Blacksburg, VA Denies Pro-Gun Group a Booth at Steppin’ Out Night

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Blacksburg, VA Denies Pro-Gun Group a Booth at Steppin' Out Night

Virginia – -(AmmoLand.com)- ACTION ITEM: Virginia Citizens Defense League denied a booth at Steppin' Out on August 2-3, but we WILL be there protesting!

First some back history.

It is no secret that the organization that runs the annual Steppin' Out festival in Blacksburg, DBI (Downtown Blacksburg Inc), has been trying to ban guns and keep Virginia Citizens Defense League from having a presence there for years.

We crushed DBI's attempts at an illegal gun ban every time they tried it by making a quick call to the City Attorney.

Nevertheless, Virginia Citizens Defense League has managed to have a booth at the festival, which has thousands of attendees, for the last six or so years. We hand out well over 1,000 GSL stickers, get new members, and educate the public on their gun rights during the two-day event. We were one of the most popular, if not the most popular, booth at the event!

The gun-controllers in the area have been livid that Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) has had such a strong presence and that our GSL stickers are worn proudly by a large number of the attendees.

To try to keep us out this year, DBI came up with a group of carefully-crafted “theme zones” and required that booths have to fall under at least one of them:

  • Arts & Entertainment: Explores arts, crafts and entertainment
  • Town of Blacksburg: Spotlights the Town of Blacksburg services
  • Health & Wellness: Promotes the well-being of the community
  • Seniors: Celebrates our aging population
  • Youth: Provides opportunities for youth and teens
  • Welcome: Highlights welcome services and life in the New River Valley

VCDL filed under “Heath & Wellness,” knowing that this was all a farce by DBI. Here is the description we provided to DBI:

With more than 600,000 Virginians having a permit to carry a concealed firearm, safety education is essential to their health and well being. VCDL educates the public on firearm safety, proper storage, restrictions on places where one may carry a firearm, and best practices to prevent accidents and keep children safe from firearms in the home.

We give out fliers about these topics, rights education, and stickers that promote a life-saving message.

We received the expected denial from DBI:

…we regret to inform you that we are unable to find a place for your organization as a Community Partner within one of our six core community categories for this year’s festival. We appreciate your interest and support and hope that you’ll still attend and enjoy all that Steppin’ Out has to offer.

ACTION ITEM: VCDL WILL BE THERE, IN NUMBERS, PROTESTING!

“We…hope that you’ll still attend and enjoy all that Steppin’ Out has to offer.”

Oh, don't worry, DBI, we'll be attending, alright! VCDL has no intention of taking this lying down. Our goal is to have a team of between 10 and 25 people demonstrating at all times during Steppin' Out.

We normally had only six people in our booth and we had to follow the DBI rules for vendors. For example, we could only hand out our GSL stickers from inside our booth.

BUT NOT ANYMORE!

By protesting the event, we can now freely walk around the festival handing out protest flyers, GSL stickers, and other materials! DBI will have no say in what we are doing (unless we step into someone's booth to hand out materials, which we won't do). The First Amendment supports the Second Amendment!

We need people to help us push back on DBI for what they have done. We have broken the event into four shifts. If you can only work a shorter shift, that's alright, too.

  • Friday, August 2, 10 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm
  • Saturday, August 3, 10 am to 2 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm

If you can be part of our team, send an email to: [email protected] with subject line: DBI Protest.

Include:

  • You name
  • Which day(s) and time slot(s) you wish to help with
  • Your cell-phone number

HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IF I'M NOT PART OF THE TEAM?

If you don't want to be part of the official demonstration, or if we have 25 people demonstrating and cannot add anyone else during that shift, then feel free to stop by, show your support, and get some Guns Save Lives stickers and VCDL flyers. While we are limited to 25 demonstrators at a time, nothing would prevent members from sharing stickers with their fellow attendees. The important thing is to let Steppin' Out know that the voices of law-abiding gun owners will not be silenced!


Virginia Citizens Defense LeagueAbout Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):

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.

For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.

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hokiehokievpiTheRevelatorWild BillJCVT67CEMinMO Recent comment authors
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Get Out
Member
Get Out

JCTV67, were the booth requests a first come first served basis? If so, post a list of approved participants and we’ll see if there aren’t a couple of participant groups being allowed that are possibly political in nature that DBI approves of?

JCVT67
Member
JCVT67

Everything finalized should be on the website. If they are a vendor or sponsor, they should be on there. I dont exactly keep a list handy. I am a volunteer board member who does this to try to make my community better. Also, I am a second amendment supporter. This was in no way done to single you out or take a political stance. We really just want this to be a fun, family environment focused on community. We have narrowed the scope of what we allow to accomplish this and meant no ill will toward this group at all.

http://Www.blacksburgsteppinout.com

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@JCVT, While I applaud your volunteering, in an effort to support your community, I must apologize in advance for what I am about to write. I read your list of vendors and sponsors, and I did not see one single thing that I would be interested in. You should have had a gun show.

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

Looked over their site. Very vague descriptions, which was to be expected. They do however have an AARP booth going, which would be no different than the VCDL being there.

Advocacy, Education, Outreach… No matter what descriptive word JCVT67 uses to describe the AARP’s presence, it is no different than what VCDL would be if they were there. It’s sad to see the same old dishonest two step being pulled.

JCVT67
Member
JCVT67

We denied anti gun groups and many other groups across the political spectrum as well. You all were not being singled out. I voted to deny many groups that I am personally supportive of

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

JCTV67, and what groups are you supportive of? Seeing that you didn’t name any, the obvious conclusion is that they are groups that are opposed to our state and federal Constitutions and our rights protected by them. Not only did you trample on the federal second amendment and Article I, Section 13 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but on our first amendment rights. What other rights do you not believe in?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Heed, It would not take but a few advertisements explaining Downtown Blackburg, Inc’s. (DBI) anti-Civil Rights positions, and their little Steppin’ On Rights festival would be ruined forever. Let VCDL have a booth and let the people decide, rather than DBI deciding for them.

JoeUSooner
Member
JoeUSooner

NAME those groups “across the political spectrum” that you, personally, denied…

Get Out
Member
Get Out

It would also be interesting if JCTV67 listed if there are any anti-gun groups that are being allowed to participate and given a booth.

JCVT67
Member
JCVT67

I have stated a number of times that there are no anti gun groups

Get Out
Member
Get Out

Post a list of approved participants and we’ll get back to you that there are no anti-gun groups.

nrringlee
Member
nrringlee

The Progressive New Left has known for decades that they cannot win the debate. Even now, when they own the Democrat party they still cannot tell the American People what they really believe and what they really intend to do when they fundamentally transform America. They intend to transform America in to a New World Soviet. The only thing lacking in that plan is that there are not enough of them, the woke, they People that they have been waiting for. No, teh majority of Americans at least for now don’t buy it and we cling to or Constitution, our… Read more »

nrringlee
Member
nrringlee

Arizona Citizens Defense League has your back.

JCVT67
Member
JCVT67

We didn’t allow anti gun groups either. Political groups in general were not allowed

CEMinMO
Member
CEMinMO

It’s NOT political. It’s about RIGHTS and ethical/moral treatment of those who only wish to inform the public, who have had their knowledge of and freedom to exercise their rights, suppressed by those in control of government, media and education.

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@JCVT67 It would be interesting to look at a list of all booth holders to see. Would there be any advocacy or awareness groups there? Any type of advocacy group, be it an LGBT awareness group, or a Black Lives Matter Group, Public Housing, any of those would qualify as a “Political” group. I’m sorry, but unless you are willing to be fully open to outside inspection and remove any groups we might find politically motivated in turn, you are not being an honest broker. Do not try to appear as though you are apolitical when you would merely claim… Read more »

JCVT67
Member
JCVT67

http://Www.blacksburgsteppinout.com
There is a list of vendors and sponsors there.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@JCVT, I understand that the festival is to support your little community, and that you are a volunteer, just trying to do good in the world. But it looks pretty boring. If you want people to show up, include a gun show! Again my apologies.

TheRevelator
Member
TheRevelator

@JCVT67 Ok, so we have a couple groups that could be problematic. AARP, your Community Health Center if they engage in any advocacy on site. So here is the deal. Can you guarantee that they will refrain from any advocacy while they are there? Have you talked to the entertainment? Can you guarantee that any of the performers on your 3 stages will not be making any political statements? Or will you expose yourself by offering a weak excuse such as “We cannot control or be held responsible for what they might say on their own.”? That is the problem.… Read more »

hokiehokievpi
Member
hokiehokievpi

Planned Parenthood and NRV Indivisible were allowed. How can you say political groups in general were not allowed. NRV Indivisible is an avid sponsor of Chris Hurst who is extremely opposed to gun rights.

Will Flatt
Member

Give ’em hell! I hope they try to violate your free speech, then you’ll OWN THEM!