pop out their chest and boast, "If somebody tries to rob me, I'll shoot him."

Maybe they would. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of such an act would be to have a death on your conscience for the rest of your life. [PVC: That's a choice the gun owner makes - "Am I better dead, or alive with the dead criminal on my conscience?" I"m not sure that the criminal would even be on a person's conscience since it was the criminal that would have forced the good guy to shoot in self-defense.]

And that person would be in trouble with the law. You can sit there and talk about the right to protect yourself and your property, but there are very few instances in which you can shoot someone with no legal consequences. [PVC: Well, I guess we are better dead then. Sheesh.]

What the law implies and how it is enforced are two different things. If you don't believe me, ask any defense lawyer or prosecutor. In this day and time, you've got to prove self-defense beyond the shadow of a doubt. And if it is just you and the other guy, that's hard to do, especially if the other guy is dead.

If you don't think there is hell to pay for shooting someone, just ask George Zimmerman, the Florida man who shot Trayvon Martin. No one but Zimmerman knows what really happened that night, but there is one glaring fact—one man had a gun and the other didn't.

If, in fact, the 17-year-old Martin did attack Zimmerman, as Zimmerman claims, and neither had a weapon, both guys might have ended up with cuts and bruises. But it is unlikely that anyone would have died. [PVC: Ending up a vegetable is just as bad as being dead.]

But a man with a gun is tempted to use it, often when he really shouldn't. And if he does use it, there are always dire consequences. [PVC: Again, this must be a fantasy of Mr. Johnson's.]

Many times I have heard someone say, in jest, of course, "I was so mad that if I had had a gun I would have shot him!"

In the heat of the moment, they might have done just that. [PVC: Baloney.]

I have known of several people who killed others, and the killers all died before their time. There apparently is something about taking a life that eats away at the insides of the average person. [PVC: Really - perhaps that's why they are good persons? Bad guys can kill an innocent, take the victim's wallet to buy lunch, and never think about it again.]

Perhaps Matt Dillon could shoot someone and then go down to the Long Branch Saloon and have a beer with Miss Kitty, but the average Joe couldn't.

As for protection, I have never known anyone who carried a gun who was actually saved because of it (outside of the military or law enforcement, of course). [PVC: So, since Mr. Johnson has probably never seen the Nile river, it doesn't exist either?]

If someone broke into my house and threatened me or my family, I'm sure I would use a gun to protect myself. [PVC: Why bother, Mr. Johnson? It's too much trouble, really.]

But even then, the criminal would have the edge because he would likely not hesitate in pulling the trigger and I, like most other people, probably would. That split second would make all the difference. [PVC: So you may as well ditch your gun - like I said, it is so much trouble to protect yourself and your family. Perhaps it's better to beg for mercy - that always works so well.]

I absolutely defend the right of Americans to bear arms, but when you walk around carrying a loaded gun you are just asking for trouble. [PVC: Funny - if that were true then VCDL members would be constantly in the news and in jail. Great imagination, Mr. Johnson. What good is the right to bear arms if no one does so?]

You can carry a weapon to feel macho, but when you actually use it, the thrill will be gone. [PVC: THRILL? There is no thrill in carrying a gun. It is serious business, but I guess Mr. Johnson gets a thrill from it.]

George Zimmerman is a good case in point.

Guns protect, but guns also provoke.

And actually taking a life, even in self defense, weighs heavy on a man's soul. [PVC: At least your alive so that you have a soul for it to weigh on.]

Once you pull that trigger, you can't take the bullet back. [PVC: And once you write a silly opinion piece like this one and it's published, you can't take that back either.]

Donnie Johnston

20. Press misreports Exmore, VA gun law

In the article below the paper reports that Exmore passed a law banning carrying guns in the town. That, of course, would be an illegal ordinance because of preemption. After checking into it, we found out that the paper didn't know what it was talking about. The ordinance had to do with SHOOTING a gun in the town, which the town CAN legally control.

From the Easternshorepost.com (PDF, on page 8): http://tinyurl.com/732stgh

Exmore Passes Firearms Ordinance

By Ron West
Exmore Town Council took action Monday to support an amended town weapons ordinance.

The ordinance was the subject of a public hearing at an earlier session and drew both support and opposition from members of the public. Without the ordinance, Police Chief Angelo DiMartino had indicated that it was difficult to legally prevent individuals from carrying weapons within the town limits.

Following additional discussion by Town Council, the ordinance was passed in a 4-0 vote. (Councilmen Charles Massey and John Metz were absent.) Individuals found in violation of the ordinance could be found guilty of a Class
4 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine between $25 and $250 plus costs.


21. Farmville corrects a bad ordinance after VCDL contacts them

Farmville had some illegal firearm ordinances on their books dealing with the purchase of a firearm and the dealer's record keeping of gun sales. EM Ed Levine volunteered to handle the situation and in short order the situation was rectified.

22. Congressional candidate addressed VCDL meeting in Annandale

Ken Vaughn, who is running in a primary to go up against anti-gun Congressman Jerry Connolly from Northern Virginia, spoke at the April membership meeting about his position on guns. For those interested, his web site is:


Some links about Mr. Vaughn and his opponent:

Ken Vaughn:

Chris Perkins (opponent):

If Mr. Perkins would like to address a future VCDL meeting, he is welcome to do so.

23. False rumor - Congressional bill does not give IRS the power to remove a person's gun rights

EM John Pierce confirmed for me that the stories about a bill giving the IRS powers to take away a person's gun rights are unfounded. The NRA has also posted an item dispelling the rumor.


Senate bill S1813 does not allow the IRS to take your guns

Gun owners are as susceptible to urban legends as any other group of people on the internet. In fact, they may be more susceptible since there are so many convoluted attempts to use backdoor means to obstruct the right to keep and bear arms that nothing seems impossible.

Having said that, the latest urban legend to gain traction in the gun rights community is the claim that Senate Bill S1813 allows the IRS to strip you of your gun rights and carry permit based upon back-taxes owed.

This is not true.

I was first made aware of this urban legend last week when I was forwarded an email from a concerned gun owner who had read Anthony Martin's Conservative Examiner column in which Mr. Martin passed on the claim reported at Before It's News that the bill would grant the IRS the ability to "authorize the removal of the right to own firearms."

I should note for the record that I am not attacking Mr. Martin. He acted responsibly and couched his report in very skeptical terms given the source of the original report. He noted that:

"[T]he part of the bill that has gun rights activists worried is on pages 1320-1324. This subsection is entitled, "Firearms." While the wording is in obscure legalese, it seems to be saying that the person designated as "the Secretary" is given broad powers over permits and the revocation of permits. And this power is described under the section that specifically deals with firearms.

Lawyers may debate whether or not the wording of the bill gives the IRS the power to suspend gun rights. But government watchdogs have become alarmed over the tendency of legislation to be written in such a manner as to create broad leeway for interpretation, meaning that nebulous wording often leads to an interpretation of the law that confirms the suspicions of many citizens that the federal government is relentlessly engaged in power grabs aimed at limiting the Constitutional rights of Americans."

Mr. Martin was right to be skeptical. The bill, which is a reauthorization of multiple Federal-aid highway and highway safety construction programs, does attempt to give the IRS the controversial ability to revoke the passports of those significantly in arrears on their taxes. But what it does not do is give them any rights to control taxpayer's gun rights.

In fact, the only thing correct about the Before It's News claim is the page number. Here is my response to the person who emailed me originally:

1) There is such a bill.

2) It does have a page 1320

3) The word 'firearm' does appear on that page

4) It is on a section dealing with special permits for the transportation of hazardous materials

5) It says that firearms transported by individuals for personal use or in commerce are NOT subject to the hazardous materials special permit requirements. This is a PRO-GUN provision in the bill.

But Mr. Martin was not the only reputable commentator to be taken in by the claim. I received a followup email yesterday noting that even the administrator of Congressman Tom Tancredo's blog has posted the claim.

The lesson to be learned here is, where internet claims are concerned, follow the sage wisdom of President Reagan; "Trust … but verify."

24. Mob beats tourist in Baltimore, caught on camera

Rafael Pabon sent me these links:

Who needs a gun in Baltimore? Where's the Mainstream Media?

Youtube videos:



25. VCDL member shoots huge, hairy intruder


Intruders come in all shapes and sizes, and not just in human form even in peaceful western Hanover County. I learned along time ago, when you live in the countryside and raise livestock, you'd better be prepared for anything. The ownership of firearms is not just for hunting but for overall personal and livestock protection as well. This bad boy entered the scene early Friday morning killing my livestock. Having grown up on a farm, I knew this buster wasn't finished with my poultry.

I called the VA Game Commission and requested a Kill Permit. They worked with me to quickly resolve the problem and provided the permit. He returned twice again within 24 hours. I shot him on Saturday morning at 4:45 a.m. while he was backing out of my chicken house which is located about 20 yards from my house. Yikes, he weighed 440 pounds gutted at the butcher. The butcher figured the live weight was 500 pounds. He was 7'-9" from rear toe to snout. I wasn't going to tangle with King Kong without a firearm, nor was I going to allow him to polish off the rest of my livestock!

My neighbors and guys from the local hunt club were fantastic in helping me out with moving this guy around and then getting him on my truck. Incidently, The Marlin 336 in the picture was part of the record gun sales in Dec. 2011 with a design history dating back to the 1800's. I'm glad I bought it!!!

Jim Dinger

Photo: http://www.vcdl.org/media/Bear_Intruder.jpg

26. Senate candidate Jaime Radtke on the Second Amendment

James Corbett sent me this:

From the Washington Examiner: http://tinyurl.com/6nqneuc

"We have the CIA, the FBI, the State Department, the Department of Defense. The solution in Washington was: let's create another department," Radtke said. "The answer was always a larger bureaucracy rather than fixing the problem where it is."

Her prescription was an armed populace. "The best defense for Americans is the Second Amendment," she said.

27. Bank of America is officially anti-gun!

This has been backed up in other sources. Time to tear up those Bank of America credit cards.

From pjmedia.com: http://tinyurl.com/6no7vgf

BREAKING: Bank of America Reportedly Drops Gun Company for Political Reasons

The reported reason: they simply do not want to be associated with gun companies.
Bob Owens

Bailout recipient Bank of America has severed relations with an American company because of a reported bias against their industry. McMillan Group International released an extraordinary statement on Facebook regarding the incident:

McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing, McMillan Group International have been collectively banking with Bank of America for 12 years. Today Mr. Ray Fox, Senior Vice President, Market Manager, Business Banking, Global Commercial Banking came to my office. He scheduled the meeting as an "account analysis" meeting in order to evaluate the two lines of credit we have with them. He spent five minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last five years and have become more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories.

At this point I interrupted him and asked "Can I possible save you some time so that you don't waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer what my business."

"That is correct" he says.

I replied "That is okay, we will move our accounts as soon as possible. We can find a Second Amendment friendly bank that will be glad to have our business. You won't mind if I tell the NRA, SCI and everyone one I know that BofA is not firearms industry friendly?"

"You have to do what you must" he said.

"So you are telling me this is a politically motivated decision, is that right?"

Mr Fox confirmed that it was. At which point I told him that the meeting was over and there was nothing let for him to say.

McMillan is now refusing to accept Bank of America cards from customers for payment.

McMillan is heavily involved with U.S. national security. McMillan rifle stocks are the standard for the Marine Corps' favored M40A3 sniper rifle. McMillan products, from stocks and other accessories to complete rifles, are used by U.S. regular and special forces and by American military allies around the globe.

McMillan products are of particular import in Afghanistan and in Iraq, where snipers and designated marksmen armed with long-range precision rifles performed (and still perform) vital scouting and overwatch functions protecting maneuver units. The extended range of these weapons allows forces to engage with and destroy enemy forces before they are in range to accurately fire against American soldiers and Marines.

Per McMillan's statement, a politically partisan bank has severed the lines of credit to a company important to our national security. This act has likely added difficulty to the company's ability to operate, to research product improvements, and to deliver products on time. Bank of America's stance — especially if this signals a new policy regarding dealing with all arms manufacturers — could potentially effect the readiness of American soldiers in combat zones and the operational efficiency of some of America's most highly trained and effective units.

Bank of America was the recipient of well over 100 billion dollars in federal money. They are also one of just two vendors processing payments for Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign, employing a system that disables safeguards against illegal foreign donations. Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the site of the Democratic Nation Convention in September.

This is at least the third time Bank of America has implemented a discriminatory policy against gun manufacturers. In early 2001, a scandal erupted over the bank's attempt to discriminate against another Arizona-based company. The resulting public outrage forced a reversal of the policy.

In 2010, Bank of America attempted a similar action, and was again forced to "clarify" their position:

Bank of America does not have a corporate-wide policy to deny banking services solely on the applicant's involvement in the firearms industry.

No other gun manufacturer or gun rights group has reacted to the McMillan Facebook post at this time.

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/]
IMPORTANT: It is our intention to honor all "remove" requests promptly.
To unsubscribe from this list, or change the email address where you
receive messages, please go to:
https://www.listbox.com/member/?member_id=15843530&id_secret=15843530-842dc303 [https://www.listbox.com/member/?member_id=15843530&id_secret=15843530-842dc303]

Modify Your Subscription: https://www.listbox.com/member/?member_id=15843530&id_secret=15843530-842dc303
Powered by Listbox: http://www.listbox.com

No comments:

Post a Comment