Thursday, October 4, 2012

VA-ALERT: Mini-update: Membership, Crime Commission, Goochland range

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Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:

1. Membership renewal notices are running late
2. Crime Commission moves rewrite of concealed weapons law forward!
3. Goochland Planning Commission delays determination on sporting clays range
4. Voter registration - time running out!

1. Membership renewal notices are running late

Due to the retirement of our Membership Coordinator and the duration of our search to find a new one we have missed the mark in getting the renewal notices out.

We have someone who is willing to get us through the renewal season this year but we are still getting the needed equipment and software in place to get the new Membership Processing Center (MPC) up and running and the new coordinator prepared for the deluge of renewals. So, the Board has decided to delay the mailing of the renewal letters just a bit longer to make sure things are done as 'right' as possible.

Regardless of the 2012 expiration date on your current membership card, you are still a member. We hope to begin rolling out the steps for the renewals within the next 30 days. Sit tight, we have not forgotten about you.

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but as you know, the VCDL has always been about quality over quantity and doing the right thing. It is just that this year, the right thing is taking a little longer.

2. Crime Commission moves rewrite of concealed weapons law forward!

On Tuesday I spoke at the Crime Commission hearing held in the General Assembly Building in Richmond. The Crime Commission had been tasked to analyze HB 923, a bill introduced by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter that reorganizes Virginia's concealed weapon laws. The Commission was to make sure that the very lengthy bill would not actually change the intent of any of the concealed weapon laws as it reorganizes them into a more logical, easer to read, and easier to understand configuration.

I spoke in favor of the bill, saying that gun owners want to obey the law and the rewrite should make that goal easier to achieve.

The antis spoke in favor (how could they possibly oppose such a bill with a straight face?), but they couldn't let good-enough alone and had to throw in a long laundry list of things they would like to see changed in Virginia's concealed weapons laws. That was a colossal waste of time as the bill was specially written to NOT CHANGE THE INTENT OF CURRENT LAW AT ALL and the Crime Commission's job was to make sure that was true! To put that idea to rest, Delegate Lingamfelter addressed the commission and told them that he would kill his bill if anyone modified it to change current law.

At the very end Senate Majority Leader, Tommy Norment, who is on the commission, also couldn't help himself, saying that he would like to see a FIVE-YEAR moratorium on changes to gun laws.

I'll bet he'd love to see that! He often votes wrong on gun bills, yet is from a gun-friendly part of the state. Nice try, Senator, but no cigar.

3. Goochland Planning Commission delays determination on sporting clays range

A couple of weeks ago the Goochland Planning Commission had a hearing on an application to create a sporting clays range in the county.

The room was packed with about an even split of supporters and opponents.

After looking at all the terms and conditions that the County wanted to pile onto the shooting range, my first words to the Commission were that it was sad to see how much of our freedoms and liberties have been stripped away by government. I said that if someone with *700* acres and a mile away from the nearest neighbor couldn't do what they want with their own land, what hope of freedom from government red tape did any of the rest of us have? I also pointed out that such a range would bring much needed commerce into the area and would benefit thousands of gun owners.

Several of those speaking in favor of the range hit some home runs. Chet Szymecki came all the way from the Newport News area to testify that living close to a range is not problem, as he lives within 300 yards of a large and busy range without issue.

The opponents repeatedly had to be reminded not to disrupt the hearing with clapping and comments when one of their own spoke. They would behave themselves for a little while, but then would start up again. Speaks volumes, doesn't it?

One of the opponents broke into crocodile tears while testifying because of the "horrible" noise she would be subjected to a mile away from the range. You know, the faint "pop" of a shotgun that would be drowned out by crickets and tree frogs. ;-)

The opponents were suggesting more and more ridiculous restrictions that should be put on the range. Disgusting.

Some on the Commission were thinly veiled opponents, coming up with unique ways to measure the sound at the range that no other business has been put through before. They also wanted delays until there were no leaves on the trees before measuring the sound (that would postpone the sound tests until at least December). They wanted the range to pay for more sound tests on top of the three tests that the range had already provided. Unbelievable. How do these people sleep at night? Yet another reminder that there are those who simply can't handle power without becoming a tyrant.

Tom Dykers, the son of the range's owner, Andrew Dykers, did a great job in presenting the case for the range. I met quite a few members of the Dykers family that night. All were very nice people and I hope they come out on top.

In the end, the Commission decided to work with the Dykers to find common ground on the range requirements and to decide what to do on getting yet another sound-level measurement.

Personally, I believe that if the County wants more sound measurements, then the County should pay for them.

I'll let you know as events transpire. Fortunately, the Commission has a limited time before they have to vote on the range's zoning application.

4. Voter registration - time running out!

I'm sure everyone is aware that the Federal Election will occur on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. (Don't forget that for those who are voting anti-gun, their voting date has been moved to November 7th!)

So, are you ready to participate in this election?

According to the Virginia State Board of Elections:

"Virginians must apply to register to vote (or update their
registration name and current address) NO LATER THAN OCTOBER 15,

The State Board of Elections website,, provides lots of info, including:

-- Checking your registration
-- Double checking where you vote
-- Can't vote on election day?
-- What ID you need
-- What's on your ballot
-- Questions about voting
-- Want to contact your Local General Registrar?

If you plan to participate in the November election, be sure you are registered to vote.

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.

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