Sunday, August 5, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Mini-Update 8/5/12

Not yet a VCDL member? Join VCDL at:
VCDL's meeting schedule:
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:

1. Gigantic Hillsville gun show coming up - help needed!
2. Newport News picnic - RSVPs needed
3. Virginia guns ending up in New York - what is the truth?
4. Anit-rights rant in the Falls Church News-Press
5. Dick Morris on the next steps to fight future U.N. gun ban [VIDEO]
6. Revolver being auctioned to benefit VCDL
7. Government Accountability Office: Report on Concealed Carry laws in the United States
8. Thoughts on bringing more anti-gun liberals into the pro-gun fold

1. Gigantic Hillsville gun show coming up - help needed!

The massive Hillsville Gun Show and Flea Market is being held over the Labor Day weekend. If you've never been to this event, you aren't going to believe the size - they have had attendance in the 400,000 to 500,000 range over a four day period! The entire town of Hillsville is consumed by this event.

In the past we have handed out tens of thousands of our "Guns Save Lives" stickers, creating a sea of bright orange stickers.


HWY 58, Hillsville VA--one mile off of I-77, Exit 14.

If you are coming from the Roanoke area, it is best to take take HWY 100 off of I-81 to Hillsville

VCDL has spaces 647 & 648 in Row 8


We will need some morning helpers to arrive not later than 7:30 AM for set up

Friday, August 31 - 8 AM to 12:30 PM, 12:30 PM to 5 PM
Saturday, September 1 - 8 AM to 12:30 PM, 12:30 PM to 5 PM
Sunday, September 2 - 8 AM to 12:30 PM, 12:30 PM to 5 PM
Monday, September 3 - 8 AM to 4 PM

We could use at least four helpers per shift. "ALL DAY" helpers are a plus! Board member Al Steed Jr. is working on the use of a 3 bedroom house for overnight stays with no charge for those coming from a distance and wishing to assist two days or more.

Contact Al Steed Jr. for more information or to volunteer at:

2. Newport News picnic - RSVPs needed

The VCDL cordially invites the general public to a picnic at the Riverview Park in Newport News, VA on September the 15th from 11 AM until 2 PM. This is a family affair so bring the little ones along and enjoy the beautiful park. Food and drinks will be provided by the VCDL but attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share if they so desire.

VCDL president Philip Van Cleave and Delegate Brenda Pogge will be speaking at the picnic. Delegate Pogge carried an important bill for VCDL this year, which allows local government employees to keep their firearms in their private vehicles while at work.

The Riverview Park is located at:'

125 City Farm Road, Newport News, Virginia 23602

PLEASE RSVP at this email address:

In the SUBJECT LINE put "RSVP n", where "n" is the number in your party.

3. Virginia guns ending up in New York - what is the truth?

A new BATFE report shows that 407 guns traced to Virginia ended up in the hands of New York criminals.

Important notes:

1. New York was the source for FOUR TIMES as many guns used in crimes in New York than came from Virginia. Sounds like they need to fix up their own problems before looking at us.

2. Most of the "crimes" where someone merely possessing a firearms without a permit. If New York would honor the Second Amendment, then the number of "crime guns" would drop dramatically.

3. The guns that end up in New York are stolen or were purchased using a "straw-purchase." Nothing can be done about either of those things.

I was interviewed by Channel 6 in Richmond [VIDEO]:


Report shows 407 guns linked to NY crime were purchased in Va.
Jake Burns and Alix Bryan

Richmond, Va. (WTVR)–A report released Monday, by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that 407 guns linked to crimes in New York last year were originally purchased in Virginia.
Henrico Delegate Joe Morrissey voted against the repeal of Virginia's One Hand Gun A Month law that passed the General Assembly earlier this year.

Morrissey worries what future studies might find.

"Mark my words, in 2013, when ATF comes out and they say, 'My God, 800, 1,000 crimes were linked to Virginia,' you can trace it right back to the General Assembly's– in my opinion–very poor decision to eliminate the one hand gun per month," said Morrissey.

The process for purchasing a handgun in New York requires fingerprinting, character references and background checks.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizen Defense League, thinks the state's less stringent handgun purchasing laws make little difference.

"We had the one gun a month when those statistics were taken, yet states that didn't have it had lower amounts of guns going to New York than we did," said Van Cleave.

According to ATF officials, New York's restrictive gun laws have made the Empire State a marketplace for guns from states like Virginia. With no firearm registry and little regulation on private sales, Virginia's influence on gun trafficking is still up for debate.

"Virginia was the cradle of our liberties, and I think a lot of gun owners certainly see us just that way by the fact that we try to have laws that are what the constitution expects them to be," said Van Cleave.

"I don't think it's a plus to say, 'Come to the old Dominion, where Virginia is for lovers and guns are prolific," said Morrissey.

"No, I don't think that's the best sign for Virginia."

To view the ATF's study just click on this link:


Story from the Daily Press:

Federal report tracks NY crime guns to Virginia, other states
By MICHAEL VIRTANEN, The Associated Press
2:38 p.m. EDT, July 30, 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. — Most guns recovered from New York crimes last year originated in states with fewer legal restrictions, though the largest single source remains New York itself, where 1,595 were first purchased, federal data show.

ATF officials say the report shows that New York's restrictive gun laws have made it a "market state" for guns from elsewhere at a time when recent shootings have reignited the national debate on regulations. Authorities said the main weapon used in the killing of a dozen moviegoers in Aurora, Colo., was an AR-15 rifle modified with a high-capacity magazine that allowed firing many bullets without reloading. That gun would be illegal in New York.

Text NEWS to 71593 to receive breaking news. Click here for other text alert options.

New York laws prohibit machine guns and possessing handguns without a license.

"We call New York a market state because it's so highly regulated that it's easier to get a gun in another state and bring it back," said ATF group supervisor Robert Cucinelli.

While buying a single-shot rifle or shotgun generally follows the same federal rules as the rest of the country, New York's handgun license applications involve a vetting process that can take six months. In addition, New York City requires a special permit to own a rifle or shotgun, and its pistol permits expire every three years.

The ATF report did not specify the sources of nine machine guns from New York crimes. Possession of a machine gun under New York law is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Having another firearm "simulating a machine gun and which is adaptable for such use" or having a "large capacity ammunition feeding device" is punishable by up to seven years.

Federal law requires owners to register machine guns with ATF, prohibits individuals from buying any that weren't registered before May 19, 1986, and bars interstate transfers.

New York City police said the weapon used earlier this month in Queens to kill three men may have been an AK-47 assault rifle that rapidly fired at least 63 rounds, littering the area with shell casings.

"There certainly is an underground market," State Police Maj. Wayne Olson said. It's fed by out-of-state guns, including "straw purchases" by buyers fronting for others, by lost or stolen guns and even some falsely reported as stolen, he said.

Licensed gun dealers nationally are required to submit information to the FBI for an instant computer background check of a buyer's known felony convictions, mental disability or domestic violence restraining orders, conditions that can block a sale. In New York, handgun licensing generally requires fees, fingerprinting, a safety course, background checks, character references and approval by a judge or other designated official. Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties require five-year renewals.

Gun dealers here advertise semiautomatic AR-15s, a variation on the U.S. military's former M16 rifle, which automatically feeds bullets from a magazine but fires one shot at a time.

"It's not very difficult to alter a semiautomatic firearm to fire as a fully automatic," said ATF special agent Walter Kudron. There are parts and instructions available, he said.

However, the large majority of crime guns in New York are handguns, which accounted for more than two-thirds of the weapons ATF traced last year. Altogether, the state had less than one-third of the 30,364 crime guns ATF traced for California last year, and half the 19,140 in Florida.

Data show guns used in roughly 20 percent of New York's violent crimes, which have dropped overall in the past decade, despite recent upticks. In New York City, arrests where gun possession was the top offense rose to 6,795 last year from 4,994 in 2002. In the rest of the state, they rose to 2,426 last year from 1,975 nine years earlier, according to the Division of Criminal Justice Services.

"There's a split in the state. Crime guns from upstate tend to come from the state. Crime guns in the city tend to come from states along the Atlantic Seaboard," said Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City. Aborn, like Mayor Michael Bloomberg, advocates tougher federal gun laws, similar to New York's.

Federal law has one mechanism for policing interstate gun trafficking, Cucinelli said.

"The crime that's actually occurring in the store is lying on the form. When you buy a gun you have to pass a background check and fill out the form. Is this gun for you? He checks off yes. If he checks no, he can't transfer that gun."

So-called "lying and buying" is a federal felony that can lead to up to five years in prison.

Cucinelli said there are also sales at gun shows or flea markets in other states where private individuals, who are not licensed gun dealers, can legally sell them without instant background checks on the buyer.

New York added a background-check requirement in 2000. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman last year charged 10 people in six counties with misdemeanors, accusing them of selling long guns, including three AR-15s, while failing to do buyer background checks at gun shows. Nine have settled their cases for penalties up to a $200 fine and 100 hours of community service.

4. Anit-rights rant in the Falls Church News-Press

VCDL members bullies? Really? I think the problem here is that Mr. Benton is afraid of his own shadow - only that would explain his completely irrational fear of people like you and me.

Here was my commentary on this editorial as left on the web site:

"What a disgraceful commentary. Lots of name calling, denigrating, and stereotyping of the nicest, most law-abiding people you would ever hope to meet. They just believe in their right to be able to protect themselves and you don't, so you go on the attack. Your theory that they gun owners are all "alpha males" is hilarious. I'll have to share that thought with all the woman who are members of VCDL. Perhaps you need to stay away from psychology - doesn't sound like you are an authority on that subject.

BTW, I am the President of the VCDL - the group that seems to have pushed you off the deep end."


'Alpha Males,' Guns & Cowardice
By Nicholas F. Benton
Wednesday, August 01 2012 06:26:54 PM
In the wake of the latest crazed mass shooting of innocent civilians in the U.S. – the massacre at a midnight movie showing in Colorado – followed up by a near-miss with the seizure of a huge automatic weapons cache assembled in the home of another potential mass murderer in Maryland, the national discourse is between those who blame the mental illness of the assailants, and those who blame the lack of adequate gun laws in the U.S.

The gun lobby has become virtually untouchable in the political corridors of power, with leaders in both major parties unwilling to face it down.

There is an unspoken but obviously self-evident factor in this: cowardice.

Gun lobby zealots often show up at public hearings "packing heat," and exhibiting the kind of "alpha male" bullying personalities that intimidated since childhood many of the types who went into politics, instead of the Marines, in the first place.

A typical exhibition occurred at a City Council meeting in the small D.C. beltway suburb of Falls Church, Virginia, a few years back when the Council was considering how it could keep firearms at some distance from its schools and Community Center.

Gun lobby proponents packed the Council chambers, all visibly armed. They were polite, but their mere presence in that manner spoke volumes. Only one Council member had the guts to speak out even louder against the gun lobby agenda in the face of such clear intimidation. The rest were silent, and some later reported they'd never felt more frightened in their lives.

The City Council's dais was made bullet-proof in the days following that meeting, and other security measures were swiftly put into place.

The reason why Mitt Romney stumbled around so clumsily among America's top allies on his recent overseas foray is because he, himself, embodies the same "alpha male" personality as the gun lobbyists. He was a school yard bully as a youth, well documented by his victims, and no one ever counseled him about being otherwise.

So, he brought that same bullying approach to his business dealings, and he never blinked an eye at laying people off, shipping U.S. jobs overseas, hiding his own money in secret offshore accounts, and feeling entitled to evade, lie and hide almost all of his tax records from the public.

A "white male chauvinist pig" (as we used to call them back in the social ferment days of the late 1960s until animal rights advocates convinced us to stop slandering pigs), Romney and his team operated in England, the Middle East and Poland in recent days like disinterested thugs, hardly to be held accountable for whatever grunts might spew forth from their mouths. These weren't gaffes, these showed how Romney, the bully, runs his life.

So, the fact that the United States has by far the highest number of guns in the hands of its civilians of any nation in the world is hardly surprising. According to a United Nations survey, there are 88.8 guns in the hands of every 100 U.S. citizens, the most of any nation in the world and far ahead of terrorist haven Yemen with 54 per 100 citizens, Serbia and Iraq the next highest. Representing five percent of the world's population, Americans own 50 percent of the guns, and the rate of deaths by gunfire in the U.S. is also off the charts compared to the rest of the world.

There are three deaths per 100,000 people in the U.S., also according to the U.N., compared to .77 in Switzerland, .26 in India, .14 in Australia and .12 in the U.K., In a January 2011 article in The Atlantic, a state-by-state analysis of gun ownership showed that where gun control measures are in place, there are fewer gun-related deaths. The correlation is irrefutable.

While many violent crime categories are sharply down in the U.S. in the last decade, gun homicide rates are unchanged, and the rate of serious injuries from guns has risen by 20 percent. As commentator Fareed Zakaria remarked, presenting this data on his CNN show last weekend, "Americans may be entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts."

5. Dick Morris on the next steps to fight future U.N. gun ban [VIDEO]

6. Revolver being auctioned to benefit VCDL

Dick Letaw, a deceased member, had willed VCDL a couple of his handguns. One of those guns, a Smith & Wesson revolver, is listed on If you are interested in bidding on that gun, here is the link:

Thanks to both Bob Moates Sports Shop in Midlothian and Dominion Shooting Range in Richmond for appraising the handgun for VCDL.

7. Government Accountability Office: Report on Concealed Carry laws in the United States

Here is a PDF formatted document on Concealed Carry laws in the United States that is loaded with a lot of great information and statistics. I will be using some of this information in the General Assembly next year to support gun bills. The file has interactive maps, too.

According to this report there are now over 8 MILLION CHP holders in the U.S.!

8. Thoughts on bringing more anti-gun liberals into the pro-gun fold

Member Terrell Prude' Jr., one of our socially liberal, but extremely pro-gun members, has put together a web page on how gun owners can approach and interact with anti-gun liberals to help guide them into the pro-gun camp.

VCDL has always had a goal of having as diverse a group of members as possible. Doing so helps insure a strong coalition to fight any future gun control.

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: []
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