Friday, September 20, 2013

VA-ALERT: VCDL Mini-update 9/20/13

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VCDL's meeting schedule:
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:

1. Volunteers needed for upcoming Virginia Beach gun show!
2. Action Item: Prince William Candidate Forum on Oct. 2
3. VCDL working with Harrisonburg to fix air gun ordinance that almost led to a false arrest
4. Thoughts on Starbucks
5. VCDL President to speak at Alexandria Young Republicans meeting on Oct. 7
6. Victory in York County for the Lafayette Gun Club!
7. Forthcoming Book: "Gun Control in the Third Reich" by Stephen Halbrook
8. VCDL meeting packed on Wednesday

1. Volunteers needed for upcoming Virginia Beach gun show!


Please help out YOUR organization by volunteering for a shift or two to man the VCDL tables during the Virginia Beach Gun Show on October 12-13th, 2013.

Remember - you get in for free and will have time to roam the show. Please sign up by emailing Gary F. Moeller directly at:

VIRGINIA BEACH GUN SHOW, October 12-13, 2013
Saturday, October 12th 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 13th 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Please help!

2. Action Item: Prince William Candidate Forum on Oct. 2

Here's a forum that gun owners in the Prince William area should consider attending (get there a little early to fill up the front rows if possible):

31st and 51st Virginia House Districts

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Westminster at Lake Ridge
Potomac Room
12191 Clipper Drive
Lake Ridge, VA 22192

6:00 p.m. Social Hour

6:30 p.m. Dinner

7:15 p.m. - 8:15 pm 31st VA House District Candidates

Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, Republican Incumbent
Jeremy McPike, Democrat Challenger

8:15 pm - 8:30 pm Break

8:30 pm - 9:30 pm 51st VA House District Candidates

Delegate Rich Anderson, Republican Incumbent
Reed Heddleston, Democrat Challenger

3. VCDL working with Harrisonburg to fix air gun ordinance that almost led to a false arrest

One of our members reported to me that a friend had been detained by the Harrisonburg PD while legally shooting an air gun on his property! The officers told the member's friend that it was illegal to shoot air guns in Harrisonburg based on an ordinance they have. In the end no charges were filed, but the member's friend was told not to shoot his air gun any more.

I contacted Corporal Terrell in the Harrisonburg PD about the event and, indeed, it appears the police have no idea that the Harrisonburg air gun ordinance is now null and void. Officer Terrell was polite and professional and was interested in getting the problem fixed. I forwarded to him the code section that preempts the Harrisonburg ordinance (15.2-915.4 B.)

I also talked to the Harrisonburg City Attorney and he, too, was friendly and professional. He is going to research the law and then should recommend that the City fix or repeal their ordinance.

Both Corporal Terrell and the City Attorney were appreciative of VCDL bringing the issue to their attention.

If we learn that Harrisonburg City Council is going to address this issue, I will let you know. Hopefully for the short term, the PD will advise its officers not to enforce that ordinance.

4. Thoughts on Starbucks

The media has been flooded with stories about Starbucks changing their policy on guns.

Let's first be clear - Starbucks is NOT banning guns and you will NOT be trespassing if you carry on their property. Basically they are saying, "as a favor, please don't carry guns on our property. However, if you do, we are OK with it."

This was a poor move on their part. They should have just stood on the high ground and let things quiet down naturally. Starbucks had made it clear several times that they didn't want to be in the middle of the gun debate. All they wanted to do was to sell coffee. I completely understand that position.

BUT, the antis were determined to be rude and continue to try to put Starbucks right in the middle of the debate on guns with threatened boycotts (none of which had any impact at all). And, sadly, some on our side decided they just had to also bring Starbucks into the middle of the debate by holding "Starbucks Appreciation Days" and flood their establishments with openly armed gun owners coming in groups. In fact a Starbucks in Connecticut closed early to avoid a planned "Appreciation Day."

What part of "We don't want to be in the middle of the debate" was so hard to understand?

The problem is, of course, even though they are OK with us carrying on their property, they have asked us not to. Gun owners are going to respect that request, and in turn, we will be going elsewhere for coffee (that was the part that was a bad move on Starbucks's part by even asking such a thing). Too bad the anti-freedom folks as well as some gun owners didn't respect Starbucks's first polite request, though.

I'm not sure that the book is fully closed on this issue. If they get enough phone calls from disappointed gun owners, perhaps they will consider.

If you wish to contact Starbucks, here is some information about doing so.

From member Deborah Jane Anderson:

I just had a pleasant 25-minute phone conversation with a Starbucks customer service representative. I wanted to express my disappointment with the letter that their CEO, Howard Schultz published, but since I also had some $$ remaining on two Starbucks cards, I wanted to find out how I can get my money refunded by mail -- being that I won't go into a Starbucks anymore, due to CEO Schultz' request that I not bring my firearm to their establishments.

The good news is that Starbucks will refund all the remaining $$ on my Starbucks cards and will send the refund by mail. [PVC: I tried this, but was told they don't do refunds outside California. I talked to a different person than Deborah, though. He was very pleasant and very apologetic, emphasizing to me that it wasn't a ban, just a request and they'd happily serve gun owners. He really fought hard to try to keep me as a customer.]

If anyone else wishes to do likewise, or even if you just make a comment, the number to call is: 1-800-STARBUC (1-800-782-7282). Choose Option 2, and you'll be connected with a live representative.

By the way, in the course of my phone call with the customer service rep (a gal named Dadin), I calmly and politely explained to her about my personal position that if my firearm isn't welcomed at Starbucks, then I am not welcome there, either. I emphasized to her that the concern for my personal safety was the #1 reason I wouldn't be visiting Starbucks anymore, and that I always merely did at Starbucks what I do anywhere else when I carry my firearm, which is that I carry it for safety. I further pointed out that I am sorely disappointed at the lack of Mr. Schultz' understanding that openly welcoming those with firearms means having the presence of a "good guy" on the scene, should there ever be a "bad guy" who comes in where I (or other firearms carriers) are present.

In the process of explaining more about why "requesting" firearms not be brought to their stores likely will mean that many other gun owners also would cease doing business with Starbucks, our conversation effectively morphed into a mini-lesson for Dadin about the 2nd Amendment, the fact that "gun free zones" are the most dangerous places to be, the fact that more guns equals less crime, and much more.

Dadin listened to what I had to say during the course of that 25-minute conversation. She interjected several times that Mr. Schultz' letter didn't say that we're not "welcome," just that we're being requested not to bring our firearms -- as well as that "open carry" was what was emphasized in the letter.

In turn, I pointed out to her that Mr. Schultz quite specifically stated in the opening paragraph his request that "...customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas." Thus, even though he went on to use the term "open carry" repeatedly, I emphasized that Mr. Schultz made NO distinction about "open" or "concealed" carry in his opening statement -- he said "firearms"...period! I also pointed out that he made no mention about "drive-thru" windows, but the fact still remains that Mr. Schultz conveyed the message that "firearms" aren't welcomed at Starbucks anymore, without qualifying what kinds or methods of carry, and that to me, this means I'm not welcomed at Starbucks anymore with my firearm -- and that makes Starbucks an UNsafe place for me to be.

I hope other gun owners will call Starbucks and explain their position, as well as ask for refunds for any remaining balances on their Starbucks' cards.


Here is some local NoVA coverage. EM Ed Levine and Mike Irvin are interviewed (with a brief cameo of Board member Bruce Jackson):

5. VCDL President to speak at Alexandria Young Republicans meeting on Oct. 7

I will be speaking at a meeting of fairly new group - the Alexandria Young Republicans. The meeting is open to the public, so come out if you can!

The meeting is Monday, October 7th at 6:30 PM at:

Ireland's Own Pub in Old Town.
111 North Pitt Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

6. Victory in York County for the Lafayette Gun Club!

There was a large turnout of gun owners on Tuesday night at the York County Board of Supervisors meeting to support the approval of changes that Lafayette wanted to make to their property. Twenty-five people spoke, of which twenty-four supported the changes wanted by the Lafayette Gun Club. In the end, the changes were approved unanimously!

Good job VCDL!

Here is an article on the meeting:


Lafayette Gun Club Gets Green Light for Expansion
September 18, 2013 By Brittany Voll

The York County Board of Supervisors meeting room was packed Tuesday with citizens carrying firearms and emblazoned with bright orange "Guns Save Lives" stickers. Citizens from across the peninsula turned out to support Lafayette Gun Club of Virginia, Inc. in its venture to expand.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the club's plans, which included an amendment that a proposed building for meetings and educational purposes be moved to a different location on the property.

The club, at 331 Dare Road, submitted an application to the county to construct a 6,000-square-foot multi-purpose building for club meetings and training space and a 3,280-square-foot picnic pavilion.

As submitted, the layout puts the new multi-purpose building in what is currently a wooded area. In order to construct the building, trees would be cut down.

The board offered up the option to locate the proposed building on the other side of the existing building that houses the indoor shooting range. The board suggested the alternate location because a former building once occupied the same space and it would not require cutting down trees, which act as a sound buffer. Though noise wasn't considered as a reason to oppose the proposal, it was a concern previously raised.

If the new building is built in that location, the board offered up the possibility of reducing the required 100-foot buffer around the building to 50 feet to not interfere with the driveway. The smaller buffer was not voted on as part of Tuesday's meeting, but could be considered in the future depending on how the club chooses to proceed.

A gravel driveway that wrapped around the shooting range to a cleared spot on the property had been included in the original application. At Tuesday's meeting, Lafayette Gun Club President Don Streater said a false rumor spread about a plan to run the driveway to the lake where a boat ramp would be built. The gravel driveway would not have extended to the lake, but to around the back of the shooting range. The plan has been amended to cut off the driveway just past the shooting range.

In July, the commission voted 4-0-1, with commissioner Todd Mathes abstaining from the vote, to recommend approval of the project. Commissioners Christopher Abel's and Alexander Hamilton's terms expired in June, leaving the commission with five voting members.

At its meeting, the commission expressed a perceived lack of communication between the club and the neighboring Brandywine residents, which caused there to be 40 speakers on the issue.

"Perhaps if you all communicated more often and better we wouldn't have this full room," commissioner Timothy McCulloch said at the meeting.

Prior to the commission and board meetings, the Virginia Citizens Defense Leagues sent out call-to-action emails asking supporters to turn out to speak at the public hearings. VCDL President Philip VanCleave spoke at Tuesday's board meeting to support the club's plans.

In all, 25 people — including residents of Brandywine and other areas of York County, Gloucester, Newport News, Hampton, Emporia and Williamsburg — spoke at Tuesday's meeting. Of the 25 speakers, only one speaker was partially opposed to the plans while the other 24 speakers supported the club.

Bonita Causey said she was partially opposed due to concerns with safety and noise. She was concerned the picnic pavilion would draw parties with loud music because the gun club is not subject to the county's noise ordinance.

Responding to Causey's comments, speaker Doug Peterson, who said he is on the gun club's board of directors, said the firing range is not subject to the county's noise ordinance but the club cannot have loud parties. He said it has never been the club's goal to have loud parties and the plans are not changing now.

Causey was also concerned because she heard a woman once wandered onto the firing range. Also addressing this comment, Peterson said there's no way to access the gun club's land without encountering a trespassing sign. If people are not members or guests of members, they are trespassing, he said.

7. Forthcoming Book: "Gun Control in the Third Reich" by Stephen Halbrook

There are pre-publication discounts available for a limited time only on a forthcoming book on Nazi gun control, that is authored by The Independent Institute Research Fellow, Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook. Dr. Halbrook is a renowned gun-rights scholar and Constitutional law attorney:

Gun Control in the Third Reich:
Disarming the Jews and "Enemies of the State"
By Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D.
$27.95 hardcover, $19.50 paperback, 8 pages of photographs
296 Pages, Index, 4 Tables, 2 Figures

Here is the webpage for the book:

Here is the pre-publication, special discounts schedule to purchase the book in quantity for both hardcover and paperback:

Here is Steve Halbrook's bio:

8. VCDL meeting packed on Wednesday

It was standing-room-only at Wednesday's membership meeting where Emily Miller, with the Washington Times, spoke to the group. Emily also signed copies of her new book at the meeting. She left at 9 PM and headed over the a local TV studio to be on the Anderson Cooper show (CNN).

Here is Emily's appearance on that show (thanks to member Rick Evans for the link):

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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