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.
- 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!
About 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.