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“VCDL, which prides itself on being more radical than the National Rifle Association (NRA) with stickers that say 'guns save lives,' supports allowing guns on school grounds, on college campuses, in libraries and government facilities and in bars. They oppose closing the gun show loophole and universal background checks.”
State Senator Mark Herring August 2, 2013
“... the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the commonwealth’s dominant gun lobby.”
Roanoke Times Metro Columnist Dan Casey - Jan 6, 2013
“The law was a victory for the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights organization that makes the NRA look moderate.”
Eleanor Clift – Politics Daily – July 5, 2010
“[VCDL] campaigns for the right of gun owners to tote firepower in all kinds of places … including outdoor festivals and college campuses.”
The Daily Press – Oct 20, 2007
“Virginia Citizens Defense League . . . is on a mission to root out every nugget of gun control it can detect in Virginia. It has been behind campaigns to make sure concealed weapons are allowed in local government buildings, even civic centers, and fought to open up state and local parks to concealed weapons.”
The Daily Press – Nov 27, 2006
“They’re pretty effective, I have to give them credit.”
Jim Sollo, Chairman of Virginians Against Handgun Violence
Virginian Pilot – Nov 11, 2002
Bills are starting to drop for the 2014 legislative session and, emboldened by the election of a radical anti-gun governor, the anti-gunners are pulling out all the stops.
We need YOU to be involved this year more than ever before! You need to plan on being at VCDL's 2014 Lobby Day at the General Assembly on Monday January 20th, 2014!
VCDL had another strong presence at Steppin' Out in Blacksburg this year. Our booth was one of the most popular at the event (photo taken during a lull):
We handed out lots of Guns Save Lives stickers:
Young ladies and women were a strong contingent of those who wore the stickers. A casual walk around the event showed just how popular the GSL stickers were with people of all ages:
Dogs carried the message, too!
This young lady had one sticker on originally, was harassed about it by an anti, so she came back to our booth angry and wanted to put on a bunch more stickers in defiance. And so she did!
Even vendors proudly displayed their GSL stickers:
A band member (3rd from right) and a clogging participant in her red dress wore theirs:
A raffle drawing was held for a gift certificate from Sportsman's Warehouse:
Left to right in photo below: VCDL member Sheila Rigney, VCDL Executive Member John Wilburn, raffle winner Anthony Rinaldi holding his prize, and Alex Barcelo with Sportsman's Warehouse who provided the gift certificate.
VCDL members carried signs protesting 8th Congressional District Democratic candidate Don Beyer's anti-gun stance on May 28. The signs also promoted gun rights. Plenty of support was shown by drivers honking their horns, giving "thumbs up" gestures, and some stopping to learn more about VCDL!
Any 8th Congressional District voters who didn't vote in the Republican Firehouse Primary can vote in the 8th Congressional District Democrat Primary on June 10th at their regular polling place!
Both sides of the gun-rights issue were present at the "Gun Violence in America" forum held on April 29th in Blacksburg. The forum was to encourage a civil dialog on solutions to violence, with both sides listening to each other. While things were indeed civil, based on the photo below it looks like two on the panel were somewhat bored and not really listening ;-)
(Seated above, left-to-right, Karen Peters with Mothers Demand Action, Andrew Goddard with the Million Mom March, VCDL Executive member John Wilburn, VCDL President Philip Van Cleave)
There was a decent turnout (around 80 people), with the audience having a mixture of pro-gun, anti-gun, and fence sitters. Closest to the camera, below, wearing a maroon shirt and taking notes, is Executive member Dave Knight.
VCDL had a table at the event. Member Sheila Rigney and Executive member Ken Modica are shown seated below.
The VCDL President's key point was that the real question shouldn't be what to do about "gun violence," but about any violence against innocents, regardless of what tool is used to perpetrate that violence. It's those with a black heart that are always the problem, not guns, which are a the most effective tool in protecting innocent life from evil.
In was standing-room-only with over 100 people present at the VCDL membership meeting in Roanoke on Tuesday, February 25! Many thanks to the Odd Fellows Lodge for providing the excellent facilitiy.
And thanks to Board member Al Steed Jr (in blue shirt addressing the meeting below), Ed French, Sherril Smith, Sheila Rigney, and Executive members John WIlburn, Dave Hicks, Dave Knight, and Ken Modica for making southwest Virginia the most active part of the state for VCDL activities, hands down.
Food was served before the meeting was called to order (thanks to the Odd Fellows Lodge and various members for the food!) and there was even a birthday cake for VCDL's president made by Shellie Meikle and Linda Steed (with help from Stephen Meikle)!
Who was there? YOU were.
Friends and family
The Press was there
Thanks to member Kevin Schindler for the great photos above!
Lobbing inside the General Assembly Building
VCDL members watch as Militia, Police, and Public Safety subcommittee considers some gun bills
Members listen to Board member Dennis O'Connor as he discusses what happened that night in subcommittee.