Steppin’ Out In Blacksburg VA a Success For Virginia Citizens Defense League

Steppin' Out In Blacksburg VA A Success For Virginia Citizens Defense League
Steppin’ Out In Blacksburg VA A Success For Virginia Citizens Defense League
Virginia Citizens Defense League
Virginia Citizens Defense League

Covington VA –-( Last weekend Virginia Citizens Defense League, (VCDL) had a booth at Blacksburg’s Steppin’ Out street festival.

During the two day period, VCDL had 17 people working the booth.  Everyone was kept busy and handed out over FIVE-THOUSAND Guns Save Lives stickers and hundreds of membership applications and carry cards!


Moms Demand Action (MDA) had a booth for the first time, a couple of hundred feet from VCDL’s booth.  They were handing out “Background Checks Save Lives.

I’m still waiting for someone to tell me when that has actually happened.  The mass murders are committed by people who had either stolen their guns, got them through a straw purchase, or, the vast majority, purchased them through a dealer, having passed one or more background checks.

Keep in mind that Blacksburg, because of a massacre in a gun-free-zone, better known as Virginia Tech, is considered to be GROUND-ZERO for antis in Virginia.  This is where they expected to get an overwhelming response to their message and to have everyone wearing their yellow stickers.

But no, it didn’t work out that way at all.  We creamed them.  Everywhere you looked there were people wearing GSL stickers.  Even some manning a booth right next to the MDA were wearing our stickers.  Yes, there were some MDA stickers out there, but they were few and far between compared to the GSL stickers.

And talk about MDA’s key audience:  we were handing out a lot of stickers to women of all ages.  We would get groups of high school or college age girls, all seeking the VCDL booth to get stickers.  An excellent percentage of adult women, and of course a large number of men of all ages.  Many parents “stickered up” their babies and young children.

Many staffing other booths had GSL stickers, as did some of those participating in events, such as musicians and cloggers.


You could see an anti walking up to our booth from a mile away.  They universally had sour, scowling looks on their face.  And they just couldn’t help themselves – they would either make obscene gestures or would say rude and inflammatory things to us.  A bunch of angry, unfriendly, hateful people.  Some would make silly comments about guns and then walk away before anyone could even respond.  We did not respond in kind (and never do).

One anti came to our booth, asked for a sticker, and then tore it up in front of us.  Ouch – that cost us almost 1/2 a cent!

Another interesting one was a husband and wife.  The husband said, “No!” when offered a GSL sticker.  The wife said, “Yes!” and took one.  The husband turned around, grabbed the sticker out of his wife’s hand and threw it!  I’d loved to have been a fly on the wall in their home that evening.

As the event was wrapping up on the last day, a young black lady that we had given a sticker earlier,  returned.  It turns out that some guy saw her stickers and started yelling at her.  She told us to “sticker her up.”  And we did.  She wanted stickers on both her front and her back.  About 5 minutes later a group of teenage boys came to our booth for exactly the same reason and we gave them a bunch of stickers, too.

Whoever that was yelling at people wearing our stickers, I’d like to personally thank them for helping us get the word out!

Oh, and this year to catch some of the fun, VCDL installed an audio/video security system in the booth.  We are planning to post some of the video of antis behaving badly at some point.

The event organizers, who would have loved to keep us away from the event, but grudgingly let us have a booth, didn’t bother to come by to say “hello” or to see if we needed anything.  They did drop by other booths.  The Blacksburg Mayor skipped our booth as he does every year, but the Christiansburg Mayor made a point of coming by and even putting on a GSL sticker.  Those two mayors are like night and day.


I have posted lots of photos on the main page of the VCDL web site.  Good stuff – be sure to take a look!


VCDL raffled a $500 give certificate for Sportsman’s Warehouse (thanks, Sportsman’s Warehouse!).  The winner and his photo are on the VCDL web site.


Helpers, Friday:

John Wilburn, Dave Hicks, Dave Knight, Dennis O’Connor, Lisa Smith, Veronica Smith, Philip Van Cleave, Marvin Wilburn, Ken Modica, Rick Hinson

Helpers, Saturday:

John Wilburn, Dave Hicks, Dave Knight, Benjamin Ingram, Nina Wilburn, Marvin Wilburn, Edward French, Connie French, Philip Van Cleave, Dennis O’ Connor, Ryan Burch, Sheila Rigney, Chris Sturgill

Special thanks to Dave Hicks and Ken Modica for set up help and Ryan Burch and Sheila Rigney for help in tearing down.  Thanks to Dave Knight for setting up the security system.  At the end of tear down, we did a sweep of the area for stray GSL stickers and two that we removed were on a 12 foot high stop sign.  The booth area was left cleaner than we found it on Friday morning.

Virginia Citizens Defense League Steppin Out
Virginia Citizens Defense League Steppin Out


EM John Wilburn, who headed up the event, has an excellent write up he provided leadership that I wanted to include, as it covers some additional details and offers another perspective.

Here is John’s write up:

After a slow, rain soaked start on Friday morning, the weather cleared up, the public turned out, and we gained momentum steadily over the course of the weekend to easily be one of the most popular booths of the event.  While we gave out an estimated 5,000 Guns Save Lives stickers, the antis were giving away some yellow stickers of their own.  One person attending our booth reported that the GSL stickers outnumbered the antis’ “Background Checks Save Lives” stickers “10 to 1”.  I estimate a larger ratio than that by the end of each day as the young crowd especially favored our message.  We squashed the antis’ sticker campaign handily.

On average, the antis were better behaved this year than last, but there were still a few who couldn’t help but inflict their rotten attitudes on our booth.  Perhaps they were jealous of the swarm of people who were who were glad to see us there and had searched all over the three blocks of streets that the festival covers for the booth giving out the orange GSL stickers.  Maybe they were upset that the VCDL booth had a crowd all day long and many requests for stickers and raffle tickets even while we were packing up at the end of the day, in contrast to the antis’ abandoning their space well before closing time… in fact, we should thank one young anti in particular who came over to complain at closing time.  Since she was preempting booth tear-down, we just gave away about 100 more stickers while she was talking at us.  But most likely, they were just jealous of the overall camaraderie and the fun we were having, something antis universally seem to have difficulty with.

This year we were raffling a $500 gift card sponsored by Sportsman’s Warehouse as a two-day Steppin’ Out exclusive.  A couple of times during rude verbal rants by random antis, I suggested to the crowd that the gift card winner could use it for earplugs.  😉  Last year, we raffled a 9mm handgun.  Because of objections by the organizers, we opted to raffle a gift card this year.  We didn’t miss a beat and the winner, who lives in Blacksburg, cashed it in for a new 9mm handgun within a matter of hours.

The highlight of the event for EM Dave Hicks was a young man coming by to shake his hand and admit that he had been wrong when he initiated an argument with Dave last year.  It’s good to see a young person figure out gun control for what it really is.

We thank the Blacksburg Police Department for keeping an eye on things and for their professionalism.  We thank the Blacksburg town attorney for his professionalism, too.   (When the event organizers originally tried to ban guns at the event, we contacted the town attorney and he took care of making sure that illegal act never happened.)

We also thank the VCDL members who volunteered rain or shine to setup, work, and tear down the booth and to be great ambassadors for gun owners.

A big thanks to the public who overwhelmingly supported us and lastly, we have to thank the antis, mostly for having a slow barren booth that really demonstrated, by comparison, the success and energy of ours.

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. Visit:

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ray hampton

57 states ? did the state of California do the split already ?

ray hampton

DO the anti-gun people deny GOD


I am proud of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc…Now we need same thing happening in all 49 or is 57 remaining states!